Diesel Shortbed: 1982 Chevy Luz

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Here’s an intriguing options for classic pickup ownership: one of the final versions of the Chevy Luv pickup, equipped with the Isuzu diesel powerplant, here on eBay. Most of the examples I see are of the earlier generation of this small pickup and very few are in this grade of condition.

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Although Isuzu has struggled to gain a competitive foothold in the U.S. with its own cars and trucks, their diesel engines are still popular in commercial applications. With only 82,000 miles, there’s lot of life left in this motor and the factory manual transmission will make it a bit easier to extract the minimal performance potential it has. This truck is about high-efficiency reliability, not brute force or speed.

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In an era where large pickups with big price tags dominate, it’s hard not to be disappointed by the general lack of success small pickups have in the U.S. The Ford Ranger was one of the last ones to provide a truly affordable platform with the option of choosing 2WD or 4WD. This Chevy Luv is certainly nothing fancy, but it provides the utility of a truck with the fuel economy of a car – that’s a pretty good combo, if you ask me.

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The body on this Luv is quite straight and the interior appears very clean, with the only deviation from stock condition being the wheels and tires. Bidding is already active and the Buy-it-Now is a reasonable (in my opinion) $5,500. You don’t find too many of these running around, and with proper maintenance and a commitment to avoiding road salt, it should remain an easy-to-park workhorse for years to come.

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Comments

  1. ydnar

    Luz-y I’m home!!
    For that kind of money, you can have a real truck. There were some Isuzu engines that were horrid. I am not well versed on this one. The buyer better know what he doing.

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  2. Cassidy

    well cared for truck, this should sell and provide the buyer with years of good service!

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  3. MountainMan

    I would love to have this! These are great little trucks. I haver known a few people who have had these with the Isuzu and Chevy badges both. The Chevy Luv diesel I knew the best belonged to a good friend. His Mother worked at GMAC and bought the truck new in 1983. Same short bed, 2wd diesel as this one featued. His mom passed it along to him when it had 250,000 miles and had never had any major issues. He used it as a DD for several years without having to do anything other that typical wear items…clutch, battery, brakes, glow plugs etc. The little truck got amazing mileage and was actually fun to drive. Last I remember the little truck had just shy of half million miles and never required anything unusual. One of the 4wd versions was proudly owned and driven daily by another buddys father with the same type of reliability as the 2wd version. I bet other folks have similar experience with these so I would imagine this truck will see some spirited bidding. With the low mileage on this one the next owner should be able to enjoy it for several years without too much cussing. Oh yeah, they are also surprisingly strong too, the 2wd Luv towed a pretty good size camper from Central Florida to the Florida keys without fuss.
    I

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  4. Donnie

    put in a v8

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  5. Matt Tritt

    Dead in the water on steep grades with loads of black smoke. If you live on the flat somewhere it could be a great truck.

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  6. Steve

    Maybe worth 3k tops.

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    • Hector

      It may not be worth $5500 now, but it’s worth more than $3000. Values on these have dropped with fuel prices but this, with 85k miles on it, is still a $4000+ truck. An absolutely mint ’81 with 30K on the odometer, just sold on ebay for almost $11K, and a ’84 with 250K miles sold for $3500, so you do the math. You can get $2000 just for the long block.

      I am on my third Isuzu diesel, a loaded ’86 4WD Spacecab turbo diesel with less than 40k on the clock (I have upgraded, not worn them out). It spent most of it’s life being towed behind a Class A motorhome to and from Florida, and I wouldn’t take less than $10,000 for it (but I’m never selling it). I sold my previous two trucks for more than $4000 for one and $7000 for the second.. When the gas price holiday ends these trucks will be money in the bank.

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  7. G 1

    The slowest thing I ever drove. The motor is the same as a John Deere 125 skid steer.

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  8. Mark E

    I’m guessing the Luz is the Bill Lutz edition LUV? ^o^

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  9. geomechs

    I’ve worked on a number of these diesel-powered trucks. Well-built, a little pricey to fix but that shouldn’t need to be done all that often. Not the most powerful but they can hold their own.

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  10. dj

    I had one of these in long wheel base. It was the upper trim model with two tone paint, different cloth door panels. It was a diesel and ran great. Never had a minutes trouble out of it. I bought it used and sold it for more than I gave.

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