4,195 Original Miles? 1987 Suzuki Samurai

“Questionable” is a word that comes to mind when reviewing this listing for a Suzuki Samurai that the seller claims has under 5,000 original miles. The Samurai, in general, has become a favorite of 1980s collectors given the novelty factor associated with the nameplate. Fully restored and/or survivor-grade Samurais have sold for north of $10,000, so finding a barn find with validated low mileage is worth scooping up. This example has certainly undergone some hard times in the few miles it’s actually been driven, so hopefully the seller has a paper trail somewhere that proves the sub-5,000 mile odometer reading. Find it here on Facebook Marketplace for $4,500.

Now, I’m all for giving people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to listing vintage cars, as we’ve seen plenty of times when a vehicle is left outside for years it can look like absolute hell even with relatively few miles on the clock. In those cases, however, there’s usually one or two clues that indicate the low mileage claim is for real – a detail or two that harken back to when the vehicle in question was brand-new and blemish free. In the case of the Samurai, I’d expect that the factory painted white steel wheels would still look decent, and not completely corroded like they do here. I realize that’s one minor detail in the grand scheme of things, but it still surprises me.

Now, the seller is located in Texas, and I have little doubt this Samurai was parked outside with its roof missing because the interior is trashed. The dash is completely faded, the door panels are melting off, and while the seats don’t look bad, they’re still far more tired than you’d expect to find in a low mileage example. Now, that being said, you can’t blame this seller for the interior condition, as low mileage or not, the Texas sun is going to have its way with a vintage Japanese vehicle left outside in the elements for decades. It would be nice to know why this Samurai was parked with so few miles on the clock – perhaps that Consumer Reports article about roll-overs scared the original owner.

The Samurai is a runner, with the seller noting it starts, runs, drives, and stops, which makes me wonder if it was parked for eons like I originally suspected. Perhaps it was used like a daily, but only driven a few times per months before an owner became too old to continue driving a buzzy little 4×4. That actually seems more plausible than simply being parked and forgotten – elderly owners are notorious for racking very little mileage on cars they’ve owned for decades. Is this what happened with this supposed low mileage Samurai? You be the judge – is it genuine or not?


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  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    My guess would be 204,195 miles. Basically, you are buying a running driveline. There is not much more salvageable there.

    Like 9
    • Steve R

      It takes a certain kind of person to make the mileage claims this seller does. Based on the cars condition it would be hard to believe sub-5,000 miles even if they had documentation. Add to that the missing title equals a hard pass. There are no redeeming qualities to this car, at that price, nor would I trust the seller to tell the truth even for the most basic question such as “how are you today”.

      Steve R

      Like 11
  2. Don Eladio

    All I can say is, LOL!

    Like 3
  3. PairsNPaint

    Samurai? You’d be more like a Kamikazi getting into this thing.

    Like 7
  4. Bruce

    I owned one, and drove it only occasionally. When I sold it in 2009 it had 46000 miles. It still had the original tires. Still had the original wheels. Where is the tire rack and why is it gone? That 5th wheel should be somewhere. Nothing in those photos make me believe 5000 miles, even sitting out in the sun. I am not sure I would pay $1000 for this.

    Like 4
  5. Kevin Aurelio

    Needs too much for that price. What’s he smokin’?

    Like 1
  6. jimmyx

    That 5,000 miles must have been rougher than a month in county jail….

    Like 4
  7. ed casala

    Does it come with that piece of wood in the engine compartment? With the price of lumber these days, it might be a deal.
    5K miles? Yeah, right.

    Like 1
  8. Terrry

    yeah the “fact” that this car has about 5000 miles is as true as that bogus Consume Reports “study”.

    Like 2
  9. douglas hunt

    my brother had one with a VW turbo diesel swapped in it, slow as hell but it did crawl over the woods nice….he finally gave in to the constant asking if it was for sale and let it go.

    Like 1
  10. gaspumpchas

    These things were no good when they were new. You couldnt get insurance in NY state. Put it out of its misery.

  11. t-bone BOB

    Located in Waxahachie, TX

  12. Howard A Member

    I think BF’s has a sharp enough audience, they don’t need me telling everyone how ridiculous this is. BF’s should have a rating system, 1, being a documented vehicle, through 5, total bunk. We have a #5 here, folks. I speculate, they put 5,000 miles on it when a rod bearing let go. Oh sure, it runs, but not for long. Very poor vehicle, and a trailer hitch? Good heavens, these couldn’t pull themselves, much less anything else. Someone nearby has one they took the body off and mounted it on an unknown chassis, it’s only viable option, I reckon.

    Like 1
  13. Healeymonster

    We sold these at our dealership when they were new. What a goldmine they were. They sold out as fast as we got them. The salesmen would be standing on the back lot with their customers to greet the Hadley delivery truck as it brought the little Samurais to our shop and they would be picking their colors right there. All came basically the same. The add ons were done right there at the dealer. AC, Stereo, fog lights, mirrors upgraded carpets, push bars,++ all done inhouse at a added cost. The buyers were mostly young females, some with their parents, and other youth. We were working on them all the time. Suzuki did not like warranty claims and would kick them back all the time. They had a problem with cat converters plugging up and blamed customers for over exerting the anemic 1300cc engine. Then the Roll Over reports came in and that was it. Sales quit overnight and never really recovered.

    Like 4
  14. Mike

    I’m 66 years old and I own a Gray 1986 Sammy Tintop with 93K miles and it’s just a fun 4X4 up here in rural north Texas. Mine is about 3/4 new after everything I have repaired and replaced and I love the little vehicle. This Sammy with that stated low mileage is real hard to believe. I see many missing and unserviceable parts. I can’t even come up with a location where it could have sit all these years and ended up in such a condition. I would buy it for a parts car but my offer would even be close to what they are asking, 5000 miles or not.

    Like 2
  15. Mark

    Roadkill put a 440 in one of these.

    Like 1

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