Chances are if you were old enough to drive in the late 80s you had a friend who owned one or (dude!) owned one yourself.
It was so huge, actually, that John Hughes made it Shayne’s car of choice in Some Kind of Wonderful (remember when Keith hopped in the back to catch a ride home from school?)
But this is not a happy story, friends, for within just three short years, the Suzuki Samurai would become the Edsel of our generation–– a lemon that no one would touch, because… why?
That’s right… because it rolled over too easily.
A 1988 report by Consumer Reports declared the Samurai was ‘not acceptable’ for road use due to its propensity to go belly-up in crash maneuver scenarios.
And after selling 150,000 Samurais in just three years, Suzuki watched in horror as its sales dropped 70%. POOF. Just like that, the Samurai was done.
Turns out, though, that Consumer Reports may not have been telling the truth (but we never heard THAT part of the story, did we?). Suzuki actually sued them for the false report, and in 2004 the sides settled out of court.
The Samurai did manage to hold on until 1995, but the fun, sporty little guy never recovered. You can still buy its grandkid (in the form of the Suzuki Jimny) pretty much all around the world… but not here in America.
We’re sure, though, that Shayne only remembers the happy times. Just like us.
We ♥ the Suzuki Samurai.