Cohort Sighting: 1979 Suzuki Carry – The Hills Are Alive

RivieraNotario’s picture of this Suzuki Carry Van (aka Suzuki Every) in the cohort begged to be shared because of the dramatic backdrop. Scenery really doesn’t get better than this, even if, upon the first, most fleeting glance, I couldn’t tell if this was a Subaru Sambar, a Mitsubishi Minicab or, well… any number of Kei minivans.  That doesn’t make it any less satisfying to behold, of course.


These tiny vans were built to carry a full load of passengers and cargo up through Japan’s busy cities and are relied on to shuttle loyal users around hot, crowded streets everywhere from Pakistan to the Philippines.  After going out of production in Japan, the fourth generation (1979-1984) Carry’s tooling was sold to India’s Maruti, who continues to market the van as the Omni.  Enlarge this ad, and you’ll see that one of the major selling points was its engine’s ability to be re-bored.  That’s not something you’re likely to run into in a Freightliner Sprinter ad.


Thirty-five years on, this Carry is still serving the same purpose in Chile’s often high-altitude, mountainous environment.  Just in case it’s not carrying enough weight atop its seventy inch wheelbase, there’s a roof rack to ensure it gets the hardest workout possible.  Unlike similarly burdened vehicles in the US, which might be expected to grunt through their chores with awe-inspiring torque, the Carry went through its daily duty with engines ranging between 500cc of displacement in the home market to 800cc in export configuration.  Mounting these two and four-stroke engines underneath the front seats wasn’t the quietest solution, but for thousands of drivers, the frantic buzz of these tiny three and four-cylinder units is the sound of work getting done.

Related reading:  1986 Suzuki Carry KC 4WD: The Kei-sons Go Rolling Along