The Isuzu Impulse on a budget known to us as the Geo Storm has all but faded from the streets, becoming about as rare as your average 1930s car or a Brodozer driver that’s polite and courteous to everyone surrounding him on the road. Yet here we are, both stuck in traffic on a Monday morning last week.
A product of its age, there are very few cars that shout “Nineties” quite as loudly as this one. It was an Impulse that had been stripped of most of the cool features of the genuine Impulse/Piazza; things like a suspension tuned by Lotus, a 160HP Turbo 1.6L engine, four wheel steering and so on. What was left, along with its smooth curvy body and you end up to a car that one can only describe as “cute”, unless it happens to be the rather rare GSi version. You can almost look at the High School cheerleader driving the yellow example above. Of course all the cheerleaders shopping for a Geo were more tempted by the Wrangler-on-a-budget Tracker, if the ‘90s movies I’ve seen have been accurate.
Still, there actually was one thing that the Storm had over its Japanese-Branded brother. Sales, lots of them. In fact, in what can only been called shooting yourself in the foot, the Storm sold so successfully it may have actually eaten on the Impulse’s sales, dooming it to cease production and killing itself along the way.
There was even a shooting brake version, for those of us that like our cars weird and interesting. It seems that whatever they had in cuteness they might have lost in durability, considering the numbers you see on the road these days. I had even forgot they existed until I saw this battered example creeping up on the next lane that day. The reason of the roof racks will forever be shrouded in mystery. It even took a minute to register what it was and even then unsure about its name until I saw the telltale globe on the rear. Hopefully it’ll live to surprise me another day.