Wednesday, January 27, 2010

1982: Suzuki SJ410 (SJ30 or Sierra, Santana, Maruti Gypsy, Holden Drover, Katana)

After more than a decade of proving their 4x4 prowess in countries all over the world, Suzuki introduced the all-new SJ410 (the nomenclature signifying 4-wheel-drive, 1.0 literengine) in 1982. This truck was also known as the SJ30, the Sierra, Santana, and alsore-badged as the Maruti Gypsy in India, as well as the Holden Drover in Australia, or Katana in Indonesia.

Suzuki SJ410 (SJ30, Sierra)
Larger and more modern than the LJ series, the SJ30 expanded on the LJ's pluses and addressed many of the minuses. The 970cc 4-cylinder engine was a larger version of the LJ80's power plant, delivering 45hp and an even bigger improvement in torque, helping to haul its additional 300lbs over that of the LJ more quickly to its identical top speed of 68mph.
Suzuki SJ410 (Santana)

Differences from the familiar Samurai included of course the smaller engine, the narrower track width front and rear with leaf springs mounted further inboard, 12% lower transfer case ratios in high and low range, 10% lower differential gears, a 4-speed transmission, front and rear unboosted drum brakes, a transfer case mounted drum parking brake, seat and dashboard design, lack of a roll bar, and availability of half-door convertible, pickup, hardtop, raised-panoramic-roof, and no-glass hardtop versions. Note: The brakes were still not power on the SJ410 through 1985. The metal grille was kept through 1985 on the SJ410 as well - Eric Bewley.

Suzuki SJ410 (Maruti Gypsy)

Suzuki SJ410 (Holden Drover)
In Britain a "gentlemen's agreement" between British and Japanese industries limiting Japanese cars to a mere 11% of the market left Suzuki, a late comer, with a very small allocation of market share. The popularity of the SJ series forced Suzuki to investigate overseas production. The Spanish company Land Rover Santana SA wanted a product to complement their Land Rover production, so Suzuki took a 20% (later increased to 32%) share holding in Santana. This arrangement resulted in over 60% European content, allowing the vehicles to be exempt from Suzuki Great Brittain's quota

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