Classic Car Catalogue

Suzuki 1959


Suzulight SF – discontinued
 2 cyl, 2 stroke, 361 cm³, 18 PS
Suzulight TL – new model
 2 cyl, 2 stroke, 361 cm³, 21 PS 

Suzulight TL


In July 1959 (on sale by October), the new Suzulight TL was introduced, replacing the SF. Only available with a split folding rear seat and a large tailgate opening to the side. With rear seats folded, the TL could take 1 cubic metre (1.3 cu yd) or 300 kg (661 lb), fifty per cent more than the SL had been able to accommodate and with higher comfort for the occupants. Suzuki took full advantage of 12-inch wheels having become available and produced a modern glassy design with one wheel at every corner, very reminiscent of the Mini introduced two months earlier. The design, by Tadaaki Mizuki, was the result of trying to save space while using a minimum number of compound curve pressings. The 360 cc engine, tubular chassis, and column mounted three-speed transmission were lightly modified carryovers from the SF, but power was up to 21 PS. The interior was spartan. There was only one, central taillight. The 1959-1960 TLs were not even available with a passenger side windshield wiper. Nonetheless, the Suzulight TL Van was the most expensive car in its class, at ¥398,000. Meanwhile, the Subaru 360 Commercial cost ¥365,000 and a Cony 360 Truck a mere ¥330,000.
On 26 November 1959, Typhoon Vera destroyed Suzuki's assembly plant.