CC Twofer: 1987 Ferrari Mondial 3.2 & 1975 Suzuki Fronte Coupé – Opposites Attract

A classic Ferrari and an iconic Suzuki, both unlicensed but not yet completely derelict, gathering weeds in a parking lot? Yep, this is Tokyo all right. Of the twofers we’ve seen this week, this is the most recent (in that I found this awesome twosome last week) – and the most arresting.

There were a couple of car workshops in the area, so I’m guessing these two belonged to one of them. Eagle-eyed readers who also perused my latest Singles Collection post from last week may also see the Lancia Stratos bodyshell in the back there.

Of the two, the Suzuki looked a bit worse for wear, but not by much. We’ve recently had a full-fat CC about these marvelous machines, so only a very brief recap will do. One of the first kei coupés, these Giugiaro-designed wonders were produced between 1971 and 1976 and featured, despite their name, a rear-mounted two-stroke 37hp 356cc 3-cyl. engine. However, our feature car though is a later model, as evidenced by the larger rear license plate housing, so its little triple only produces 35hp. Emissions controls were a thing even for the JDM, in the mid-‘70s…

Impossible to get a decent shot of the dash, so here’s an indecent one. And look, we found the rear bumper! It is a complete car, in the end. Just needs a little elbow grease.

OK, so there is a little rust here and there, but nothing terminal, surely? Somebody needs to save this little cutey! And if it should be resprayed, keep that oh-so-period correct burgundy colour.

Saving a Suzuki (on its home turf) is one thing, but rescuing the least-loved Ferrari of the ‘80s is quite another. Though it looks fairly well-preserved on the surface, who knows what lurks beneath. I’d be scared. And so would my bank account manager.

At least the interior isn’t too bad, though there is that large area of duct tape down there. On the flip side, there is more space in there than in the Fronte – a rare case of a Ferrari being kinder to its passengers than whatever car it’s next to.

Mondials have a reputation for being the worst mid-engined Ferraris due to their lackluster performance, which certainly was the case for the 214hp 2.9 litre early models. But this is the improved 3.2 litre variant with 270hp, so perhaps worthier of being saved.

Will the magic appeal of the prancing horse keep the Mondial from being broken up for parts? Is the Fronte going to subjugate a well-heeled classic kei lover and be resurrected from the purgatory of its current condition? I guess I’m going to have to keep an eye on this lot.

These two are polar opposites in many ways, but they do make for an attractive couple. My personal preference, if it wasn’t clear yet, goes to the little Suzuki. Few kei cars have been imparted with so much charisma, as far as I’m concerned. The Mondial, though not on my fantasy garage list, is at least a desirable version, with body-coloured bumpers and just enough power to merit its prestigious yellow badge.


Related posts:


Curbside Classic: 1971 Suzuki Fronte Coupé GX – Cool Fusion, by T87

Curbside Classic: 1985 Ferrari Mondial QV- Los Angeles Family Car, by Dave Skinner

Curbside Classic: 1984 Ferrari Mondial QV Cabriolet – Bargain Bin Supercar, by T87