Wankel-powered, convertible, four by four, those are descriptors that don't traditionally go together, but like apple pie and cheddar cheese their disparate attractions combined are probably awesome. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Suzuki Samurai is just such a combination, but will its price spoil the recipe?
Nights in White Satin was a dirge by the pirate shirt-wearing psychedelia band the Moody Blues. It was notable for having been ignored on its initial release in 1968, but then gaining top-ten status upon re-release in 1972. Contrastingly, yesterday's knight in black satin, the custom 1972 Chevy Blazer, didn't top anyone's chart, its 56% Crack Pipe loss garnered as much for its grody underbelly as for its fifteen grand price.
Today's 1985 Suzuki Samurai is also a member of the mod squad, having seen its punky piston popper of an engine replaced by a hummer of a Mazda B13, which is additionally turbocharged. And unlike that Chevy yesterday, this Suzuki has a bikini top to keep the sea gulls from dive-crapping you. The seller also has a bikini, or at least has the smooth moves to get a young lady to model next to the little truck in an even littler swim suit. If it's the Samurai that has that kind of attractive power then that's worth the price of admission alone.
But of course this Suzuki has more to offer than just being the world's greatest wingman. The comically small and uncomfortable back seat has been ditched in favor of an amp and kicker-carrying sound box in front of which is either a mini-keg or the most strangely located fuel filter ever. The seats don't look like Samurai units, and in fact appear to be thrones out of an early Toyota MR2. Either way, if the model's wardrobe is anything to go by, they must give you a mean wedgie.
Outside, the red and black paint scheme - hello, you did notice the paint, didn't you, behind the girl? Whatever. The paint looks pretty awesome on the truck, and somewhat makes up for the chrome phone dial (how much longer can we use that term?) steel wheels. The Samurai has always been a good looking truck, and this appears to be one of the nicest.
The SJ40 supplanted its Kei Car predecessor as well as that truck's diminutive 3-cylinder engines with a 1-litre 4-banger, while the American market received a 1.3. That 63-horse 4-pot has been given the heave-ho in this Samurai, having been replaced by everyone's favorite minimum moving parts engine - the Mazda 13B. And apex seals be damned, this one is turbo'd. Aside from that info, and the admission that both work and parts have gone into this truck's current state, the seller seems content to let the pictures do the talking. Perhaps he figures nobody would read it anyway with the bikini girl to look at.
That means we don't get any idea of what the gearbox is, how many miles the truck has on it, whether or not the rear top is there, or if that girl's cell phone number comes with the purchase price. Hook up or no, the asking price for this rotary Samurai is $12,500. With the little Suzuki trucks seemingly going through a mini-popularity phase these days, that nearly 3-times new price isn't completely out of the ballpark, but of course it's up to you to say if it's even a hit. What do you think, is this Mazda-monstered Samurai worth $12,500? Or, is this a Suzuki with a price that just sukz?
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