CC Capsule: 1989 Isuzu Amigo – “Hey Hombre, We’ve Created A Monster”

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(first posted 4/12/2013)   I knew there must have been a reason why I had a marked impulse to shoot this Amigo the other day – for Isuzu Spanish Names Day.

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So what was this monster that the “mentally warped Isuzu engineers” created by “attempting to fuse a sports car with a truck”? (note use of the word “attempted”).  Well, at the time, it was something a wee bit different, since the closest thing like it was the substantially smaller Geo Tracker (Suzuki Sidekick). Compact but trucky 4x4s were coming into their own little hot fad, and the Amigo was there to spur it on.

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Quite obviously, the Amigo is just a shortened and shorn Rodeo, whose depths we plumbed just the other day. But somewhat oddly, the Amigo arrived first, perhaps to set up the Rodeo before the Hombres arrived.

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Most Amigos sported bold and gaudy striping and other appliques. The stripes on this one are almost invisible now, but the little pinkish one on the gas cap is a reminder of times when this Amigo was young and frisky.

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Safe from the sun’s rays, the interior has aged better. The Amigo was powered by the same 2.3 L Isuzu four, and it was best to have it backed by the slick-shifting five speed, as all Isuzu trucks tended to be a bit heavier than average, and needed plenty caning to keep them traffic-friendly.

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This one is looking a bit less cheerful than average; having lost the color in its bold striping and sporting an uncharacteristic black/white theme. Who needs a somber friend?