Mo Wheels, Mo Problems – 1989 Isuzu Pickup

A recent in-flight showing of Straight Outta Compton brought back memories of the whole minitruck craze of the 1980s. The ingredients are obvious – take a basic vehicle, no matter how limited in performance, and apply a flashy paint job, bigger wheels, lowered suspension, and the loudest stereo you can get at Circuit City. Of course, once the trend passed, some surviving examples of this trend seem to have turned into daily drivers, and that’s what’s clearly the case for this 1989 Isuzu six-wheel pickup for sale for $3000 in Copperas Cove, TX.

1989 Isuzu pickup right front

So yeah, this truck’s biggest showpiece is clearly the addition of an axle. It’s not clear which axle is powered, or if it’s both (unlikely), but most likely it’s running a shortened driveshaft to the middle axle. while the rearmost piece is just a beam axle. The wheels seem to be late-model Nissan pieces that suit the truck well, but don’t match all around. The truck is also said to have the front end from an Amigo, though the benefit of this setup is unclear – perhaps it’s bigger fender flares or a different grill, but it won’t be obvious to the casual observer. And you’ll get a lot of casual observation while driving this thing.

1989 Isuzu pickup interior

The interior is short a chain-link steering wheel, but does seem to have some kind of wacky shift knob, as well as a giant sharpie ahead of the instrument cluster. Drilled pedals add a bit of early-2000s flash, while the sport seats will keep you in place while you’re pulling some hard turns with the extra grip from those additional tires. Beyond that, everything looks stock and in decent condition – where are the usual stereo upgrades? Perhaps they’re in the back, as this is an extended cab truck with rear windows that drop below the belt line.

1989 Isuzu pickup engine

Neon paint attracts the attention of the air to the intake, thus increasing your efficiency with greater turbo effect. Right? And the Lexus battery will bring the sensation of extra reliability and a touch of luxury – perhaps when you get it serviced, you can scrounge some free coffee and pastries at the dealership. Considering the bad lighting, things look reasonably decent underhood, and with any luck this extended-cab truck was equipped with the larger 2.6-liter, 120hp 4ZE-1 engine.

1989 Isuzu pickup left rear

Just another shot to show the rear setup – that spare transmission is not included. Note the semi-style smokestack exhaust, more suited to a diesel-bro, and the wheel wells that will probably need finishing. Does the bed tilt or lift? It would be interesting to know how this truck was originally done – an actual show truck probably would have had a more finished bed, but perhaps this project was never completed. Said to run and drive great, and to have won trophies, this could be a fun project if you want to spend every gas station stop talking to people who miss the 1980s.


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One Response to “Mo Wheels, Mo Problems – 1989 Isuzu Pickup”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    it’s,, it’s,,,, so awful…

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