A Cappuccino Quest By Gavin Radforth
My family and I have always had a keen interest in cars. I have always owned and used classic cars on a regular basis. We also have a liking for any vehicles which are odd or different so we are all members of the Micro Maniacs Club, which caters for small and unusual vehicles with an engine size of less than 700cc.
It was a long time ago when I first heard about the Suzuki Cappuccino even before I was old enough to drive. My dad told me about this new small sports car from Suzuki which was a limited edition (there were a limited number of cars officially imported by Suzuki GB) and had a micro-sized engine.
While the years went by, every now and again we would visit classic car shows in my parents’ Morris Minor and would keep a look out for anything odd or unusual and sometimes spot the odd Cappuccino or two, which I had started dreaming about owning one when I was older.
When I started learning to drive, the decision was made to purchase a classic car like my parents, to use every day as it would be cheap to run and insure, also cost nothing to tax as it would be tax exempt. When I eventually passed my test I bought a 1962 Triumph Herald which I still own. As much as I love my Triumph I still fancied something a little sporty like a Cappuccino so I made a decision to join SCORE after reading an article in one of the classic car magazines about the club. It was another year until I got the chance to own one as at the time I was working temporary at a biscuit company and the wages weren’t great so it took some saving up.
During my dinner hour I would pop down to the paper shop to have a look in the Auto Trader magazine to see what Cappos were on sale and most importantly, at what price! There would always be a few for sale but they were expensive and out of my price range until I discovered the SCORE website and through their classified section I found one in Sheffield, advertised as being in excellent condition, a very nice silver, genuine mileage of 35,000 miles and on sale at a bargain price! I went straight home to tell my dad about the car I had seen advertised and most importantly talk about the fact it was on sale at over a grand cheaper than any others.
Convincing my dad that it was worth a call, we arranged to view the car the following day. It turned out to be very good and came with a huge history file from the previous owners. The vendor Paul had only owned it for a year and at the time had paid over two grand more than what he was asking for it, but explained the car had to go due to him and his wife splitting up. I wanted to buy the car straight away but my father, being something of a particular Yorkshire man, decided to leave it a few days to think it over. The next day I took the wise decision to enquire about insurance... no problem we thought... we didn’t think a small car with such a tiny engine would have such a high insurance group of 13. The first company I contacted quoted me an unbelievable £3659.42... I nearly died! “How much?” I said!! That was nearly as much as the car, so after ringing around for some better quotes I soon realised as a young driver there was no way I would get a reasonable quote for a Cappo. The decision was made to tell the vendor that I wanted the car but couldn’t afford the insurance. I was gutted!
The following week I was dreaming of what could have been. After finishing work on that Friday, I arrived home to be told that I had a message from Paul - the seller of the Cappo I wanted - to tell me someone had offered him a grand off the price of it, but was ringing to see if I was still interested in