She will be mine!
Oh! Yes! Yet another page dedicated to Suzuki’s cutest car. And why not? A car without rival and fun by the bucketful.
What is that?
Sitting in a traffic jam on the M25 sometime in mid 1995 there she was!
And mine she was… eventually!
Bright red, cheeky looking, smaller than anything I’d seen on the road before, my first glimpse at Suzuki’s Cappuccino. A single thought flashed through my mind. She will be mine!
The Search Begins….
My local garage had an ‘L’ reg ‘94 for sale, I had a test drive and I remember it well. <BR>The roof was off and I had my brother in the car with me. We both had a spin and just looked at each other. “Whatever you do”, I said “Stop grinning as much as that before we get back to the dealer” I was hooked with the idea, but not being happy with the deal being struck I decided to look elsewhere. Blimey, could I find another Capp? Eventually after much searching, a not so local dealer (about 90 miles or so) had an ‘M’ Reg car for sale with less miles and at a cheaper price. October 95 – M691WDY was mine and just in time to catch the last of the rays.
For God’s Sake don’t let him take it apart!
As with all boys and their toys, it didn’t take THAT long before the fiddling began. Searching and searching I eventually found a place that imported Japanese parts for Skyline GT-R’s and that ilk. A call confirmed that they could derestrict my car with a box brought in from the Land of the Rising Sun. A day off work, a nice drive, with the sun blazing down and 30 minutes of waiting, I had one derestricted Cappuccino. ‘Unfortunately’ I had stayed too long and the part catalogue came out. One cheque book bashing later, I also had a Suzuki Sport strut brace fitted. ‘Wendy’ stayed as she was for another 6 months or so and as funds increased (well credit really!) the ideas came. She needed a new exhaust for definite . Its a sports car and sports cars burble spit and roar. Checking the price of an imported HKS unit made me wince, so it was off to a local Stainless Steel fabricator for a chat. £550 later and a 4 day wait, I had my soundtrack! 2.25inch from the catalyst and 2.5inch rear rolled end pipe, the sound was lovely. As the exhaust carboned up, the note changed and today its even better than before with the odd pop and crack as you lift off from speed, a low burble at tick over and a lovely howl as the boost came on.
I sent off for a stage1 modification from Japan and was disappointed to find that my £110 bought a sad looking sponge filter. (Don’t bother!)
I noted that the intercooler pipes expanded on boost and wanted to replace them with silicon hoses. Of course nobody did the pipes and to have them made was serious money. OK I thought, next idea. Stainless Steel over braiding was bought and duly fitted. Mmm nice but needs finishing. I found some anodised ends to cover the jubilee clips and we were away.
In the meantime I’d been thinking about that air filter. What I need is an induction kit. A quick close look at what an induction kit actually consists off led me back to my car tuning catalogue. Samco silicon pipe and a Piper Cross Air filter was bought and fitted. She was really starting to look quite nice under the bonnet.
Life has its ups and downs and I found myself in the position of selling the car. Sniff! Sniff! Just as I was about to close the deal I did something really silly and on a wet road stuck a back wheel out into a kerb. Ouch! One repair later and one fallen through sale, she sat back on my drive. Someone upstairs must have been trying to tell me something, because then everything fell into place. Life was back on an up and a newspaper article about SCORE had been shoved my direction. I wanted to buy a little treat for myself (or was it for the car?) so I spoke to a number plate dealer and was amazed at how much they wanted for a new registration number. That was just before my first SCORE meeting. There I bumped into like minded people all totally mad about their cars. One member mentioned calling the DVLC direct. This was done a deal was struck and my Cappuccino was now, M70CAP.
It wasn’t long after that initial meeting that a message floated through about a track day. Goodwood Park was to be the venue and I wanted to be ready. With my newly applied for credit card in hand, it was off to the wheel shop. I ended up in Elite in Rainham, Essex. Not the cheapest place, but they treat you and the car well plus they have plenty of choice and experience. I was advised to avoid 7J width wheels if I ever expected to turn another
corner, so I was looking out for a set of 6.5J. I finally decided on 15inch 6.5J MIM alloys, Brescia II’s these needed a set of 195/45 tyres. Yokohama’s latest A520’s were duly fitted.
The track day experience was fantastic, not just because of the Cappuccinos screaming around the track but also the monster machines that belonged to the Datsun Z-Club that we’d managed to tag along onto. Datsun 240,260 and 280ZX some in full racing spec, with slicks and exhausts big enough to swallow small children. Nissan 300ZX twin turbos by the dozen and a couple of Nissan Skyline GT-Rs. I managed two records that day, one for the fastest lap for a Cappuccino and the other for best spin (as voted for by me!) I was hairing it round the track right on the limit with a long fast right hander that comes before the chicane. I managed to catch the back end once but the second time was too much and proceeded to complete a 360degree spin down the middle of the track as the corner straightened. Somehow I managed to spin the steering wheel back as the front snapped around but unfortunately I didn’t get to the clutch quick enough. Not to worry a turn of the key and we were off again. I must admit I laughed like hell when I saw the four black pirouetting tyre marks along that stretch of the track. Maybe its time for slicks for the next track day.