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$2,950 Diesel! 1982 Chevrolet LUV Diesel Pickup

081516 Barn Finds - 1982 Chevrolet Luv Diesel - 1

This great-looking 1982 Chevrolet LUV Diesel Pickup is on Craigslist for a very reasonable price of $2,950! It’s located in the beautiful capital city of Oregon – Salem. This is one nice little truck!

081516 Barn Finds - 1982 Chevrolet Luv Diesel - 3

This photo is a little washed-out, but if you squint through the sunbeams you can see how absolutely, dare I say it?.. perfect this LUV diesel truck looks! There are 158,986 miles on this thing and it looks like it has 100,000 less than that to me. I see no rust at all on this tough little rig. This is the last year that GM stopped selling the second-generation LUV, they were only available here for 1981 and 1982 and then the Chevy S-10 was introduced. Isuzu started selling the Isuzu P’up in the US at the same time that GM pulled the LUV from the market.

081516 Barn Finds - 1982 Chevrolet Luv Diesel - 2

Ok, I do see a little door ding on the passenger door, but for a 34-year old truck it’s in amazing condition. We probably all know that the Chevy LUV was made by Isuzu. A model known elsewhere as the Isuzu Faster became the Chevy LUV for the North American market. LUV = “light utility vehicle”, maybe one of the first vehicle acronyms?

081516 Barn Finds - 1982 Chevrolet Luv Diesel - 4

As you’d expect, the interior looks great, too. Other than a dirty floor, some fading on the steering wheel and the door panels could use a good cleaning, but other than that this interior looks great! And, yes, that’s a 5-speed, just the thing for a small pickup, especially a diesel one.

081516 Barn Finds - 1982 Chevrolet Luv Diesel - 5

Speaking of that, here it is: Isuzu’s C223, OHV, 2.2L inline-four diesel with 58 hp and 93 ft-lb of torque. At the time, this truck and engine combo was rated at 33 mpg city and 44 mpg highway. The EPA has reconfigured the way that they measure mpg so I’m not sure what it would be now, but I’m guessing that it would still be close to those numbers now. I think that this would be a great little truck. The almost-perfect body, the diesel engine, and the 5-speed transmission are the clinchers; and then there’s that price! This seems like a great deal to me, but every time I say that there are folks who point out that I’m being overly optimistic. Hey, life’s too short to be pessimistic! I think that this is a great truck and a great price, what do you think?


  1. rmward194 Member

    I was flipping cars back in the early 90’s and took one of these on trade from a guy. It was slower than molasses, but fun to drive for the few weeks I had it.

    Like 4
  2. dirtyharry

    Anytime a running car is priced the same as a decent Vespa, buy the Vespa. Yes it is cheap, but don’t forget you are buying a vehicle that won’t go “heads up” with a Chevette. Certainly makes a great little utility vehicle for all those chores you can’t do without a pick up bed. Worth having if you can appreciate what it is. I drove a neighbors one time and was glad to give it back.

    Like 2
  3. wuzjeepnowsaab

    IIRC, even that little Isuzu diesel is a bulletproof workhorse. Slow, hellzya, but point it where you need to go, send an email saying I’ll see you when I see you and sit back and enjoy the ride. At 1st blush, seems like a good deal but ppi would tell the rest of the story

    Like 1
  4. Fred W.

    Only diesel I ever had was a Mercedes 300D. It was fine until you were in an interstate on ramp, trying to merge with semis going 80. That’s when you have sudden doubts as to your choice of vehicles.

    Like 1
  5. Mike

    Back in the late 80’s the guy that serviced and yearly inspected Dad big fancy paint booth drove one of these but it had a small utility bed on it. I remember him talking about they would take forever to get up to 55 mph but once they did that was it for going faster, but of course back then the max hwy speed in Missouri was 55.

    Like 3
  6. Chebby

    Drove a 4×4 version of this (with 4 people in it) from Philadelphia to New Orleans back in the 90’s. Two at a time rode in the bed on a mattress “lounge” we set up in the camper shell. Little bugger got us there, but it did not like to be pushed on the highway.

    Like 2
  7. rustylink

    my ride home from High School had one of these – same color etc. Slow, no frills, most basic transportation you could get. The flip side – diesel was cheap in the 80’s and it got 30+mpg. That little truck was tough and it was literally abused at every turn.

    A little truck like that in my neck of the woods (Northern Va.) would be snapped up after a bidding war by a savvy tradesman..

    Like 1
  8. Doug Towsley

    I have a 72 Chev luv that for years was set up for a V8 350 SBC and had a lot of fun with it. One crazy hot rod. Tap the gas 2-3 times to get it hopping then nail it to the floor and pulled wheelies. This looks way too much like an S10. Was not even aware they made them.
    I suppose you could go totally green and set it up to run on vegetable oil. I knew a guy when I worked in that same town (Salem) who had same year VW Diesel pickup set up to run on French fry oil. Its harder to source veggie oil now (Theres a demand for it) BUT an alternative might be to run it on Hemp/Marijuana oil. Weed is legal now in Oregon both medical and recreational and everybody and their brother are growing it. There will be bumper crops of 2nd tier plant materials and if processed produces oil that could be used for fuel. Would produce an interesting odor from the tail pipe I suppose?

    Like 1
    • Jamie

      I’m in WA state and the ’81 blue Chevy LUV was my 1st vehicle. I was the HS friend giving everyone rides in my neck of the woods! LOL Loved that it was diesel and mine actually had great get up & go. Taught MANY friends to drive a stick shift in that little baby, too!

      Like 1
  9. BCG 1

    Don’t believe it’s an 82. 82 was the first year of the S10 which replaced the Luv and they did not overlap.

    Like 0
    • Joy Rullens

      It is a 1982. I had mine for 9 years. Loved it. Same color with a shell.

      Like 1
      • Dorothy Hall

        Is this a 2? Does the heater work? Is there a phone number my brother can talk to a person to get more information about this truck? He lives in the Shreveport, LA area and would need it shipped maybe.

        Like 0
    • Douglas Murphy

      Mine is a 1981 isuzu pup diesel 87.563 miles 3/4 ton rear wheel drive with stock 7 foot bed.

      Like 0
  10. Jay M

    I would buy this in a heartbeat if it was local and 4wd.
    I wish there was a modern day, no-frills/inexpensive diesel pickup readily available at your favorite local dealership.
    Something that could still be repaired and serviced by anyone, not just the dealer.
    I am starting to see more Cummins 4BT powered Sonomas and Dakotas up here, so I guess we have to build our own.

    Like 0
    • Doug Towsley

      Something about Diesels is weird. In the last year I had 2 different people tell me about on trips to Europe they drove diesels that were amazing. One was an engineer attending a conference. Got one as a rental and expected it to be a dog as it had a small motor but I believe he said it was also turbo. He was really impressed. Said it was nearly a rocket ship with loads of power, excellent econonmy and hauled him and 2 fat friends all over including thru the Alps. Did not miss a beat. He immediately started looking at trying to import one and no go. Cant buy in the US either. Another friend is a sales rep for sporting goods and wants a certain model small van, the width of a car but like a Mercedes sprinter van. Ford makes a version but he wanted the euro one with the diesel engine. Again, loads of power runs forever great service record for maint. And good fuel economy. The one he wanted is availible in Canada and even sneaking one across the border its impossible to title and register here without massive fraud. Since its for his business/work he needs to be above board so it was impossible.

      We DO have a Yanmar tractor. Nice little unit and grey market imported from Japan with low hours. We paid HALF what the comparable Kubota is and is virtually the same Tractor except the color. Yanmar virtually dominates the midsize and compact tractor market. They make the drivetrains for most tractors on the market. Little 3 cyl diesels in various HP/Torque ratings. We are very happy with ours and everyone we know who has them. At my prev job for a govt agency we had a lot of John Deere mowers for grounds work and they all had these motors. No issues with the motors. Other parts yes. (The John Deere made ones) I have often contemplated the idea of one of those Yanmar diesels in something like this little truck or other economy car.

      Like 0
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi Doug. Yanmar actually sold small tractors over here but its largest market was through John Deere. They built small diesel engines and tractors under contract for a number of years. The contract also specified that there were features it couldn’t sell on its own stuff. They almost divorced 30 years ago when Yanmar started selling tractors under its own name with John Deere patented equipment such as the rack-and-pinion adjusted rear wheel spacing. They must have gotten it sorted out for the most part because Deere is still selling a lot of product from the Rising Sun. I don’t know if Yanmar builds intermediate sized motors but it does build some monsters for ships and locomotives.

        Like 0
      • Doug Towsley

        Geo, I did not know much about Yanmars until I started researching tractors for our little farm. I wanted to just get an old Ford 9N or a Massey Fergusan like I remember as a kid working on our or neighbors farms growing up. But a compact 4wd tractor is much more user friendly.
        The guy retired but there was a local guy buying tractors in Japan and bringing them over grey market in Containers. (parts!) These were all low hours machines and he refurbished them,. Installed a KOYKER bucket loader on the front. We paid $10k for ours. Had very low hours and in excellent shape. (He did a nice job servicing them and I know they did not look that good when they arrive) But regardless I got a box scraper thrown in (Really well built one with dragon teeth) and a fork lift attch. Ours also had a manual and auto tilt for the rear 3 point. (If you switch it to auto and attch the matching mercury switch to whatever is on the attch It keeps the attch level no matter what angle the tractor is so really nice feature). We later went back and bought a really nice tiller attch that is the best tiller I have ever operated. Comparable Kubotas retailed at around $30,000 new and used were in the high teens for worn out and beat to low to mid 20s for decent used with way more hours.. So it was a heck of a deal.
        Now, the manuals and parts book are all in Japanese so there IS that! But i since found a nearly identical Kubota model manual in English so It has not been a big problem. Theres an online and parts distributor who so far has been excellent. I would have preferred to buy all american made products but not much out there in those sizes and class.

        Like 0
  11. Andrew

    I didn’t think block heaters are necessary in Salem. Does it really get that cold out there?

    Like 0
    • Doug Towsley

      Andrew, It depends on the year. Some years we can have a month or 2 of pretty consistent below or near below freezing, and other years maybe a week. But Diesels tend to be cold blooded so, probably helped in starting. Doesnt mean it spent its whole life IN Salem either. This whole area North to South from Canada well into California is flanked by mountains and hills. There is the coast range and can get icy and pretty cold with little warning especially in the limited routes over the passes to the Coast. Then we have a lot of Mnts, passes and such further east. Basically flanking Interstate 5. Im just south east of Portland and used to commute every day TO Salem which is roughly an hour away. But I dont have to drive far to find snow and Ice. I can be up on Mt Hood in 45 min to an hour and be skiing up on the glaciers year round. In fact many summers the US Olympic ski team trains here. Many people send their kids to camp for the summer right? But here in Oregon you can send your brats to snow board camp IN the summer.
      I was just thinking about block heaters the other day. Working on my Datsun pickup and I used to run one on my old Nissan, One of those you put in the lower radiator hose. Cheap and worked well. Even if was not freezing in the winter when I was getting up at 0500 and commutting in that car it was nice to just unplug and go and little warm up and the motor seemed happier if thats possible. I was thinking i should get another one even though its not the extreme weather other places get. They say most of your wear on your engine is cold starts. Oil works better when its not in the 30’s

      Like 0
  12. Andrew

    Thanks Doug. I live in Vancouver, Canada, and even up there we have pretty mild winters and no snow at ground level for years now. Our summers are getting warmer too, that’s why I wondered. Thumbs up.

    Like 0
    • Doug Towsley

      Okay Andrew, When you said “out there” I assumed you were back east or at least Mid West. BC aye? I get up there pretty regular most years. Would love to do some skiing up there at some of the resorts north of you. Some really nice terrain around those areas.

      I still laugh though about the people flying in for the Olympics some years back. Not everyone can read a map and confused Vancouver Washington with Vancouver BC. (Just across the river from Portland Oregon. We call it Van-Tucky or “The “Couve”) So Apparently the story went it was a LOT cheaper to fly into Portland Oregon than Vancouver BC and people were dumbfounded to find out the Olympics were NOT in Vancouver Washington and instead were 5 hrs North in,,,,,,,oh my god! ANOTHER Country!

      I have no clear idea why, But the Oregon coast seems really popular with Canadians. We see a lot of them year round but especially summers. Tillamook Cheese factory is an especially popular spot and seems theres a lot of Canadian plates every time we stop there. I was at the International Norton Owners rally in Northern California last month and there was a very sizable amount of Canadians who rode down or trailered their bikes along with camping gear. They brought down some really nice bikes!
      See: http://www.accessnorton.com/2016-inoa-feather-river-rally-july-quincy-t23790-30.html

      There was at least 5 Canadian Norton chapters attending from what I saw. Many were near the Coffee stand so we spent a lot of time in the AM getting caffeinated.

      Like 1
      • Andrew

        Ha, that’s a great story about the Vancouver Olympics!
        Well, I assume Doug that no one likes the freezing cold, not even Canadians! Going north in Canada seems less interesting, so, heading south is always fun. We love Trader Joe’s stores and a bunch of others we don’t get. Canadians, incl. myself, love the restaurants on your side of the border. U.S. is a fun place to visit for most of us. You can only go East-West in Canada, therefore our options can be a bit limited. Oregon coast is beautiful, and not that far away for a long weekend trip for us. Yes, skiing in B.C. is awesome. Whistler village is a town on it’s own incl. all amenities. There you find people from all over the world who come not only for the snow but to have a glass of wine by the fireplace and chill out.

        Like 0
  13. Doug Towsley

    I usually come up and attend the Canadian Vintage clubs annual get together in conjunction with Todd Copans Vintage bike show and swap meet up in BC every spring.

    Most years there is a good show and swap meet in Mt Vernon just south of the Border that is half cars and half motorcycles. A fun event and on a Saturday and then Sunday up in BC is the Canadian event. When it was held in Tswassen up in the Delta I would stay INSIDE the venue and then work security as well because I usually am just promoting the museum I volunteer for. So Todd let me and a few others stay inside and I camped each year in the Hockey Arena penalty box. Mostly because I could and was amusing. Not alot of hotels avail in the Delta. There was a couple good restaurants towards Point Roberts a few blocks from the venue. But your beer prices are insane and most of it for sale is from the US and Oregon especially.
    In the mornings the Coffee machines were on a timer and I knew it was time to get up when I heard the roller door at the end of the building go up and the coffee turn on. Todd would show up with cases of Donuts and pastrys from Tim Hortons. I like Timmy Hortons. Todd had to change venues and is now in Cloverdale at the Ag expo now but a good event each year. We always enjoy coming North but the Canadians get pissed off if we buy Briitsh bikes or parts and take them south. They want to keep them on that side of the Border.
    Here is one of the more popular places to stop on the Oregon coast. We see people from all over stop there. Lot of Canadians show up too.
    See: https://www.tillamook.com/cheese-factory/index.html But while the Ice cream, jerky and other stuff is great served right there at the factory its CHEAPER to go across the street and buy the Cheese from the Fred Meyer grocery store.

    I just dont hear much about any US guys buying vintage cars up in BC and bringing them into the US. Bikes yes, but not cars. Dont know why. But I hear often of Canadians buying vintage cars in the US and taking them up North.

    If you ever get down to Portland look me up, I am not hard to locate. We have a little farm up in the hills near Portland. You might also consider visiting the Museum I volunteer at , The NW Vintage Car & Motorcycle museum. We have a overall facility called Antique Powerland and its made up of 12 museums on our campus each independantly run but we also work together. We are just 1/4 mile off Interstate 5 at exit #263 just north of Salem and Keizer Oregon.
    See: http://nwcarandcycle.com/

    Like 0
    • Andrew

      Thank you for the information Doug! Yes, I will definitely look into stopping by. (c:
      Tillamook certainly looks interesting! I have heard of it, but never actually been there.
      I bought this little Rabbit pickup in Portland this Spring. Very happy with it.

      Like 0
      • Doug Towsley

        That is a really NICE pickup! Not my style but thats worthy of a barnfind feature all its own. I know a local guy in Portland with a similar vintage rabbit convertible and in pristine shape. He has invested a LOT of money into it and I bet you get just as many people checking out yours as well as his. Although the Rabbit pickup like that is a little less common and I bet yours attracts a lot of attention.
        I have a 1972 Luv I am putting up for sale soon, but finishing up a project Datsun 620 Pickup. It is a mix of 1972 and I added a 1979 King cab onto it, Titled and registered as a 72 but I dont think there IS such a thing as a king cab 72 620 but there sure as heck IS NOW!. 5 speed, L20 and upgrading some other parts. Cheap, great mileage, super easy and low cost to maintain and very utility capable. Yours looks along the same line.

        I totally believe there IS a strong market and demand for low cost economy little trucks like these. Not the bazillion dollar leather ensconced stuff made today but basic simple utility transp-o. Little Rangers, Luvs, Rabbits, Datsuns-Toyotas at a good price point would sell all day long in my opinion and around here good luck finding them now. Good ones go quick. Looks like you got a nice one of your own.

        Like 0
  14. wuzjeepnowsaab

    I find myself daydreaming about installing one of the Saab Garret turbos laying around on my parts shelf into this l’il luvvy truck. Good thing this is too far away…

    Like 0
  15. Vintageant

    Wheeler Dealers did an episode on a Chevy Luv a few weeks back.

    Like 0
  16. Casscade

    Dad had a long bed 4 wheel drive diesel Isuzu p’up. It was used hard hauling wood out of semi rugged terrain. Very slow on the hwy but the low end grunt was surprising and fun off road.

    Like 0
  17. chad

    Lotta co. makin these in mid 70s – mid 80s. All in the high 1L – mid 2L. (Chevy Chevette, Toy, Isu. Datsun, VW, etc). They were very underpowered not like the euro cars of the day. No turbo, no computer, used a line pumps, etc. One with more (Isu 6 cyl) wuz put in the Scout II at that time & still a lill under powered. Wouldn’t mind a diesel mini truck from then w/4 WD 5 speed 4 my specific needs.

    Now the have the ‘puter, etc and are really great (truck OR car)!

    Like 1
  18. Jim

    Wow! this brings back memories. I had an 82 LUV 5-speed diesel yellow shortbed. Took it 12,000 miles through Mexico. Down through Nogales to Mexico City back to Mazatlan then took a ferry over to Cabo San Lucas and drove all the way up the Baha until I entered the U.S. in San Ysidro. Truck got 55mpg. The only time I got stuck was when I puled onto the beach in Mazatlan, other than that it went everywhere with no problems. One of the best vehicles I ever owned.

    Like 0
  19. Donald

    Does it have AC and power steering ?

    Like 0
  20. Dwane

    I owned one 30 years ago. I got 48 mpg. Most dependable truck, next to a vw pickup. I hope its still for sale in two weeks or so. I will be taking a flight from little rock. Wish me luck.

    Like 0

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