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My first Sambar

Hi, Just got my first Sambar van (not fisher price tho), Its the VW styled one. Needs a good service and a wee bit TLC. Looking forward to it.


Looks good

Hi Dan
just had a look at your van following our convo at the w/e
It looks good and I love that colour..........trying to convince my partner that I need another one and I said that I would love it in blue or that mint green colour !

Thanks, here is a recent pic from when we used it for one of our wedding.


Re: My first Sambar

Sambar_Dan wrote:
Hi, Just got my first Sambar van (not fisher price tho), Its the VW styled one. Needs a good service and a wee bit TLC. Looking forward to it.


I love your van. I'm trying to buy one but not having much luck at the moment. If you have any advice please let me know.


Buy the best that you can afford! there are different versions of Sambars. You get vans or trucks, 2 or 4 wheel drive, super charged or not, auto or manual, twin, sinle or no sunroof and alsorts of interior trim levels. The Sambar is 660cc or the Domingo (looks the same as the sambar) is 1.2. Both have the same performance as the 660 is 4 cylinder instead of 3, although i have heard the 660 s/c is actualy faster. The domingo also has 7 seats as apose to 4.

Try get one thats mechanicaly sound, these are older vehicles and have been aged with Japanese heat. Parts are available but as its not a comon UK sight, its not so well suported.

Grin factor is the main reason to buy one, especialy the VW styled one. There was also the classic model which looks a bit like an old British Leyland van.

I spent ages looking for the one i liked the look of and with the setup i was after.

Hi Dan,

Any tips for someone just about to make a purchase? Never had a vehicle with such a small engine before and never driven an automatic, but the room inside is great and it looks exactly what I am after. Any advice would be appreciated from someone who has experienced the Sambar. Whenever I Google it can be confusing stuff, any trouble with insurance, or getting it serviced?

The small engine is not a problem if you are scooting around town as this is what the sambar is designed for. It will happily sit at 40 Ė 50Mph but above that, the little engine does sit at a high rpm.
Insurance and servicing is a bit harder than most uk cars as itís not a UK model but there are still some companies who will insure it and not really any higher for the premium (get a quote before you buy so you know how much to expect). There are many Japanese specialist insurance companies but I think Adrian flux tends to be the best from what I have heard.
For servicing, I do all my own servicing and repairs. Parts are available and in some cases are the same as other UK models but some are quite specialist and will need imported. Iíve not had to much more than service mine and have not found any parts I canít get yet.
Automatic is part of the reason itís so easy in town as its less work. Auto does take a bit of getting used to but itís not difficult, you just need to stop your left foot from doing anything and keep your left hand off the gear selector to remove any temptations. They so also come in a manual gearbox version but as its designed to be a Japanese town car, the majority are auto.
The Sambar is not common in the UK and do expect to get a lot of attention because of that, they are fun to drive and very practical in town.  My greatest achievement was parking in a space only 3 inches longer than the van as itís got a phenomenally tight turning circle.
Try get the supercharged model for the best performance as this will up the performance quite a bit. They are surprisingly nippy for all that itís only a 660cc.

Thanks for the advice Dan, that's great. Going to go for it - it's the perfect vehicle for me and the space is just what I am looking for. Just sorting the money and it will be with me soon!

Mine is the Sambar Dias Van and has the 660 engine. I have been all over the country in it from Tyne and Wear right down to Cornwall and over to the Lakes and then Yorkshire. I get about (non windy conditions) 60-65pmh out of her. Have not tried for faster than that though Smile You just have to watch the high winds for the spontaneous lane changes lol Turns on a sixpence and great for parking. I have the rock n roll seat in the back for sleeping in and use an awning for daytime stuff. We are planning another trip out before winter hits proper.

Gosh, you have really been all over in it...that's brilliant, I am still getting used to driving an automatic and it's quite low at the front so I am avoiding speed bumps and pot holes! My dog loves it - I am sure she thinks it's a big cosy kennel! Where do you get the bits for it, like the awning? Was it specially made for the Sambar?

The awning is a Harrison an older style one I got from my friend. It can be zipped up and left when you want to drive off somewhere when camping. The cooker, chairs etc are in there and the chemical loo set in one corner.

If I park right I can unzip one side and get into bed through the side door of the van. This pic was taken in Ingleton Yorkshire during the big trip down to Cornwall.

The people I have managed to get parts from are and though based in Canada they can have stuff to you very quickly.

I've had a busy year so not had a chance to go camping yet. Where did u get the rock n roll bed and have u got pics?

I know what u mean about driving in wind. Do you know if its possible to fit stiffer suspension or stronger anti roll bars? I think my suspension is quite aged do not sure if that's all that's wrong.

I also use japanoid in Canada. It seems wrong that I can order parts faster from Canada than through the UK.

I got the bed from

the 3/4 size fits perfect in the Sambar. you need to build a box in the back for the rear of the bed to rest on with a batten on the rear edge. I will post pics of it both as a seat and as a bed. I managed to buy foam for the seat cushions just as the foam place here closed down so got a good deal on them. Spares in the uk are almost impossible to come by I have to say and many a day have trawled the net trying to find bits. I can say however the headlights are sealed beams. BUT you can buy a headlight the same size at the scrappies and take all the old chrome fittings off the original and fit them on the replacement and it works grand. I know this from very recent experience.

Just a wee extra I did NOT pay what they are asking now for the seats!!! They have gone up significantly. There is another site here

this is more what I paid for mine though I see these have wooden boards on. Though by the time you put a memory foam mattress on it will be comfy I would think.

Oooh these look quite good and decent price too Forum Index -> Introductions
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