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Samurai Surprise


1990 Suzuki Samurai

The Suzuki Jimny (a.k.a. Samurai) has been around since early 1970. It entered the U.S. in its second generation, as a 1986 model (ending in 1995). Still available in some regions in its third-gen guise, the Jimny has been marketed under eight different model names, coming from five separate brands. One or two may surprise you.

1990s Chevrolet Samurai

Here’s one that’s wearing a gold bowtie. It was sold as the Chevrolet Samurai in Colombia and Venezuela. Further cross branding of the little trucks was carried out in India as the Maruti Gypsy, and Spain as the Santana Samurai.

1985-87 Holden Drover

GM’s Holden division even sold a version in Australia, called the Drover, where it was concurrently available as the Suzuki Sierra.

1990s Chevrolet Samurai LWB

Chevrolet also offered this long-wheelbase model, not seen in the U.S.; there were also hardtop and pick-up versions available. Though relatively flimsy, Jimnys were highly capable off-road thanks, in part, to authentic four-wheel-drive with low-range gearing.

1999-2006 Chevrolet Jimny

This is the third generation of Jimny, introduced in 1998. Chevrolet sold this version as well but, by then, had aligned the model name with its Suzuki brethren.