Used Car of the Day: 1989 Isuzu Space Cab

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Today we have an oddity -- a 1989 Isuzu Space Cab.


The seller has had this vehicle since 2017 and drives it daily -- the mileage is over 356,000 and counting. It's a bit of a mutt, mechanically speaking, since our seller isn't sure when the engine and transmission have been replaced, if they ever were.

It's a manual transmission with manual locking hubs and the A/C works. So does the cruise control, power windows, and Alpine stereo.

There's a long list of repairs and upgrades -- it appears that our seller has fixed anything that broke or looked like it was about to break. The seller also has a lot of spare parts in the garage.

Just because the seller has put a lot of work in, that doesn't mean there aren't issues. The speedometer is sometimes off, the idle is occasionally "wonky", the vehicle needs an alignment, there's rust, a belt squeals, oil leaks, the battery cable is loose, and sometimes the ABS warning light pops on.

If you're looking for a cool old vehicle that runs relatively well but also needs some work to really be in tip-top shape, you can pay $4,000 for this one -- it's located in Washington state.

[Images: Seller]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

More by Tim Healey

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3 of 34 comments
  • Wolfwagen Wolfwagen on Jun 20, 2024
    If Isuzu could update this truck and keep the cost between $25K - $30K they would sell like ice pops on dollar day in a heat wave.
    • Gray Gray on Jun 20, 2024
      Just please make one with a bed longer than 4 feet like the Maverick.
  • Dave M. Dave M. on Jun 20, 2024
    When I was small pickup truck shopping in '88 I test drove everything available. I remember thinking these (and the Toyota) were ok but I couldn't unsee the disproportionate side windows. I ended up with a Nissan Hardbody SEV6, which was a great vehicle and served well for the 13 years and 250k+ miles I had it.
  • SCE to AUX The original Capri was beautiful. The abomination from the 90s was no Capri, and neither is this.It looks good, but too similar to a Polestar. And what's with the whacked price?
  • Rover Sig Absolutely not. Ever.
  • EBFlex No. I buy as little Chinese products as possible.
  • John "...often in a state of complete disarray on the roads" What does that mean? Many examples in poor repair? Talk about awful writing.
  • Varezhka Saving sedans in US or globally? Right now around half of the global sedan sales is in China, just under a quarter in North America, and the remaining quarter distributed around the rest of the world. So for a sedan to stay around they must sell well in both China and North America (BMW, Mercedes, Toyota, Honda) or just extremely well in China (VW/Audi and Nissan). For everyone else, the writing is on the wall. There’s also a niche of subcompact sedans in SE Asia and India but I believe those are being replaced by SUVs too.
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