The cab-over 2-tonne (4,400 lb) Elf (TL221) was originally introduced in August 1959. It was originally only available with the 1.5 litres (1,491 cc) GL150 petrol engine with 60 PS (44 kW). It had single headlights and rear-hinged doors. A longer wheelbase version, on 2,460 mm (97 in) versus the 2,180 mm (86 in) of the regular version, was also available. This carries the TL251 chassis code.
In March 1960 a 2-liter diesel engine with 52 PS (38 kW) was introduced (TL121/151), a first for the class in Japan – this was soon followed by diesel models from Isuzu’s competitors. In 1962 the engines were updated, and now have 72 and 55 PS (53 and 40 kW) respectively. The chassis codes were changed to TL321/351 for the diesel version, reflecting the installation of the all new DL201 engine. A little later, the chassis codes were reorganized and were now TLG10/11 for the petrol models and TLD10/11 for the diesels. In 1964 the long wheelbase model became the standard version. In 1964 the diesel was also upgraded to the larger 2.2-litre C220 with 62 PS (46 kW). In 1965 the front was redesigned, now with twin headlights.
Isuzu ended up offering a very wide variety of bodyworks for the first Elf. There was the original integrated bed, as well as a separate truckbed with dropsides. There was a double-cab version available, as well as special bodywork for dedicated purposes such as a soda truck, a dumper, and a tanker. There was also a “Route Van” model with a glazed rear compartment and seating either three or six, as well as the “Elf Bus” which was available in two models from 1960. The Elf Light Bus has integrated bodywork and the long wheelbase and seats 21 passengers (chassis codes BL171/271 for the diesel/petrol) while the Elf Micro Bus fit into the very narrow slot between the Route Van and the Light Bus.
The Micro Bus originally had the Route Van’s bodywork but was more passenger-oriented (seating 12 or 15). It carried the TL121/151/21/251B chassis codes, and from 1961 it received its own rear bodywork with bigger glazing. The Elf Bus later became its own line, called the Isuzu.
Articled Written By Vicente Perez © 2020-07-02