Off Rocker: 1987 Suzuki Samurai 12A Powered
The seconding generation Suzuki Jimny (SJ40) was sold as the Samurai at dealers in the United States, and featured a mix of economical city driving and (surprisingly good) light off-roading for the weekends. It featured a simple and durable 1.3 liter 4-banger, and many have been swapped out for domestic V8s for more low end grunt…however…I can’t say I’ve seen on powered by a rotary before today. Find this 1987 Suzuki Samurai 12A Powered offered for $3,000 in Buffalo, NY via craigslist.
The Samurai was good for offroading because of its light weight, short wheelbase, approach/departure angles, and adequate torque from the original engine, but swapping in a rotary is a gamble. Sure, the weight might actually be improved, and power should be doubled (if not more) but rotaries aren’t known for low end torque, and a carburetor isn’t what you want for radical vehicle angles.
Regardless, you can’t deny that this car won’t be a hoot to hoon around town or out in the country — it should make a terrible racket and with the 100-150 horsepower that is easily available from a modified 12A; it should also be “fast”.
See another 12A powered oddball? email@example.com
Fast and Thirsty !
Im not sure a fast Suzuki Samurai on the street is a good thing. Now on the dirt, sand or drag strip this would be a kick.
It was a common engine swap in the 90s and even the early 00's. They are fun, they really aren't the rollover death traps that people think they are.
Its really cool, and props to the guy. But these are one of the few vehicles that are perfect from the factory.