Two-door SUVs like today’s Nice Price or No Dice Trooper used to be a hot ticket. That’s not the case anymore, as four-doors dominate the market. That just makes this Isuzu all the more interesting. We’ll have to see how interested you are in what that special appeal would cost.
Yesterday may have been “hump day” but the only downward slide we saw was in the voting in the 1991 Alfa Romeo 164 S that came under our scrutiny. The 164 may have been the last model the company sold in the U.S. before a long break, but at $8,500 few of you welcomed Wednesday’s car to the party. That meant a 63 percent No Dice loss, a sad end to a seemingly sweet car.
Hey, a show of hands — who knows who Joe Isuzu was? Yeah, that’s what I thought. The actor David Leisure first took on the role of the namesake car huckster for Isuzu’s TV and print ads all the way back in 1986. By ’88 he was dressing in drag as Joanne Isuzu to sell the company’s line of stout SUVs, the Trooper II.
David Leisure is still around and still falls back into the Joe Isuzu character from time to time. Here in the U.S., however, Isuzu the car brand has long been put out to pasture.
Joanne Isuzu would most likely love this 1986 Isuzu Trooper II. It’s a rare long-wheelbase two-door edition, and it comes with a style that shamelessly apes that of the original Range Rover. The Trooper one-ups the British off-roader, though, by eschewing a split tailgate with an asymmetric door design. This would become the Trooper’s most iconic design element and would carry through to the second generation and on all the badge-engineered (Acura SLX, Opel Monterey, Holden Jackaroo, et al) editions. In a nice touch, the doors are oriented for left-hand drive markets.
The ad for this Gold Metallic-over-beige Trooper says it comes with just 113,000 miles on the clock. It also claims the truck to be rust-free and in excellent condition. It’s a one-owner California truck and looks to be mostly original, with just a few notable exceptions.
The most obvious of those is the replacement of the rear bumper with a twin-tube aftermarket unit. The front bumper remains stock and is a bit wonky, giving the round-headlamp nose a bit of an off-kilter smile. Chrome covers adorn the rocker panels and look about as tacky as such things can.
Inside, however, things look impressively tidy. The cloth and vinyl upholstery appears clean and with little to no sign of wear. The boot area in the back looks like it’s never seen any use at all. Big sliding windows in the back, paired with wing vents in the doors, give the Trooper lots of airflow. When the temps get to the point that closing those down makes sense, there’s also functioning air-conditioning.
On the downside, the center console lid looks to have been drilled through to mount some sort of device — CD audio or compass, perhaps — and that will be a tough part to replace.
Power here is provided by Isuzu’s 2.3-litre SOHC four. That’s a 109 horsepower mill, and if you think that may prove inadequate for moving so big a box, just keep in mind that even with 4WD this Trooper tips the scales at just 3,400 pounds or so.
A five-speed stick lets you row your way through those ponies and is paired with a two-speed transfer case. The ad notes no mechanical issues at all on the truck, and the engine bay looks as clean as can be.
The title is just as clean as that engine and you get an equally problem-free Carfax with the Trooper’s purchase. That purchase will set you back a cool $11,500. The seller claims that East Coasters seek out rust-free examples like this and threatens to put the truck on Bring a Trailer to reach that broader audience should no one jump on the Craigslist ad.
We’ll need to help out here and vote on whether that $11,500 price feels like a fair deal for this classic truck. What do you think, could this Isuzu command that kind of cash? Or, does that price make this a less than super Trooper?
H/T to RevUnlimiter for the hookup!
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