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Give Me Some Luv: 1979 Chevrolet LUV

032716 Barn Finds- 1979 Chevrolet Luv - 1

Southeast Tucson is the location of this great, little truck. This is a 1979 Chevrolet LUV listed on craigslist and the seller is asking a very reasonable $3,250 or best offer. Or, they’ll trade for a four-door pickup or a nice, four-door car. This LUV looks like it’s been taken care of and the sunshield shown here is a good sign that it’s been cared for, in my opinion. Either that, or hey, it’s in Tucson and it’s hot there and this is a dark interior! Regardless of the location, little cues like these can be a tip-off that an owner has really cared for a vehicle. Not to mention that it looks almost like new.

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The Chevy LUV, as we all know, was a rebadged Isuzu and this first generation Luv was made from 1972 to 1980. The LUV may have been one of the first attempts to create a vehicle name from a description of said vehicle. LUV stands for “Light Utility Vehicle”. We all know the terms bantered about by today’s vehicle manufacturers: SUV, CUV, ETC.. er.. I mean, and so on. Sport Activity Vehicle, Sport Utility Vehicle – every manufacturer has a moniker to describe their vehicles today if they’re supposed to do something other than just take us from point A to point B. The Chevy LUV may be the first one to actually have the description as its name. Can anyone think of another example?

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This one has the original Jasmine Yellow paint, which in Tucson really says something! This LUV had to have been garaged or, at least, car-ported. There would be some sun damage here after 37 years if this truck would have been left outside in the sun for that many years. This is one great-looking truck. The seller says that he/she is the second owner. There are no engine photos, unfortunately, but the seller says that this one has a “new carburetor new fuel pump new wires plugs oil extra parts included with the truck”. The only engine available was a 1.8L single-overhead-cam, inline-4 with 80 hp. It should look like this under the hood.

032716 Barn Finds- 1979 Chevrolet Luv - 4

The classic, blanket-seat-cover may not be a good sign, but the seller says that the interior is “like new” and the dash looks perfect as does everything else in there. Thankfully, this is a 4-speed manual transmission truck and even the pedal covers look pretty good for a truck with 189,000 miles on it! Yes, the high miles may be the only nit to pick here, other than the covered seat, but it may just be covered because it’s a dark vinyl seat and it’s Tucson and this truck doesn’t have AC. Ok, there’s another nit to pick. Here’s a brochure showing 1979 Chevy Luv.

032716 Barn Finds- 1979 Chevrolet Luv - 5

Can you say showroom condition? I don’t see a spec of rust on this car, probably because it hasn’t rained in Tucson since 1979… The door panels look like new and I’m guessing that the seats may actually be brown instead of black? One call is all it will take to find out. This is a nice, little truck and for $3,000, or thereabouts, it’s a good deal for anyone that may be looking for a little pickup to make weekend trips to the big box home store or even to commute with. Are you a fan of this LUVly little pickup?


  1. sparkster

    I was looking for a mid 70’s version of one of these in a 4×4 a few months ago. They have gotten pricey in the last few years. Company I worked for in the mid 70’s had a lime green ” Mikado” edition of this Chevy LUV.

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  2. Cassidy

    pretty amazing condition for a truck with that many miles on it! its nice to see a seller take the time to clean out their vehicle before taking pictures! This would be a good starter vehicle for my daughter, but with that many miles, price is about $1500 too high.

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  3. Chris In Australia

    You Americans got lucky, the Aussie spec LUVs got 4-on-the column painted bumpers & headlight surrounds, and 4 wheel drums.

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    • Andrew

      You can tell the dash is also made for a Holden right hand drive, as it’s symmetric. It wouldn’t take much to convert.

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  4. Moparman Elliott Member

    At some point in time, this truck has ties to someone in the USMC; I wonder if that would help explain its condition? Maybe a retiree…just vague musings brought on by the sight of the sticker on the back window!! :-)

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  5. grenade

    I love this LUV. I had one, my buddy had one, they just ran and ran and ran. Priced right, someone buy it.

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  6. JW

    Amazing condition, in the rust belt where I grew up 5 years after they were new they ran but were rusted to beat hell just like the Jap cars were. Nice little truck.

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  7. CJay

    Subaru Brat an acronym for Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter according to WIKI

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  8. Andrew

    I just wish small trucks are going to be seen again. I have only heard happy times with those that had one way back. We used the lowered tailgate as a picnic table on occasion, or a small smorgasbord for a barbecue in the wild sort of thing. Volkswagen in Brazil made the Saveiro, and Fiat Strada, or Chevrolet Montana. All are good to me.

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  9. jim s

    listing is gone. someone got a nice work truck. nice find.

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  10. Gay Car Nut

    I remember this generation Chevy LUV. My aunt and uncle had either a 1978 or a 1980 LUV. It wasn’t a 4×4 LUV. It was 2wd, with a 4spd manual shifting gearbox, seating for 2 adults. Fast, it wasn’t, not by any stretch. But it was a hell of a worker. It did everything you’d expect a truck to do.

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  11. Jeff K

    This is just like my 78. As a teenager, it was all that. Shell, carpet kit, lowered front end, lifted rear, west coast mirrors, and a boatload of memories.
    Drove it for 12 years. My dad had a 78 as well. Had to upgrade from his 73 after he saw mine.
    Between the 3 of em, we put 350K miles on them.

    Too bad this is 4 years ago. Sure it’s gone by now.

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