To some it’s not really a car, not in the strict sense of the term.

Others regard the Suzuki Mighty Boy as an automotive icon, to be treasured and not forgotten.

Either way Shannons has one of the little Boys up for grabs come February 19 at the next auction in Melbourne.

The Mighty Boy was a tiny ute produced by Japanese car maker Suzuki from 1983 to 1988.

It was based on the rear-engined Suzuki Cervo SS40, a small sports coupé or “Personal Car” that measured 3195mm long, 1395mm wide and 1290mm high, with a 2150mm wheelbase and weighed no more than 550kg.

It’s what they call a Japanese ‘K-class’ or Kei Jidosha car, purposely kept small to escape excessive taxes and inner-city parking fines.

Strict size limits have spawned generations of pint-sized midgets targeted at the domestic market but sometimes exported overseas.

Apart from Australia the only place Mighty Boy was sold outside Japan was Cyprus for some reason.

The three cylinder, transversely mounted engine, 550cc single-carb F5A motor delivered 21kW at 6000 rpm and 43.1Nm at 3500 rpm.

With drive to the front wheels it was available with a four-speed manual or two-speed automatic transmission.

Imported by Ateco Automotive in Sydney, Australia received a hybrid of the Japanese PS-A and PS-QL second generation Mighty Boy that included chrome roof rails, bucket seats and 12-inch wheels.

However, it did not include such items as a tachometer or the five-speed manual gearbox.

While retaining the look of the Cervo with its wide B-pillars, the Mighty Boy had its own rear design.

A small flat bed of no more than 600 mm length was only of limited utility, but the low slung driving position was both more comfortable and completely unlike any of the cab forward pickups in the Japanese micro truck market.

The comparatively spacious cabin also offered sliding and reclining seats, and a reasonably large luggage area behind the seats.

Mighty Boy was classified as a commercial vehicle in Australia and benefited from lower taxes.

The manual version sold for $5795 when introduced to Australia, the cheapest automobile available there at the time.

Fleets of Mighty Boys are reported to have been used as pizza delivery trucks back in the day, with the tray able to accommodate the equivalent of two family size pizzas, with plenty of room behind the seats for a bottle of Coke and a couple of garlic-breads.

About 2800 were imported here but only 300 to 400 are thought to remain, but many of them like the one in our featured photograph have been significantly modified – some have even been fitted with a turbo.

The car on offer is a rare 1988 auto.

Both the engine and transmission were rebuilt six years ago and it has covered about 30,000km since the rebuild.

The car runs and drives very well apart from the transmission which needs to be shifted manually — as the shift computer has burnt out and replacements are scarce.  

Finished in red with a very tidy black cloth/vinyl interior, the Mighty Boy is currently registered on non-transferable club plates in Victoria and comes with the original owner’s books supplied.

It’s expected to sell between $5000 and $8000, but will be offered with no reserve.

 

For more details see Shannons

Little 'Boy' with a big reputation

Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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