Junkyard Gem: 1994 Isuzu Rodeo

Junkyard Gem: 1994 Isuzu Rodeo

After a decade in which Isuzu confused Chevrolet LUV pickups, Isuzu-engined Chevrolet Chevettes, and Isuzu Geminis with “Opel by Isuzu” or “Buick/Opel Isuzu” badges, Isuzu finally introduced the Isuzu to Americans in the early 1980s. Started selling its vehicles with Isuzu badging. , There were Isuzu cars, of course, but the Peeps pickup and (introduced in 1984) the Trooper SUV showed that selling Isuzu was most likely to rake in the yen. truck on this side of the Pacific. The three-door convertible Amigo appeared here in 1989, but it was too small and silly among the suburban-commuter set. For the 1991 model year, a five-door Amigo sibling showed up: the Rodeo. Early rodeos are becoming quite rare today, but I was able to find this fairly clean ’94 at a Denver-area self-service yard a few months back.

These trucks, which were based on the same chassis as the P’up (known as the Isuzu pickup after 1987), sold well in Colorado.

You can get the first-generation Rodeo with rear-wheel-drive, but the four-wheel-drive version makes more sense if you want to slog through snow and mud in the Rockies (or cross parking lots). feel safe while doing the white stuff).

This Truck Has True Four-Wheel-Drive, Not What It Eventually Came To Be Called All-All-wheel-drive, but at least the higher trim levels had automatic locking hubs instead of the manual sort that forced you to stop and kneel in the mud to switch.

Americans loved automatic transmissions in 1994 almost as much as we do today, but they cost a lot more relative to manuals. This truck has a five-speed manual.

The MSRP on this truck was $19,249, or approximately $39,075 in 2022 dollars. If you want it with the automatic transmission, the price jumps to $20,349 ($41,310 today). Air conditioning in it costs an additional Rs 850 (now Rs 1,725).

The engine is an Isuzu 3.2-liter V6, rated at 175 horsepower.

This truck was built at Subaru-Isuzu Automotive in Indiana; Subaru eventually bought out Isuzu’s share of the joint venture and now only Subaru models are built there. To add another manufacturer to the mix, Honda sold rebadged Rodeos with Passport badges (and Troopers rebadged as the Acura SLX).

It was well taken care of, looking clean for a machine with close to 200,000 miles on the clock.

We can assume that some costly mechanical malady finally sent it to its final parking spot.

Abandoned vehicles are getting harder to find in the Denver area No There’s at least one cannabis-business-related sticker somewhere. I’m peeling some of these up and putting them in my junkyard toolbox.

You’ll find one in every car. You’ll see.

Sadly, by the time this truck was built, that Isuzu was gone.

Marketed as a toy, but the extra pair of doors made it less a toy than the Amigo.

In Japan, this truck was sold under the name of MU Wizard.

In fact, many far-flung corners of the GM empire got a version of this truck. Opel, Holden, Vauxhall and Chevrolet sold it as the Frontera in various markets.

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