Isuzu Bellett: The Tinkle Belle that Rang Alarm Bells

04 November 2013
The first Bellett was a striking design for a 1963 model and beautifully presented in De Luxe specification. Shown on its own, there was little to suggest how tiny it was even if the glasshouse was relatively tall. The B-pillars were canted rearwards to allow easier access through the small doors. 

The two unknown Japanese cars on the August 1964 cover of Wheels looked too mainstream to generate a laugh, the usual reaction to a new small Japanese car. The new Bellett, Isuzu’s first home grown replacement for its 1950s Hillman Minx built under licence, was not funny anymore. Paired by the same local importer, the Mitsubishi Colt and Isuzu Bellett were the second wave of an invasion that was getting serious. 

Not only was the Bellett appearance a generation ahead of the Ford Cortina, Hillman Minx, Vauxhall Viva, VW Beetle and Morris 1100 that kept Australians in work, it had all the makings of an exceptional car underneath.