Condition: As tidy as you’re likely to find
It’s said that if you want to feel fortunate you should consider the sheer unlikelihood that you exist at all.
In the infinite cosmos, 4.5 billion years of our planet and four billion years of nature’s struggle to survive, and among the infinitesimally small combination of circumstances that all your ancestors got frisky with the exact people they did, you’re around today based on all of those variables coming together in that precise order.
The journey of this 1984 Suzuki Alto making it to eBay might not quite be on the same level, but it’s probably the automotive equivalent. Just think of all the chances it’s had to not exist: someone in 1984 choosing the predictable Metro or Fiesta rather than taking a punt on an odd little Suzuki, and then not rustproofing it when new to survive 37 winters.
It could have been passed around from owner to owner rather than being owned by a single family, treated not as a useful mode of transport but just another blip on their radar, like items moving by the window on The Generation Game.
Or it might simply have withered with age, eventually driven into the ground through use, to the point where any repairs ceased to become economically viable.
But, as it turns out, this Suzuki Alto survived. It was rustproofed when new, and while the seller notes this has now worn out, its sacrifice wasn’t in vain, as there are only flashes of surface rust and other bodywork imperfections. It did remain in the same family until just a few months ago, and it wasn’t driven into the ground, having covered only 28,000 miles – though main-dealer servicing is only recorded for its first decade.
Suzuki was an early adopter for three-cylinder engines and this one displaces only 796cc, and with a two-speed auto (which apparently works well) it’s not a performance machine.
It is though impressively well preserved and vanishingly rare. “When did you last see one?” is an overused term in the classifieds, but we’re genuinely struggling to remember the last first-gen Alto that crossed our paths. One to buy then, maybe, if you’re feeling particularly fortunate…