For $16,500, This 1979 Isuzu 117-XG Could Make You An Irregular Joe

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

While Joe Isuzu used to prevaricate in order to sell Isuzus that was only because he didn’t have cars like today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 117-XG to hawk. This one is as rare as it is pretty, but will it’s price still prove a deal, and that’s no lie?

Three-quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered in water. It’s true, I looked it up. That is the likely reason why last Friday’s Spanish built 1986 Land Rover 109 Santana suffer a 60% Crack Pipe loss. I mean, come on it’s only a “land” rover? Pfffft!


You could scour all of the land and the sea, as well as have your head in the clouds, and possibly never find an Isuzu like today’s 1979 117-XG. Only about 86,000 of the Giugiaro-designed coupes were ever built, and exactly none of those ever officially made their way to the United States.

That’s a shame because these cars were pretty special. They represent one of the first collaborations between a Japanese car maker and Giugiaro, as well as one of the first Japanese production cars to rock a DOHC engine, and fuel injection. There was also a crazy diesel-powered edition, expectedly dubbed the “XD.”

This one apparently sports the 1,817-cc G180W gas four cylinder. That’s a mill with a DOHC head and Bosch-licensed L-Jetronic fuel injection which together helped it produce 128-bhp. Here that’s backed up by a five-speed stick and the rear wheels do the talking, as they should.


In fact, the chassis here should seem familiar as it’s a derivation of that of the Isuzu Florian which lent some parts to the Chevy LUV pickup truck. Yep, the LUV.


Rectangular headlamps identify this as one of the later cars—these were in total built from 1968 through ’81—which takes away some of the sweet style from the Giugiaro design, but it’s style obviously Italianate. Period correct fender mirrors are still intact, impeding underhood work and perhaps requiring you get new glasses for their use.


The rest of the body—in factory white—is straight and all there, right down to the wheels which you will note look like the progenitors of those that would be offered with the 117’s successor, the Piazza.

The interior is almost as equally well preserved, with sadly a crack in the dash detracting from the whole time machine aesthetic. It’s also right-hand drive, a boon if you happen to love odd-ball old Japanese cars and also happen to work as a postal carrier.


The car is described as being in “excellent running” condition, with a smooth-shifting transmission. The only black mark on its current report card is seemingly a leaky A/C system killing the environment by setting its freon free.


What would you pay for so rare and lovely a car? The asking price is $16,500, and that’s with a clean title and Michigan plates. It should be noted that the car was offered back in February at the same price.

Was there something funky that prevented its sale then? Is that price too high? Is 117-XG just too weird a name? All good questions, and I’m sure you’ll all have an answer to at least one of them. What’s your take on this Isuzu and that $16,500 price? Is that a deal for this rare and significant coupe? Or, is that a price that even Joe would have a hard time making look good?


You decide!


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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.