The Cars

1988 Isuzu LS SpaceCab Pickup Truck

Of all the vehicles I’ve owned, this 1988 Isuzu Pickup was my favorite. I bought it new right off the dealer showroom floor. I ultimately owned it for 16 years, losing it to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. I owned it for the years spanning my life in San Diego, Italy, and Mississippi, navy and post-navy life, and two marriages. On the day it was ruined it had over 230,000 actual miles and still looked sharp.

My Isuzu SpaceCab in the driveway of my Mississippi Gulf Coast home.

Read The History

1988 Isuzu LS SpaceCab Pickup Truck Specifications

Purchased: – New from dealer, 1988, San Diego, California, about 84 miles
– Totaled by flooding during Hurricane Katrina, August 29, 2005, Gautier, Mississippi, about 230,000 actual miles
Features: – Black w/ Chrome Hardware
– Gray and White Interior, grey fabric seats
– Isuzu SpaceCab Silver and Red Decals
– 2.6 Liter 4-cylinder electronic fuel injection Engine
– Power Steering
– 4-way disk brakes
– Cab and a half, rear half seats in cab
– Automatic transmission w/ selectable Overdrive
– Air Conditioning
– Sun Roof w/Cover
– Tilt Steering Wheel
– Pop-out side cab windows, tinted glass
– Rear Sliding Cab Window
– Operating Vent Windows
– Standard Bed
– AM/FM Cassette Stereo, later upgraded to AM/FM CD Stereo
– Chromed Steel Wheels w/ Aluminum inserts
Custom Options: – Tonneau Cover w/ Stretcher Bars and bed-mounted frame
– “Rhino Lining” bed lining
– Rear Chrome Step Bumper
– Class Three Towing Hitch w/ Trailer Wiring
Comments: Will probably always be my favorite vehicle.
External Reference: Wikipedia Entry for Isuzu TF Series Pickups
Fact Sheet for My Isuzu LS SpaceCab

Photo Collection

One of a series of photo taken with my truck parked in the driveway at home in Gautier, Mississippi, the spring of 2003. By this time the truck was 14 years old and still ran as good as she looked. It would not be until later that year when I started developing mechanical problems, nearing 200,000 actual miles.

I also had great luck with the quality of the tonneau cover. By this time, the cover was ten years old and just beginning to fray and tear. Not bad considering the number of times it was stretched out full of water after a Mississippi rainstorm.

Another side view of my Isuzu SpaceCab. The stock side mirrors were another nice feature. The passenger-side mirror was curved, with the classic “images look closer than they appear” engraved at the bottom of the glass.

One feature was the center caps pressed into the cast aluminum wheels. These caps covered the bolts and presented a nice, finished appearance. A couple of years before I lost my truck in hurricane Katrina, these center caps suddenly started “disappearing.” I lost three in a matter of several weeks before I pulled the last remaining cap off. I tried to replace them, only to discover they were extremely expensive, and I wasn’t ready to pay that much. I remain convinced the thriving used hubcap market in neighboring Alabama had nothing to do with those caps disappearing.

This was the last photo taken of my beautiful truck, November 2004, side by side with my newly purchased 2004 Rodeo. At 16 years old the truck still looked great.

1988 Isuzu Pickup Factory Brochure 

Brochure cover page of the 1988 Isuzu Pickup series. This includes photos and descriptions of the entire line of pickups Isuzu produced this model year. I do believe 1988 was at or close to the high point for the Isuzu pickup line in America.

Isn’t this a pretty shot? The standard Isuzu pickup, but with the same exterior color scheme my truck had.

The photo above would be the top-line pickup version sold that year. This was the full LS “SpaceCab” model but with four-wheel drive that my truck did not include.

This really was a tough, well-built machine. After years of working on my old LUV pickup, I could easily recognize the continuation of body and chassis engineering.

No four-wheel drive on my truck, but the engine offered plenty of power for everything I ever did with her.

The operating side vent windows, sunroof, and the standard wide-view mirrors actually looked good. The side vent windows were a touch I really enjoyed. I don’t know why vehicles don’t include this nice feature anymore.

I do believe it was the only 1988 truck that offered four-way disk breaking, and the direct fuel injected engine was also rare in small pickups for that year.

I loved the interior. I was disappointed that the really cool dashboard style of the old LUV series pickups was not continued, but this was still a nice layout. Having the control buttons right up next to the instrumentation was pretty innovative. The dashboard tray was wonderful!

The standard truck interior. Still nice for a small pickup. This year’s model did include front airbags. The upholstery was as well-made as the rest of the truck. After 16 years the dash had never cracked, and the seat fabric looked nearly like new. I always thought the tilt steering wheel was an odd feature for a truck, but very useful when there were two very different sized people driving it.

The truck line was loaded. Note how many different options could be selected for the different body styles. I think this may have been the last year that chrome bumpers and trim was available on any Isuzu truck.

Aluminum wheels were just beginning to come out during this era. In 1988 many tire shops would not touch aluminum (mag) rims as they had not yet invested in the special equipment required to work with aluminum. Using the older tools meant for steel could easily crack aluminum rims. Isuzu’s design of a steel rim with aluminum center pressed in meant it was easy to find a suitable tire shop, years before all shops were aluminum-rim capable. There was a plastic center cap covering the grease hubs and lug bolts pressed into the aluminum wheels. The caps on my wheels lasted for 14 years, before three disappeared in a matter of a few weeks while parked at the shipyard I worked at.

Final view of the beautiful 1988 Isuzu pickups line, saving the best for last – the black with chrome LS model.

Index

Introduction
1977 Chevrolet LUV (Isuzu Luv Series Six) Pickup Truck
1979 MG Midget 1500
1980 Chevrolet Chevette 4 door Hatchback
1988 Isuzu LS SpaceCab Pickup Truck
1976 Alfa Romeo Alfetta 1.6 Four Door Sedan
1978 Mercedes Benz 200D 4 Door Sedan
1991 Volvo 240 Sedan
2004 Isuzu Rodeo LS SUV
2000 Volkswagen New Beetle GL 2 Door Hatchback
2009 Nissan Versa 1.8S Hatchback
2013 Nissan Versa 1.6SV Sedan 
2015 Jeep Cherokee “Latitude”
2024 Thor Scope 18G RV
Final Thoughts and Table of Changes

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2 Comments

  1. […] basis over an eleven year period for family visits. My more memorable trips were made with the MG Midget  I briefly owned, but ghosts of my frequent commutes are everywhere along the I-5 […]

    March 26, 2015
  2. docreport said:

    Yikes, trying to comment and somehow ended up in your WordPress control panel. That was weird!

    So anyway, found someone that’s owned a few cars like me,although I have ya beat by around 20 LOL.

    Read most of your R. Garwood story. Geez that sucks.

    January 2, 2016

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