Where I’m from, Suzuki isn’t really known for its cars. Well, maybe it’s starting, but most people’s knowledge of the Japanese brand is mostly confined to motorcycles and to a lesser extent, small off-road vehicles. That’s not to say that Suzuki doesn’t make or market cars; it does. It’s just that it’s not what they are known for. Suzuki has been selling small cars in their domestic market (Japan) since 1955, but only recently – so to speak – have they felt comfortable marketing them worldwide. Their first success came in the form of the 1979 Suzuki SC100 GX, dubbed ‘Whizzkid‘ in the UK. With a name that sounds like it belongs on something with two wheels, the Whizzkid was a relatively fast, fun and more importantly, dirt cheap car that remained available until 1982.
The export version of the SC100 GX was fitted with a relatively powerful, 47 horsepower, 970cc straight-four engine. It doesn’t sound like much, but consider that the original Japanese version had 28 horsepower! The engine was mounted in the rear, making the car enormously fun to drive, if not particularly fast strictly by the numbers. It could reach a top speed of 85 miles per hour, and accelerate to 60 mph in 16.5 seconds.
Tragically, the Whizzkid didn’t stay in production for very long, only until 1982. Suzuki had dramatically underestimated the popularity of its car, and could supply to the demand. Less than 5,000 Suziki SC100 GX were made and sold.