Posts from ‘Suzuki’
By Don Sikora II
Note: The following story was excerpted from the April 2015 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
When a small automaker comes up with a niche product, there’s an excellent chance something unusual and unexpected will result. Or maybe something that is just plain odd. For this installment of Cheap Wheels, let us suggest such an automotive oddball, the 1996-98 Suzuki X-90.
No less a luminary than Mark Twain once noted, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” Yet, despite Mr. Clemens’ call for deeper consideration of the things we appreciate, Americans have always put a premium on size. We like our TVs, BBQ grilles, and fountain beverages extra large, and, based on the popularity of Kim Kardashian, we tend to prefer select elements of our popular icons on the generous side as well.
Okay, maybe they’re not “newly” classic, as all hit that mark back on January 1 of this year. But who would be looking for a convertible then?
Of course, the same might be said for mid October. But although summer is waning, fall is a perfectly good time to enjoy a top-down drive – particularly if you live in the Sunbelt. And while any convertible will do for this, one of these classic convertibles might not only draw more attention, but may also be much cheaper to license and insure; in many cases, insurance for a classic car (one at least 25 years old) costs a fraction of what it does for a “normal” car.
Kurt Vonnegut once wrote, “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
We Americans like our pickups. In fact, we like them so much that we purchased about two million midsize and large examples last year. But, it seems, we’re pretty picky about who we buy our pickups from. We’re open to buying our big trucks from Chevrolet, Ford, and Ram, and we’re pretty happy with the midsize trucks from Nissan (Frontier) and Toyota (Tacoma), but after that, things get murkier. Toyota and Nissan, for example, sell large pickups, but neither maker has met with anything like the sales success of Chevy or Ford.
We had a hunch this day would come, but we weren’t expecting it so suddenly. Yesterday American Suzuki, the U.S. distributor of Suzuki Motor Corporation, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the court near its Orange County, California, headquarters. This is part of a restructuring operation that will see the shuttering of its automobile sales division.
You can’t trust cars. Nice as they may seem on the surface, many automobiles these days harbor secrets—dark secrets. We’re not talking about bizarre late-night rituals or crazy relatives locked in the attic kind of secrets, but the kind of things that you, the car driver and buyer, should know but might not. By design or oversight, these are things that have been kept hidden from you . . . until now.
There’s a brand of commercial toilet paper named Surpass. Really. I can’t help but chuckle when I think about the pitch meeting in which that name was first introduced. Given that the one-ply, generically wrapped, oh-too-necessary office supply would likely be pitched only to accountants, property managers, and inventory assistants, you’d think that a name like Stingy Wipe or Econo-Komfort might make more sense.