At $1,400, Could This 1995 Isuzu SUV Be Your First Rodeo?

Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

While often seen as quintessentially a part of the U.S. of A., the rodeo is in fact a sport more commonly associated with Spain or Central and South America. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Rodeo is of U.S. origin, but it comes with a price that might prove a bargain no matter where it might be.

As was so plainly pointed out by mkbruin, Atlas VP in the comments, the only thing extreme about yesterday’s 2003 Chevy Blazer Xtreme was its extremely poor crash test performance.


Okay, we get it, it’s a potential death trap. Once you get past that minor foible however, what you had was… well, not much to recommend. As the rest of you savvy shoppers pointed out, the reason car makers stopped producing two-doors like the Blazer was because they weren’t very good at doing anything more than looking a little cooler than their four door siblings. At $4,500, looking cool wasn’t enough to recommend yesterday’s Xtreme and it fell in a modest but damning 53 percent Crack pipe loss.

Okay, so a two-door SUV isn’t many people’s cup of T-bone. What however, about a seemingly solid old four-door? Before you answer, we’ll sweeten the deal by making it both V6-powered and five-speed equipped.

Here we have a 1995 Isuzu Rodeo, named for the classic bovine-related ring tourney that isn’t bullfighting. The Rodeo’s two-door contemporary and platform mate was cleverly named the ‘Amigo.” The Rodeo debuted in the U.S. market for the 1990 model year, joining the two-door Amigo that had arrived the year prior.


It was sold here through two generations until the 2004 model year at which time Isuzu pulled out of the U.S. consumer car market entirely. The first generation was for a time rebadged by Honda and sold as the Passport.

If that wasn’t enough cross-brand shenanigans, both models were built in Lafayette, Indiana at a plant shared with Subaru. Today that plant just builds Subarus.


The seller of this Rodeo claims in the ad’s headline that it’s an Oklahoma Isuzu, however both that ad and the truck’s license plates indicate that it’s presently calling New York its home (cue old Pace Picante commercial bon mot - “New York City?!


Despite its northeastern locale, the truck is claimed to be appreciably rust free and does present as such, at least as related to the visible parts. The paint looks to have given up the ghost when it comes to staying shiny, but at least it’s uniform. Maybe the old hotrodder’s trick of wiping it down with kerosene would spiff it up a bit? The wheels are factory alloys painted black and wrapped in fat meats. A pair of studded winter tires come with the truck as well.


A plastic bug deflector bridges the headlights up front, while in back, there’s a modern art show going on in the windows by way of some delaminating tint.

We don’t get to see much of the interior but what we do glimpse gives evidence that you’re not going to need a hazmat suit to drive the thing. Manual windows and transmission will give you plenty to do while you’re in there as well.


The drivetrain is comprised of Isuzu’s 6VD1 V6. That’s a 3.2-litre all-aluminum engine with an odd 75° angle between the banks. The only other 75° V6 I can think of is the one in the old NSX. Here the SOHC mill produced 175 horsepower and 188 lb-ft of twist. That power gets routed through the five-speed and ends up at the rear wheels, this being a 2WD Rodeo.


The seller says the truck ‘runs and drives great’ as they inevitably all do. That being said, there’s 206,000 miles under its belt which is laudable for anything not actually falling apart before your eyes. The title is clean, and with winter approaching this may be a good candidate for inclement weather beater duty. That’s just as long as the 2WD and studly tires will suffice.


Of course, a winter beater needs to be cheap, and that means its $1,400 price is also in this Isuzu’s favor. In the minus column, you could buy a number of similarly spec’d trucks from manufacturers that are still doing business in this country. That would certainly make parts and service a good bit easier.

Aww, but what’s the fun in that? After all, aren’t we all bootstrap-pulling he-men and she-women who don’t let a little thing like an orphan status get in our way? I thought as much.


With all that in mind—both pros and cons—what’s your take on this New York Rodeo and that $1,400 price? Is that low enough that you might consider giving the Isuzu a ride? Or, is this truck just too old and odd to take into the ring?

You decide!


Buffalo, NY Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to LandyYachty for the hookup!

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About the author

Rob Emslie

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