While cruising the internet, we stumbled across this 1977 Isuzu 117 Coupe for sale in Clinton, Washington. Finding a 117 Coupe for sale in the US is a rare thing indeed. In all my searching, I've come across less than 10 that have come up for sale in the past 5 years or so. I would venture a guess that there are less than 50 of these beautiful Italian designed grand coupes in the US.
This particular models appears to be in very good shape. The 1977 model was the last year of the Chuuki models. From 1969 to 1973 the 117 Coupe was all hand made as the shape was too complex for Isuzu's mass production capabilities at the time. This is what we call the Zenki model. In 1973, however, GM and Isuzu became very friendly and GM brought Isuzu's mass production capabilities up to spec, so the 117 Coupe could start being produced in much greater numbers.
This marked the introduction of the Chuuki model. The rear tail lights were changed from slim separate units to a full piece that ran the length of the car, additional rear markers were added to the rear fenders and carious other minor changes occurred. In 1978 the final facelift for the 117 Coupe occurred, introducing the Kouki model. Along with it, the interior changed completely to a much squarer design with more use of plastic, the ehadlights were changed over to quad square units and the fender mirrors changed from chrome round units to plastic units. Also, fuel injection was adopted for both the twin cam engine and the single cam engine. This marked the first use of Jetronic injection in Japan.
As for this particular model for sale, being a 1977, it is the last year of the Chuuki models. The body appears to be in very good condition. The markers on the rear fender tend to catch water and rust like crazy, but they look fairly rust free on this particular example. Although, we can't really see the passenger side, so that would be something to definitely check out.
The Chuuki interior with the round gauges looks to be in very good shape, although the seller does state that the oil pressure gauge and turn signals do not work. This could be a simple fix or indicative of something more sinister going on with the wiring. Regardless, used instrument panels with all gauges intact do pop up on Yahoo Auctions Japan on the occasion. If a prospective buyer is looking to get some parts from Japan, I personally recommend using www.importmonster.com.au/ or www.rinkya.com/en .
The engine also looks to be in quite good shape. Also, being the twin cam engine, it is definitely the more sought after specification. From personal experience, I can hand on heart say that these engines sound absolutely sublime! The major downside to these engines is that since they were never offered in the US, finding parts may be difficult. However, the design is shared heavily with the Alfa twin cam engine of the period, so perhaps parts can be sourced from the Italian crowd.
For $14,000 this is definitely a car worth checking out! Here's the link to the Craigslist ad: seattle.craigslist.org/see/cto/5901701433.html