Straight out of the late-Disco era, this exhaustively coastal-aged example of GM’s early efforts in “badge engineering”—taking vehicles virtually completely manufactured by another entity (in this case ISUZU) and fitting them with their own (in this case Chevrolet) emblems—is truly a miracle survivor, on so many levels.
Firstly, there’s the obvious: extensive and serious visible rust; which at some point is going to play havoc with basic and necessary functions, such as electrical system operation (can you say “bad ground”?).
Secondly, that this is a California vehicle residing in an “enhanced emissions area” (read : subject to biennial dyno-style emissions testing), compounded by the fact that critical emissions system parts—let alone those needed for routine maintenance—are no doubt virtually non-existent in any form at this point in time.
The decay also impairs important structural functions (like body components remaining intact).
This unit is still sporting “Winston” brand tires (the late Sam Winston has been gone from the tire sales scene for a decade now), a plethora of stickers presumably holding the back window in position, and Hula Girl on the dash (driver no doubt acknowledging with ingenious cavalier resignation that efforts to employ St. Cristopher have been respectfully declined).
Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on TTAC). Contact him through www.linkedin.com. Written and photographed by Phil Coconis / All Rights Reserved / Use by Permission Only.