If you're looking to get into some tight spots off-road, you might be thinking about one of the many side by sides that have exploded in the market lately. As an alternative to that, we submit this 1987 Samurai tintop. A real roof, low miles, and an owner that's willing to meet you in the mountains for a real test drive make this Suzuki worth a look in our book.
Listed on eBay for the second time due to what the seller claims was a "crazy" bidder, we meant to write this one up the first time around so we're glad to see it back. We always liked these hard top Samurais and were disappointed to see them evolve into the extremely lackluster Sidekick's later in life.
This tintop is aesthetically rough all around. The interior is torn and dusty, and the exterior has some dents and faded paint. None of that really matters -- we'll take those "issues" anyday over the typical rust that we see, or strained suspensions adding to already dicey stability from the factory.
235/75R15 tires are claimed to be almost new and the largest size that can fit without modification. The look of the front offset makes us question whether or not there isn't some rubbing, but again, we like the fact that the suspension hasn't been touched. Everything else looks stock and the seller mentions a "header exhaust system" which is an interesting choice on this little 1.3L 4cyl.
This car seems like it was a daily driver, and a nice list of recent service includes a battery, plugs and wires, distributor, and vacuum hoses for the carb. Being based in the CA desert, we assume that the AC remains functional as well.
It's not going to tow massive trailers, or climb up anything that qualifies as a boulder (in its current form) but this is a great little 4x4. We know we give Rovers and FJs a lot of love around here, but if you're looking for something that will get you just about anywhere with a small footprint, this Suzuki could be a lot of car in a little package.
Find this Tintop on eBay in Helmet, CA.
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