Rare Rides: Tiny 1987 Suzuki Truck Can Make You a Mighty Boy

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides tiny 1987 suzuki truck can make you a mighty boy

What exactly do you get when you combine tidy Japanese proportions and the American sedan-cum-pickup idea of the Chevrolet El Camino? Well it’s not the Subaru Baja or the Honda Ridgeline. It’s the Suzuki Mighty Boy.

Think you can handle all this rarity? Read on.

Late last week, our own Chris Tonn alerted me to this Craigslist posting of something called a Mighty Boy. Much like our last Rare Rides Lancia Thema, this Suzuki is located north of downtown Los Angeles. Located somewhat south of Seattle, it’s near the border with that tree-filled state — Orégon.

The Suzuki Mighty Boy was a short-lived variation of the Kei class Alto. Though the Alto is still going strong in Japan, the quirky Mighty Boy lasted just six years. It was the only Kei car ever to feature a hood in front and a utility bed in the back (“coupe utility,” they called it). The apparent and considerable utility meant the Mighty Boy was a commercial vehicle, and could thus take advantage of lower tax rates.

Under hood is a transverse three-cylinder engine of 543 cubic centimeters of displacement. Front-drive was the only way to distribute the power, and it went through a four-speed manual transmission or a two-speed automatic. Presumably the first speed was “go” and the second was “go a bit more.” The engine provides a total of 28 horsepower. Think about that for a moment.

Our Mighty Boy today is one of highest trim. The PS-L received huge 12-inch wheels (the standards were 10-inchers), bucket seats, some luggage rails, and a real tachometer. It got one additional speed in the manual gearbox, for a total of five.

Unlike most Kei offerings, the Mighty Boy was distributed in two export markets outside of Japan. It found its way to Australia and Cyprus for three years, from ’85 to ’88. The manual version was the cheapest vehicle available Down Under at the time.

This one looks in great condition (44,000 miles). It would be a stand-out in any traffic situation, as Escalades and F-150s lose sight of the Mighty Boy under their massive hoods. See the photo above, comparing its size against the mighty El Camino.

Look at all this truck! It’s yours for $8,500.

[Images via seller]

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  • Wstarvingteacher Wstarvingteacher on Sep 26, 2017

    I frequently find myself making comments like: "this would actually satisfy all my needs". Can't do it.

  • Tsoden Tsoden on Sep 29, 2017

    This this trucklet must have been the inspiration for the X-90... the only real difference is that the X-90 has a trunk.

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂