Tag Archives: Isuzu

My Favorite Vehicles That Make You Scratch Your Head and Wonder “Why Did You Buy This?”

Tweet All Photos by Randy Stern Have you ever looked at a vehicle out on the road – or in a parking lot – and wondered “why would anyone own such a thing?” Sounds judgmental, right? It is…or, not. The … Continue reading

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My Favorite Cars That I Never Got The Chance To Drive

Tweet Endorsed by Bob Lutz, Americanized…nope, never drove it. All Photos by Randy Stern It has been a while, has it not? The whole My Favorite thing… It is not for lack of imagination. Rather, I have been busy on … Continue reading

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Five (and Maybe a Couple More) Favorite Car Commercials

Tweet Video courtesy of Volkswagen of America via YouTube I did not watch television just to watch it. In my childhood, there was great television to watch. Imagine there was a six-year old with a deep imagination and a brain … Continue reading

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The Class of 1982: The Rise of the Mini-Truck

Tweet 1982 GMC S-15 Pickup. Photo (c)1981, 2012 General Motors To survive a recession, you have to weather the storm. The early 1980s were an economic mess, yet not as bad as it was during the 1970s. This past recession … Continue reading

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Five Favorite….Captive Imports?

Captive imports…and why did they exist anyway?

At a time when the call was to tune down the horsepower and prepare for an oil crisis, a recession and a never ending war overseas, domestic automakers figured it was high time to build another round of compact cars. By going smaller, there were two routes to take: Build them domestically or import them from a global partner somewhere. Three out of the four North American automakers chose the latter.

Chrysler had been selling Simcas and Sunbeams alongside Barracudas and Imperials through the 1960s. Simca and Sunbeam were a part of growing European operation for the Pentastar. In turn, Chrysler looked high and low to match the incoming compacts from General Motors, Ford and American Motors. They went across both the Atlantic and Pacific for their answers. Ford sold some European products at their dealerships in the past – the Cortina was the most popular and the Capri was a mainstay at Lincoln-Mercury dealerships. GM sold Opels at Buick dealers, but would soon play the captive import game as early as 1976.

You could also stretch the captive import involvement to AMC – that is if you include the subcompact Metropolitan that was jointly developed between Nash and Austin. They actually sold Metropolitans with the Hudson badge for a bit. At one time, Mitsubishi imported the Hyundai Excel for some of its dealers in the USA. Continue reading

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