Crowned: 'Best' Isuzus in SA

2012-11-08 10:01

In 2012, General Motors South Africa set out to find two special Isuzus to celebrate the brand’s local heritage, and unearthed a number of gems, including a 1million-km number that’s won its owner a once in a lifetime trip to the US.

Isuzu owners across South Africa were encouraged to enter the competition in one of two categories: the Isuzu with the highest verified mileage and the oldest Isuzu.


The bakkie with the highest mileage was found to be a 1997 Isuzu KB from the Eastern Cape with 1 004 000km on the clock – and still going strong.

Owned by Douglas Smith, who is the 15-year old’s second owner, this KB is used mainly on his farm and for anything that needs delivering.

Smith said: "This bakkie's first owner was a good friend who bought the vehicle along with two others for his engineering business … (and) for three years it transported heavy equipment all over the Western Cape.”

The KB continues to serve its current owner past the 1 million kilometre mark, often delivering heavy loads under harsh conditions.

“I have had my Isuzu for 12 years now and the amount of hard labour this vehicle has done has astounded me.

“It has transported almost 300 tons of rock and gravel to help me build a road on my farm and probably another 200 tons of sand and cement. I have also used it to transport tons of fuel drums all over South Africa for helicopter support and towing horse trailers in the Baviaanskloof,” Smith added.

Smith (and his KB) was rewarded with a R100 000 travel prize and will be jetting off shortly on a holiday to the United States.


The owner of the oldest Isuzu in South Africa is Singh Samsunder, who bought his Isuzu KB almost-new in 1979.

Samsunder is the former owner of Shepstone Battery Works in Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal and said: "The bakkie was used mainly to transport batteries on a daily basis.  I then decided to hold onto it after selling the business as it is a part of the family.

“It is like a samurai warrior. I feel like it will last me forever. I have been very lucky with this Isuzu KB bakkie. I have had no problems whatsoever with it,” Samsunder continued.

Samsunder’s Isuzu has covered 537 670 kilometres to date (an average of 16 000km per year from new). He has received a R25 000 fuel voucher.

Do you have a bakkie that could rival the reliability of these Isuzus? Tell us more in the Reader’s Comments section below, or by dropping us an e-mail.

  • riotousr - 2012-11-08 12:04

    Yes, I have a Chevrolet Aveo with mileage of close to 9000km. Am I eligible.

      lourensenchrisna - 2012-11-08 13:09

      time to trade in then before the problems start - lol!!!

      francois.botes1 - 2012-11-08 20:04

      Is jy op drugs of rook jy tee blare. Dwis.

  • christidv - 2012-11-08 12:05

    Come on GM give him a new bakkie not a fuel voucher.

      jack.blacking.56 - 2012-11-08 13:20

      If they did he would no longer be driving his old and trusted.

      Mandy Casey - 2012-11-08 19:22

      The new one won't last as long, he would just be disappointed.

  • erik.p.vanwyk - 2012-11-08 14:35

    My uncle had two Isuzu KB bakkies which he used for work.The one had over 500000km on the clock and the other over 600000km.I think the Isuzu and its KB range are one of the most reliable machines you can buy.Despite the tractor sound ofcourse.

      shaun.malambo.9 - 2012-11-08 19:28

      Agree my first ever bakkie I drove was an Isuzu, the second was a Hilux. I clearly remember the first bakkie experience, the second bakkie experience I can hardly remember.

  • francois.botes1 - 2012-11-08 20:05

    KB for life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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