Lancia Mechanic’s Special – 1991 Suzuki Swift GTi

Who doesn’t like themselves a small, nimble, lightweight car that can untangle the twisties? By the early 1990s, such a car was becoming fairly rare. Sure, you could buy fun compacts all day, like the GTI, Civic Si, Mirage Turbo and Corolla FX16. But the subcompact class was pretty sparse, with the depressing Ford Aspire (tagline: “I aspire to no longer drive this car”), Geo Metro, and Kia Spectra as your main options… with one glowing exception: this Suzuki Swift GTi. You can find this little rocket, which is sure to be 2041’s Mini Cooper S in terms of collectibility, for sale with bidding at $2000 and only one day left to go in Oakland, CA.

1991 Suzuki Swift GTi for sale left front

The seller of this car is Jaan Hjorth, proprietor of Eddins Moto, on whose site you can easily blow a couple of hours looking at fascinating mechanical things through his eyes. In addition to being the one-time go-to person for the RustyButTrusty Lancia Beta Berlina, he is also a Ferrari/Lancia/whatever-else-is-cool mechanic, rock musician, and probably more. His girlfriend is moving in, so he’s selling off some of his collection, and his cars all seem very well-kept. But anyway, back to the car – it’s rare to see one of these, and particularly in such good shape. With only 126,000 miles, the paint is shiny (although there is some failing clear coat), the high seat bolsters are all intact, and the car generally gives the impression of being in great health.

1991 Suzuki Swift GTi for sale right rear

Quite a few of these seem banged up, or have had cheap fixes or cheap modifications. But this one looks all stock, with the exception of the Borbet Type C wheels. Unfortunately, they look a bit anonymous on this car – perhaps it’s the grey color on a black car, or maybe a car this light-looking needs some chunkier wheels to “ground” it. This car is said to have been owned by a med student for most of its life, and that person regularly shifted at around 3000rpm, thus cheating himself out of all the joy this car can give!

1991 Suzuki Swift GTi for sale interior

The car has a recent new clutch, synchros, tires, and brakes. It seems there may be a crack in the new windshield, or maybe that’s a typo, and the middle muffler has a small hole. Jaan will be replacing the hatch struts and driver’s window before transferring ownership – apparently Swifts/Metros tend to shatter their door glass!

1991 Suzuki Swift GTi for sale engine

Check out all the information about the engine, printed right on the engine: Electronic Fuel Injection. Suzuki 1300. Twincam. Twincam. (yes, it appears twice, on the belt and cam covers!) Notice the strut tower brace – on other cheaper performance cars this is good preventative maintenance, since their structure is not always strong enough to handle hard driving over the long run. Nevermind the Mini reference, is this the closest you could get to a Fiat hot hatch in the early 90s?


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