Joe Isuzu once caught a bullet in his teeth to demonstrate how fast a Piazza could be. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe diesel Trooper is no where near that fast, but is the seller's spiel as endearing as Joe's?
Yesterday's Cadillac-powered Porsche might also not be faster than a speeding bullet, but its seller seemed a straight shooter. Despite that trait, and the insanity inherent in shoving a 500 cubic inch V8 in a 911 and hiding it with phony bags, both car and seller earned a 68% Crack Pipe loss.
The antithesis of a crazy, heavily modified Porsche might just be today's candidate- a 1986 Isuzu Trooper turbo diesel. The Trooper, with its Range Rover-aping looks, never managed to match its British doppelgänger's Buick-sourced V8 for power, offering instead a range of modest fours and a V6 from grandpa GM. However, despite a lack of alacrity, its simple, rugged packaging and roomy cabin endeared it to owners. And Land Rover never made a diesel available in their wagon here in the U.S..
That's right, a C223T 2.2 Diesel powers this Trooper DSL, making it not the fastest thing on four wheels, but at least more spritely than dial up. The little oil burner pumps out 80-bhp, and the seller admits to nursing it only as far as 3,000 rpm before the coffee can full of marbles under hood causes him to back off. He does say that the truck will do 65 at that rpm in fifth, so freeways are not out of the question. The benefit to this prudent parceling of power is fuel economy, which the seller claims to reach into the mid-30s. That's pretty good for a wagon of this size, especially a 4x4.
He also says that only 800 of the C223T-powered Troopers made the boat ride to America, and out of those, only half received an upgraded shortblock. He has the receipts for that work, as well as a 'small book' of other receipts for additional work completed on the truck. That includes a new Garrett turbo, suspension parts, belts, hoses, etc- basically all the stuff you'd expect a 24-year old car to need replacing.
Other than that, it looks to be in pretty good shape for those 24 years and 183,000 miles. The body appears straight and rust-free, plus it looks like it's got all its fingers and toes and hasn't done the Rubicon both ways every year since new. With that base, think of the things you could do with this Trooper. You could convert the C223T to run on the fryer grease from your local White Castle. You could yank out the oil-burner, set it up as a stationary power source to power your meth lab, replacing it in the truck with an LS7. Whatever you choose to do, the truck as-is looks like a solid starting point.
On top of that, if you spring for the Buy It Now price of $6,475, the seller will throw in a litany of crap, including the roof rack box, bra, floor mats, and a plywood shelf he's fitted above the sun visors that looks ripe for scalping you in a sudden stop. I know those are kind of a deal clincher, but first there's some negatives to be considered in addition to the acceleration, which can be timed by stalactite growth. The owner (7th in the line) cryptically claims Possible Cold-Start-Device "CSD" malfunction. burns whit, unburned diesel if not "pre-plugged" into the block heater for 45 minutes, if plugged in, all is fine. I'm not quite sure, but I think that means you presently first have to plug the Trooper into a light socket for 45 minutes if you want to go anywhere. Whatever that costs to get fixed, it would be a good investment.
But at $6,475 is this rare diesel Trooper a good investment? You're unlikely to find many like it - or another diesel four wheel drive wagon of similar build - any time soon. So would you pay that much for this Trooper? Or, does that price mean that it will sell as slowly as it goes?
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