1981 Isuzu I-Mark Diesel on Ebay

We don’t often have a lot of Isuzu news here, but the least-loved Japanese marque had some nice designs before completely falling out of the passenger car market altogether. The I-Mark was one of the first cars in the US to be branded an Isuzu, which came to the US market in 1981. Prior to that, Isuzu-built cars had been sold by GM’s Opel division through its Buick dealerships thanks to a panicked attempt to get small cars into the the lineup after the 1973 Oil Crisis. That crisis also prompted a huge influx of diesel engines into the US, since diesel fuel returned better mileage and cost less than petrol. The I-Mark coupe is a looker, and now that Isuzu has announced plans to abandon the passenger vehicle market altogether, this will soon become one of the many forgotten but quaint relics on the roadside of failed automakers. Here’s an Opel-badged version for comparison.

This two-owner car on eBay appears to be completely stock except for a tow bar in the front. According to the description, many of its miles were accumulated behind the first owner’s motor home. This is believable, as the interior wear doesn’t indicate 195,000 miles of occupation. It came from Arizona too, which means no salt but lots of sun. No top-down photos of the dash and rear parcel shelf are available, but there don’t seem to be any sun-baked cracks on either, nor on the vinyl sections of the rear seats. The auction has ended early implying that the seller cut a deal outside of eBay, so we don’t know the price it sold for, but he was looking for $3500 to BuyItNow. Thanks to David for the tip!

[Source: Motoring J Style]

This post is filed under: for sale, isuzu.

12 Responses to 1981 Isuzu I-Mark Diesel on Ebay

  1. Shane says:

    1 thing as i own one of those opels myself… although the side vinyl of the so-called “opel-badged” vehicle is actually a isuzu (or holden) gemini. beside the frontgrill there’s a big diffence in the little grill behind the last side window. this grille is smaller than the original opel one ( http://www.opelkadettc.net/content/modellen-coupe.html ).

  2. Paul says:

    I found one of these on the local craigslist in excellent shape with only 32,000 miles! Yes. I bought it, and it’s awesome. Price was good, don’t think the owner knew what he had. Now I can get 40+ MPG too!

  3. Ben says:

    Congrats on the good find!

  4. Rick says:

    My parents purchased one of these at a dealer auction in 1985. It saw a lot of miles between Alabama and Ohio at least three times a year; on one trip my mother got 51 mpg! And automakers today are bragging about mileage over 30 mpg! I’d buy one of these right now if I could find one.

  5. RB says:

    I found an 81 for $1800. There is also a 4 dr 1984 Ford Escort with the Mazda diesel for $1200. Decisions, decisions…

  6. Ron says:

    That could be my car but probably isn’t. My first car was an I-Mark I got in 94 in Tucson. Looks a lot like my old car but I think my sister gave that car to charity still ran great and got about 35-40 mpgs awesome car.

  7. Jason Carpp says:

    Awesome website! I love visiting this site and checking out the different vintage Japanese cars. I’ve always been interested in the Isuzu Diesel cars and light trucks (P-up). I’ve never understood why they didn’t sell very well. I’ve seen a few early 80s examples of I-marks and P-ups, but unfortunately nothing later than 1985. Why could that be? Anyway, I prefer the styling of the I-mark sedan than that of the fastback like what’s in the picture.

  8. Edward Shore says:

    I bought my “Suzi” in 1981 brand new. As I look out my window she still sets there waiting for a drive.

    She is 28 years old and has nearly 250,000 miles — hardly broken in good.

    She has been all over the US, Canada, and parts of Mexico.

    Best car I ever owned.

    — Edward Shore

  9. James Heina says:

    Hey all I had an Isuzu I mark and a Chevette both Diesels and both Isuzu equipped! I missed that car as of now I own a 85 Trooper with the Turbo Diesel I have this car now for 15 years and just roling to 210,XXX miles been to 3 diffrent countries and US runs like a champ. All fixlings work expt. the horn but non the less for her [trooper] age it maintaince is very minimal I drive this truck into the gound then time to whip out the Isuzu P’UP Turbo Diesel LS Spacecab!!!!! nicely painted and restored!!! if you would like to see my ride see the photos on ITOG website or google “James Heina’s trooper restoration” thanks yall and keep them rolling…

  10. Peter says:

    I had an ’81 Isuzu I-mark 2-door exactly as shown in the photo above. Owned it from 1996 to 2001. It was a pretty good little car, but it was starting to rust away big time. Also, it wasn’t the best car for a tall guy like me (6 feet) to drive because the driver seat didn’t go back nearly far enough. During the all the time I owned that car, I only ever saw about 3 first-generation I-Marks on the road. Those cars were not common even back in the day.

  11. Joe Isuzu says:

    Anyone ever tried to take the dash out of an 81 I mark I guess it’s all bolts of in from the back any hints help me

  12. Brand X says:

    My in-laws bought a Isuzu I-MARK in 1981 brand new. Gave it to my wife and I as a wedding gift in 83. It was a great car ! It took 3 hours to get to 65 mph( what do u expect from 50HP ) but it handled like a rally car. A rally car that got 50 mpg. Drove it till we traded it in for a Ford minivan in 1990. Only thing I ever had to do to it was replace the glow plugs in 1989. We got something like $3,000 in trade and it had 250,000 miles on it….. Great little car !

    Side note: my 1994 HD Sportster motorcycle has 60 HP, 10 more than the I-Mark lol

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