ISUZU BELLETT GT-R 1600
The Isuzu Bellett is a subcompact car produced by the Japanese Automobile manufacturer Isuzu between 1963 to 1973. It was an in-house designed replacement for the Isuzu Hillman Minx, built previously by Isuzu under a license agreement with the Rootes Group . The name “Bellett” was supposedly to represent “a smaller Bellel”, a larger car built by the company. “Isuzu” itself means “fifty bells”, hence the choice of these names.
The car was available as a four-door or two-door sedan, a rare two-door station wagon marketed as a commercial vehicle, called the Bellett Express, and an even rarer one ton commercial variant marketed as the Isuzu Wasp. There was also a four-door sedan with different bodywork and rear suspension, called the Bellett B. Lastly there was a two-door coupé and a fastback version of the same. After General Motors acquired a stake in Isuzu, the Bellett was replaced by GM’s “global” T-car, initially called Isuzu Bellett Gemini and later simply Isuzu Gemini, which technically had little to do with its predecessor. A total of 170,737 of original Belletts were manufactured.
The GT-R, more specifically GT Type-R (for “racing”), was a racing version of the GT, also available to individual customers. First presented in September 1969, the GT-R featured a 1.6 L DOHC engine from the 117 Coupé, power brakes and numerous other modifications. Available only with two-door notchback coupé bodywork It was visually different from other Belletts primarily by a specific paint scheme, which included a completely black hood. The ISUZU BELLETT GT-R 1600 achieved many successes in racing, and has gained its own fan community. Only about 1,400 GT-Rs were manufactured.
In 2006, readers of Japanese collector car magazine Nostalgic Hero ranked the Bellett GT-R 10th in a list of the 50 greatest Japanese cars. Results were published in issue 116 (August 2006) as well as a Nostalgic Hero Extra Edition (Geibun Mooks No. 555) published April 20, 2007. The 1969 Bellett GT-R is a playable car in the Polyphony Digital video game Gran Turismo 4 for the PlayStation 2, and also in Gran Turismo 5 and Gran Turismo 6 for the PlayStation 3.
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