This little truck slays me. It’s just so damn cute and toy-like, my desire to take it home and put it in my playroom is mighty powerful. Have you ever seen anything like it before? I didn’t think so; I never had. But then it’s not exactly a US spec vehicle, not surprisingly, although how exactly these illegal aliens make it through the cracks and get licensed is beyond me. And it’s hardly the only one in town, along with the Nissan Pao. And they’re both almost the same color. Maybe that’s the key. Anyway, someone is fulfilling their desires for toys. Wish it was me.
You’re going to be spared a lengthy CC today, because I don’t really have a whole lot to go on, except that this baby truck is a pick up version of the Suzuki Jimny SJ 20/LJ80, which was the final iteration of the first Suzuki 4×4, which had its roots a a vehicle called the HopeStar ON360, that Suzuki bought in 1968. That became the Suzuki LJ10, the first of a long line of Suzuki mini-4x4s.
Those early Suzukis were built to the Japanese kei-car standards, and had a 360 cc 2-stroke twin. Eventually, larger two-strokes (539 cc) were on tap, but in 1977 a slightly enlarged SJ20 featured the first four stroke four cylinder engine, an 800cc unit with some 41 hp. That’s what’s likely in this truck.
[update:] This particular truck sports DoD stickers from 1979, which thanks to a TTAC reader the duke means it had a pass to be driven on the base, and not that it was actually owned by the military. Although it certainly would have made a perfect parts runner on an Air Force base or the like.
The little LJ two stroke Suzukis were quite fondly adopted as little off-road toys in Germany, introducing a low-cost option to getting the tires dirty in that country. And of course, the “baby Jeep” has become almost a global icon, being produced in other countries and in various configurations. We of course are familiar with the later Samurai versions, but the Suzuki had spread the LJ and SJ around the world before it finally found a home here in the land of the the one and only Jeep. Perhaps coincidence or not, but our CC Outtake on the Samurai was shot exactly here across the street.
The whole family of these little Suzukis are extremely simple but durable and tough little work horses. I would love to have this one as a hardware store parts runner. Someone beat me to it, and it regularly appears around town. But for best effect, it is seen here with this little Isuzu/Chevy LUV pickup, which really helps put its size (and cuteness) in perspective.