In November, we officially labeled the 1981 Isuzu I-Mark diesel as “The Slowest Car Ever.” Its 1.8-liter all-motor oil burner turned out just 51 horsepower, which must have given owners plenty of time to enjoy the Redder-Than-A-Redneck-In-A-Red-State interior. The 1.8-liter Isuzu diesel unit is back, this time with a few tricks up its sleeves. In 1982, diesel Isuzus were blessed with Bosch VE fuel injection and an optional turbo, which resulted in 72 whopping horsepower. Time to surprise some Firebirds at the drag strip. Find this 1982 Buick Opel by Isuzu turbo diesel hatch for sale in Austin, TX for $2,500 via craigslist.
Buick Opel by Isuzu. A name so bureaucratically dysfunctional, it had to be tied to General Motors. Applied today, this naming convention would leave the Scion FR-S as the “Toyota Scion by Toyota and Subaru,” or TSTS on the street (except it would still be called the 86 on the street). But that singularity didn’t apply to the global focus of the car. Part of the GM T-body platform, it underpinned cars around the world including the Chevette, Gemini, Kadett… cars lacking in performance, sure, but popular and hardy nonetheless.
This particular Buick Opel by Isuzu would have been sold at a Buick dealership in 1983. After 188,000 miles, it seems mostly rust-free and in decent driving condition. Someone has added the requisite diesel mods of a pyrometer for measuring exhaust gas temperature, boost controller and gauge, and an alcohol injection system. That’s the lure of the five-speed manual/rear-drive combination at work.
With recent maintenance, the buyer just needs to fill the gas tank and the methanol and water tank, strapped into the trunk for easy access. Keep it full, turn the boost up, and you’ll scrape 100 horsepower easily. Now that’s just greedy.
See a slower car that’s still fun to drive? Email us at email@example.com.