Coast to Coast in Five Days (in a Suzuki Cappuccino): Part 2
Santa Rosa Car Museum
While in Santa Rosa, we stopped by this little classic car museum. They specialized in American classics and memorabilia, but had a few oddballs too. We decided it was worth the $5 to get in.  Check out how tiny the Cappuccino is between the giant American trucks.
Stretch Chevy COE
Pretty sure the Cappuccino would fit in the bed of this stretched 1947 Chevy COE truck.
1931 Chevy Coupe Custom
This Chevy coupe with a Buick Nailhead engine looks exactly like a hotrod should.  It was beautifully built, though mostly a show car. The radiator is mounted under the rumble seat in case you were wondering how this thing stays cool. We took a bunch of photos so if there’s interest we can write up a short tour of the museum.
Russel Truck Stop Car Museum
Just before we crossed the TX border, we stopped at Russell’s Truck & Travel Center which had an awesome 60’s style diner and this really cool mini museum of classic cars, toys, music, and other memorabilia. The museum was free, but we donated a few bucks to keep the lights on.
Abandoned Glenrio Motel
After lunch, we kept heading East, making our way into Texas. Just across the border, we stopped in Glenrio, a former border town that’s now totally abandoned. Before today’s I40 was built, this was a bustling little motel for weary travelers. It’s been closed for at least 40 years, if not longer. While farmers still live in and around Glenrio, the town itself is now a ghost town (it was officially abandoned sometime around 1985). It’s a bit of a shame that this once proud town is a casualty of progress. America is a beautiful country and there’s so much you miss just cruising the highways.
Cadillac Ranch Overview
Obviously we couldn’t go down Route 66 without stopping by the world famous Cadillac Ranch! 10 classic finned Caddys (one for each generation of the style) are buried nose first into the dirt and now covered in graffiti. Stopping and painting the cars with brightly colored spray paint is a regular tourist attraction here. In 1974 it was simply an art exhibition, showing off the natural style of the cars as art, but it has grown into a living piece as each passerby adds his or her own mark.

18 comments

  1. Keep your political commentary to yourself. You can reminisce about old America without sharting your anti-Trump crap all over the page.

  2. My grandma lost her first husband. He, and his crew were the first casualties of the Cold War. He was shot down over the Baltic Sea. If he had not of died, I would not be alive. Strange how things happen, but that’s the way it works. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I’m replacing the Taco’s tires completely. The OEM tires are lukewarm garbage. How Toyota has the stones to put those on a TRD Off-Road is beyond me.

  3. Nice road trip, would have been a nicer article without bringing your political two cents into the mix. If those are the types of articles we can expect from Motoiq, I’m going to have to seek automotive articles from elsewhere. I prefer my passion for cars to remain free from politics, especially from people who would prefer to see the current administration fail than see America succeed.

    1. What do you mean? Do you want to know what the drivetrain is or are you looking for more of a review of how it drives?

      If it’s the former, it’s a 660cc 3-cylinder engine with a turbocharger. 5-speed manual transmission and RWD. This particular car also has an LSD (I believe the factory Quaife option though I haven’t confirmed it). The torque curve is between 3500 and 6500 RPM. Fuel cutoff is around 9,100 RPM. The turbo is pretty small and it’s really there for mid-range torque. We’re looking at a turbo upgrade to give it some more top-end.

      As for the drive itself, I think the best way of describing it is like a Miata but smaller. The engine makes the drive more frentic since you have to rev the nuts out of it to get any power, but the rest is very Miata like. Or if you’ve driven an MG Midget, it’s like driving a modified Midget. There’s a speed cutoff at 150 KPH (~80 mph) so you’re never really going all that fast, but it’s a blast. I would not recommend doing a long highway trip like I did if you don’t have to. I was commuting with it two to three times a week after I got it home and registered and I always take the back roads with it. It’s now packed up for the winter as it has zero salt protection and I do not want to be battling rust, but up until late October I was still driving it every few days.

        1. I drove it on a one-way dispatch. It was insured the whole way. Got a few looks, but never got pulled over.

          Also, a HUGE shout out to TopRank, getting it registered was super easy in Kentucky. They get all the right forms filled out so getting US title and tags is as painless as possible. Still took almost 3 hours, but it only took one trip to get a license plate.

          1. I am looking at importing one after the holidays, and trying to figure out logistics. Seems like I will need a boxed trailer or a flat bed to get it from the port. Besides the lack of AC, did it drive well on the highway otherwise?

      1. I’m with Ajmal Khan; I would like more info about the car, and less on the sight seeing. Insult to injury, you wound up in a late model truck. As someone who is interested in Cappys, I’m hungry to learn about the car on US roads. Is the ride harsh? What’s your assessment on interior room and ergonomics? Was it hard to transition to RHD and back? Any interactions with others about the car (other than the footprinted hood?)

        1. There’s more info on the road manners of it in Part 1, but to answer the direct questions here:

          How spacious the interior is really depends on how big you are. If you’re more than 5′ 10″ or 180 lbs it’ll be tight, but possible. And if you’re above 6′ tall or 200 lbs you’re just not going to fit period. The GAB coilovers are pretty stiff but if I avoided big potholes I was fine. The bucket seat has no padding either which didn’t help but surprisingly it wasn’t my back that gave me trouble. It was my legs. Trying to keep it at 70 with little room to keep the blood flowing in the right leg started to get really tiresome after about 3 hours on the road. It can do highway speeds just fine, but you’ll be near the factory limiter so you have to plan passes. Really the big problem is it takes a lot of concentration to highway drive it. You’re much, much smaller than everyone else out there so you really have to pay attention to what’s around you. You’ll want to stop pretty frequently to stretch your legs. Also the gas tank only takes you around 250 miles. You can only get so far with a 6.5 gallon tank!

          Aside from the size, the interior is really nicely laid out. Everything is in easy reach and is nicely arranged, though there’s nowhere to store a phone (kind of important when you’re using it for GPS. I usually wedge mine between the seat and console it I’m not wearing cargo shorts). If you pack a soft duffle bag it will fit into the trunk, but I had a work trip before my flight to CA I couldn’t pack as light as I would have liked.

          As for going between the Tacoma and the Cappuccino, the thing that always trips me up is the turn signals. The lever is on the right side of the steering wheel and it usually takes me a few miles to remember where they are. I got used to the left hand shifter pretty quickly. The nice thing about the car being so small is it’s really forgiving if it takes you a while to get used to sitting on the wrong side. It’s so narrow and short that you have a ton of space in parking spots or in your lane. The hardest part I found was parallel parking. You actually sit really far back in the wheelbase (your butt is only a foot ahead of the rear axle) so your perspective is really warped. It looks like you’re about to back into the car behind you but in reality you still have about 6′ of space.

          And finally aside from the jerks who stepped on the hood the response has been positive. Everybody likes this thing. Either people have no idea what it is and are really curious about it or they know exactly what it is and think it’s awesome to see it. I think it helps that there’s no image associated with the Cappuccino in the US so people don’t walk up with a preconceived image of the owner.

          By the way, one of the big advantages of the Cappuccino is that they were sold in the UK which means there’s an English factory service manual available from Suzuki. I’m not sure if that’s the case for some of the other popular Kei cars of this era. Also the UK is a great resource for parts and knowledge since they’re still very popular over there. I’m hoping I can figure out what US Suzuki parts fit the Cappuccino during my ownership.

          Also if you all are in the central Kentucky area and want to try and fit yourself in a Cappuccino let me know and we can arrange something. It wasn’t until I rode in one that I knew it was going to be right for me. I’ve already had a few locals try it out, so if you’d like to do the same, feel free to ask. Always happy to help fellow Cappuccino fans

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