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