Thursday, February 16, 2023

Our Old Suzuki Sidekick, The Teal Terror, is Still Alive in Eastern Oregon


1995 Suzuki Sidekick - The Teal Terror

This is our old Suzuki Sidekick, The Teal Terror. We sold our trusty Sidekick in 2016 and I hadn't seen it since until now. 

Frankly, I'd always wondered what happened to the thing and if it was still running. On January 14 of this year, a member of our Subcompact Culture Facebook Group says:

Bought this Sidekick last January of 2021 and it had Subcompact Culture stickers on the sliders. Never knew it was a group. Only vehicles I had ever owned up to that point was full sized Fords pickups and I’ve have never owned a vehicle that was more fun. Wish I still had it.

Wait, what? How could this be? I was even Facebook friends with this guy! How the hell did this happen? This is amazing; I mean, there it is!

It turns out the person who posted this in the group had bought it from someone else who was really hard on it. That guy probably bought it from the dude I sold it to in 2016. He explained, "The guy I bought it from was super hard on it and didn’t do any maintenance so needless to say, I drove it for about a month before the transmission burned up on me."

Now, this is sad because I spent a bunch of cash to have that transmission rebuilt in 2015. 

"[The person I bought it from] had ran it out of fluid on the trail and put 1.5 quarts back in to get it home. He never topped it off before he sold it. I ended up making a 13-hour round-trip to go pick up another transmission and transfer case and then spent a couple weekends rolling around on my shop floor getting the old trans out and putting new parts in it. I did a lot of work on that little car to help undo some of its previous abuse," he said. 

Well, that's nuts. 

Custom Suzuki Sidekick

Clearly the biggest differences between when I sold it and now were the big roof rack and square-tube bumper. Apparently, when the last owner bought it, it had a stock bumper on there, not the beautiful Shrockworks bumper  I had re-powdercoated. While these aren't necessarily my taste, they do look functional. Here's what it looked like when I owned it for comparison's sake:

The Teal Terror

There also seems to be a big dent in the front-right corner. But everything else looks intact. The owner also installed an Anderson connector at the front to install a winch on a carrier. 

1995 Suzuki Sidekick with custom bumper and rack.

More amazingly is the fact it was still running! This meant my crankshaft fix had held. (Loctite Hysol 1C is amazing stuff.) I'm still in shock. This is sort of what it's like running into a friend again for the first time in over half a decade. It's bittersweet.

The Importance Of The Teal Terror

This little rig was a huge jumping-off point for us and for Subcompact Culture. I learned how to off-road in it, learned how to fix a 4WD, and learned about all the amazing places a 4WD can take you. From Moab, UT to the San Juan Mountains of Colorado; it'd been to Vancouver Island, it'd been down to Flagstaff, AZ, and was even in the Warn Industries booth at  Overland Expo - West in 2016. 

The previous owner, who sold the Teal Terror, says he still sees it zooming around Pendleton, OR all the time. This little SUV is nearly unstoppable. And it warms my gasoline-infused heart to hear that it's still out there. 

Long live the Teal Terror. 

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