Isuzu Unicab

uniab7.jpg

What beautiful promotional photos and ads! 

There's something about how Isuzu depicted its Unicab that I really enjoy. There's a few great shots of it out in (presumably) the wilderness, some nice photographic illustrations. Models are mostly enjoying recreational activities in the Unicab—of course, there's some work being done and Isuzu includes an illustration of the frame, but this plastic door'd utility would be great for an evening out. 

First shown at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1966 and going on sale in mid-1967, the Unicab is very much in the same vein of something like the Fiat 127 Cavalletta or Citroën Mehari—which the Unicab beat to market by a year. Isuzu was ahead of its time on this one, and one of the first manufacturers to release a city-focused, rear-drive, soft roader.

With initially just 1.3 litres under the hood, its approximately 985 kg (2,171 lbs) weight wouldn't have been much of a burden, but the Unicab was slow. The 1.3 was upgraded to a 1.5-litre and a grand total of 68 horsepower, but buyers never really materialized. Its lack of speed was, apparently, a factor. I can't be the only one who's sad the Unicab was phased out by 1974.

Its replacement? The Rodeo. 

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