What is the first generation Jimny, highly regarded as a “professional tool” by the forestry office and the civil engineering and construction industry? [モビー]

Looking at it now, it looks like a “bean jeep”, the first generation Jimny

A change in the front mask of the first generation Jimny. 1st stage LJ10 (upper left), 2nd stage LJ20 (upper right), 3rd stage SJ10 Jimny 55 (since 1977, lower middle)

Suzuki Jimny is not only a maniac vehicle for people who are indispensable for work and hobbies, but also for off-roader enthusiasts. was a professional mini jeep-like heavy work gourmet.

When Suzuki bought the production rights for the ON model, there was strong opposition within the company, but Mr. Osamu Suzuki, who later became the chairman and president (currently an adviser) of Meibutsu, went ahead and bought it, making small changes to represent Suzuki. However, there is a history that it has grown into a big name of a small full-fledged off-roader famous in the world.

In fact, compared to the current Jimny, it is extremely simple as a car, and apart from the full-fledged part-time 4WD system, the first generation Jimny was spartan like an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) that is also used for military use. , I will introduce the Jimny 55, SJ10, which has been converted to 550cc.

First-generation LJ10 designed and developed based on the Hope Star ON type 4WD

Compared to the 2nd and subsequent generations, the 1st generation LJ10 Jimny feels simpler and nostalgic.

The “Hope Star ON type 4WD”, which can be said to be the prototype of the first Jimny, was born after the war, after the light auto three-wheeled manufacturer Hope Motors (closed in 2017 after changing the business model) temporarily withdrew from the light three-wheeled/four-wheeled vehicle business. It was a light 4-wheel off-loader that was released in 1967 in an attempt to make a comeback.

However, the sales network, which was originally weak and almost lost due to withdrawal, had no prospects for expanding sales, and when they were about to let go of the production rights as soon as possible, Mr. Osamu Suzuki, who was managing director of Suzuki, overcame the opposition of the company and purchased it. The LJ10, the first generation Jimny, was designed and developed based on the ON.

Compared to the ON, which looks easy to build and has a flat face, the overall design is more sophisticated, but the Jimny’s characteristic vertical slit front grille is still used except for a period of time between the 2nd and 3rd generations. It is not installed, and gives the impression of being simple next to ON.

Also, the engine was an FB type air-cooled 2-cylinder 2-cycle that was diverted from the light commercial vehicle Carry, and although the power was slightly increased from the initial 25 horsepower to 27 horsepower the following year, it was already an old engine, and only the hood including the doors. , The headrest was a transitional model, such as only the driver’s seat.

However, the performance as an off-roader, such as a full-fledged part-time 4WD with a built-in high/low switching type sub-transmission and large-diameter 16-inch lug tires, was inherited from the ON, and boasted excellent off-road performance from the beginning, and a small off-loader was desired. It is highly regarded as a “professional tool” by the forestry office and the civil engineering and construction industry.

Increased durability and climbing ability with water cooling! First generation 2nd stage LJ20

At the time of the first generation Jimny, the spare tire was placed in the luggage compartment as shown in the image, and there was only a rear seat for one person like an auxiliary seat, but the LJ20F Jimny added to the second generation of the first generation had a rear spare tire. Transformation and rear seats for two people were realized for the first time

With the FB air-cooled engine, heat sagging was conspicuous due to severe use, so the LJ20, the first mid-term model (second term) equipped with the L50 engine, which was a water-cooled FB, was renewed in about two years. will be released.

Although there is not much difference in terms of specifications, practicality has been greatly improved, such as increasing torque at medium and low speeds due to water cooling, achieving 35 ° climbing ability, and improving heater capacity.

In the tough off-road race “Mexican 1000 Rally (currently “Baja 1000″)” with a completion rate of about 50%, he struggled against foreign cars in the 3- to 7-liter class, and finished the race without any accidents in 34 hours. I tried to prove the durability improvement by water cooling.

Also, until then, there was only a hood, including the doors, but the “Jimny Van”, which has a full metal body made of steel including the doors, has been added to improve usability in all weather conditions.

In 1975, due to the increased demand for leisure use, the spare tire was moved from the luggage compartment to the back, and the rear seats for one person were changed to two for four people, and the shape of the hood was improved. Added LJ20F with increased overhead space.

The front mask also has a front grill with 8 vertical slits, giving it a modern look that continues to the current Jimny.

Exports began in 1974, marking the beginning of “Jimny, a small giant in the world of off-roaders.”

3rd generation SJ10 “Jimny 55” compatible with the new 550cc standard

The third-generation Jimny 55 was improved in 1977 with the same bonnet as the Jimny 8 and a wider tread, making it wider than the previous model (pictured is a 1979 model).

In January 1976, revisions to light vehicle standards increased the maximum engine displacement to 550cc in order to maintain power performance even under the strict exhaust gas regulations of the time. , and updated to the first late (third term) type SJ10, called “Jimny 55”.

Honda, which used a 4-stroke engine from the beginning, and competitors who tried to switch to a 4-stroke engine from the original 2-stroke engine due to the change in standards, or even before that (Mazda gave up on the 4-stroke engine, and used it for its own mini vehicles. abolished engine), Suzuki remains a 2-stroke.

This showed the high level of Suzuki’s 2-stroke engine technology, such as complying with exhaust gas regulations from the end of the 360cc era, the L50 engine, but on the other hand, it resulted in being late to the 4-stroke.

However, it was well-received for its extra displacement and the smooth acceleration characteristic of a 2-stroke, 3-cylinder engine. It supported Jimny’s powerful rough road running performance and climbing performance until it was updated to .

With the new standardization, the total length has been relaxed from 3m to 3.2m, so safety has been improved with a large bumper.

In addition, the 800cc version for export produced from 1977, the Japanese name SJ20 “Jimny 8 (Eight)” changed to a hood with a swollen top surface, and the front and rear treads were expanded by 100mm to widen the rear fender and front panel. In 2014, the Jimny metal door with a steel plate door appeared on the hood body.

In addition, the Jimny 8 was equipped with Suzuki’s first 4-stroke engine, the F8A (the Fronte 800’s C10 engine was a 2-stroke engine), and it was the first step for the Jimny to earn a full-fledged evaluation in the world, with more room than the Japanese light standard. have become.

* The author information of the images used in this article is as of the publication date.

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