The blocks around the campus used to be reliably good CC hunting grounds. Not so much anymore; it’s mostly a sea of late model Asian brand sedans and CUVs. But one day this fall, I scored a two-fer. I already wrote up the ’64 Falcon in the background. So let’s take a look at the foreground: a Geo Spectrum, otherwise known as an Isuzu I-Mark, Gemini, Pontiac Sunburst (in Canada) and possibly other names elsewhere.
I hate to say it, but this might be the last one left in town still active on the streets.
I shot this yellow on back in 2015, but I haven’t seen it lately. Now I just need to find a red one.
Jim Cavanaugh did a full CC on the I-Mark version, and it didn’t get a whole lot of love from him. “Another Household Appliance” is what he called it. Hard to argue with that, but then they were pretty tough little appliances, and for some folks, that fit the bill for what they were looking for.
And Willam Stopford did another take, focusing more on its development, history and the Holden version.
The original styling was by Giugiaro, but apparently the mothership GM messed with his design, and was so incensed that he broke off his relationship with Isuzu and denied for a decade that he had anyhting to do with it. Well, it’s got his hands all over it, even if there was a bit of after-the-fact dilution.
The original version still had sealed beams in the US, but the ’89 restyle brought in a smoother if even more generic front end. For that matter, this was a pretty generic car all-round.
That includes the interior, although it did have that decidedly Isuzu instrument panel. With 70 hp on tap from its 1.5 L SOHC four, its performance was generic too, especially when teamed with the three speed automatic.
But it’s still getting someone around, and cheaply. Which was why someone bought it thirty years ago. Mission accomplished.