July 2016 winner

Scott Laprade

Marketing Manager, Genevieve Swiss Industries Inc. (GenSwiss), Westfield, Massachusetts

The vehicle

1991 Isuzu Stylus
  • 1.6L, 130hp, 4-cylinder engine
  • Factory suspension tuned by Lotus
  • Restored to mint condition in 2005

What’s so special about your Isuzu?

I had no idea what it was at the time in 1999, but the $900 price tag was certainly something my minimum wage job could afford. I drove that car for five years until it met its demise when I was clipped by a truck and sent into a utility pole. I stripped the wrecked car to a bare frame, saving all the good body and mechanical parts until I could find another one of these rare obscurities to build.

How long did you have to wait?

In late 2004, I found an example in Florida with a bad engine but a pristine, rust-free body. After months of hard work, and lots of aftermarket, as well as hand-machined one-off parts, I had a practically new car assembled and roadworthy by fall of 2005.

Where is it now?

I drove it every day for 10 years until I retired it to weekend-only in 2015. It was the most reliable car I’ve ever owned, but I wanted something modern and safer for my children to ride in. It is one of the last of an era of inexpensive imported vehicles that were never intended to be kept for 25 years. When people ask why I keep it going, I answer, just to see that I can and to defend the history.

To enter the contest, visit www.TodaysMotorVehicles.com/MyFavoriteRide and fill out the entry form. Only completed forms will qualify.

The entry deadline is Aug. 19, 2016, with winners announced in the October issue. Have fun, and good luck! For a full set of rules, please visit www.TodaysMotorVehicles.com/MyFavoriteRide.