Issue 24 Flashback Issue 24 Flashback

Flashback: The Isuzu Trooper

1981-91: Built in Isuzu’s Fujisawa Plant in central Japan, the first-generation Isuzu Trooper made its way across the globe in a sort of international diaspora.

It made its debut as a three-door model only, with a four-pot engine, four-cog manual transmission, part-time four-wheel drive and an odd choice of hard or soft-top variants. The ragtop proved short-lived and a 2.2-litre diesel, producing a wheezy 54kW, was a little under-gunned, even by early Eighties standards. Despite this, the model itself thrived, helped by the arrival of more doors, more powerful versions and—eventually—a V6 with both air-con and (luxury!) power windows. In essence, this high-riding SUV was the predecessor of the seven-seat Isuzu MU-X, introduced in 2013. From 1981 to 1991, Australians were curiously offered a choice between the Isuzu Trooper and the Holden Jackaroo—all-but-identical vehicles, each having rolled off the same Fujisawa assembly line.

More Featured Articles