La Aduana: 1987 Suzuki Samurai


Originally designed to be the first 4WD Kei Car (a light automobile with certain tax and registration benefits in Japan) the Samurai measures in at a total length of just 135 inches with a 79.9-inch wheelbase. That short stance combined with a capable 4WD system makes it maneuverable enough to negotiate most trails and obstacles, and small enough to just go around them if desired. With a total vehicle weight of under 2,100 lbs, and a small inline 4-cylinder engine, it’s capable of up to 27 mpg, which can be really helpful when traveling on a budget.

This particular truck is a Special Edition Samurai that includes a limited production paint scheme, matching seats, and just about every factory option, including a rare hard top. The seller does state a few issues though, like a non-functioning A/C unit, usual driver seat wear and tear (emphasis on tear), and the back seat being missing altogether. Overall however, for the Buy-It-Now price of $4,250 this truck could be a great mini overlander, and will no doubt get you where you want to go while keeping your money where you want it to stay, in your pocket.

Take a look on Ebay Motors here:



Here’s a look at what the seller has to say:


This is a rare Special Edition Samurai. It was purchased in North Carolina and has remained in the south as a solid southern vehicle. It has the Special Edition Stripping on the body and matching seats to match.

The engine runs very well and it drove from North Carolina to Virginia with no problems. It has optional headers.

There is no rear seat. The carpet is in good condition. The driver’s seat has some tears as shown in the photos. There is a nifty console made between the seats that is very securely mounted. There was an option available on Samurais for a box under the dash where you could lock a valuable such as a firearm. That hard to find box is there, though I do not have the key.

The radio is an aftermarket radio cassette player with an additional speaker behind the console. It works well.

The A/C is not working and am unsure what it needs. It is equipped though. The cruise control did not appear to work on first try, but we have not checked fuses. That’s a common and simple fix in a lot of cases.

There are optional headlight guards as well as a tow connection on the front.

Tires are like new. I do have a spare tire cover that goes with it.

This is a great little vehicle that was purchased for my dad, but he never drove it. I wouldn’t hesitate taking it anywhere. The engine runs well. It’s had a fresh oil change. It shifts well and shifts the transfer case seems to shift well.


Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Chris didn’t receive a real taste of the outdoors until moving to Prescott, Arizona, in 2009. While working on his business degree, he learned to fly and spent his weekends exploring the Arizona desert and high country. It was there that he fell in love with backcountry travel and four-wheel drive vehicles, eventually leading him to Overland Journal and Expedition Portal. After several years of honing his skills in writing, photography, and off-road driving, Chris now works for the company full time as Expedition Portal's Senior Editor while living full-time on the road.