Car Show Classic: 1991 Isuzu Impulse RS- Diesel? No Dude, Turbo!


While people joke about the Curbside Classic “Effect,” I assure you it’s a tangible force of nature, like the tide or atmospheric pressure. Thanks to the effect, readers of Curbside Classic encounter the cars they’ve seen in this blog in their everyday life, no matter how unusual or obscure the car may be. Here’s an official definition of the CC Effect, provided by Tom Klockau in a posting on the CC Effect:

The CC Effect occurs when a rarely-seen Curbside Classic is posted to the site, and then, mere days later, a CC reader, writer or editor stumbles upon the very same make and model.

In my case, the CC Effect does not always deliver the exact twin of a Curbside Classic. Take my experience from yesterday morning- I woke up and read Paul’s write up on a rare Isuzu with an unusual engine. From there, I headed to our local Saturday morning car show and found myself standing in front of different rare Isuzu with an unusual engine. You see? The CC Effect is real, and it took a mere forty minutes to kick in.


Here’s the unusual engine bay of our rare 1991 Isuzu Impulse RS. This platform itself isn’t exactly uncommon in the US, since Geo also sold quite a few of them using the nameplate “Storm.” However, the Isuzu version sold in much smaller numbers, and I don’t recall this performance version at all.

Wikipedia tells me the engine was offered exclusively in 1991. Turbocharged and intercooled, the motor produced 160 HP, and powered all four wheels.


If you squint, you can make out black text listing the technology details below the model name. This seems more familiar, if only because it’s typical for Japanese performance cars of that era.

I’ll be reporting on other cars at the show later this week, but in the meantime, Long Live the Curbside Classic Effect!