Bart: Isuzu Addict – 3
[bd] We’ve talked about all your Isuzus, where you go for tech and parts, and what you do with them?
[bw] As with any specialized field of interest, you just have to hang out in the right circles. Then you will find all the little nooks and crannies of the Internet were the resources you need exist. Obviously, forums are a great place for technical information. There are a lot of knowledgeable people on forums and, after you weed through all the fluff, you can find lots of valuable information.
I also tend to be a pretty organized individual, and any import information I come across online, gets downloaded and properly stored on my PC for later reference. I have a massive archive now of Isuzu information, as well as a huge catalog of photos, diagrams and manuals. And naturally, I find OEM service manuals are the best source of accurate information about these obsolete vehicles. I also have OEM parts catalogs as well, which help me locate proper part numbers and descriptions.
Regarding parts, it’s really just an ongoing hunt. Most local autoparts stores will have common wear parts. But for specialized stuff, I look on eBay, RockAuto and a few other places. Then there are the forums, were parts exchanges happen often. And of course, used parts from junkyard vehicles are a final resort. As you could imagine, I have amassed quite a stockpile of spares in my shed.
[bd] How have your experiences with these machines affected the way you view, seek out, and interact with other gearheads, both Isuzu and non?
Well, interaction with fellow Isuzu gearheads is typically always a good experience. It takes a certain personality type, to stick to a brand like Isuzu. Most normal people do not have the tenacity to hang in there with a dead marque, so in general, you have a lot of like minded, do-it-yourselfers to interact with. It’s a pretty close knit community.
Most non-Isuzu gearheads just look at you funny when you tell them you are restoring a 1989 Isuzu Trooper. I find most normal gearheads tend to be into the same stuff everyone else is into. So, relating to gearheads that are into Jeeps or classic muscle cars for example, is pretty different. They generally seem to brush aside folks that are into obscure makes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. In my opinion, variety is what makes life interesting.
Here in Reno, we have Hot August Nights every year. It’s a huge annual gathering of classic American muscle. As much as I do like and respect all the work that goes into these vehicles, I am BORED TO DEATH of Mustangs and Camaros. Last year, I participated in the 9th Annual Japanese Classic Car Show in Long Beach. Let me just say, it was a breath of fresh air! There were so many different vehicles being admired and showed off. It was great. If I never see another powder blue Mustang, or lime green Charger, that’s fine with me.
[bd] How has being a gearhead impacted your life beyond the vehicles and what advice would you give someone feeling the machines have to be kept separate from the rest of his/her life?
[bw] Obviously, it is an obsession. You either have to be single, or you have to have a saint for a spouse. In my case, I have a saint for a wife. She puts up with a lot, and I love her for that. I spend a lot of time wrenching, and she spends a lot of time listening to me gripe about sweating in the summer heat under one of my vehicles.
My obsession, it does have a negative impact on your life. For me, it’s mostly financial. Taking care of one old car is one thing, but I have four Isuzus that are all over 10 years old, and it takes a lot to keep them all running and looking good. (I won’t mention my two motorcycles!) At some point, I will need to scale back. Correction: I will have to scale back. But right now, I am just going to enjoy my projects as much as I can, and when the time comes to sell, I will know it.
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