At $13,500, Could This 1988 Suzuki Samurai “Show Car” Show You a Thing or Two?

Illustration for article titled At $13,500, Could This 1988 Suzuki Samurai “Show Car” Show You a Thing or Two?
Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

We may not be able to enjoy Suzuki’s new Jimny here in the U.S., but today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Samurai may make the loss a lot easier to take. That is of course, if its price is a good take.

So, I was at my favorite bar the other night for their Tiki Tuesday festivities. I had a drink there that they were calling the Brancasaurus Rex and, charmingly, it was served in a cup shaped like a fish.

Tiki bars and kitschy cups are throwbacks that I like. Not everything old is to everybody’s liking, however. Case in point, yesterday’s 1988 supercharged and T-roofed Toyota MR2.


Yes, most people do love Toyota’s spunky little sports car, but seemingly not when it’s presented as almost used-up and thrown-out as that one seemed to be. Pile on to that a $3,750 price tag and the party’s over. We closed out the tab on the MR2 with the damage coming in at a 72 percent Crack Pipe loss.

Do you go to car shows? Have you ever been in a car show? If you’ve never done the latter but are itching to do so, then we have much to discuss.

Illustration for article titled At $13,500, Could This 1988 Suzuki Samurai “Show Car” Show You a Thing or Two?

This 1988 Suzuki Samurai is described by its seller as being a “show car.” What show? I don’t know. I guess you could take this to any number of Radwood events, Japanese Car shows, or Orphan Car meet-ups and fit right in at each and every one. That’s versatility for you, and that’s because this Suzuki checks a lot of boxes.


First off, this is one clean Samurai. The seller claims he bought the little 4WD to ease his trek up a steep driveway in winter but then felt it too nice to ever let out in the snow. Instead it sat in a garage where its custom paint and Suzuki-branded hard caps could be protected from inclement weather.

Illustration for article titled At $13,500, Could This 1988 Suzuki Samurai “Show Car” Show You a Thing or Two?

As part of the truck’s ascension to show car status, its 66 horsepower 1.3-litre four and five-speed transmission were reportedly rebuilt just a little over 5K ago. More recently, the dash was given the heave-ho for a NOS unit with metric markings. The seller doesn’t say however, whether the speedometer drive was also changed out to allow the new gauge to read correctly.

It’s all very nice looking and seemingly without notable flaw. The interior however is where this truck really struts its stuff. In there you’ll find the replaced dash which looks fine. It’s the floor coverings though, that really get me excited. I love sisal mats and as you will note the entire floor of this Samurai is covered in sisal mats. Everywhere. Those are trimmed in paint-matching welting. It’s all quite awesome.

Illustration for article titled At $13,500, Could This 1988 Suzuki Samurai “Show Car” Show You a Thing or Two?

Above the awesome mats sit a pair of leather-covered seats. These don’t look like the stock Samurai seats but since there aren’t any really good shots of them in the ad I can’t readily identify their origin. They still look comfy as hell and their color contrasts nicely with the biscuit colored mats. The load area has more sisal but no back bench. There’s also no radio in the car, but the seller says there’s bluetooth so your phone can do its thing.


There’s a clear title and unfortunately a question as to the car’s overall miles since the seller apparently didn’t reset the odo when installing the new-old dash. It now reads 607 kilometers and the ad says there’s 5,500 miles in total since the restoration.

All this makes for one clean Suzuki, one that’s so nice it could realistically be taken to a show. Alternatively you could take it to dinner, a leisurely drive through the country, or just around town running errands. It’s rife with possibilities.

Illustration for article titled At $13,500, Could This 1988 Suzuki Samurai “Show Car” Show You a Thing or Two?

The only thing standing in the way might be the Samurai’s $13,500 price. That’s a lot of cheddar, and you’ll now need to weigh that against the car’s condition. You should also consider just how crazy the Samurai market has become in the last few years. These once really cheap cars generally no longer are. This is going to be one of the nicest appreciably stock ones you’ll find. Could that be worth that $13,500 asking?


You decide!


Jackson, TN Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to OldBlue for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.

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Fred: You know Suzy, no one loves you like I do.

Suzuki: Please, just let me go.

Fred: The outside world is a terrible place. I’m keeping you safe in here. Bathing you, massaging you, dressing you up in the finest sisal accoutrements.

Suzuki: You also ripped my console off and now I can’t see straight. Please, please, just let me go. I promise I’ll come back to see you.

Fred: No, that’s what my last lover Pontiac 6000 said. I pleasured him like I pleasure you and he never returned.

Suzuki: He caught fire 100 yards from the driveway...because he was a PONTIAC 6000! I’m better than that, I can survive out there in rough and tumble (looks it up) Tennessee????

Fred: Perhaps. I do love you so, so your next owner should love you just as much. Therefore, I’ll give you freedom if someone pays me $13,500! AHAHAHAHAHAHAH (maniacal laughter).

Suzuki: I’m fucked.