By on January 27, 2015



Paging Jim Yu. Jim Yu to the courtesy telephone. You now have a second chance at the Isuzu Impulse.

The folks at Bring A Trailer have found this mint Isuzu Impulse Turbo. The angular coupe is in excellent condition, but I can’t help but think that getting spare parts must be an absolute nightmare.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

42 Comments on “Crapwagon Outtake: Spare Parts Plz...”

  • avatar

    Are those white mags or hubcaps? Because white mags were the greatest thing about the early 1990s.

  • avatar

    White mags are first, with eyeball-searing fabric patterns a close second. I thought Nissan had mastered this with the 200 SX Turbo, but this Impulse wins handily.

  • avatar

    Parts aren’t too hard to find for these. My buddy got anything he ever needed for his at napa or autozone

  • avatar


  • avatar

    If Cinderella came of age in 1987, the pumpkin would have been turned into this.

  • avatar

    It’s the oddball parts that’ll drive you insane. Like a side view mirror or lower control arm. Stuff that’s unique to this car, but not common wear items. Inside or outside door handles? Good luck!

    But it’d be easier to find another Impulse for a parts car.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Weimer

      Even the windshield wiper – it’s attached to the arm unlike any other car and thus the steel part can never be changed. You must use wiper inserts. This was true 20 years ago when I bought one. It’s probably harder now, since most places don’t even sell just the inserts anymore.

  • avatar

    Control your Impulse to pick up a tasty Piazza.

    I have an issue with the hood cut line not matching in size to the character line at the door. It does not complete the Etch A Sketch look well. But white with white hubs is the correct color combo for this car.

  • avatar

    Maybe the B&B can help me.

    I’ve been trying to find an ’89 Ford Probe GT, equipped not stripped, non-project car for about two years.

    I came ‘ ‘ that close back in November when an 89 garage queen with just 44K miles was listed at a dealer in Buffalo, New York. It sold instantly, so when I called it was already gone – asking price was $4.7K. Never saw it in person but in pictures it was 10 out of 10 ins!de and out, and they stated perfect mechanically. Given how quick it sold I have no reason to doubt. Makes me sad because I’m guessing it ended up in the hands of someone that is going to flog it to pieces.

    I look at one in Portland over the summer, the exterior was darn close to advertised, I would call it 9/10 not the 10/10 in the ad. The interior was a wreck – almost nothing worked and mechanically the car was a massive project car. It was just hemorrhaging oil from a variety of seals. I did drive it for a bit and concluded that the years did not make my Ford Probe ownership experience of my youth a nostalgic thing – the car hauls ass by any definition, is a blast to drive, and handles very well. The guy told me make me an offer, and if I was looking for and had room for a project, I might have made one given the oil leaks can be fixed, the exterior was near perfect, and the interior could be addressed part by part over time.

    I looked at a NA LX in Everett, Washington also. Unfortunately it had an aftermarket sunroof installed either new, or at some point down the road and it started to leak. The repairs around it addressed the leak before it became a big issue, but it was a total hack job. I almost walked at that point but looked further and I found it had the water in the hatch issue and the climate control was non-functional, the stereo upgrade was a hack job, and the list started to grow. So I walked – in part because it wasn’t a GT.

    The Buffalo one depresses me because it feels like it was a unicorn.
    So, if anyone knows of a 1989 Ford Probe GT, equipped, not stripped, non-project car, that hasn’t had a decade of unrepaired water leaks in the rear hatch through the taillights (a common problem) I am very interested. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but I don’t have the room nor the time for a two year restoration project. The other issue in doing a restoration is it would be throwing money into a barrel and burning it; there isn’t much market for used Ford Probes.

    It has to be an ’89 (only first gen Probe without the Satanic motorized seatbelts) and the only model year where the GT was manual only. I would cons!der the NA LX model, but it has to be manual, and it has to be equipped.

    If it’s anywhere in the lower 48, nice enough car, I’ll fly out and drive it back.

    So if anyone knows of a unicorn, I’m interested.

    • 0 avatar

      I feel you on this one, I have been looking for the right example of a ’91 318is for YEARS. And it has to be a no sunroof car, which makes it that much harder. I don’t fit with the roof, which is why I sold the last one I had. Should have had myself shortened instead!

    • 0 avatar

      How about the Probe’s twin. A Mazda MX-6 Turbo 4WS?

      My wife had one of these when we met. Torque steer and quick. The fuel tank was a part of the 4WS structure as I recall.

    • 0 avatar

      Too bad you are looking for a ’89. If a 95 would do, I could help you out. Still can’t actually let it go…

    • 0 avatar

      There was a guy in Georgia who had just what you’re looking for, but he’s run into some legal difficulties…

    • 0 avatar

      Man, my cousin and his dad had 4 first-gen Probes between them. 2 GT and 2 LX. Two eventually became parts cars. All four were red…had them in Binghamton & Liberty NY.

      I _LOVED_ those cars. In fact, those were the first cars I ever rode in that made me go “woah, this is awesome”..even though I was too tall to sit in them (if you’re 5’10″+, don’t bother).

      In fact, it’s those cars that are responsible for me eventually getting an RX-7.

      In the late ’90s, two of the cars became parts cars and finally by 2002 or so they got rid of them. I would love to just sit in one of those things again. They seem to have all fallen apart.

      • 0 avatar

        Had an 88 MX-6 I loved that car! I just fell into seeing and buying it and it was plenty old but held up well. Mine had the normal seat belts and was a no sunroof car which was rare for a GT.

        The probe was stylish but didn’t wear as well over decades as the conservative Mazda, MX had way better seats too. These cars are a good reminder cars that were not loved by the press can still be great rides.

  • avatar

    No ‘Handling by LOTUS’ badges??? No sale. How else would people know the handling comes from Lotus?

  • avatar

    In the Internet era, anything is possible as far as finding parts. You might need a friend who can read Japanese for this one though. But isn’t the Impulse pretty much a Chevette underneath?

    This is one area where the Germans absolutely rule though – parts availability for older cars. You might not like the price, but you can get pretty much anything for an old BMW or MB. Old British cars too, you can just about build a new MG or Triumph from the catalogs. The less popular cars used a lot of the same parts too.

    • 0 avatar

      Just replaced the ugly US 5 mph front bumper over-riders on my 76 Triumph with the much smaller Euro version.

      New reproduction units, about 55 quid a pair.

      Ordered online from Moss Europe on Sunday evening, delivered to my home near Seattle on Wednesday afternoon.

      Anything is possible, and with 3D printing I think it’s only going to get better.

      • 0 avatar

        Thanks for mentioning Moss – turns out they have a sale on today. I ordered 60UKP of bits and bobs for my ’74 Spitfire, and saved enough on rear brake drums vs. US supplier pricing to pay for the shipping! Result.

        Did you get the fiberglass or the plastic underriders? I have the fiberglass, and they are “ok” but one of them cracked after a couple years. The plastic ones are much better, but more expensive.

        • 0 avatar

          The fiberglass ones, will try not to hit anything.

          The plastic ones seem to be hard to find nowadays.

          Removed the extra rear over-bumper and over-riders as well.

          • 0 avatar

            Moss had them tonight. I almost bought a set, but they were 99UKP for the pair.

            Mine just cracked over the winter in storage – I didn’t hit anything. Not that big a deal, still completely usable and not that noticeable, but the plastic ones are a lot better.

            I took the rears off mine too – amazing how heavy that mess is! And I can’t believe it did anything useful in a bump.

          • 0 avatar

            Seems insurance companies lobbied to make 5mph bumpers mandatory and then when the cost of repairs actually increased they lobbied to repeal and change to 2.5 mph versions.

            Only in the USA.

            There a pair of the plastic ones on Ebay for $80 crazy shipping price though.

  • avatar

    I personally would prefer a I-mark Turbo (read: Chevy Spectrum, read: Isuzu Gemini), replete with a “Handling by Lotus” badge :)

  • avatar

    Holy crap, I think GM is still using those tachs and speedos and I think Toyota is still using those stand alone quartz digital clocks.

    On and one other thing – holy panel gap Batman!

  • avatar

    There’s a BHPH lot next to the hotel I’m at in CT. They have another car in the same vain as the Impulse and Geo Storm that screams “90’s Japanese Car”.

    And that car is a 1992 Nissan NX (EXA elsewhere). It’s black, has a 5 spd, has T-Tops but is only the 1.6 liter 1600, not the NX2000. The NX2000 was basically identical to the Sentra SE-R but with swoopy, ovoid styling. The 1600 was it’s less powerful and less capable sibling.

    It only has 104k on it and listed at $1500. I am so damn tempted to make an offer for the weirdness/rarity/simplicity of this car. There are none on Ebay, none on Autotrader and nowhere else on the interwebs(in the US). But I don’t have room or really a need for it.

    If anyone is interested:

    They also have two Brick Volvos, one sedan and one wagon with about 180k but in decent shape.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I never tire of a narrow snout on a car. The Chrysler 300 is the opposite of this effect, and I just can’t like it.

    As for this beautiful Isuzu, a few Pittsburgh winters would kill it – which is why I haven’t seen one of these around here since the 20th century.

  • avatar

    Always like the Impulse, this would be hard to say no to. Let’s see, so far we have this, the Adam, and the Mini Minor. Is Tuesday hatchback day at TTAC? I approve.

  • avatar

    The had a great marketing line back in the day

    Isuzu Impulse
    Step on it and it will scream

  • avatar

    Buddy has a 91 impulse rs very cool car but parts impossible to find for it.

  • avatar

    My friend in college had one of these back in 2010-11. I think he recently sold it, but he had the thing for years before I met him. I always found it to be an intriguing if not charmingly retro-futuristic car from the “Battlestar Galactica” era. He called the “Batmobile”, given it’s odd alien shape and fading black paint. It was in pretty good shape overall with no rust, one of the benefits of living in the PNW. One thing he did have to say about it whenever someone asked was that he has never seen another one and that the only thing he knew was that it had “handling by Lotus”. It’s fortunate that it was a pretty reliable car, I don’t think he realized how overwhelmingly rare of a vehicle it was at the time. Neither did I to be honest, for I was not a member of the blogosphere of internet carluminati at that point. Little did I realize that the guy I played D&D with owned the holy grail of oddball Japanese cars. If only he knew about the nerd boners that machine must have incited among avid followers of “Curbside Classic”. I should track him down and see if they will let him do a “Cars of a Lifetime” on it over on CC, I’d be curious to ask him about his ownership experience with it.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • bufguy: I’ve oiwned numeros VW’s over the years…an 80 Scirocco, 86 GTI, 88 GTI 16V, 90 Corrado, 93...
  • Inside Looking Out: Those new generations shall not not bother to follow us. All they need is love, all they get is...
  • Inside Looking Out: Very convenient indeed. If you need to kill someone you can do it now remotely. Car bombs will be...
  • oldskooltoy: So the pic of the gauge cluster shows almost half a tank of fuel…. I believe here in Florida they drain...
  • ttacgreg: Just go to Consumers Reports, and Tire Rack crowd source ratings. One methodological the other one...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber