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.

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  • 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!

  • JMII This is why I don't watch NASCAR, it just a crash fest. Normally due the nature of open-wheel cars you don't see such risky behavior during Indy car events. You can't trade paint and bump draft with an Indy car. I thought it was a sad ending for a 500. While everyone wants a green flag finish at some point (3 laps? 5 laps?) red flagging it is just tempting people too much like a reset button in a game.The overall problem is the 500 is not a "normal" race. Many one-off competitors enter it and for almost every driver they are willing to throw away the entire season championship just to win the "500". It sure pays way more then winning the championship. This would be like making a regular season NFL game worth more then the Super Bowl. This encourages risky behavior.I am not sure what the fix is, but Indy's restart procedures have been a mess for years. If I was in charge the rule would be pit speed limiter until the green flag drops at a certain place on the track - like NASCARs restart "zone". Currently the leader can pace the field however they wish and accelerate whenever they choose. This leads to multiple false and jumped starts with no penalty for the behavior. Officals rarely wave off such restarts, but that did happened once on Sunday so they tried to make driver behave. The situation almost didn't happen as there were two strategies in the end with some conserving fuel and running old tires, driving slower with others racing ahead. However the last caution put everyone on even terms so nobody had advantage. It always gets crazy in the last few laps but bunching up the field with a yellow or red flag is just asking for trouble.
  • Tim Healey Lol it's simply that VWVortex is fertile ground for interesting used cars!
  • Jalop1991 I say, install gun racks.Let the games begin!
  • EBFlex For those keeping track, Ford is up to 24 recalls this year and is still leading the industry. But hey, they just build some Super Dutys that are error free. Ford even sent out a self congratulatory press release saying they built Super Duty’s with zero defects. What an accomplishment!
  • Norman Stansfield This is what you get when you run races to keep the cars bunched together for more excitement. F1 doesn't seem to have this problem after the first few laps.