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Built not bought!

Why this car?

It all started when I was under attachment. My foreman had a Suzuki that became my responsibility to fix and tinker with. From that time I developed and appreciation for Suzukis. My first, second and third cars were all Suzukis and this is my fourth. For some reason, white guys bought all three.

Suzukis are supremely capable and reliable, but understated. I got fired up when I saw a Suzuki prepared for the Rhino Charge (an annual off-road motorsport competition held in Kenya in which entrants are required to visit a number of points, while travelling the shortest possible distance across difficult, trackless terrain, where speed is not a necessity). I decided then and there that one day I would build my own.

I started with a sketch that I worked on and refined for two weeks and then started on the modifications, which I also did in two weeks. I did everything on my own without any help as my colleagues insisted that lifting the Sierra was foolhardy as they are already prone to falling over.

Main changes were with the springs, which originally go under the diff, but I fitted them on top. I changed the steering system to one from a Toyota Hilux as it’s much strong.  I also fitted slanted shock absorbers in the back to make the ride softer. I also tinkered a bit with the 4×4 system.

What do you love most about it?

I’ve tested it on all kinds of terrain I can find and it can handle anything with ease. To test it against similarly modified machine, I entered it into the Champagne 4×4 Challenge last September, where I won first time out with 100 per cent points.

I also love the fact that I learnt a lot while building it up and now I can make the same modifications on any car in a week’s time.

Any drawbacks?

Absolutely none. I can say for me it’s perfect. I can start it any time and go anywhere. It has never broken down on me. Not even a puncture. It’s also economical, sips fuel frugally and spares are affordable.

Suzukis are also well known for being hardy and this is a prime example. I feel I can take on anything with this car and so far it has proven me right.

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