Suzukis Jeep? 1972 Suzuki LJ20 Jimny

A Suzuki Jeep? Pretty much, yeah. This 1972 Suzuki LJ20, which our friends in some parts of the world recognize as an early “Jimny” is up for sale right now here on craigslist in Kingston, Washington, at an astounding $4,500 asking price! Big props to Ikey Heyman for letting us know about it.

I should start by saying that I had little to no idea what this was, and my first impression was Suzuki Jeep. Then, I recalled seeing something in the Automotive press about a new Jimny, so I did some homework. I found out that the Japanese iteration of the American Jeep or British Land Rover was cobbled together by a small Japanese firm, Hope Motor Company, in 1967. They sourced parts from existing Mitsubishi vehicles and made about 15 HopeStar ON360, before selling the idea to Suzuki in 1968, after Mitsubishi declined. Suzuki saw the possibilities of a two-stroke engine, Kei-car 4-wheel-drive utility vehicle, and took the reins. By 1970, the first Suzuki rolled off the line, the LJ10. but 1972 saw an update, the LJ20. Fast-forward to today, and Suzuki has made almost 2.9 million of them, in various forms and various nameplates around the world. The newest-generation Jimny is garnering a lot of press and interest, but unfortunately for those of us in America, we may not see it on our shores. America remembers them fondly as the Samurai from the late ’80s into the ’90s.

So, where to begin with this particular LJ20? We aren’t given much in the way of photos or details, but we can see an extremely nicely-presentable seemingly-unrestored specimen of what might be an exceedingly rare automobile. If my information is correct, this should have a water-cooled, two-stroke, three-cylinder unit, displacing 530cc and putting out a blinding 28 horsepower. All of that flows through a manual gearbox, topping out at between 50 and 58 miles per hour. I wish I could comment on the interior, chassis, or underhood, but there are no pictures. I hope they add more pictures soon! I’d be interested to take one for a spin, how about you?

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Comments

  1. Walt

    Had one of these in olive drab green in the 70’s. Towed it behind my ’64 Cortez. When leaving a MacDonalds in Flagstaff, the Cortez broke a U-joint. The Suzuki pulled the 9,000 lb Cortez back into the parking lot where I could change the U-joint the next morning, camping in MacDonald’s parking lot with my two young daughters. The Suzuki was fun in the desert, but on the road, not so much; it was slow and very hard riding, as befits a small 4X4. The diminutive engine sat very high in the engine bay.

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  2. Eric B.

    It’s just too cool! I’ve seen them before, but, when you don’t have control of the steering wheel of the car that you’re currently in, BAM! it’s gone…… never to be seen again. My friends hate me .

  3. Bob

    The displacement is 359 cc, not 530 cc.

    • Chasgould

      And I am pretty sure that it is a two cylinder, two stroke and not a three cylinder.

  4. TimM

    Use to see these all over in the northeast when they came out!! I know a guy that has two of them in his back yard and I’ve seen Swiss Cheese with less holes in it!! The guy did love them however anytime I stop by his place he will go on and on about how they drove and could go places his old blazer couldn’t think about!! I guess the moral to the story is that they rusted to pieces!!! Not something I’d buy for a summer car either!! Maybe I’ll send him the link on this one!!

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