When I first found, shot and wrote up this Isuzu I-Mark diesel some five years ago, I was pretty thrilled. How many of these can be left in the world, still being used as a daily driver? Well, I keep seeing it, or I should say hearing it, as its clattering usually precedes making an impact on the senses before seeing it. Of course, if you have keen olfactory organs, you might smell it first.
Despite the missing rear and side windows, this I-Mark is still going, and when I ran into it at the local corner fueling station where it was getting its fill of biodiesel, I peeled off a couple of shots. One of these days, it has to croak, right?
What a pile, bless its heart.
There was a considerably better-kept example that I saw multiple times in the client parking of the veterinary hospital at NC State University. Surprised the heck out of me, too, as I hadn’t seen one in a long time, and the sedans were always more common than these fastback-ish coupes. Last sighting was in 2012, but considering I moved out of state four months later, that doesn’t mean much. It might still be clattering along, too.
Good-looking machines (in an 80’s way) when not clapped out, easily my favorte T-car variant.
“Hi. I’m Joe Isuzu.”
Don’t forget its Opel Kadett beginnings
The Opel Kadett C was never available with a diesel though. But then again, you’ll never find a 1982 Kadett C, as the Kadett D was introduced in 1979.
Not sure if it will ever croak…It IS an Isuzu, and based on my Chevy LUV experience….
We may not all be around when it croaks. An old guy across the street from me in my urban days drove one of these. Every morning it made it to the gold course. Over a 10 year period I know of no problems. He’s probably dead or past driving by now but if he isn’t I bet I know what he’s driving.
The true automotive equivalent of a cockroach — icky and hard to kill. Talk about a penalty box: slow, smelly, homely and cheap in and out. How many of these diesel versions were left to die in a running state years ago simply because no one wanted to drive them anymore?
I haven’t seen these in ages.
I hadn’t thought of it in this context before…. Isuzu’s first American attempt was also a diesel. The Bellel was probably the first Japanese car officially sold outside of California. A farm equipment dealer in Fairview, Okla decided to import the Bellel around 1965, probably thinking that farmers had their own diesel storage tanks for tractors, and knew how to work on diesels. Several Bellels were still clattering around that part of Okla in the mid-70s.
(I always thought Bellel was Engrish for Belair, but Wiki says that it was “Bell plus roman numeral L for 50 = 50 Bells”. Seems unlikely!)
Do you mean the Isuzu Bellet we had those here but not in diesel petrol only few left if any I havent seen a Bellet in ages.
Bellel and Bellett were two separate models, they bracketed the Hillman Minx – ever heard of those? 🙂 – in size. The Bellel was replaced by the Florian (car that the Faster/KB/LUV pickup was based on), the Bellett by the Gemini / Buick-Opel / I-mark.
Bellettes were a good looking car,but I remember as a boy seeing a friend of my father’s new Florian.Think I read that the Florian body was originally designed to become a 4 door Alfa Romeo sedan.
Isuzu built Hillmans under licence untill the 3a model.
yes,it was styled by Bertone.Strip away the ornamentation and it is a pure shape.
No, the Isuzus were not styled by Bertone, despite what ‘Australiaforeveryone’ states. When Giorgetto Giugiaro left Bertone, he worked at Ghia and one of the first cars he shaped was the Isuzu 117 coupe. He may have also had a hand in the Florian.
The 1966 Mazda Luce has often been rumoured as a rejected Alfa. Maybe, maybe not. I’ve got a story coming up that looks into it.
And the 117 Coupe is a real beauty, specially in its early iterations.
I saw a Bellel parked in Vancouver, B.C., at some point in the last 20 or so years.
I do wonder how the windows got broken and I do wonder if the owner(s) care about maintaining their vehicle or are just playing the “fun” game of seeing when it will die? Takes some skill to put a dent right behind the driver’s side door.
So whats worth stealing should some one break into the car. The pine tree mirror air freshener?
Never seen one of these in person before, basically a chevette with a trunk.
Not a good choice to drive if you want to go unnoticed!
They’re slowly dying off here, then again, most of the living are doing taxi duty. Not exactly good for longevity
Speaking of things that just won’t die…that old yellow F100 in the first shot looks mighty familiar.
These Isuzu were over here with Isuzu/Holden badges ironically alongside Vauxhall Chevettes in some showrooms neither car was particularly good but the Vauxhall versions did have a hotrod model where as the Isuzu didnt but did offer a diesel.
Seems pretty solid (no rust). I don’t think it’s going to croak any time soon.
Could they be using Chevette parts to keep this going? IMO the “Chevette” or GM “T” car is my generation’s Austin Seven!
No matter how much you wish it would die, it just won’t. The Isuzu I-Mark diesel is the Zombie of cars.
Think of how much better the fuel MPG is now that they have gotten rid of the extra weight of all that heavy glass. It’s an upgrade to improve performance and efficiency. That was the goal of whoever kicked in the body panels and smashed the windows.
We never got the 2 door version in Australia with the diesel, but the sedan with the same driveline which can only be described as bulletproof!! I have seen 4 with over 1 million km’s on the clock.
I have several diesel models, as they were simply one of the most reliable and fuel efficient vehicles ever made!!