At $3,950, Is This 1984 Isuzu The Perfect Impulse Purchase?

Illustration for article titled At $3,950, Is This 1984 Isuzu The Perfect Impulse Purchase?
Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

It’s not every day you come across a Giorgetto Giugiaro designed car. It’s an even rarer occasion when that car is an Isuzu Impulse like today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe candidate. What might you afford so auspicious an occasion?

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Well, it turns out that a lot of you are Bi-turbo curious and that engendered a lot of interest in last Friday’s 2004 Audi A6 2.7t. Not only did it have the bi-turbo bona fides, but it also presented well, and was seemingly ready to rock a new owner’s world. All that, when considered against the seller’s $6,500 asking was likewise lauded, with the car taking home a decent 60 percent Nice Price win.

Do you play cards? You know, poker, canasta, hearts, or even solitaire? If so then you’re no doubt familiar with the power of the card known as the ace. Not only can the ace serve as either one or eleven in blackjack, but has also given its name to the sort of person who has mastered a certain skill.

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In the 1970s, Giorgetto Giugiaro’s design house—Italdesign—adopted the Ace as a naming convention for a series of concept cars. Each was underpinned by a chassis from a different carmaker, and they were all designed with production in mind.

The Asso di Picche (Ace of Spades) was based on the Audi 80. BMW provided the 2002tii underskirt parts for the Asso di Quadri (Ace of Diamonds). Both of these cars were constructed by Germany’s Karmann.

The Asso di Fiori ( Ace of Clubs) followed and featured what was arguably the most mundane donor platform, that of the Isuzu Gemini which itself was an adapted version of the Opel Kadett. Sadly, Giugiaro’s interest in the concepts flagged before we could get an Asso di Cuori (Ace of Hearts).

Illustration for article titled At $3,950, Is This 1984 Isuzu The Perfect Impulse Purchase?
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This 1984 Isuzu Impulse is the production version of that Asso di Fiori concept, and it’s a pretty faithful rendition. Yes, the proportions are a little different and the door handles have been moved from scoop and button to standard lifters, but the heart and soul of the concept is still all there.

That fidelity extends to the interior where Isuzu stayed faithful to Italdesign’s wacky but practical pod-based switchgear setup. That mounts all the major controls on two height-adjustable wings on either side of the instrument pod. It’s quite remarkable even by today’s standards.

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Of course, production-grade materials mean that it’s not quite as fancy in here as was the concept, but this blue velour and color-matched vinyl cabin is remarkably tidy and lightly-worn for its age. The only obvious issues are a saggy headliner, an air vent that’s trying to rise to the occasion, and a general sense that a vacuum would work wonders in here.

Illustration for article titled At $3,950, Is This 1984 Isuzu The Perfect Impulse Purchase?
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The exterior is also in great shape. The white paint and mono-block factory alloys being let down only by some fading on the bumper caps and a dent on the lower front facia. Everything else looks good and wow, has this design held up well. I guess designer clothes really do stay fashionable longer than that off-the-rack crap I buy.

Illustration for article titled At $3,950, Is This 1984 Isuzu The Perfect Impulse Purchase?
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As I noted, the mechanicals on the Impulse aren’t all that and a bag of chips. The engine here is a 90 horsepower 2-litre SOHC four, and that’s mated to an Aisin-sourced four-speed automatic. The ponies are fed to a coil-sprung live rear axle. These cars handle like your average old school econobox. The only thing is, they look excellent doing that.

The seller says the car “runs smooth” and sports new tires. Amazingly, there are only 37,000 miles on the clock. That perhaps explains the car’s outstanding appearance. The title is clean and it carries current registration.

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Illustration for article titled At $3,950, Is This 1984 Isuzu The Perfect Impulse Purchase?

Now, before we get into the price, I should probably let you know that I love these cars. This one is just a few miles from me and I have already floated the idea by my wife of my going to look at it. She told me to instead go look at the seven cars clogging our driveway and garage thus nixing the idea. That’s why I’m sharing this with you.

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The asking price is $3,950, and that’s the cheapest of the three cars this seller has on Craigslist right now. The other two are a Porsche 914 (which seems to have sold) and a Mercedes 450SL. Both of those ask $18K, and my wife said no to each of them as well.

Illustration for article titled At $3,950, Is This 1984 Isuzu The Perfect Impulse Purchase?
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You might say yes to the Impulse at that $3,950 price. In fact, that’s just what we’re about to find out. What’s your take on this super-rare and designer-clothed old Isuzu? Does it feel worth that $3,950 asking? Or, at that price is this an Impulse you’re just not feeling?

You decide!

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Los Angeles, CA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to twowheelsev for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.

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DISCUSSION

Seems like a lot of coin for a rather bland and long-forgotten model and brand. Sure, low mileage and good condition, but a forgettable design and not much going on under the hood.

NP at $2500, but at nearly 4 grand, just not seeing it. Reluctant Crack Pipe.