Plucky little Carry Truck was the perfect urban ute
We used to have the perfect urban ute. It was made by Suzuki, called the Carry Truck, cost next to nothing, was nimble, easy on petrol and had only two disadvantages — it could only carry two people and wasn’t very flash.
The Carry Truck has been built in several versions since the mid-1980s; the last model sold in New Zealand had a 1.3 litre 55.5kW engine, tucked van-style under the seats. That output and its 97Nm of torque belied a lively performance.
A light 810kg weight, tight 9m turning circle, and superb outward vision made the truck ideal in the city and ’burbs. It rocketed away at the traffic lights and could initially see-off disbelieving hot-hatch drivers. However, by 50km/h, the Suzuki’s party trick, courtesy of low gearing, was well and truly over, although it could manage 0-100km/h in 12.5 seconds.
Handling was somewhat reminiscent of an older sports car. Sports car? Before passing judgment consider: low-mounted engine, low-mounted petrol tank, almost mid-engine weight distribution, long wheelbase (2350mm) coupled with a relatively wide track (1280mm/1290mm), the tight turning circle, quick steering and a free-revving engine.
- Phil Hanson