Bart: Isuzu Addict – 2
[bd] You don’t necessarily build a collection of old vehicles – especially those made by a company that’s pulled out of your country – without a lot of passion and the support of a healthy aftermarket and enthusiast community. I know you’re passionate about your ‘Zus. Tell me a little bit about the state of the Isuzu aftermarket and community.
[bw] As for the Isuzu aftermarket, it’s slim pickins’. There are only a few places that come to mind, in the United States, that make or stock aftermarket parts for Isuzu 4x4s. Those would be Independent4x on the East coast, Rocky-Road Outfitters out of Utah, and Calmini in California. And, there is still some stuff you can bring over from Australia, such as ARB lockers and Old Man Emu suspension components. And the older your vehicles are, the more difficult aftermarket support becomes, naturally.
Let’s just put it this way: I have spent MANY days at my local junk yards collecting parts, and I have quite the horde of spares in my shed now. NOS OEM parts are drying up fast, especially anything cosmetic. However,
there’s still quite a bit available when it comes to wear parts like brake pads, seals, and etc. RockAuto is a great resource as well as eBay, and there are a couple resources available to those in the know, for getting a
hold of any remaining OEM Isuzu parts. When it comes to support for the Impulse and other vintage Isuzu cars, the support is just about nil. You are basically on your own, big time. There is a site called IsuzuPerformance.com, however that site seems mostly concerned with racing and I am not sure how active they are in the Isuzu car aftermarket any more.
As for the Isuzu Community, I feel it is one of the most close knit, down to earth, and downright nice communities out there. There are only a few forums that are very active, and everyone is generally cordial and always ready to help one another out, no matter how simple or complicated their problems are. And the community is pretty international. There are some great forums in Oz/Nz as well, which helps expand the knowledge. I’ve met fellow Isuzu Geeks from all over the US, as well as Costa Rica and Japan.
And every year in May, the annual gathering of Isuzu 4x4s known as Moab ZuZu is held in what is arguably one of the top off-roading locations in the world, Moab, UT. So although the community is small and spread out, I
think it is very strong and alive. It’s just a shame Isuzu pulled out of the passenger vehicle market here in the United States. I know for sure I would own a 2014 Trooper and likely a 2014 VehiCROSS for certain, if they were still being made. I always wonder, what would a new Impulse look like?
[bd] If you weren’t an Isuzu guy through and through, what might you be playing with instead? Let’s say you replaced each of your current Isuzus with vehicles from other manufacturers. What might come close? (Some people think those of us who favor one brand don’t like any others and I’d like to get into why you’ve not branched out into other marques, without the easy, “I don’t have Jay Leno’s car collection budget,” answer, ya know?)
[bw] This is such a tough question, because there are really so many different vehicles I am fond of, but if I had to break it down real quick, here goes:
To replace my 4dr LWB Trooper, I would likely go with a gen1 Mitsubishi Montero or an early Toyota Land Cruiser 70 series (if I could find one here). Both of those vehicles have the look and capabilities I would be after, in an overlanding vehicle.
To replace my 2dr SWB Trooper, I would probably throw caution (and money) to the wind and buy myself a nice NAS Defender 90. I’ve heard nothing but horror stories about Land Rovers but I still cannot help it, the D90 is a wicked machine! But I would need to drive one first, before I pulled the trigger.
To replace the Impulse, I would probably go with another obscure obsession of mine, and something I have wanted to own for a long, long time. That is, an AMC Eagle SX/4. There just something about these that I really, really like. I think they would make fun driver’s and they are just so unique and sporty looking.
As for replacing the VX, I am not even going to go there because there IS no replacement for the VX. It is a one-of-a-kind vehicle, and when it is gone it is gone. There is nothing comparable to it, on the market today, that would even come close to the styling, coolness or rarity. In my opinion it is cooler than even most super cars. The VehiCROSS is special.
To be continued…
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