Saucy Pi­azza

New Zealand Classic Car - - Reader's Writes -

Ihave just en­joyed your lat­est is­sue of New Zealand Clas­sic Car, and would like to add some com­ments re­gard­ing the ar­ti­cle about Ja­panese cars. For sure they are fu­ture col­lectibles, be­ing well built and equipped. Dur­ing the 1970s I was ser­vice man­ager of a Mit­subishi deal­er­ship, and the Mit­subishi Galant GTO was an ex­cit­ing car with a re­li­able record. In fact, I heard of a chap who used a GTO for his job of de­liv­er­ing ma­te­rial to banks through­out the up­per part of the North Is­land — the last I heard, his car had done over 400,000 kilo­me­tres with no ma­jor prob­lems.

How­ever, the main rea­son for my let­ter is I be­lieve your writer over­looked a very col­lectible and for­got­ten Ja­panese car. For many years we owned an Isuzu Pi­azza. They were, I be­lieve, de­signed by Gi­u­giaro, and the first ex­am­ples had a twin-over­head-cam en­gine. Ours was pow­ered with the later, sin­gle-over­head-cam unit, but we owned it for quite a few years, and the only trou­ble we ever ex­pe­ri­enced was when I had to re­pair the driver’s door elec­tric win­dow. This de­spite the fact that my son used it for about six months when he was with­out a car — I had a com­pany car at the time, so could spare the car for his use, and no doubt it was driven hard.

Brian Skud­der, via email

James Black ac­tu­ally road-tested a 1988 Isuzu Pi­azza Turbo around 15 years ago but, for rea­sons that now es­cape me, his fea­ture on it was never printed. Brian is cor­rect in say­ing that Gior­getto Gi­u­giaro de­signed the Pi­azza — his com­pany, Italde­sign, was com­mis­sioned to pro­duce re­place­ment for Isuzu’s 117 coupé. The re­sult­ing con­cept car — dubbed the Ace of Clubs — was first shown at the Tokyo Mo­tor Show in 1979. Pro­duc­tion Pi­az­zas were lit­tle changed from the ini­tial con­cept car. As a fur­ther point of in­ter­est, Lotus also had a hand in sort­ing the Pi­azza’s han­dling. AGW

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