KIDNEY, ANYONE? 1969 Suzuki Carry LHD

Generally speaking, here at Japanese Nostalgic Car we don’t feature JDM cars when we do Kidney Car posts because we would end up copy-pasting half of goo-net-exchange weekly. That being said, this is a very special car in that most Suzuki Carry examples in America were imported RHD models. This one, however, is a left hand drive example sold in America before there was a minimum wheelbase requirement. America sure was a great place before Ralph Nader ruined everything. 

Even if it was a JDM model, the L40 Carry was a pretty cool generation in of itself. If the bodywork looks especially aesthetically pleasing, you wouldn’t be wrong because it was actually designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. Ironically enough, it didn’t go over well at time of release in Japan because it was considered too modern for a lot of kei jidosha buyers. Apparently anything short of a refrigerator box was too crazy.

This was also the last full generation of Suzuki Carry before Japan switched to the 550cc Kei Jidosha class. Despite the diminutive 360cc engine, the motor was relatively powerful and it had a 59 mph top speed. So, yes, it could used for extremely sketchy drives down the freeway if need be.

The vehicle was imported for use at Disneyland, according to the owner. That would fit into the general trend of most kei trucks being imported for off road use, so there could be some truth to that. More recently, this particular truck has spent at least the last year parked in Idaho. The seller states that it ran when parked and has been maintained using NOS parts so those are both good signs for the life this vehicle has left in it. If the owner is correct in that it was used at Disneyland, it would be believable that it shows the original mileage of 17,000 and change.

Looking inside, the wear and tear seems pretty well controlled given it’s age, most importantly the dashboard looks clean. Given the difficulty of finding an uncracked dashboard for a more common car like S30 or TE27, finding one for this would be next to impossible. As for the rest of the interior, it appears everything else can be sourced from another L40 Carry if need be.

While this might not be the best example in the world of an L40 Carry, it wins our hearts with its LHD rarity factor. Until now, I can’t recall having ever seen a LHD Suzuki Carry of any generation sold in America. It is seemingly complete and is very close to the more common RHD Carry pickups, so it could be a great candidate for restoration. With a little work, this pickup could be a great little truck and probably take home some trophies at events like JCCS. We hope it can find a good home with a Suzuki enthusiast and doesn’t end up being beaten to death on some farm. If you’re interested in the truck, here is a link to the Boise, Idaho Craigslist post.

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9 Responses to KIDNEY, ANYONE? 1969 Suzuki Carry LHD

  1. MikeRL411 says:

    TRW in Redondo Beach used similar LHD vehicles around its plant in the 1970s.

  2. Dimitry says:

    It was this moment, that I knew, I f…need to finish school and finally be able to get myself a nice kyusha. It’s been 5 years of me staring at the pages of JNC, Speedhunters, bringatrailer and local kijiji pages (The amount of rust I saw there, sigh)
    Time to wrap up this whole school thing and get out there!
    P.S. Whoever wrote the article, kudos! Great writing! The refrigerator remark had me laughing in the middle of a cafe!
    P.S.S. Being subscribed to Nostalgic/Hachimaru Hero (depending on the mood) doesn’t help with the above lol

  3. Frank says:

    “America sure was a great place before Ralph Nader ruined everything. ”

    That makes me think I should quit reading this website. That’s utter garbage.

    Let’s go back to the good old days, 1965, when nearly 60,000 people died per year on US roadways. Ralph wanted us to have things like seat belts, crash worthiness, not having our eyes gouged and brains penetrated by stalks, switches, and knobs on dashboards.

    The Corvair used a simple and cheaper rear suspension design that Ralph thought should be improved for greater safety. Attendants incorrectly inflating the tires probably played a bigger role in any accidents, along with drivers misunderstanding of a rear engine car.

    By all means let’s go back to the good old days and see if we can’t get the body count back where it was.

    I’ll ignore any future articles from this writer.

  4. Bob says:

    I just bought this truck. Hayabusa or Gold Wing swap? Too nice to cut up. I might tube chassis it and save the original parts for later. I also have another 1969 carry for parts if needed.

  5. Bob says:

    Decided on a 2013 gsxr1000 engine to power it. Narrowing a Toyota Starlet rear end for it now. I have a 2.92 and a 4.10 gear set for it but the 2.92 looks like it will work better according to the gearing commander website. It had a 6.88 ratio in it stock!! I will sell the two stroke L40 engine trans and rear once I pull it. I have a friend that is going to paint it 2011 Mazda Spirited Green Metallic, Code: 36A with metallic orange Gsxr graphics. Having fun!

    • Keith Measures says:

      Hey Bob, I just bought one of these truck myself. I was wondering if we could get in contact. I see that you are swapping the motor out, Im curious if you are willing to part with a couple bits off that motor. Let me know and thanks for your time!

  6. Bob says:

    Keith, Sent you a friend request on FB.

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