Cohort Classic: Isuzu Florian – Luv At First Sight

(first posted 10/16/2012)    Cohort glen.h has posted a very rare car, a first-generation Isuzu Florian. Named after a fictional white Lipizzaner stallion from the novel “Florian – The Emperor’s Stallion” (the Japanese are well-read), the Florian trotted onto the automotive scene in 1967. I’m not sure who designed it, but I am quite sure Isuzu got some help from one of the Italian design houses; since it was first presented as the Ghia Isuzu 117 at the 1966 Tokyo Auto Show, I’d say it was them. It’s not so apparent in this shot, but the Florian donated its front half to the very popular Isuzu Faster pickup, which was sold here as the Chevy Luv.

It’s a bit easier to see in this shot, although a full profile would be best.

I just happen to have a gen2 Florian in my (bulging) files. Now you can see all that the its Luv child shared.

It also shared the double-cab Faster’s rear doors (this is the only Faster shot I could find). It’s rather apparent that the Florian was designed for trucklike duty from the get-go, which explains its somewhat unusual six-window design and squared-off rear doors. Got to get the most out of that expensive design bill from Ghia!

In the Florian’s case, that Ghia bill was amortized over 16 years, although the design got pretty ugly toward the end due to unchecked Broughamification.