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1998 Suzuki Swift GLS - The Green Machine


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I've just realise something.... I've yet to show my other pride and joy to the world of AS, everyone meet little Suki, my 1998 Suzuki Swift GLS. 

A little background to her. She was bought new in Saltash, Cornwall by my better half's grandmother in 1998 where she used it as a little town runabout until she gave it to my partner upon her passing her driving test to use as her first car in 2021. She ran it for around 18 months with absolutely no issues whatso ever. This little car was golden. We've travelled the length and breadth of the country, she completed a 620 mile round trip from Swindon to Edinburgh and back without a hitch, she even returned us near 40 to the gallon! In total Suki has completed just over 50,000 miles. 

However unfortunately (for me anyway), while she loved driving it, she didn't feel all to safe driving it around daily, she wanted something more modern and safer. So she went out and bought herself a little twin-air Alfa Romeo MiTo (which she has had nothing but trouble with, oh the irony). This then made little Suki surplus to requirements. However, instead of of getting rid, my mrs felt such a strong emotional attachment with the it, she just couldn't bring herself to sell. Unfortunately with that being said, neither of us had the time/money to really invest into her to keep it on the road, so it has been sat in a car park, round the corner from my house for the past year. Doing nothing. 

Good news incoming... 

I despaired at this. I was always on her case about either doing something or getting gone. I couldn't let this car sit for any longer just rotting away. These things are getting rather thin on the ground now and she got a lot of love from people all round the car community. So I stepped in and offered her an ultimatum. I said to her, either crap it or sell it to me (scrapping was defiantly my bluff, I was desperate to save it from the crusher). So we came to an agreement and I bought it off her for the princely sum of £500 on the promise we keep her, love her and ultimately, pour money into keeping her running. 

When I went to fully inspect the work require to put back on the road, I was absolutely amazed at the condition she was in. Bare in mind she's been living in a car park, with no cover, out in the elements for nearly a year practically abandoned and there was no sign of any rot anywhere, no mould inside, no greening (she was parked near a bush), no nothing. Hell, even the tyres were still inflated. I had bough along a starter pack, obviously expecting the battery to be goosed however there was no need as she fired up pretty much straight away. There's no way she'd be running well right? again baring in mind she's only a little 1L single carb unit? Well I was wrong again, she ran almost perfectly, a little shaky to start with but she settle down very quickly and proceeded to run as sweet as before. I genuinely couldn't believe it. My little Ibiza shits itself if I haven't started her within a week, let alone a year!  

I had a good mate of mine who runs a small garage in the town about 5 miles away from where I live to give her the once over, like a pre MOT and he couldn't believe how well it stood up. All rubbers are good, no rust anywhere underneath, all breaks good, all electrics good, the lot!  On the drive there she ran perfectly and he said that the only thing to really look at is the exhaust, as its starting to rot away. Other than that he reckons she'll pass with a couple of advisories and advised I book it sooner rather than later.

So that's exactly what I'm doing, and the big day is tomorrow. I'm obviously hopefully she will indeed pass however we will see. I'm expecting that exhaust might be an issue, plus that front number plate could be seen as "likely to be misread" but after seeing it all, I'm pretty hopeful. Once she's passed, then it's time to restore her to her former glory and I have a list of jobs!


. Sort out that rough looking interior.

. Fix the drivers window as I think the regulator is on the way out (she's got electric windows, how posh). 

. Tart up the steelies she's sitting on

. Remove all the tacky stickers my mrs added on

. A good service including filters, plugs etc. 

. Anything else I find along the way. 


Once all that's sorted, I'll be happy. There's a lot of sentimentality with this car not only for me but for the mrs as well. so saving her is a no brainer for us. She might not be much but she's honest and we intend to keep it that way. We intend on taking her to some classic and other shite-orientated events this year work schedule permitting, so hopefully some of you guys will get the chance to see it in a better condition than how she is now.

Anyways, apologies for the waffle, I know that was quite some read so thank you for reading if you've stuck around. Wish Suki luck for tomorrow, I'll keep you all posted on how she gets on :).

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Edited by SEATMad
My Shit Geography.. whoops
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Just now, D.E said:

Ah yes, the psychedelic fabrics in 90s Suzukis. Mine had a slightly different design:


There's something about quite comforting about 90's interiors I find, such a shame we don't see much of that these days. 

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Just now, 500tops said:

Saltash, Cornwall. Not Plymouth which is Devon. 


Was the supplying dealer Sanfords?

Aah yes my mistake, not from around there, 😂 will change now. 

Yeah I believe it was Sanfords, would love to obtain a time period dealer sticker as the original is destroyed 

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11 minutes ago, 500tops said:

Sadly, Sanfords is no longer, although I'm pretty sure the owner's son runs Motorland in Saltash. Might be worth dropping them a line to see if they have any old stickers kicking around. 

DMB do reproductions from their time as Ford dealers



Legend cheers, I'll give them a call see what they have. 

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10 minutes ago, stuboy said:

blimey a non blue swift, looks honest

Not many about in this colour either. There’s one for sale on FM for £1000 in the same colour as mine, that’s the only other one I’ve seen for years.

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29 minutes ago, Christine said:

Only other 5k option was the 4 door GL  , which looked wonky , or a Daewoo Matiz though ..

I don’t think there’s a car you can buy new that’s under 10 grand anymore, unless you count the Ami. 

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7 hours ago, Uncleben said:

Great little car and a great colour, love the steel wheels! 

I have a soft spot for these and also similar vintage Toyota starlets, becoming a rare sight nowadays so preserve and enjoy!

Indeed they are! there is one similarly green Starlet kicking around my village, the elderly lady has bad it since new I believe  

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12 hours ago, fatharris said:

Been an age since I've seen one of these, good on you for keeping it going!

Can't imagine a '98 would have a carb though?

Thank you :)

I believe these 1.0ltr's converted over to a single point injection system later in 1998, I could be wrong so don't quote me on that, if not than this would've been one of the last with a carb. I'm giving her a service over the weekend so I'll take a look. 

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