AMA About My Isuzu Impulse Ownership Experience

Jim Yu
by Jim Yu
ama about my isuzu impulse ownership experience

My first car was rarer than a Ferrari. Honest.

Back in 1990, upon turning 16, I bought a 1984 Isuzu Impulse Special Edition. It was exactly like the car pictured above. Yes, it had gold rims. Isuzu sold only 3,000 Special Edition Impulses in 1984. Hence, the rarity.

Truth be told, when I bought the Impulse, I thought it was fugly. I particularly didn’t like the rear end. My dream cars back then were the 1967 Camaro, 1978 Firebird, and the new Camaro RS. But my mom forbade me from buying a dangerous and obnoxious V8. So I ended up with the Impulse. Make the jump to find out more about my Impulse and ask me anything about my ownership experience.

The 1984 was an early model. A turbocharger was not available, so my engine barely had 90 horsepower. And forget about “Handling By Lotus”, which was still a few years away from becoming reality.

Nevertheless, it was still fun to drive. It was rear wheel drive and relatively lightweight. It came with power everything, and even an aftermarket sunroof. The instrument cluster pods were wacky squared.

Plus, a stock graphics equalizer!

What questions do you have?

For a great read, I highly recommend In Search of the Holden Piazza. It’s about two friends who drive all over Australia looking for the few remaining Holden Piazzas (what Isuzu Impulses were called there) left in the country.

Photo credit: Interior shots from eBay ad featured in Bring a Trailer. More interior shots from that car can be found on my blog.

Join the conversation
2 of 56 comments
  • Mr_min Mr_min on Oct 05, 2014

    Aah the Impulse/Piazza, what a dud they were in Australia, over priced, and if I recall correctly the stability of the early cars under heavy braking was, to put it mildly, atrocious. Something to do with rear axle causing severe brake hop, so that hard barking in a straight line could result in the car doing a 180 spin. I remember seeing a fantastic photo of the skid marks hopping and then pirouetting in a magazine at the time. Aah found a link, it was smashed by the media and became a joke in Australia.

  • EAF EAF on Dec 03, 2014

    Nostalgia! Mine was an '87 that I purchased in '96 for $500 w/140k on the odo. I had it for less than a season because it was not very reliable and did terrible in NYC winter. Turbocharged, intercooled, LSD, seats by Recaro, I did not have the Lotus handling badge but it did have some pretty cool factory applied "4ZC1" decals. Thanks for the article/memories!

  • Sgeffe Why on Earth can’t you just get the torque specs and do it yourself if you’re so-inclined?!
  • Sgeffe As was stated in another comment, the FAA nominee went down in flames. But the NTSB chairwoman certainly didn’t, and she’s certainly not qualified either!Lots of this kind of stuff going on both sides of the aisle—Ben Carson would have arguably made a better Surgeon General than HUD Secretary under Trump, for example.
  • Art Vandelay Interesting, the Polestar 2 I had as a rental utilized Android Automotive which is what GM said it is going to exclusively, yet it still offers Apple CarPlay according to this. Wonder if GM will do the same.
  • Stuart de Baker EVs just aren't ready for prime time for those with a single car and who take road trips. Being able to charge as soon as you arrive at a charging station, and even the chargers working on your car is a crapshoot. In the former case, you could have to wait for nearly an hour while someone else is charging.I also don't find EVs particularly fun to drive (I've driven a Tesla Model S and an Ionic 5.) I LOVE driving my '08 Civic (stick). I love the handling, the feel and responsiveness of the engine, the precise steering (the Michelin Pilot Ultra Sport tires help, but even with the snows on, the car is a joy). I have 152k on the clock, and hopefully another 25 years or so of driving (I was born early in the Eisenhower Administration and I have exceptionally healthy habits), and I'm going to try to keep the Civic for the duration.My Civic causes a less global warming emissions than some of these humongous battery operated trucks.
  • FreedMike They should throw in a Lordstown pickup with every purchase. Make it the “vapor twofer.”