Hardtop Survivor: 1986 Suzuki Samurai – SOLD!

by | Aug 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Truckin Tuesday

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September 6, 2022, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar

Do you know that feeling that you missed the boat when it comes to investing in a vehicle that shows no sign of slowing down value-wise? That’s how I feel these days about the Suzuki Samurai. These have never been in great supply, but lately, prices have been steadily climbing for rust-free examples, and a few different classic car pricing guides have pegged the Samurai as an up-and-comer worth buying. The seller’s 1986 Samurai, originally listed in August 2022 on Craigslist in Fredericksburg, Texas (Austin) has just under 93,000 original miles and is in rust-free condition with a rare and optional removable hardtop for $10,000. Comparing that price against the Classic.com model guide shows us an average selling price of $9,000, so the seller seems to have priced his survivor 4×4 fairly:

So how has the Samurai somehow emerged as a darling of the collector car field? I suspect it has to do with a few things. One, finding a good Samurai isn’t nearly as easy as it used to be (and it was never easy). The propensity of vintage Japanese tin to rot away made it so that any good trucks left must be found in a dry desert state or somewhere that doesn’t use road salt. Two, many of the remaining “good” ones years ago were transformed into cheap rock hoppers as off-roaders realized these compact four-wheelers were surprisingly capable off the beaten path. Samurais could also be modified quite extensively given the simplicity underneath, making them ideal candidates not only for off-road capable suspension builds but also V8 engine swaps and other nonsense that made them into contraptions bordering on the ridiculous. Today, clean, bone-stock Samurais like the seller’s truck are rare as hen’s teeth and no longer cheap to buy unless you happen upon one before your friendly neighborhood flipper does.

The MotorWeek Retro Review YouTube Channel provides this vintage 1986 Suzuki Samurai road test:

The seller’s truck is a desirable example for all these reasons and more. It hasn’t been modified to any measurable extent, and the bodywork looks pristine. The colors are pretty boring, and that’s really the biggest strike I can find here, as it doesn’t exude the ultimate in “rad”-era details, given it features a bland color with no cool period decals. It may have been repainted at one time, too, as the paint is still quite shiny, and the lack of decals is questionable. Still, the coolest feature by far is that removable accessory hardtop. You could only get a Sammy one of two ways: a convertible, like this one, or a tin top with a fixed roof. I’m not sure which vendor made an aftermarket removable hard top, but I can guess quite confidently there aren’t many left. This detail alone pushes this Samurai even further into the “Want” category, and the seller seems to know it given the lack of details and the top-of-market asking price. Good luck with the purchase if you take this sweet Samurai home!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Runs Great! It has a removable hard top, removable half hard top, and a soft top. 5-speed Manual transmission 4×4. 92,131 miles.

Samurai revival: do you think prices will continue to climb for clean 80s 4x4s like this?   

  1. Steve

    I don’t consider this a truck.

    • Guys with Rides

      Steve, our “Truckin’ Tuesday” theme has always centered around Pickups, Vans, and SUVs. Say what you want, but the Suzuki Samurai is every bit a capable offroader as any Jeep it comes in contact with on a trail.


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