KIDNEY, ANYONE? 20k-mile 1986 Isuzu Trooper II

1986 Isuzu Trooper 03

Although there are still quite a few of these old workhorses around, they’re never in this kind of shape. Typically, Isuzu Troopers were rode hard and put up wet. They were used for transporting people and ab-used while hauling stuff. So today, most early two door originals come up for sale in despicable condition with “mechanic’s special” disclosures, and low prices to match. But not this one.

The description is short, but the seller claims the mileage is original and documented. And from the photos, it shows. The paint looks to be original, period-correct 2161 beige, matched with stock 15-inch white wheels. Inside, the brown and beige interior looks as brand new as one could ask for in a used vehicle nearly 30 years old. Yet, there are no under hood or under body photos, which raises an eyebrow for certain.

What’s really shocking here is the current bid. With four days remaining, this Trooper is already breaking records at $7,800. Could this be the first gen-one Trooper to sell on eBay for over $10,000? We’ll see. Normally, the old diesel Troopers trade in the $4,000-$6,000 range due to Isuzu’s long standing reputation as a builder of bullet proof diesel powerplants that can now be converted to bio-fuel. But this 1986 is likely sporting the 4ZD1 2.3-liter 4-cylinder gasser, and the price tag right now is several thousand dollars more than what the diesels typically sell for online. Wow.

For those of you not familiar with the box on wheels that is the Isuzu Trooper, here’s a little history. In 1981, Isuzu introduced the Isuzu Rodeo Bighorn in Japan, and by 1984 the first wave of Isuzu Troopers was headed into the United States. Originally, the Bighorn/Trooper came in both long-wheelbase and short-wheelbase 2-door wagon platforms with sealed beam, round headlight grilles, making this 1986 the absolute earliest of available body styles.

Prospective buyers should know, these early Troopers are strictly business. Creature comforts are minimal, with manual everything being the standard. The early 4-cylinders were carbed and fairly underpowered compared to the later first-gens, which used an updated 2.6-liter 4-banger and Isuzu’s proprietary ITEC electronic fuel injection system. See the auction on eBay.

Guest Writer Bart Wilkus is founder of, a Japanese nostalgic truck enthusiast, and owner of an incredible Isuzu Impulse RS Turbo Special Edition.

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18 Responses to KIDNEY, ANYONE? 20k-mile 1986 Isuzu Trooper II

  1. Nigel says:

    Nice and it has a bit of the spartan Land Cruiser vibe.

  2. Dave says:

    OMG I LOVE these old Troopers. They’re very overlooked here in the US, more so than Pajeros/Monteros. This one is gorgeous, glad the price agrees.

  3. Bart says:

    Just a quite addition here. I notice now, after have already written this, that the Trooper appears to have had the carpet replaced with vinyl. I do not believe this was a stock option, which raises the other eyebrow as well. This is an interesting auction.

  4. Bart says:

    Update: I just checked with an original owner of an ’86 like this one, and he verified that the vinyl flooring was indeed an OEM option at the time of purchase, and that the color is correct. He owns a nearly indentical ’86.

  5. Great write up Bart, As nice as it is, I think a set of snowflakes would make it look even better. But I guess then it wouldn’t be stock.

  6. mister k says:

    good thing it’s not badged as a “Pajero” that always makes me laugh

    (google translate “Pajero” if you don’t already know)

  7. Adam says:

    This was my 1st car, had the vinyl floors. It was two tone red & silver, perfect @ the time I received it. It was a total turd as far as performance & I think the gear box was comprised of rubber bands. Never the less …. This is a beautiful example….. Mine unfortunately was rolled over several time by this dumb kid.

  8. Louis Fong says:

    My uncle had one exactly like this a long time ago. Then he converted to the square lamp version. Finally sold it after almost 20 years driving it.

  9. john russell says:

    My 86 isuzu trooper is actually a 1984 Holden Jackaroo. (identical, yet 2 years earlier)
    In the process of cleaning her up.
    I just love her to bits. Manual everything is just fine

  10. Ben C Liles says:

    I have an 89 that is rusted out in the rocker panels and the rear fender wells but that has never stopped my 89 isuzu trooper LSD. 2.8 5-speed 4×4. It will go anywhere and it turns heads as ugly as it is. I am 1 of 2 people that drive a first gen trooper in my town. The other is a 4cyl and in mint condition. I’ve yet to have found anyone that can run with me and my trooper

  11. Leo Trpet says:

    I have a 86′ trooper 2 for sale. $1500
    Eureka, Ca

  12. Gregory Douglass says:

    Do you still have your 86′ Trooper for sale and what kind of shape is it in? Thanks!

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