Cool Kei Car: 1975 Suzuki SC100 Whizzkid

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Suzuki has built a significant number of Kei cars during its lifetime, and some of these found their way out of Japan in modified form. Based on the Cervo, the SC100 Whizzkid was one such car. This particular car is said to be a 1975 model, and this is an impossibility given the fact that SC100 production didn’t commence until April of 1978. It is still an interesting little car and one that you simply won’t see around terribly often. It is located in Clinton, Washington, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has now reached $2,475, but the reserve hasn’t been met. There is also a BIN option of $5,900, and as we will see later in this story, this is an indication of an owner who has lowered his expectations.

The SC100 generally looks to be in quite decent condition. There is some rust visible around the edges of some of the wheel openings, but none of it appears to be major. The underside of the car appears to be solid, and this is a real bonus. The SC100 could be prone to rust issues, so they need to be monitored for this. The paint on the car is not original, as the car did start life finished in a more “silver” shade than it is now. This has actually allowed me to undertake a bit of detective work on the car and potentially trace its history. Because these are such a rare car in the US, they simply don’t come onto the market terribly often. The photo of the engine bay confirms the fact that this car used to be finished in Silver, and it has previously been listed for sale by the current owner back in 2015. The owner stated then that he purchased the car from a seller in California, and I believe that I have found it listed for sale (finished in Silver) back in 2013. This actually coincides with when the owner purchased the car from that state, so there is a fair chance that I am right on this. If I am correct, then prior to that point, the car had actually been imported into the US from the UK. One of the cool features of this car is the sliding sunroof, à la the original Fiat 500. This appears to be in good condition, and would certainly be a better option on a hot day than to have air conditioning in a car of this type.

The interior of the Suzuki is relatively good, with only a couple of things to attend to. There is a very noticeable tear in the edge of the driver’s seat, but the rest of it looks like it is in fairly good condition. Luxury appointments consist of a radio, and…that’s it. The carpet looks like it could do with a clean, as do some of the other upholstered surfaces. One of the things that stands out for me is that in spite of the fact that the car looks like it could accommodate a fairly tall driver, they would want to have relatively small feet. The wheel wells encroach significantly back into the foot-wells, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for feet to dance on the pedals, which they are probably going to need to do a bit.

One of the things that makes the SC100 interesting is that unlike so many of the vehicles that are derived from a Kei car, this one is a rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive, where so many others are the exact opposite. This one is a 970cc 4-cylinder unit, and it produces 47hp. This is sent to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual transmission. This propels the car along reasonably well, and even allows it to reach a confirmed top speed of 85mph. Mind you, I don’t think that I’d like to be in the car at that speed. The owner has undertaken a fair amount of recent work on the car, including a valve job, new timing belt, a new water pump, all new hoses, a carburetor rebuild, and a rebuild of the rear brakes. He does say that there is a click from the front end over bumps, and he believes that this might be a sway bar bush. There is also a leaking gasket in the exhaust, but he is going to attempt to fix this before the car ships to its next owner. What it does come with is a decent array of spares, including some extra trim, new grille, new bumpers, and a new clutch disc.

The owner states that he doesn’t use the vehicle that often, and that he only ever drives it to events such as Cars & Coffee. That seems like a pretty good use for it, although I suspect that it could hold its own in heavy city traffic as well. When I referred to the fact that the owner may have lowered his expectations, I was referring to the price. The current BIN price has been set at $5,900, which on the face of it, seems quite reasonable. When it was previously listed, it was being offered with a BIN of $15,500. At that price, it was pretty steep, but at the current price, it really does represent an intriguing prospect for any fan of Kei cars.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Tirefriar

    Since it has a history of being imported into California, it may have been registered as a ‘75 to avoid state’s required bi-annual smog inspection. 1975 is a cut off year for smog inspection exempt. At current asking it’s definitely an interesting proposition especially if it had prior Cali registration.

    Like 4
  2. Gay Car Nut

    Beautiful looking car. I’ve heard of the Suzuki Whizzkid. But for some reason, Suzuki never sold cars, not until the mid 1980s.

    Like 1
  3. rod444

    I think I’d like to own it so that when my other gearhead friends are bragging about their Lamborghinis and Aston Martins, I could say, “Well I drive a Whizzkid”

    That oughta shut ’em up :)

    It’s got great proportions – looks short but stout.

    Just for the record, I do believe this is the first ad ever that shows more pics of the underside than the rest of the car.

    Like 2
  4. Fireman DK

    As a prior owner of two Suzuki Swifts, I would drive it ! I actually really like the Rally look of this little car , and till now have never seen one ! Could not possibly be any worse than my two Vega’s motor wise ( I would hope ! )

    Like 2
  5. SubGothius

    The suggested UK origin would explain the English labeling on the dash and speedo calibrated in MPH.

    Like 2
  6. Coventrycat

    Looks like someone took a sawzall to a Chevy Citation.

    Like 0
  7. Wayne

    The rear view reminds me of a Fiat 850 Sport coupe. (Which I really like) The rest of the car does not do a thing for me. (not ugly, just not good looking)

    Like 0
  8. David

    Cute little car.
    There are many JDM vehicles showing up outside of Japan these days due to low mileage and general quirkiness! Think Figaro or S-Cargo.
    I think to be classified a Kei Car the displacement had to be 660cc or below. Something to do with Japanese insurance requirements being less weighty on low displacement engines…Or something else, I dunno!

    Like 0
  9. Peter a thatcher

    First car I brought in 1990 passed my test in uk in it then drove to work and took a 50 ton grove crane to site
    Brought and fully restored another in 1994
    So fun to drive

    Like 0
  10. Rod Anderson

    I live in New Zealand, where I believe around 40 of these fun little cars were imported? Research that I have personally undertaken leads me to believe there are Thirteen of them left here, not all of which are in working order, one of which currently resides in my garage waiting for the motor to be reconditioned, which, if my mechanic is free, will hopefully happen within the next month or two? I live in Whanganui, where I believe the Head Office of Suzuki New Zealand is based, and sitting inside the office, on display, is a Mint, Low Milage example of one of these great little cars. Interestingly, there seems to have been two different models of the SC100, as the first batch of what was likely less than 100 cars were produced with a different interior trim, recogniseable by the front seats, which in the early examples were a Tombstone dessign with fixed head restraints, covered in Black Vinyl with Red and Black Cheque Cloth Inserts, where as in the “Later” examples, the front seats had adjustable Head Restraints, and were all Vinyl in a Light Tan color with no Cloth inserts? My Own car is Chassis #100027, making it number 27 off the production line, although interestingly, the original Engine is #100039. I have had my car for more than three years, and was driving it from time to time until the water pump failed The Current Odometer Reading is 71,600kms, but because of the water pump failing, I have decided to rebuild the engine completely, mostly for my own piece of mind? Once that is done, I am looking forward to many more years of occassional fun motoring.

    Like 0
  11. Murray D

    I used to live in Palmerston North, New Zealand, not far from where the previous commenter lives, working in car sales when these were new, 1978/’79. They were fun little cars, my sales colleagues and I drove a few as new stock from Whanganui to Palmerston North and found them zippy and economical to drive at up to 80 km/h, the NZ highway speed of the time (after the 1979 fuel shock and lousy roads). The rear window lifted as a hatch of sorts (like the Hillman Imp, an early-60s rear-engined Mini competitor also sold in NZ) to throw stuff into the rear seats, which weren’t practical accommodation for adults. Very light, the 1-litre four cylinder was also used front-engine, rear-drive in Suzuki’s Carry tiny pickup and van. I remember noting in the 90s that someone had hot-rodded one with a transverse 3L V6, which sounds exciting! Suzuki’s earlier 360cc two-stroke Cervo domestic kei model of this car (kei cars were originally limited to 360cc, then 550, currently 600 or 650 I think) was designed by Giorgietto Giugiaro, ex-Bertone founder of Ital Design, the SC100 is slightly longer from memory, and the windscreen isn’t quite as steeply raked as the earlier car’s, the door window frames were also modified to match that.
    The car was sold in the UK with the added nickname of “Whizzkid”, and when it left the market, enough people were affectionate about it that they considered extending its production life in the UK with some sort of Lotus involvement.
    Ten years later, living in Australia, I owned a front-drive hatchback three cylinder Suzuki kei car with an 800cc export option and that thing was a hoot, 550kg roughly with around 40bhp, with a similar power to weight and great responsiveness and handling, it startled the occasional (BMC original) Mini Cooper.

    Like 0

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