Buy/Drive/Burn: Japanese Coupe Action in 1986

Sporty styling, flip-up headlamps, and promises of performance. These three had it all in the mid-80s, but which one goes home with the Buy? Let’s find out.

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Junkyard Find: 1990 Geo Storm GSi

The Storm was the Geo-ized American-market version of the 1990-1993 Isuzu Gemini Coupe, and the GSi version was cheaper and more powerful than most of its sport-compact competition of the era. Most of them seemed to come in bright yellow paint, and most of them were crushed before they hit their tenth birthday. Still, some of them survived as long as any Civic Si or Sentra SE-R.

Here’s one that I found in a Denver-area self-service yard last year.

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Crapwagon Outtake: 1991 Isuzu Impulse RS

I suppose that I could be considered a “professional” car shopper. I mean, I am paid to spend my time checking out cars for sale across the web and report back what I find. It’s not my full-time gig (yet), but I guess it keeps me off the streets.

Over the years, my friends and acquaintances have decided to help me in my shopping. I’ll get emails with eBay links, get tagged in various Facebook groups (Mr. Zuckerberg, I’ll register as The Charity Rest Home for Wayward Amateur Auto Mechanics and Sentence Manglers for a bite at that $45 billion) and have my Twitter handle ( @tonn_chris for those playing at home) added to tweeted Craigslist shares.

Last week, a good friend tagged me with a hot Kei-car not that far from home. However, were I to investigate that car, I’d need a camera crew and “ Yakety Sax” dubbed in for the inevitable hilarity involved in getting my linebacker-sized frame in such a diminutive automobile. I’m still tempted, but it’s way out of my price range.

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Crapwagon Outtake: Spare Parts Plz

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

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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.

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Junkyard Find: 1991 Geo Storm GSi

The Storm, a rebadged second-gen Isuzu Impulse sold by GM’s short-lived Geo division, was with us for just the 1990 through 1993 model years and didn’t leave much of an impression. I see the occasional Storm in wrecking yards these days, but it takes a factory-hot-rod GSi version to get me to reach for my camera. We saw this ’90 Storm GSi in a Colorado yard a couple years back, and now I’ve found another in Northern California.

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Because No Toy Car Collection Is Complete Without a Geo Storm GSi!

Giving gifts to 24 Hours of LeMons judges in order to ensure smooth turning of the gears of justice has been a tradition for [s]several[/s] many years now. While jugs of quality booze remain the most common judicial bribe, keeping my liver at least semi-functional mandates that most of that stuff get passed on to track workers. Not so with bribes involving weird toy cars, however; I’ve got quite a collection of such gifts on my office bookshelves now. While I prize my Leyland P76, Nissan Prairie, and Impala Hell Project diorama, the car that now sits in the place of honor on my desk is one that I received from a Denver racer who couldn’t wait for the B.F.E. GP next month and came by Chez Murilee with this lovely Detroito-Tokyo icon of the early 1990s.

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  • FreedMike Looks good, but am I the only who thinks that Audi won't be well served with a front end design that looks an awful lot like a Ford Fusion's?
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  • MaintenanceCosts Watching the OEMs try to navigate this new market is like a Keystone Kops show.And it's not going to get any more stable any time soon, with the wild race to try to secure battery production capacity and the coming economic potholes (especially in China).