1989 Isuzu Impulse Turbo

This is a collector car in the making that nobody is watching, so there are ample chances to snatch one up for relatively cheap now.

Few were made, fewer were sold, and even fewer survive today. But the car's credentials, history and design are impressive and intriguing. It was conceived and engineered by Isuzu, designed by the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro and tuned by Lotus. How many cars boast all that? None that I know of.

The Impulse was known as the Piazza outside North America and was produced from 1981-1990, but only sold here from 1983 onward.

Underneath the sleek two-box styling is a 4ZC1 turbocharged, inter-cooled 4-cylinder engine that powered the rear wheels. The seller of this example says it has a 5-speed manual transmission, cloth interior, sunroof and a "technics" radio. Cosmetically it seems to be missing a front grille and the clear coat is fading. Mechanically, they say the driver's side window and power steering pump have issues, but those could be easy do-it-yourself fixes for the knowledgeable.

In a few years there will be a real appetite for the Impulse. Their pedigree speaks volumes, and numbers of survivors have dwindled. On top of that, the rear-wheel setup and turbo boost also make them fun drivers, so they are usable and practical too.

Available here on craigslist in Des Moines, Iowa for $3,500 or best offer.