After some success with General Motors’ small Faster pickups marked in North America as Chevrolet LUVs (plus some Chevette-related Geminis labeled “Buick/Opel by Isuzu”, which confused everyone), Isuzu began Selling cars 80’s here under their own name. At first we only had I-Mark subcompact and P’up pickups. Then the Trooper SUV came along in 1984, and Isuzu entered the suburban commuter truck game in a big way. For the 1989 model year, the small Amigo three-door convertible SUV hit our shores. Here’s an early truck that was recently found at a self-service yard in the San Francisco Bay Area in excellent condition.

Once Isuzu built a version with five doors and a solid roof, giving it the Rodeo badge in the process, the Amigo became more of an afterthought in the North American Isuzu world. Amigo sales stopped here after 1995, then resumed in 1998-2000 (then the three-door became the Rodeo Sport, then disappeared in 2003).

Beginning in 1996, Isuzu swapped out its pickups associated with the Amigo platform for a rebadged Chevrolet S-10, known as the Hombre.That means Spanish-speaking Isuzu shoppers are likely to be very interested in buying a friend or man. The Isuzu Corporation itself is named after a river in Mie Prefecture.

With the 1989 Suzuki Sidekick/Geo Tracker, the Suzuki Samurai kicked off the “cute-ute” craze for the 1986 model year. Around the same time, obnoxious pastel colors and squiggly graphics became fashionable. This – and other unfortunate 1980s fashion – continued into the 1990s (One man’s “annoyance” and “unhappiness” is another man’s “pleasure” – Ed).

this odometer cannot That’s right! I suspect the speedometer cable is bad.

The engine is a 2.6-liter inline-four rated at 119 horsepower.

Unlike Honda’s VTEC variable cam timing system, which debuted on the 1989 Honda Integra, Isuzu’s I-TEC name simply stands for Electronic Fuel Injection.

The only transmission on the Amigo in previous years was a five-speed manual, and this truck has it too. This three-pedal setup limited the Amigo’s appeal to a small percentage of American drivers willing to use the clutch. An optional automatic was introduced in 1992. You can get the Amigo with four-wheel drive, but it’s a cheaper rear-wheel-drive version.

This interior looks good, maybe this Amigo really done Get 57,000+ junk on the odometer. Checking the California BAR’s smog inspection history for the vehicle (by inserting the VIN), I see that the last time it had and passed a smog inspection was in 2010. Maybe something broke at 18 and it sat in the garage until its last owner finally gave it away.

That’s too bad, because this little truck would be a hit in Radwood.

This ad was made for the second-generation Amigo, but it’s a must-see because it pays homage to the old Slinky ad.

Because elsewhere in the sprawling GM empire in the 1990s, nearly all Isuzus (and Daewoos and Suzukis) were sold under a different name, an advertisement for the German-market Opel Frontera.

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