In 1991, I had just gotten my license, and was ready to step into the world of car ownership. Long before my current Volkswagen obsession, I wanted a Suzuki Samurai. It had to be a soft top, and really that was the only criteria. The appropriate 1986 Samurai, in white, was found and I drove it happily until winter came upon us and also when I had to take it on a road trip. The thing was dreadfully slow (65mph tops), and freezing cold inside, in the long New England winters. Otherwise it was EVERYTHING I was initially looking for in my first vehicle. Reliable, looked good, learned how to drive a manual on it, and learned that tinkering on cars is a lot like tinkering on BMX bikes (just at a larger scale).
My best friend was a diehard VW guy and it eventually rubbed off on me around 1994. I sold my beloved Suzuki Samurai because it sucked on the highway, I froze in it in the winter, and I just HAD to have a GTI. I let it go and the rest was history. This is a local newspaper image of me driving my original, in 1993.
Over the last year or so, I've been slowly finding myself looking Suzuki Samurai content all over the internet. As usual, I was browsing SearchTempest and finally found the one I had to have. Like my original, this one was a 1986 and white, had the same original body graphics, but this one was a Tin Top....pretty much EXACTLY what I would wish for. All of the Samurais available around my regions are rusted to crumbs, been converted into "rock crawlers", and have race car seats in them. Basically nothing I'm interested in. This one was in Houston, Texas, all original, owned by an older retired gentleman, 114,000 miles (40,000 of which were RV towed miles), and had never been offroad, nor seen salt.
I secured a deal with the seller, sent out the payment, and arranged to have the vehicle picked up and delivered to me in Maine. I have never purchased a vehicle sight unseen, but the seller seemed very trustworthy and very accommodating to my needs. A week after it was picked up, it arrived to me....
After giving it the initial once over, I was very pleased. It started and ran, looked as described, and most everything worked. Unfortunately, it suffered a huge bullseye to the upper passenger's side of the windshield in transit. I'm assuming this is the case because the seller never disclosed glass damage and it was not documented on the initial check in form, written up by the pick up driver. Oh well.....I don't "think" Samurai windshields are very expensive, we'll see.
Other issues that need immediate addressing are the lack of functioning ebrake, which was disclosed, and a pretty good sized oil leak, which was not mentioned. I'm a bit bothered about that, but I can live with it. Hopefully it isn't anything major, I haven't investigated, just monitored the drips.
The first order of business was to gut the interior and clean the floors, jambs, and interior paintwork. Everything inside was dirty, not just sandy carpets, but dirty interior paint, filthy is more the word. I spent all day yesterday scrubbing and reinstalling the interior and I'm VERY happy with the results. Sadly, I snapped one of the mounting bolts for the rear seat when I was taking it out, but was able to drill out the bolt and will re-thread the hole with an oversized tap at a later date. All that remains from the headliner is glue and foam, which was disclosed, and that is next on my interior to-do list.
That's it for now. Reinstalled carpet and interior pics forthcoming.