Rare Rides: A 1986 Izuzu P'up, Coming With Length and Turbodiesel

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides a 1986 izuzu pup coming with length and turbodiesel

Today’s Rare Ride is from the period in the Eighties when many compact pickup trucks were available to the North American consumer. While most of these vehicles were Japanese, some covered their origins with American badges. Others wore both Japanese and American branding, albeit at different dealerships.

Wouldn’t you LUV to check out this P’up? Ugh.

What North Americans called the P’up was called the Faster in its home market. Isuzu brought its first Faster compact truck to Japan in 1972. The new model was a replacement for the brand’s outgoing compact pickup, the Wasp. And like the sedan-based Wasp, the Faster was also based on a sedan: the Florian. The midsizer offered up its doors and front end for the Faster, which qualified as a compact under Japanese law (for lower taxation).

General Motors had a new 34 percent stake in Isuzu, so it ordered Chevrolet badges for the Faster, called it a LUV, and put it on sale immediately. Isuzu did not have a market presence in North America at the time.

A second generation of Isuzu’s successful Faster bowed for model year 1980. Through the generosity of General Motors, this generation spread to other brands and markets, and was badged as the Chevrolet Stallion, Holden Rodeo, Lincah, and Raider, and via Bedford as the KB. In North America it was still the LUV, but Isuzu dealers also sold the truck as the P’up. The move coincided with Isuzu’s entry into North America as a fully fledged brand.

Naturally with such a global product spread, there were many varieties of Faster. With two doors it was sold as a standard and extended cab pickup, and as a chassis with cab. It was available with three or five doors as an SUV, and also had a four-door crew cab option. Adding to the breadth of options, short- and long-wheelbases were available. The truck’s overall length in shorty guise was 174.2 inches, which grew to 191.3 inches in long format.

Engines ranged from 1.6- to 2.3-liters if burning gasoline, and were of 2.0- or 2.2-liters of displacement if diesel. In its first and second generation, gasoline power available to North American Isuzu truck customers remained the same: 1.8-liters, 75 horsepower. When the second gen arrived for model year 1981, it brought with it an optional turbodiesel motor, the 2.2-liter. An ample 58 horses were available. Four-wheel drive was optional on North American LUV/P’ups, but only on the short-wheelbase models.

1983 brought a change to the P’ups fate in North America, as General Motors introduced its new S-10 and S-15 trucks. The LUV disappeared, leaving the P’up to continue alone. The 2.2L turbodiesel engine from the P’up lived a second life though, as a seldom-selected engine offering in the S-10 and S-15 through 1985. The P’up was succeeded in 1988 by the Indiana-made “Pickup,” which continued on through 1996, whereupon it was replaced by the S-10 clone called Hombre.

Today’s Rare Ride is a stunningly well-kept blue/blue P’up from 1986. The hood scoop reminds you it has the D. And check that quality Caprice Classic steering wheel. Subject to a body-off restoration, the P’up asks an optimistic $11,500.

[Images: seller]

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  • Slavuta Civic EX - very competent car. I hate the fact of CVT and small turbo+DI. But it is a good car. Good rear seat. Fix the steering and keep goingBut WRX is just a different planet.
  • SPPPP This rings oh so very hollow. To me, it sounds like the powers that be at Ford don't know which end is up, and therefore had to invent a new corporate position to serve as "bad guy" for layoffs and eventual scapegoat if (when) the quality problems continue.
  • Art Vandelay Tasos eats $#!t and puffs peters
  • Kwik_Shift Imagine having trying to prove that the temporary loss of steering contributed to your plunging off a cliff or careening through a schoolyard?
  • Inside Looking Out How much costs 25 y.o. Mercedes S class with 200K miles?