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I haven't posted anything to the "On the workbench" section because it is just too cumbersome for me to do it, and because I tend to write far too much about what, and why I did what I did, and I know the bulk of you guys don't really care about my thought process anyway.  But having said that, I thought this one last time, I would indulge myself and document some of the work I will be doing to this rather "Oddball" subject. 

As much as I am a "Car Guy", I must admit, Isuzu vehicles were never really on my radar.  At a couple  of the dealer groups I worked at back in the 70's and 80's we sold Isuzu products, but it was primarily the Trooper (sold as a Honda also) that got the attention.  I never paid any real attention to their "car" products.  I was, I guess, a snub.  Honda's, Toyota's and Nissan's were the Japanese "cars" I paid attention to back then basically dismissing the rest of their car lineup.

The Isuzu Impulse was designed back in 1979 by one of Europe's most heralded auto designers of the day, Giorgio Giugiaro of Ital Design.  Giorgio designed cars for countless manufactures.  Ferrari, Audi, Alfa, Aston Martin, BMW (M1), Lotus (Esprit), VW, Eagle, Subaru (SVX), even the DeLorean of movie fame and hard drugs, to name just a few.  He even designed the Nikon F4S camera.  He was rather prolific and in high demand back in the day.  Google him, if you want to see all the vehicles he designed.  Looking at the Impulse, I see a number of other cars he did rather clearly.  The Lotus Esprit, the Audi 80, and the Scirocco (especially) and Rabbit come immediately to mind.    

A few years ago, my son was at a garage sale and he saw, and picked up a few, what I would refer to as "Oddball" kits for pennies.  One was a Nissan MID4 kit, and another one of the few kits was this Isuzu.  The Nissan kit still has the original retail price sticker from the hobby shop of $21.00 on it.  The Isuzu kit has the same sticker and price before I opened the box.  As a side note, I went looking for the Isuzu kit on line the other day and found one on eBay with a starting price noted at $75.00.  Seems excessive to me for a basic kit with no motor, a very spartan interior, and toy like chassis.  But, I must admit, the body does appear very accurate based on the real car pictures I found while doing a bit of research.

This kit is sold by Testors, but it was manufactured by Fujimi. And it really does show it's age.  If you have built any of the original Tamiya 1/20 F1 cars or some of the 70's 1/24 sports cars, you will be familiar with gears, electric motor and battery box, and ratcheted steering so the front wheels could be set to hold the direction intended.  These were designed to be toys to be played with, so attention to the inner details were nonexistent.  These cars, for Tamiya, at least, were the fore-runners to their jump into the RC business.  In the case of Fujimi, I think they were just "tagging along" with Tamiya.

Anyway, the other night, as I am prone to do, I was going through my rather large collection of unbuilt kits, just to see if anything caught my eye that I had forgotten about, and I came across the Isuzu, and thought "Why not"?  This is not a type of build I get into so it would be a rather nice change of pace for me.

Right off the bat, it became clear to me that I would need to do a rather extensive modification to bring it up to the kind of build I like to attempt.  If I don't challenge myself now and again, I get bored.

First off, I wanted to open the doors.  This being such an old kit, that posed a challenge as the plastic had become rather brittle from age.  Because of that, I had to take great care not to "man-handle" the car too much as I was fearful it would  crack in all the wrong places.  One of the unique features of the styling was the use of what is referred to as "Aircraft Style Doors"  Aircraft style doors are identified by the fact that the door has a ridged frame surrounding the window giving the entire door more strength and less wind noise by going up into the roof area.  That design feature seriously complicated the task of opening the doors because it forced me to basically destroy the a-pillars.  So, because of that, I had to reinforce the new a pillars on the inside with brass rod cemented in to tie the roof to the front cowling securely.  I also had to build the inner structure of the B pillar since it was nonexistent once the door was removed because on the model, it is represented by the one piece glass unit that has all the windows on one modeling which will no longer work here.

Next I had to open the hood because I wanted to add an engine to the model, especially since my son made me some great 3D printed turbos and intercoolers.  The hood on this car is in the style of the old Saab's where the sides extend down the front fender to the accent indented line that runs the length of the car.  I made one little exception from the real car here.  One the actual car the back of the hood corners butt up to the leading edge of the front door.  I am planning on removing that little section, mate it back up to the hood and build the substructure under where it now sits but this will may not happen as the section below the a pillar is necessary as it anchors the brass security rod under the a pillar, we will see..  Since the hood opens from the front, it will be easy enough.

Next, I opened up the rear hatch.  This also was a real doozy of a job because it forced me to to rip out the c pillars on the car.  So I had to construct in inner c pillar structures to mate the roof back to the rear.  The entire process of opening everything up forced me to do it in stages so I could get the roof, which was cut free three different times, to remain in the correct position.  It was challenging, to say the least.   

Next, I have marked off the area where a moonroof will be installed.  so of the cars I have seen have one, so why not?  Also, the headlights have a rather unique little styling feature which I will complete.  There are semi-half hoods over the headlights.  When the lights are turned on, the hoods open up to allow the entire light to illuminate the road.  

Here are a few pictures 



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Nice looking project.  I have always liked these cars.  Similar body style to the Lancia Beta Montecarlo that I'm currently building. Here is the stock body Montecarlo.



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Some brave work going on here - there won't be much left of the original shell!

I have a later Fujimi release. Even keeping it fairly standard it's not one I'm rushing to build, I remember it looking like it would need a bit of work.

When I was young I thought the 1:1s were FWD, I think it was that long front overhang.

Edited by Spottedlaurel
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Update as of March 12th.  First, I am not building a stock representation of this car, but a modified vehicle with a turbo, body mods and a few "tricks" so I will be taking a few "liberty's" with it.  The moonroof opening is finished and I have the beginnings of the enlarged wheel openings to allow for a more aggressive look..  Later I will add the lower side skirts between the wheel openings and the front air BLAH_BLAH_BLAH_BLAH.  This car is a rear drive vehicle, the successor to the car in the 1990's had a transverse mounted engine and front-wheel drive, but this has a longitudinal mounted in-line 4 rear drive car.  They also offered a All-wheel Drive version too, but I am doing the rear drive variant.  I needed to fabricate an engine block since the only 4 cylinder engines I have laying around are the very old style 4 bangers from the 30's and 40's.

As I mentioned before, my son picked up this kit at a garage sale.  Along with this, and a few other complete kits (kits I never would buy for myself) he grabbed a few started kits that unfortunately did not have all the pieces. But actually, they have pieces that can be used on other builds, and this is a perfect example of this.  Also, as I mentioned earlier, the chassis on this Testors kit is beyond "toy-like" and really is unsuitable.  Upon digging through the boxes I came across a seriously molested Tamiya kit of a Mercedes-Benz AMG 500SL.  The body was trashed, but the chassis was untouched and still on the spue-tree. I found that with a slight modification to the front and rear, it fits right under the Impulse, even the wheelbase is dead on.  One of the great things about this casting is that front fender inner walls are complete and have a very nice representation of the strut housings and all of the paraphernalia commonly found on the inner side walls. 

It is not an exact copy of the Isuzu chassis, but it is a far cry better than the one in the kit.

Next I needed to fabricate a 4 cylinder block, transmission and head.  I have 3D printed turbos and intercooler which along with the new induction system will be added to it.

In another of the kits I was given, a Mercedes-Benz  500SEC I found a nice V8 and transmission housing.  I modified this into a 4 cylinder engine which will be further modified to represent the engine, with turbo and intercooler as seen in a number of the Impulse pictures I found on-line.

Things are beginning to fall in line and come together.

ACtC-3dVsIl0qO9ISvSmOp9wLbZDCmXu4qVEetBdThe "raw" chassis as it comes out of the box.ACtC-3cuwvy_Yw4w25yapr9W5dP2UQ2SFAkCHOElThe basic V8 MB engineACtC-3fw_myJFIsk7i-fKDNxTIKU0TA__MtBUxU9engine converted into the basic 4 ACtC-3efb4IPUymQH8g0M7AgcLNPtQV08yMl8DIsthe chassis and engine under the body  ACtC-3dMAvP3K0g-RWOmAIJthfXOKvulbdM9Gp1e

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