Junkyard Find: 1993 Isuzu Amigo

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1993 isuzu amigo
The family tree of the Isuzu Faster pickup, best known in North America as the Chevrolet LUV, developed a thick branch of models that included some decent-selling SUVs. The two-door Amigo was the first of these to hit our shores.Here’s a high-mile example spotted in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service wrecking yard.
This Amigo is a rear-wheel-drive model with five-speed manual and air conditioning. Its California smog-check records show passed biennial emissions tests going back to the middle 1990s, so it appears to have been a reliable commuter machine, racking up more than 10,000 Golden State highway miles each year.
The Amigo’s four-door big brother, the Rodeo, could be had with a GM 3.1-liter V6 in 1993, but Amigo drivers had to accept the 119-horse, 2.6-liter straight-four.
It’s vaguely outdoorsy-looking, but it’s likely nearly all of its miles were spent in stop-and-go traffic on the deteriorating tarmac of California’s roads. Part of the reason for the death of the manual transmission in the American market is the preference for as little left-leg activity as possible during an 11-mile/90-minute commute, but the driver(s) of this car lived with the five-speed. In any case, the Amigo had a sportier image than, say, a 1993 Honda Del Sol, and perhaps that eased the pain of those hundreds of thousands of 0.75 mph clutch applications.
The interior and cloth top are in pretty good condition, indicating that this Amigo’s owner or owners garaged it for most of its life. I didn’t see any major crash damage, so an expensive mechanical failure is the likely culprit that doomed this truck.
The first-generation Amigo was sold in the United States for the 1989 through 1995 model years (it returned in 1998), and this retro commercial riffs on the brain-scrambling Slinky ads of two decades earlier.
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  • NoGoYo NoGoYo on Dec 19, 2017

    A 2.6 liter 4 with 119 horsepower in a vehicle from 1993 sounds like a complete dog, to be honest...

  • THX1136 THX1136 on Dec 20, 2017

    Out of curiosity: Is it normal for an owner to not remove the plates on a vehicle destined for a wrecking yard? I was surprised to see the front plate on the passenger seat and the rear plate looking as though it was "ripped" off the rear (instead of just removing the mounting screws holding it on). We get a credit if we turn in plates from a vehicle that is being disposed of in this manner (or at least we used to).

    • See 1 previous
    • Bullnuke Bullnuke on Dec 20, 2017

      California plates stay with the car from first owner to the crusher, or at least that was the rule when I lived out there.

  • Ravenuer The Long Island Expressway.
  • Kwik_Shift A nice stretch of fairly remote road that would be great for test driving a car's potential, rally style, is Flinton Road off of Highway 41 in Ontario. Twists/turns/dips/rises. Just hope a deer doesn't jump out at you. Also Highway 60 through Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. Great scenery with lots of hills.
  • Saeed Hello, I need a series of other accessories from Lincoln. Do you have front window, front and rear lights, etc. from the 1972 and 1976 models
  • Probert Wow - so many digital renders - Ford, Stellantis. - whose next!!! They're really bringing it on....
  • Zerocred So many great drives:Dalton Hwy from Fairbanks to the Arctic Circle.Alaska Marine Highway from Bellingham WA to Skagway AK. it was a multi-day ferry ride so I didn’t actually drive it, but I did take my truck.Icefields Parkway from Jasper AB to Lake Louise AB, CA.I-70 and Hwy 50 from Denver to Sacramento.Hwy 395 on the east side of the Sierras.