Only 47k Miles! 1979 Chevrolet LUV Mikado 4×4

The seller of this 1979 Chevrolet LUV Mikado 4×4 pickup says that it’s a one-owner vehicle that was owned by an Air Force officer and with just 47,180 miles on the odometer, it looks like he rarely drove it. They have it posted here on craigslist in Colorado Springs, Colorado and they’re asking $15,000 for this little gem. Thanks to T.J. for sending in this LUV’ly tip! Here’s the original ad.

This truck is a bit of an internet sensation, or at least has been bounced around on several different forums and online sales sites. It’s hard to miss, it’s not that often that a person sees a nice, original white-with-bold-graphics LUV Mikado 4×4. That being said, it does have its share of minor issues with the dreaded rust devils. The seller has provided a ton of great photos and kudos to them for that, and they didn’t purposely-by-accident leave out any glaring issues as a lot of sellers do.

The minor issues are hard to see unless an honest seller gives detailed photos, which this one did. There are a few minor hail dings on the roof, the graphics on the hood are faded and cracked due to the sun and just plain age. Inside the box looks good with honest wear and tear, the rocker panels look solid for the most part but the seller shows us a couple of areas that could use some work, such as the rear cab mounts which are rusty.

The Chevy LUV was a rebadged Isuzu Faster pickup and it helped Chevrolet jump into the small pickup market as Japanese trucks were starting to become popular. They were offered in two generations for a decade, from 1972 to 1982 here in the US. The interior looks great in this truck. The only issues that are really visible are a few big cracks on the padded dash. The underside even looks good other than lots of normal surface rust and those rusty cab mounts. The seller mentions that this truck has the factory-installed Skid Plate Package.

The engine is an Isuzu 1.8L inline-four which would have had 75 horsepower and there’s a 4-speed manual. This one runs and drives great and everything works. This may be the nicest original LUV Mikado 4×4 left. Have any of you owned a Chevy LUV?


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  1. Boatman Member

    Parts store I worked at in ’79 had one of these and a Ford Courier. As a Ford man, it pains me to say this, but the Chevy was five times the truck that Ford was. Luv to have this.

    Like 16
    • Solosolo Solosolo Member

      My friend had a Chev Light Utility Vehicle like this and I had a 1975 Ford Cortina pick-up V6 automatic and the LUV was also twice the vehicle that the Ford was, however, the Ford made an excellent tow car and beach vehicle, once the tyres were let down to about 15 psi.

      Like 4
  2. Rw

    Had 2wd back in the day, would still be driving if frame didn’t rot in two,thanks to Ky road salt.

    Like 6
  3. John Hutchison

    Had a red 78 2WD with the roll bar, KC Daylighters, suspension lift, chrome rims with baby moon caps, and a header pipe. Fun little truck, and I had a ****load of fun in the mid 80’s with it.

    Like 10
  4. Greeniron32

    I had friends with LUV’s and Courier’s, a blown head gasket was more common on the Courier.

    Like 3
  5. Terrry

    You used to see Chevy Luvs all the time. Some of the Mikados had “Mighty Mike” graphics on them, depending on the year.

    Like 3
  6. Stan

    Capable little 4wd

    Like 5
  7. Howard A Member

    I think this was a much better truck than the S-10 POS that replaced it. If there ever was a case of “caught with our pants down”, the small Asian pickup nailed it. I know, it takes a while to engineer a completely new vehicle, but Detroit was in the ultimate stage of denial, “nothing will replace our trusty F-150” and dragged their feet. They knew this was a coming. The Asians simply rubbed our face in it, and the only alternative in the short term, was to import one until we could hastily build our own, with so-so results. I had a friend with a Mikado 4×4, it went through front axle wheel bearings for some reason, but were good trucks. We never saw a LUV extended cab, that would have been nice, probably the best thing about an S-10, was the bigger cab option. Great find, what ever the new buyer does, don’t run it in the salt,,,not even once, apparently what saved this example. The ultimate conundrum, a 4WD pickup you better not run in the salt/snow.

    Like 8
  8. Car Nut Tacoma

    Nice looking truck. I remember the Chevy LUV truck. My aunt and uncle had one like this back in the 1980s. What it lacked in acceleration performance, it more than made up for in utility and personality. Theirs was black with a red interior, and was 2wd.

    Like 4
  9. Dennis

    My father bought one of the first ones back in 1972. As I remember it was around $2300. He put a camper top on back and we three boys rode in back on vacations. He traded it in on a station wagon in 1975 and got $ 2000 on trade

    Like 6
  10. Doug

    My father in law had one but lacked power and hated shifting all the time . So at 23000 miles he had a buick v6 and the automatic installed . Had to install a body lift to make it work and some big tires so he could drive at highway speeds

    Like 4
  11. Greg

    Hey, that’s my listing!! Thanks Barnfinds!

    Like 10
  12. Bob-O

    I purchased a new 1976 2wd LUV Mikado back in ’76. It was the popular creamsicle orange color with a tan/beige interior. I went all sorts of different directions with that truck – off-road tires on white spokes and a bed-mounted roll bar, wide street tires on Western wheels, a cap with clearance lights. Halogen headlights, too!

    Things were great until I decided to install one of those do-it-yourself sunroof kits with the flip open sunroof. I only had a saber saw to do the cutting and by the time I got halfway through the cut, the saw started bouncing up and down and rippled the sheet metal. That thing leaked forever and no amount of silicone caulk could get it to stop. Fun times…

    Like 2
  13. Jim Connelley

    I had the same ’79 4×4 white with blue interior and decals. Cold AC, hot heater. A 3rd-row seat from a suburban fit the bed.

    Like 3
  14. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Well I tried three times but it won’t accept my photos even though I’m a supporting member. Anyway, I’ve got a 76 Luv Mikado I recently purchased. It has the 1.8L 4 cylinder and 4 speed. Has a lot of rust issues. I replaced floor pans, front fenders and hood. The frames is solid. Came with 6 lug 14” mag wheels with 235/60r14 tires. Bed is good, all glass is good has moon roof. Dash is shot, ordered a new one but it got shipped to the wrong address. Don’t know if I’ll ever get it. Needs new brakes, radiator leaks. It’s a project, but it’s something to do. These trucks are popular in the Northwest, not so much it Texas. They don’t have a lot of resale value. Finding one in the condition of the one listed is rare, making it a good buy.

    Like 3
  15. RexFox Member

    My dad bought a new LUV in 1972 also. We tried all the small trucks that were offered at the time and the LUV drove and looked better than the others. It did not hold up too well after it hit about 50,000 miles though, could have been because it was the first year. I really like this listing, but the price seems high considering all the rust issues just beginning to appear. It is cool that a BarnFind follower is the lister.

    Like 1
  16. angliagt angliagt Member

    So,why didn’t he list it here on BF?

  17. Brsd460 Member

    I really miss seeing all these practical little trucks on the road, but as someone else mentioned flee from road salt like your life depends on it cause the bodies and frame on these things will crumble in no time

    I restored a 79 Toyota pickup a couple years ago and while mine had its share of dents to deal with, was never in salt so rust wasnt an issue

  18. chrlsful

    friend from the res (Rainy Blackmoon) commuted in one of these every day from Spencer to the Framingham plant that manufactured them. One way to geta car cheep, eh?
    He was a pretty smart guy (wrked a ranch in NV.) While herding they’d pan in the local creek, geta nuff gold to spend at the Mustang Ranch (girls, whisky, food, bath, indoor bed, etc).
    I met him back east living free for horse wrk & bringin in a top international Andalusian breeder for the Rose Bowl crowd to the MA estate. Met the horse @ Logan Airport w/ the horse trailer.

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