For $2,500, Could This Rotary-Powered 1987 Suzuki Samurai Make You Sam I Am?

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Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Samurai represents an enigma. Derided and devalued for its on-road hijinks when new, these cars are now coveted for their prowess off-road. Let’s see how covetable this 12A-powered convertible is.

Does it seem to you that pretty much everything is done half-assed these days? I mean, you go into the grocery store and they have self-checkouts now. The stores can’t be bothered to hire enough people to work the registers so now I have to do that too? Yeah, screw that. Also screw the concept of “restored car” that has a paint job that doesn’t extend past the button fly, or an interior that, while nice, still shows obvious wear. That’s not restored, that’s just tidied up.


That exact sort of half-assery was pointed out by many of you on yesterday’s 1979 Mercedes Benz 450SEL 6.9, and its $38,000 price paid the penalty by way of an 83-percent Crack Pipe loss. There was some additional issue with its actual license too, most notably pointed out by super-sleuth, 62imperialcrown.

There doesn’t seem to be any such shenanigans with today’s 1987 Suzuki Samurai, however, this recently pulled from the weeds truck has other issues that might both encourage and offend your sensibilities.


First off, the truck has a Mazda 12A rotary engine under its rectilinear hood. That’s a likely 100-bhp which is a good 40 more than offered by the Suzuki 1.3 piston popper put in there by the factory. A five-speed backs that up and there’s part-time 4WD and a set of huge tires that are knobbier than a baboon’s butt. The bodywork looks to be free of what we might call deal-breakers, and there appears to be an interior so you can take it on your next Tinder date without the fear of completely scaring them off. The title is apparently clean even if the truck itself is a little muddy in the pics.


Now the bad news. The seller says in his ad that the truck has been sitting outside for long enough that it took a new battery and some non-skunky gas to get it to turn over. He claims that it does now start and run, but that it needs some kibbles and bits to make it actually, you know, drivable. Those include a new slave cylinder for the clutch and a new rearend out back. It’s not rocket science to replace either of those, and honestly the slave’s a cinch seeing as the tall tires already give you creeper-grade ground clearance. Unless there’s a ton more to fiddle with here then it’s a weekend and a sixer’s worth of work.

That leads us to the badder news. The seller takes the uber annoying tact that he himself is continuing to work on the little trucklet’s foibles and as he does he’s going to increase the asking price. You know what, eff that. Idle threats are not conducive to the quick unloading of whatever you have to sell.


Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox, as we now need to vote on this Samurai’s current $2,500 price tag. At least that’s what it is until it gets miraculously raised owing to the addition of an air freshener tree on the rear-view.

What’s your take on this rotary Samurai and that $2,500 price? Does that make it feel like a deal? Or, does this project rock hopper’s price make you hopping mad?


You decide!


Portland, OR Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Kolton for the hookup!

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