1-Owner 1989 Isuzu Impulse Turbo
The Impulse was rated "extinct" by Hagerty Classic Car Insurance two summers ago, based on having no examples insured. That's a shame. The Impulse is a really cool car. And if there were very few left in 2011, you can bet there are even less now, as owners desperate for cash in the global recession just end up junking them.
In the 80s, the Isuzu lineup wasn't yet whittled down to cute-utes and econoboxes (in fact today, it's just two ugly General Motors-based trucks). There was actually depth and range. It included the utilitarian P'up, Trooper, compact I-Mark, and the sporty Impulse, known as the Piazza outside North America.
There are several notable aspects of the Impulse, the first being the deliciously sleek body by none other than Giorgetto Giugiaro. In the 70s and 80s, Giugiaro was THE go-to auto designer for-hire, lending his touch with several groundbreaking designs for major auto manufacturers like Lotus and Volkswagen. For Isuzu, he created a classic two-box shape with several of his trademark cues: long, flat hood, small narrow headlights and sloped rear. With the Impulse, he manages to make it look both fresh and classic. You just don't see these kind of taught and controlled lines and proportions anymore.
The Impulse was produced from 1980-1990, but only sold here from 1983 onward. In 1988 it received special "handling by Lotus" tuned suspensions with new sway bars, stiffer dampers and new spring rates. The engines were all 4-cylinders, but were offered either normally aspirated or turbocharged. Perhaps best of all, power was directed to the rear wheels.
This particular example is a later '89 Turbo and looks perfect in gunmetal grey, with body-colored trim and spoiler. Note the hyper-extended rear windshield wiper. Although it's mated to an automatic transmission, the seller says it has a rebuilt engine, head, and turbo, and has only 29k miles since the rebuild. Cosmetically, they say the body is in good shape. Other than rust and accident history, this puppy could be good to go. Italian styling, British tuning, Japanese engineering.
Available here on craigslist in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for $2,500.