The first line I was supposed to write in this article is “Does anyone know who owns this?”. But I was extremely lucky that it changed. This is because when I first saw this cool Suzuki Vitara, I was awe-stricken. So I took this first snapshot:
And then thought posting it on my blog to ask around who owned it so I can do a formal feature.
The first time I saw this Vitara, I only caught a glimpse of its backside. What drew my attention was its stance as compared to the Pajero beside it. It was obviously lifted, and exposed the familiar tread pattern of Mudstar Radial Mud Terrain Tires which is the same type I run on my Land Rover. Apart from that, call me crazy but I’m sure a lot of you auto enthusiasts can relate with me when I say I can sense there’s something else lurking underneath the skin of this vehicle, because the “Aura” is different… I can sense it has more energy compared to that of a normal Vitara. Plus of course the visible lockable hubs replacing the auto hubs found in Vitaras of standard trim.
But then I put the thought aside and decided to leave it as I might look suspicious taking pictures of it with a non-discreet SLR camera, and just went back to going about my business on why I was really in that location. “Daym! I can’t help it! It’s calling my attention!”, I say to myself, despite the fact that I was more than a hundred yards away, and the Vitara wasn’t in plain sight. I could imagine this Vitara ripping through the trails, slinging mud, and traversing unpassable terrain. I wanted to see what’s underneath it to find out what it’s capable of!
Answering it’s call, I came back for a closer inspection. True enough, upon checking under the front suspension, I found a coil-sprung solid axle in place of the original independent front suspension
which I immediatly took a snapshot of, half hoping the owner would spot me checking his ride out.
While checking my shot, a little boy crept up beside me and was peeping over my shoulder checking out my shot. So I got a hint and asked if the Vitara was his dad’s car; to which he replied: “No, it’s our car.” So I stood up and looked behind me to find his dad, and the owner of the vehicle, Mr. Vitoy Mallari. What luck, the owner! I would no longer have to go through the trouble of asking and starting this article as “Does anyone know who owns this?”.
I promptly introduced myself and asked if it would be okay to feature his snazzy Vitara on these very pages. He agreed! And with that, here are more detailed shots (with his 2 children as models), as well as the spec sheet below.
The wider stance is courtesy of Toyota Mini Cruiser Solid Axles.
A Safari Snorkel is visible from this side, adding deep water wading to its already impressive offroad capabilities. Also seen here is a locking front hub. Tires are 31×10.5 r15 Nankang Mudstar Radial MTs on alloy wheels.
A closeup view of the Rear Suspension.
The custom front suspension was redesigned to suit the solid front axle.
Vitoy’s kids. Parting words from Vitoy: “This is actually my son’s ride. Coz he likes it!” Wow what a dad!
1997 Suzuki Vitara JLX
Toyota Solid Axle Conversion
31×10.5 r15 Nankang Mudstar Radial Mud Terrains
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