I recently came across an exceptionally rare 1989 Isuzu Trooper RS. Few people realize that 2-door variants of both the first- and second-generation Trooper were offered here in the U.S. They were sold in incredibly small numbers, and for just a few model years. The second-generation Trooper RS is just bizarre and I had to see one to believe that it was even a real thing. While the second-gen is the weirder looking of the two, the first-gen Trooper RS is somehow even rarer: just 800 were sold in the U.S., all for the 1989 model year. I stumbled across this one parked the yard of someone who must be a huge Isuzu fan.
Here’s the full yard. Let’s break this scene down car by car.
The most prominent vehicle on the lot was this Kaiser Silver Metallic VehiCROSS. A quick license plate lookup confirms that it’s a 2000 model, and a cross-referencing with the VehiCROSS Wikipedia page confirms the color.
This one is a 2000 or 2001 Proton Yellow Isuzu VehiCROSS. It obviously isn’t wearing a plate, so I couldn’t determine the exact year, but yellow was only offered for 2000 and 2001. On that note, yellow is a rarer VehiCROSS color than you might think: only 479 out of the 4,153 VehiCROSS models sold in the U.S. were in this ostentatious hue.
Normally, you’d overlook the tow vehicle, but as it was also an Isuzu product, serving to further emphasize the owner’s commitment to the brand. Officially, it’s an Isuzu F-Series medium-duty commercial truck. The license plate tells us it’s a 1998 model.
And finally, the 1989 Isuzu Trooper RS, one of only 800 first-gen examples that made it to the U.S. The first-gen Isuzu Trooper was sold from 1981 through 1991 — and throughout those 11 years, three different body styles were offered: the traditional 4-door, a long-wheelbase 2-door and this, the ultra-rare short-wheelbase 2-door, which was only offered here in the States in 1989. The second-gen RS model was offered in the U.S. for three model years — 1993, 1994 and 1995 — and also in extremely limited numbers. My educated guess pegs the figure at around 2,000 units. Still, the first-gen RS is somehow even rarer, and now I’ve seen one of those too.
Chris O’Neill grew up in the rust belt and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He worked in the auto industry for a while, helping Germans design cars for Americans. On Instagram, he is the @MountainWestCarSpotter.