Feeling Some 1978 LUV

1978 Chevrolet LUV

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Who doesn’t want a little LUV? Well a Chevrolet LUV that is. Listed here on craigslist is this ’78 Chevy LUV. It’s said to be a barn find and was going to be restored, but the owner has moved to another LUV. The story of life. This time it’s an older version that will get the owner’s attention, a ’72 and it’s not for sale at this point.

'78 LUV right rear

There are some bits of rust and more in the used bed. This ’78 LUV is parked in Edwardsville, Illinois with a price of $3,750.

1978 Chevrolet LUV Engine

The original 1.8L engine and automatic transmission are in the truck and it appears the engine will start with a charger attached. The owner says the engine is in need of a good tune up and some work on the exhaust system.

LUV Interior

If at some point you are feeling a lot of LUV and you wish to take this driver to another level, a restored bench seat shouldn’t be too much to ask for.

LUV Truck Bed

You may wish to put some rust inhibitor on the bed and then maybe a bed liner?

'78 LUV front

For a ’78 LUV, which in most cases didn’t receive much in the way of love, this one is looking pretty good. You maybe able to get this LUV for less than the asking price and with a little work have a sweet little driver.



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  1. grant

    Almost 4 grand for a rusty, readied Isuzu pickuo? This seller LUVs the wacky tobacky a little too much, I think. This is an $800 ride, tops.

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  2. grant

    Almost 4 grand for a rusty, rebadged Isuzu pickup? This seller LUVs the wacky tobacky a little too much, I think. This is an $800 ride, tops.

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  3. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    It’s a Luv hate thing for me.

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  4. Charles H.

    It’s amazing that there is one left that still runs, and drives!

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    • Mark

      I agree!!

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  5. Cassidy

    A 78 Luv was my first truck; even with the 4 speed it was a dog, I can’t imagine driving that sucker with an automatic. Zero to 60 in a day or so. There is, or was pretty easy swap instructions to put a Chevy V8 in it, which I almost did, but I bought a 78 Mustang II with 12K miles on it with a V8 in it instead. That slowpoke sat on that dealer’s lot a long time! It was still slow, but nothing like that Luv. I never had any trouble with it, might be it’s Japanese heritage, but I’d never buy another one!

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  6. Catfish Phil

    Drove a LUV (“Light Utility Vehicle” – how clever) when I worked that summer flippin’ burgers at the Zoon concessions stands. One day the manager sends me to the ice house to pick up a huuuge block of ice for the snowball stands. No rope to tie down the ice. Had it slamming around that bed the whole way back to Audubon Zoo. Had a four speed stick and appreciated how the glove box door resembles a skate board. Surprised there are any of these still around despite Isuzu’s reputation for quality. Ahem.

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    • Leon

      I dont think many survived potholes and Katrina drowned any possible big easy barn finds

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  7. JW

    Don’t even think of putting a load in one of these because they were dogs back then and this one with a auto trans would be lucky to get out of the parking lot under it’s own power. These were good for the wife to haul home her garage sale crap unless it was a freezer then you take your F-100 or C10 to get it.

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  8. Pod

    A friend had one of these years ago. It was so rusty he carried a sheet of plywood permanently in the bed so things wouldn’t fall through the gaping rust holes. I think he paid $800 for it, drove it for a few years (work vehicle) then got hit by someone who ran a stoplight. Insurance company totaled it and gave him $1200. Made out like a bandit.

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  9. John

    I had a part-time job as a bank messenger. The bank owned one of these for that position to drive. It was horrible. And it got 15 mpg on a good day. It rusted in a few months. I can’t think of one good thing to say about that vehicle. List price brand new was under 3k. To see one for 4K is beyond belief.

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  10. GeorgeMember

    I’m surprised to see one of these. Wasn’t this the truck that Chevrolet had to recall and crush because of severe rust issues? I didn’t think any survived that.

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  11. James

    My uncle Bill had a 76 LUV he put a SBC in it about 78. His son has it now it still hauls ass.

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  12. Doug Towsley

    i have a 1973 Chevy LUV, I swapped a Duster for it,. Its pretty modified, Body was smoothed, door handles removed (You use a Ford lock to open the doors from outside, old school trick) and a air dam and sun visor (Visor looks cool but drags the air) Got leather Volvo bucket seats, had up until 2 years ago a built 350 V8 and T350 w/ shift kit and B&M shifter. Headers and shorty turbo mufflers, Its insanely fast, brakes fade like crazy and went thru several rear ends.
    In order to be decent really needs suspension upgrade,brakes upgrade and a narrowed decent rear end. Mine pulls wheelies with ease. Im thinking of selling mine, Since in my area pre 75 does not have to pass DEQ/Smog there is appeal for them. Could slap in a Nissan 4 cyl with 5 speed, or even a V6, or reinstall the V8. When it was running it terrorized the kids with their tuner cars. Lot of fun with that truck. But believe it or not, there is a growing demand for them and prices are rising. Certainly not to classic muscle car price ranges, but watching feebay Ive seen some surprising numbers on them. So, stock,,, not impressive, but period nostalgia? Worth some money.

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  13. james burton

    a buddy of mine had a one owner rust free one. he put a 502 and a powerglide in it with a 9′ rear. we took it to a 1/8 mile drag strip and it went 6.80s right off the trailer. the track owner came down there and told us to load it up and to never bring it back. i mean it didn’t have a rollbar cage or any safety stuff in it. man that guy was mad

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  14. Andrew

    Were these worse than the Volkswagen Rabbit pickup?

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  15. Doug Towsley

    Define worse? I never cared for the VW pickups, and only one I knew anything about was a french fry oil burner conversion that a coworker kept trying to sell me. It blew up one day so happy I never got into that issue. But I have a 1973 LUV but mine was not stock and I ran it with a SBC V8 for many years. I pulled the engine a while back and its been sitting for years. (I modified the front core support to take a larger radiator and many other mods)
    Mine was a cool truck back in the day but was grossly over powered and dangerous. I am going to be cleaning mine up and offering up for sale this spring with a choice of engines and some of the stock parts. Choice of Hot rodded 350 V8, One of 2 V6 chevy motors Choice of trans (T350 w/shift kit), or a Nissan 2L with 5 speed. So, I am a poor reference for stock.
    But back in the day, these little chevy luvs were very popular and few remained stock. or original

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  16. Doug Towsley

    Heres a picture of mine, I dragged it out of the barn-storage last year. Winter has been tough on it so admittedly pretty rough in present condition, but will look better soon.

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    • Andrew

      Interesting Doug. I’m restoring a 1980 VW Rabbit pickup. It was too rust free not to give it a second chance at life, but I receive lots of looks from adults who have never even seen one before! Some guys have asked if I made it out of half a passenger car, etc. Goes to show, that time flies, and 37 years on is a long time. I think they are underrated and the 1960’s buses overrated, at least what prices are concerned.

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      • Doug Towsley

        Well if thats yours then it looks really good. I can see WHY so many people are confused as few ever looked that good that I have seen.
        I will add,, that I used to know a LOT of passionate Rabbit owners and was up until recently working with a guy part time. His day job is with a NBA team and he has an older Rabbit convertible (Car-Not the truck) His is a Wolfsberg edition?? Not your standard Rabbit. His is impeccable shape and he babies it. I trouble shot a few issues on his, but has some guy who does most of the work for him who is an expert. I know Alex has the weird Mechanical fuel injection. I would think with a few tasteful mods or upgraded powertrain your little truck could be quite a fun little ride. Nostalgia being what it is, I am sure will turn some heads. The Chevy Luvs were not worth anything for years but now are starting to be somewhat coveted, but few exist anymore, and very few were left stock. I know many that were drag raced or severely modified.

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  17. Andrew

    Yes that’s my trucklet in as found condition with the original canopy. It was apparently in storage for 14 years, hence it’s great condition. Most people are done with the large trucks these days, and the younger crowd no longer wants them. I don’t think mine had ever seen hard work. It seemed to have been just a Home Depot runner, where it’s good for. Yes, the Wolfsburg edition VW’s are always wanted and more liked. It’s something for fun, not because of their performance, although the GTI’s are pretty feisty for a small car.

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