Summer is here and we all desire a bit of air-in-hair motoring. But what if the finances don’t quite agree? Well, there might still be a solution, which despite its cost-efficiency will still deliver plenty of smiles-per-mile.
We can’t all afford dhc E-types and Pagodas. But we also don’t need to, because remember the ViaRETRO motto: “Any classic is better than no classic”. Taking that a step further, I will also claim that: “Any youngtimer is better than no youngtimer”. And here is one which is both super cheap to purchase and should also require very minimal upkeep without compromising driver satisfaction, stand-out design and even rarity.
The Suzuki Cappuccino entered production in 1991 as a cheap sportscar for the kei-class which permits lower tax and insurance in Japan. This dictates that the car can be no longer than 3.3 meters long and 1.4 meters wide, while the engine can’t exceed 660cc. But its diminutive size doesn’t in any way restrict the fun factor. Suzuki gave their little roadster a 3-cylinder twincam with four valves per cylinder, a turbo and an intercooler, all of which led to a rather impressive 63hp at a heady 8500 rpm from the little rev happy engine. The tiny Nippon roadster also has independent suspension on all four corners and disc brakes both front and rear. Partial aluminium bodywork helps keep the curb weight at a reasonably modest 725kg, but more importantly, it’s claimed that with two people in the car, the front mid-engined layout helps achieve the ideal weight distribution of 50:50, lending the Suzuki fabulous handling characteristics. While the Cappuccino was only intended for the Japanese market, a deal was struck which lead to the small roadster also being introduced on the UK market by 1993. It only lasted two years though and a mere 1110 examples (888 in red and 222 in silver) were officially imported. By 1997 production ceased in Japan as well, with just over 28,000 Cappucinos leaving the assembly line. Sadly, Suzuki have thus far not committed to introducing a successor.
One of these UK market Cappuccinos is now up for sale. The description in the advert is somewhat lacking, but it’s a 1993 car with a claimed 97,000 miles on the clock. The seller further adds that the Suzuki is in good condition, that it’s original (which is rare!) and that the MOT is valid until July. While pictures are of course often flattering, they do seem to support those claims of both condition and originality., with even the stock alloy wheels still being present. Here are a couple of pictures from the advert:
This tiny Nippon Kei sportscar will obviously never be the best of long-distance tourers, but find a suitably twisty B-road, keep the revs up and the turbo on-boost, and it’s guaranteed to put the widest of grins on your face. If the sun is out, you can even do it all topless! In fact, with the seller asking £2,800 for this little screamer, I challenge you to find anything more entertaining for such a humble outlay.
Here’s the link to the advert: 1993 Suzuki Cappuccino
With our Saturday instalment of Prime Find of the Week, we’re offering our services to the classic car community, by passing on our favourite classic car for sale from the week that passed. This top-tip might help a first-time-buyer to own his first classic, or it could even be the perfect motivation for a multiple-classic-car-owner to expand his garage with something different. We’ll let us inspire by anything from a cheap project to a stunning concours exotic, and hope that you will do the same.
Just remember – Any Classic is Better than No Classic! We obviously invite our readers to help prospective buyers with your views and maybe even experiences of any given model we feature. Further to that, if you stumble across a classic which you feel we ought to feature as Prime Find of the Week, then please send us a link to firstname.lastname@example.org