FANDOM


The Isuzu Bellel was an compact manufactured by Isuzu Motors Ltd. in Japan from 1961 to 1966. It was the company's first independent design, and also Japan's first passenger car with a diesel engine. It was available as a 4-door sedan and a 4-door station wagon, called the Bellel Express. The name "Bellel" resulted from combining the English word "bell" with the Roman numeral "L", equalling 50, and thus the name was supposed to represent "fifty Bells" (Isuzu literally means "fifty bells" in Japanese).

The Bellel was fitted with 1.5 L and 2.0 L gasoline OHV engines, and also the aforementioned 55 PS (40 kW) 2.0 L diesel (DL201) engine. There was also a lesser 1.6 L diesel (with 52 hp) available, the DL200. All engines were mated with a four-speed manual transmission with the shifter mounted on the steering column. The suspension setup was modeled after the Hillman Minx, which was previously manufactured by Isuzu under a license agreement with the Rootes Group.

The original front end on the 1961 model was fitted with stacked headlamps similar to the Nissan Cedric. However, in 1962, a simple twin headlight configuration was used. Initially, the Bellels had quite original, triangular taillights, but these were dropped during a 1965 facelift in an attempt to afford the Bellel a more formal, upscale and mainstream look. The facelift also included changes to the front fascia, where the previous single round headlights paired with smaller turn signals were replaced by quad round headlights arranged horizontally.

The diesel engine made the Bellel popular for commercial applications, such as taxicab services. This partially helped to offset the Bellel's relative unpopularity with private customers, which resulted from the harshness of the early diesel engine and peculiar styling. A small number of these cars found their way into other countries, with left-hand drive. 37,206 Bellels were manufactured in total.