Possibly the Greatest Badge Engineering Feat In History: Isuzu Statesman Deville!

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
possibly the greatest badge engineering feat in history isuzu statesman deville

Last week, I had never heard of the Isuzu Statesman Deville. Then, my fellow LeMons Supreme Court Justice suggested that I do a quick internet search for the name of this fine Detroito-Australo-Japanese luxury sedan… and my life changed forever.

Dave at Bellett.net (a site devoted to the strangely non-Opel-based Isuzu Bellett) has written up what I believe to be the definitive history of the Statesman Deville, and I suggest that you read every word.

The Isuzu Statesman Deville was essentially a rebadged Statesman HQ Deville (Statesman was a separate GM-Australia marque, being to Holden as Eunos was to Mazda), complete with vaguely Cadillac-ish emblems and the look of an alternate-universe ’70 Chevy Impala. Now, I’d have gone for the Toyota Century over this car, were I a wealthy Japanese car shopper in the early 1970s… but it would have been a tough decision. Let us now bask in the healing rays of this fine example of Pointless Yet Amazing Badge Engineering, brought to us by The General.

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  • Outback_ute Outback_ute on Feb 12, 2012

    "the strangely non-Opel-based Isuzu Bellett" Isuzu built cars for roughly 20 years before the GM tie-up. Worthy of note in the linked forum post is that they sold 246 of these in 3 years, less than the 799 Mazda Roadpacers!

  • Bellett64 Bellett64 on Apr 10, 2014

    It's only been two years, but I just chanced upon this post. Flattered you say my Bellett.net post on the Isuzu Statesman Deville is the definitive history. If only it was! It would then reveal why the ferk this car even existed! We had a forum member, however briefly, who slammed us with sage information with every post he put down, but joined, sprinkled us with some 19 posts, then left never to return. In those posts, he revealed more about the cars we're passionate about than us non-Japanese-speakers have ever put together, including that there were some 246 Isuzu Statesman Devilles delivered between 1973 and 1976, which is weird as the HQ-series ended in 1974. Perhaps they had a few left over. I still have never seen a picture of one; the Roadpacer does show up from time to time in Japanese auctions, but the Isuzu Statesman is still a unicorn. Thanks for all the comments, however off-topic they got. Cheers, Dave

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