Coast to Coast in Five Days (in a Suzuki Cappuccino): Part 1
Autozam AZ-1
On top of their on-lot inventory, if you’re looking for a specific car, Toprank can find you the exact JDM car of your dreams. This Autozam AZ-1 had been requested by a customer and was purchased and imported for them. The AZ-1s are very expensive for a Kei car: they run 2-3 times what we paid for the Cappuccino! While I haven’t driven an AZ-1, I did test drive a Honda Beat and took a seat in this car while visiting. The Cappuccino is by far the best of the three. The AZ-1 is super stylish and cool, but the Cappuccino is roomier and faster. I love the AZ-1, but for what I plan to do with it, the Cappuccino better fit the bill.
Cappuccino Loaded Interior
After the tour, we did a little last minute paperwork, then loaded up our duffle bag and backpack (I wanted to pack lighter, but the work trip portion forced me to a bag that was too big for the trunk), and sat down in my new-to-me car for the first time to go on our maiden voyage.
Cappuccino T-Top
We only made it a few blocks before we were forced to pull over…so we could remove the roof and soak up some of that California sun of course! It had been 6 months since I had driven the yellow Cappuccino and I had totally forgotten just how much fun these little cars are. There’s not a lot of power, but the engine just sings to its 9,000 RPM redline. The turbo spools up with a wonderful whoosh, and the aftermarket blowoff valve makes you sound like you’re going a lot faster than you are. It’s just fun and refreshing and happy, something that’s hard to find in modern cars.
MotoIQ Garagemahal
After picking up the car, we headed over to the MotoIQ Garagemahal. This was my first time visiting the MotoIQ HQ and it was pretty much heaven. I read Sport Compact Car throughout my teenage years and followed MotoIQ in its formative years throughout my college career. So seeing some of these absolutely legendary project cars in person was a bit of a fanboi moment for sure. Mike even made me an offer on Dog II that ALMOST made me turn around and return the Cappuccino…
Cappuccino on the Ocean in San Pedro
After hanging out at the HQ for a few hours, we headed to San Pedro for the night. To keep our costs as low as possible, we decided to make our overnight stops at hostels instead of standard hotels. Hostels are very popular overseas, but less so in the US. Instead of getting a private room, travelers stay in shared dormitories. They usually have cooking facilities so travelers can cook food instead of being forced to eat out (again, useful for keeping costs low and also great for backpackers who will be carrying cooking gear and food anyway). They’re low buck places for sure and you will want to keep valuables locked up or on your person at all times, but you can also meet some really cool people when you stay at a hostel. For our night in California, we stayed at the HI Los Angeles hostel, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.


  1. Looks like a fun trip. I did a similar run from Denver to northern DE in my ’92 Cappuccino last year. A/C compressor may have been an overtemp safety; mine worked great up until rush hour traffic in St. Louis and an ambient temp of 105*+. We lost it for maybe 2 hours, but worked great the rest of the evening and the next day once temps got back down into the 80s-90s. Hopefully yours is a similar non-issue. Safe travels!

    If you are planning to replace the OEM wheels please let me know, I have been looking for a set.

    1. If you’re ever down in Kentucky, let me know! Always nice to meet another Capp owner. I was unaware of the overtemp function, but the A/C does have problems. I’ve tried it a few times and it isn’t blowing any cold air period. It is an old system, so I suspect all the freon has leaked out somewhere.

      As for the wheels, replacing the wheels and tires with something a bit wider is in my early plans. I want to install some performance tires and the OEM wheels are too skinny. The tires on it now are practically brand new so they’d be perfect for someone looking for an OE swap. I’ll get in touch with you about setting up a wheel trade or sale.

  2. Glad to see a cappuccino can make a trip back to KY! I just bought one in japan and I’m currently waiting for it to be shipped out to me. mine is coming to newport news virginia and I plan on driving it home from the port to ashland ky. I plan on autocrossing it at least once in lexington this year, maybe I will see you there!

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