Tuesday, 16 January 2018


...orrrrrrr Isuzu Trooper-ules.. or Chevrolet Trooper-ules.. Chevrolet Stallion.. Subaru Bighorn, SsangYong Korando Family.. uhh..

Yes, it's the first-generation of Isuzu's (Rodeo) Bighorn; a model sold in Australia as the Holden Jackaroo for the full stretch of its Isuzu-badged brother's ten-year production run.

The Jackaroo in my photoset here is one of the final '91-build cars, with the LS badge pegging it as top-of-the-tree for the year.

Most importantly for me however - as always - is that this poor old thing was still largely complete and original. For whatever reason, I very rarely see these things neither out-and-about or at the wreckers; so when I spotted this one on a wrecker-run a fortnight ago, I was certainly excited to give it a good look over!

..well, 99% original...

Interesting to see the barn-doors in what I'd consider to be a LHD-specific configuration; but a quick google confirmed the generation that followed was the same. I guess I'd just forgotten. Regardless, years of being around large-right or right-hinged PajerosPatrols, Prados, Discos - and symmetrical Landcruisers - made this 'feel' different/wrong almost instantly..!

Large and light, practical and airy; the useful cargo area behind those doors..

The business-end of that fawn-coloured velour interior..

..with highlights that include - other than the obvious 5speed and vent-windows(!) - a console-mounted digitial clock...

...that rather awesome auxiliary gauge area...

...clear instruments in a very unique pod unit... 

...aaaaand a totally sweet rubber bootie around the trip-meter reset switch. Yeah!

To the point.

A little light dirt and staining on what's otherwise an interior that has held up very well. 

Even tidier back here!

For the kids - "Shotgun passenger side!!"

The 4ZE1 petrol four; a single-cam, 2.6litre petrol unit that turned those four wheels (part-time!) with the equivalent of one hundred and twenty underwhelming old horses. 
"..but Mitsubishi's (Astron) 2.6litre used in Pajeros of the era put out little over 100hp; the 4Runner's 22RE 2.4litre even less..!" 
Yeah - base engines - both models offered 3.0litre V6's for petrol-fans wanting more. Remember, this here is as high-specced as a '91 Jackaroo got in Australia..!

..and on that note, we're done. 
A little bummed I couldn't get a good look underneath (at what appears to be the period's standard-issue torsion IFS and solid-axle leaf rear) but chuffed to have even come across one so complete regardless.
While parts availability and aftermarket support is probably a little lackluster (compared to a 4Runner or Patrol..), it's a good looking thing with some nice detailing; an interesting option for those wanting a light-use classic off-roader that's a little different!

Thursday, 11 January 2018

A blast from the Little Red past.

An impromptu driveway-photoset of Little Red (..Little Reh, Lil' Reh, lelrehhh...) my long-loved 1987 Aussie-delivered AW11 MR2, a whisker over ten years ago. Because it's the 10th anniversary of its 20th: my now-thirty-year-old Toyota when it had just crept out of its much more spritely teens.

Yep, t'was December 2007, and it's this shiny-but-odd 'bitsa' look that's how I best remember it through large chunks of AW11.. err.. 'shenanigans'.. in my early years of AW11'ing..

The MK1A/<86/zenki/pre-facelift front bumper, making zero sense against the facelift lower spoiler directly below...

...towering over a set of 14" Black Racing BR-8s and their 185-wide Pirelli Dragons...

...the MK1B/Kouki/facelift tail-lamps, never originally fitted to what's clearly a EU spec car...

...and the matte-black Supercharger engine cover.. that was never latched.. ever. Interesting aero meant this'd make a casual appearance in the rear-view mirror at ~150km/h...

Ahhh! Such good times!

..no doubt a little too much fun was had though! For everyone's sake - and for what was neither the first or last time - I was forced to set it aside. I didn't drive the car again until well into 2009.