Junkyard Find: 2001 Suzuki Swift, Colorado Bag-O-Legal-Weed Edition

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

I live in Colorado, where recreational cannabis has been legal since the beginning of 2014. The (allegedly) medical-only stuff had been available all over Denver, complete with sign-spinners on street corners, for years before that, and so nothing much changed when the Reefer Man was allowed to sell his wares to just about any adult. Sure, hundreds of doomed recreational dispensaries have joined the hundreds of doomed brewpubs and doomed tattoo shops fighting for the not-so-abundant dollars of the thin slice of the Denver population interested in shatter hash, yeast-sludge-filled draft beer, and/or blotchy tattoos of the Chinese characters for “poop”… and I’ve started seeing bags of weed in junkyard cars here.

Prior to legalization, no self-respecting tow-truck driver or junkyard employee would have allowed free pot to slip by, but nowadays a few grams of mystery doobage is about as appealing to those guys as a half-empty 40-dog of King Cobra found in the trunk.

Here’s a Suzuki Swift that I found in a Denver yard with such a bag that I spotted tied to the gas spring on the hatch.

How many of us realized that the Swift (and its Geo — wait, I mean, Chevrolet — Metro sibling) could still be purchased in the United States as late as the 2001 model year? Imagine that it’s 2001 and you have a choice between a new Swift and a new Daewoo Lanos! Of course, if you’d waited for 2002, you could have purchased a new Suzuki Aerio.

This one has the “big-block” 1.3 liter four-cylinder engine instead of the 1.0 liter three-banger.

I went back to this yard a week later and this bag was still there. Why would anyone smoke this stuff, which is likely to be full of scabies flakes and carb dip, when there’s a store full of the stuff a few blocks away?

If Suzuki advertised the Swift on American TV, the ads didn’t make it onto YouTube. Here’s an ad for the more-or-less-identical ’89 Geo Metro instead.

You can still buy a Swift in many markets around the world, and Suzuki claims that it’s all about the fun.. About the only Swift fun I know about is a Hungry Hungry Hippo-themed Swift GT on a race track!

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on Oct 27, 2015

    Don't disrespect the Suzuki Swifth/Chevy Sprint/Pontiac Firefly. Once worked a deal on a new Sprint for my brother, trading in his beat-up T-Bar Trans Am. Got him a 3 cylinder with an auto. Needless to say, he is not a car guy by any stretch. I would have to arrange for him to get the oil changed, etc. Let's just say that the poor car did not get the suggested regular maintenance. Nevertheless, he drove the crap out of it and it never complained or gave him any problems. And it got for the time very good gas mileage. There is a reason why Suzuki does so well in nations where trustworthy garages are few and far between. As an aside Murilee's post demonstrates the futility and stupidity of criminalizing marijuana. It just ensures nice fat profits for those willing to break the law. The very same as prohibition. If you want rich and powerful criminal organizations just criminalize something. Instead legalize and tax it. Makes money for the government, ensures some quality control, reduces policing costs and eliminates the violence associated with criminality.

  • Mr.cranky Mr.cranky on Oct 28, 2015

    I wouldn't turn down that free weed as I live in a decriminalized, soon to be legal state.

  • Varezhka The biggest underlying issue of Mitsubishi Motors was that for most of its history the commercial vehicles division was where all the profit was being made, subsidizing the passenger vehicle division losses. Just like Isuzu.And because it was a runt of a giant conglomerate who mainly operated B2G and B2B, it never got the attention it needed to really succeed. So when Daimler came in early 2000s and took away the money making Mitsubishi-Fuso commercial division, it was screwed.Right now it's living off of its legacy user base in SE Asia, while its new parent Nissan is sucking away at its remaining engineering expertise in EV and kei cars. I'd love to see the upcoming US market Delica, so crossing fingers they will last that long.
  • ToolGuy A deep-dive of the TTAC Podcast Archives gleans some valuable insight here.
  • Tassos I heard the same clueless, bigoted BULLSHEET about the Chinese brands, 40 years ago about the Japanese Brands, and more recently about the Koreans.If the Japanese and the Koreans have succeeded in the US market, at the expense of losers such as Fiat, Alfa, Peugeot, and the Domestics,there is ZERO DOUBT in my mind, that if the Chinese want to succeed here, THEY WILL. No matter what one or two bigots do about it.PS try to distinguish between the hard working CHINESE PEOPLE and their GOVERNMENT once in your miserable lives.
  • 28-Cars-Later I guess Santa showed up with bales of cash for Mitsu this past Christmas.
  • Lou_BC I was looking at an extended warranty for my truck. The F&I guy was trying to sell me on the idea by telling me how his wife's Cadillac had 2 infotainment failures costing $4,600 dollars each and how it was very common in all of their products. These idiots can't build a reliable vehicle and they want me to trust them with the vehicle "taking over" for me.