Ran Good 7 Years Ago: 1970 Suzuki LJ10


For reasons I can’t get into here, old Japanese tin is becoming a bigger part of my life. For years, I’ve been all BMW, all the time, but interests are changing and some of these oddballs are scratching me where I itch. Now, a wise man once told me, the Japanese basically copy the products of other manufacturers and improve upon them, which may be true. But copy or not, rigs like this 1970 Suzuki LJ10 here on eBay look like a ton of fun for the dollar. 

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Not too long ago, when Suzuki still had a presence in the U.S. market, their expertise in 4WD vehicles was well known. We used to see vehicles like the Samurai and Sidekick running around, providing capable off-road trucklets for a fairly low price tag. Now, those vehicles are a rarity, with many of them disappearing due to rust issues and hard use, none of which was helped by the dissolution of the company’s U.S. dealer network. The LJ10 (technically known as a Jimny) helped put Suzuki on the map in the fledgling days of the brand.

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The seller claims he last had this Jimny running seven years ago, and that it ran well at that time. Obviously, its needs are far greater than simply just running again – everything, from the interior to the mechanical components, will need addressing. Thankfully, the opening bid is low, but there is a reserve price set. Rust appears mostly superficial, and being a California vehicle, I would assume it to be reasonably dry throughout. Of course, sourcing components like a soft top and seats will likely be a chore.

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I love the bumper sticker on the back: “Welcome to Orange County. Now go home.” Yes, tourists are a pain, aren’t they? I’m sure this Suzuki enjoyed a life of surfing and sun before being relegated to a salvage operation in Apple Valley, but no matter where it goes, it won’t take up much space thanks to its status as a “Kei” car, since it clocks in at under three meters in length. If you get it cheap enough, you can offset the hassle (somewhat) of parts sourcing *(ask me how I know), as resources like Japan Parts Service exist to find the tricky bits.  Would any of you take this restoration on? I would!


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  1. angliagt

    …….and my B210 ran good ten years ago – before I started
    the restoration.

  2. Bill

    I would drive the snot outta this! An appropriate sentiment given the colour…Modern bucket seats, and home made top. I’d be good to go. a decent upholsterer, experienced with boats could do a decent rag for it if you didn’t want to look overseas.

  3. ronebee


  4. Scotty Staff

    I’m glad to see that you’re thinking of crossing over to the other side, Jeff! (vintage/nostalgic Japanese vehicles) Although, that means that we’ll be looking at the same ones to add to the collection now..

    I would love to have one of these with that unique two-cylinder, two-stroke engine in it.These small vehicles are addicting. Nice find!

  5. cyclemikey

    This could be a fun project. But I’m not sure what the point is of saying that it ran good 7 years ago. Hell, I ran good 7 years ago. Now, if it ran well 7 days ago, or even 7 months ago, that would be worth noting. 7 Years? Might as well just say “doesn’t run”.

  6. Rick McKee

    It is listed on today’s CL for 500 buy it now

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