Test all limits in the Nissan Navara
Test all limits in the Nissan Navara

The last Samurai

Suzuki Jimny has gained a cult following in recent years. It’s known as a pocket-sized off-roader with capability similar to that of the hardebaarde on the 4×4 trails and overlanding adventures. The genesis of the Jimny is the humble Samurai – the so-called OG (original). As with most classics, LIAM O’CONNELL prefers the original over the remix. He pays homage to his four-wheel partner.

The nineties have an unrivalled sense of nostalgia, especially with regards to cars and music. A whole bunch of vehicles from that era have become classics, to be admired from a distance… but not my little Zook! The Suzuki SJ410, also known as the Suzuki Samurai, is an amazing little truck, and when I was shopping around for an adventure partner, the choice was obvious. The little Zook is a little like a Swiss Army knife – compact, capable and reliable. I drive my humble Samurai every day and just like my furry friends, it’s loyal to a fault and always ready for fun and games!

Of course, the Jimny community loves my little Zook and welcomed us with open arms, knowing it’s the foundation of the Jimny we all know and love today. This sense of community is another thing I adore about the Jimny – you feel like you’re part of something bigger… a brother-/sisterhood of sorts, all united in knowing that our four-wheel partners are the underdogs of the overlanding community.

This community also helped tremendously when I started with modifications to Zook, always ready with advice. I have fitted off-road bumpers, a winch, a roof rack, spotlights and 30-inch BFG Mud  Terrain tekkies to ensure we can get wherever we want. The off-road bumpers and the 70mm suspension lift are my best investments since they eliminate stress when off-roading!

And can this little gem 4×4! My favourite trip with Zook was when we headed down to our beach house in the Transkei. I totalled over 1 000km, without it giving me any problems – but bear in mind that I take very good care of this little gem of mine. If you are considering getting your own little Samurai, it is important to remember that while they are extremely reliable for their age, most of them are pushing 30 – and no 30-year-old vehicle will run with zero issues. That being said, I cannot imagine my adventures with anything other than this legendary Samurai.

My time with Zook has been unforgettable, and I can’t recall any campfire tale in which he does not play a significant role! Every trip – from supermarket runs to fully-fledged adventures – is better than the last. The Zook brings joy to everybody it passes, and I can’t help smiling every time I start him up… or when I walk away from it, always giving it an appreciative glance back. I can’t believe this legendary vehicle is mine and I’ll cherish it for years and years to come.

VEHICLE: 1994 Suzuki SJ410 (Samurai)

OWNER: Liam O’Connell

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