It Belonged to a Museum

Forget the Old Jeeps and G-Wagens and Get This Isuzu Trooper


April 11, 2019 Cars By Photo by Bring a Trailer
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Isuzu Troopers are a relatively rare sight on America roads, in large part because many were badged as the Acura SLX here—one of a dozen other pseudonynms used around the world. (Well, also because it hasn’t been produced since 2002.) This Trooper, however, takes rarity to another level entirely. It’s one of only 100 examples to be modified by German tuning house Irmscher Automobilbau. In fact, it’s so rare, it spent time in a Japanese museum.

With only about 25,000 miles on the odometer, this 1989 Isuzu Trooper Bighorn Irmscher-R Turbodiesel is a time capsule on wheels. From the photos, the 2.8-liter turbodiesel inline-four under the hood looks nearly spotless, and the interior follows suit. As for the modifications by Irmscher Automobilbau, none add any extra power, sadly, but that’s not to say they’re strictly superficial. On the outside, the tuning house added fender flares, a front bumper, fog lights, step bars, and bigger wheels. (The BFG All-terrain tires were fitted by the current seller). Irmscher also added graphics, a hood scoop and branded mud flaps for good measure. Inside, the German tuner added a leather-wrapped steering wheel and Recaro bucket seats, and mounted an inclinometer to the dash.

Admittedly, this obscure off-roader could use a bump in power (the Isuzu Trooper isn’t known for its grunt; the turbodiesel engine in this model amde between 98 and 113 horsepower when new)—but in all fairness, the Jeeps and G-Wagens of the same era didn’t pump out herds more horses. And compared to most base-level Jeeps you’ll find from ’89, this low-mileage Trooper has an entire life left to live. One upside of being maintained by a museum and a caring owner: you can be sure this Trooper wasn’t driven to hell and back during those scant 25,000 miles.

As of this article’s publication, the going bid is $15,000. But given the ownership history, clean maintenance record, and near-spotless condition, you can expect the price to climb over the next couple of days. Previous examples, after all, went for $25,000 and even $33,000—but even at that price point, you’re getting a damn good deal on what’s considered a collectible in the off-road world.

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