Regular customers know how much we like our Japanese 4x4s and we are increasingly offered iconic '70s vehicles to sell either via confidential classic car private treaty or our occasional online classic car auctions. We only try to offer you interesting, unusual and eclectic vehicles, as that's what we are passionate about ourselves. Sometimes, we are tasked to sell classic cars that we'd love to own but we're not sure there's that much of a market for - read return on the considerable time and effort we take in marketing and matching buyers. One such case in point is the pair of highly original Japanese factory first series RHD Suzuki Jimny that we were asked to sell recently. These were beautifully restored, period correct LJ50 Jimnys that the owner had spent far more restoring than he'd ever see in return upon sale. How to value something that is 'rare as' in the UK market?
The LJ50 engine was first introduced in September 1975 for export only to Australia, with 33 PS (24 kW). For the Japanese home market, it first appeared in June 1976 as the Jimny 55 and reflected the changing 'Kei car' rules and stricter emissions standards. The 539 cc 3-cylinder engine remained a two-stroke while power was reduced to 26 PS, more low-end torque meant a nippy drive. The 635 kg vehicle could now hit 60 mph. Just. But that's not the point, there is something charming about these little 4x4s and the engines are luvvly revvy gems. In Australia the LJ50 was available as a softtop with soft doors and rear-mounted spare wheel or hardtop with full metal doors and external spare wheel. Either car is a delight. We'd take a soft top for spring, summer and early autumn and garage it when the weather turns.
So why did we decline to accept them? - it seems they are so rare in mint condition in the UK that the market just isn't there yet, which is a shame. So we re-homed them in Asia. Eclectic Kei.