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How This Innocent Suzuki Samurai Turned Into a Lethal Street Weapon

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/16/2021 Rodrez
a truck that is driving down the road: 007 samurai rolling © Motor Trend Staff 007 samurai rolling

Cute, lovable, surprisingly capable even in the most rugged terrain, the late 1980s/early '90s dynamo known as the Suzuki Samurai was an instant hit. It managed to triple projected sales and immediately posed a threat to the larger Jeep Wrangler, before it was forever scarred by a single Consumer Reports article—an article that put the final nail in its coffin.

Today, used Samurais in America, especially regions like Puerto Rico, carry a healthy fan base. This particular version is owned and built by Marvin Sanchez—an enthusiast who always wanted to build a wild version of the Samurai after having often sat in the back of one as a kid, which was owned by his dad's best friend. After a number of JDM, Euro, and USDM builds over the years, thoughts of creating a wild, swapped Samurai kept tugging at Marvin. He felt that he'd gained enough experience to tackle a ground-up build and saw it as a true challenge—something to hone his skills on, including learning to weld and fabricate from scratch. This is how he turned an innocent, stock Samurai into a lethal street weapon.

Photos courtesy of Redherringphotography

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