Mind-Blowing 67-Mile 1980 Chevrolet LUV!

With an asking price of a little over four times what my parents paid for their house on two acres back in 1961, this 1980 Chevy LUV is one amazing museum-quality mini truck. This jewel box is listed on eBay in Wylie, Texas with a buy it now price of $24,800 or you can make an offer. Did I mention that this Light Utility Vehicle has only 67 miles on it? Thanks to Dennis C. for sending in this amazing find!

1980 was the last year of the first-generation LUV and this example has to be the nicest one in our solar system. The seller has a “Signed odometer statement from family and a 1 page letter from family stating the owner died two weeks after purchase. We found the truck with 66 miles, cleaned fuel system and fresh battery. It starts, runs and drives like new with exception of flat spots on the original tires.”

I love the beds of these trucks and the old Datsuns with the flat-topped wheel wells. There’s just something industrial cool about that from back in the era when pickups were more pragmatic than heavily-stylized. And as you can see, the inside of the bed looks pretty much like new, or it would with a half hour and some polishing compound. There is some surface rust, or “flash rust” underneath as there should be after 38 years but check out the photos, there are a lot of them.

Ugh, it’s an automatic! Ha, just kidding, it’s a 4-speed manual. As you expected, the interior looks as close to new as you will probably ever see. There are always “If only” aspects to every vehicle, such as if only this would have been a Mikado or if only it would have been a first year truck, etc. I don’t see this one selling for anywhere near this price but you never know in today’s crazy market.

This is Isuzu’s 1.8L inline-four with 75-80 hp. As expected it runs like new. I don’t know what I would use this truck for other than to take up space on a velvet turntable in our living room but it’s sure an amazing find. Have any of you ever found a vehicle that had been stored for decades with so few miles on it like on this Chevy LUV?

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Comments

  1. canadainmarkseh Member

    Like the red corvette from a few days ago it’s value is in the low miles. So you can’t use it or you’ll flush your money down the toilet. I like the idea of a small pickup but I’d want to use it to go to the lumber store or take a load of yard waste to the dump. I wouldn’t pay any more than $4k for this truck. These were econo boxes nothing more, and it escapes me as to why it wasn’t resold and used up years ago. As far as I can remember these would rust out if you put a glass of water on the hood. They certainly weren’t the best small pickup of the day either. JMO.

    16
  2. Dick Johnson

    Dennis C. Dennis Collins of Smashed Monkey Garage? My father-in-law bought a ’76 Luv for $3600 for a heater and AM radio equipped truck.

    This little truck did a lot of work for what it was. Gas mileage was terrible with the four speed box.

    24K for this one is something that I can’t justify for ranch work. Prices sure are bigger in my semi-native state of Texas.

  3. Gay Car Nut Seattle

    Awesome looking LUV. My aunt had one like this when I was growing up. Although not as nice as this, it served her well.

  4. Howard A Member

    Looks like somebody wants to make $23g’s on this. It’s just plumb not 240 “Texas dollars” worth of vehicle. Sure is odd, the poor guy buys a new truck, dies 2 weeks later, and the truck sits for almost 40 years. 40 years, folks, it’s not a new truck.

  5. Jack M.

    canadianmarkseh- if you know where you can pick up one of these in this condition for four grand, let me know. I’ll take two.

    • Hide Behind

      I’ll take all @ $4500!
      Do I hear more?

    • canadainmarkseh Member

      If I ever do I’ll let you know, because I won’t want it.

  6. Dave

    I owned an ’80 Chevy Luv Truck 4X4, bought it new in 1980. It was a great vehicle. With one exception …. RUST RUST RUST. I even had it rust proofed before I drove it off the lot. But the rust was horrible. It started after about 3 years of ownership and it was like science fiction. You could almost see and hear it rusting. And I took good care of it. And dealerships and regional managers denied any responsibility. I actually wrote a letter to some executive at GM in Detroit complete with pictures and chips of rust as samples! He wrote back and basically said, oh well, too bad. Nice. After talking to people and seeing others, rust was a common problem with some of the early Luv trucks. In any event, the fact that this one looks so nice tells me that either this was one of the ‘good’ ones, or this one was stored some place moisture free like, I don’t know, the lunar surface!! Rust aside, I loved that Luv truck. The 4WD was great. That little truck moved me 3 times and I LOADED it everything, beds, couches, appliances.

  7. Peter

    Like most things, their value is simply what someone will be prepared to pay. It doesn’t matter what the car, when you find an example with almost no miles and in this condition, I don’t believe that the price is ridiculous.

    • Lawyer George

      Peter: Drive one and you will change your mind. These were almost “sales proof” when new and it was not uncommon to see them have 2 or 3 birthdays on the lot before they sold. I used to have a small wholesale business. Two trucks I would never buy were the Chev Luv and the 1/2 ton Chevy (& Ford made them too) with a 3 speed floor shift with 3rd gear being the overdrive. They were geared so tall that they almost could not be driven in 3rd gear because a headwind would blow them back wards. It was never racking to drive the things at 55 in second gear. They used a shorter drive shaft so it was not fiscally feasible to pull out the tranny, driveline etc. Those were one of the worst rip offs of the American public in automotive history except the Yugo.

  8. No way Jose

    Gee I better sell the house to start collecting these with the 79 mile vette

    Lol!

  9. Miguel

    There sure are a lot of these close to zero mile cars coming on sale.

    If there were any Chevrolet dealer that would want this, that would be the place for this, but 24K for a mini truck I think is a bit of a stretch.

    Why do people think a vehicle that hasn’t moved in 40 years, or has had the speedometer disconnected for 40 years, is worth so much money?

    • tom schweikert

      yup miguel,3 0r 4 grand tops…unless you popped your cherry in one

  10. Beatnik Bedouin

    I agree with Peter on this example being worth what someone’s prepared to pay.

    The back story reminds me of the ’49 Ford that was found around four decades ago with 11 miles on the odometer.

    Perhaps a museum or a Chevy dealer would want to pay that kind of scratch?

    It’ll be interesting to see who snaps it up and how long it takes to sell…

  11. ArtPosh

    My buddy’s dad had one for the family. I learned to drive a stick in this little truck. Waterford Michigan.

  12. Coventrycat

    The only mind blowing thing is that someone actually preserved it. That kind of money would get a great example of a full size of the same era. We had one back then, I wouldn’t want to relive my past with that truck no matter what it cost.

  13. Fred W

    Price is out there, but it is in an amazing state or preservation. Can go in the “Museum of Mundane Vehicles” right next to a Yugo and a Cavailier.

    • Gay Car Nut

      Forget the Yugo, how about next to a Volkswagen.

  14. Hide Behind

    Museum quality BS, pull and sell mtr, and at minimum throw in Chevy big V6 with add ons.
    Keep 4 spd or add Chev 4 spd auto with overdrive and torque converter stall.
    Too much money, no profit here ,but a perfectly streight as new, no cost to repair cruiser, well worth it.

    • Gay Car Nut Seattle

      I so agree with you. I’d pay nowhere near the asking price. The most I’d be willing to pay for such a nice truck would be $10k.

  15. Mark

    Let’s face it, most of the vehicles found on BF are rarely worth anywhere near the asking price…..but what someone is willing to pay is another matter. Is $24k for this too much? When I see people digging clapped out VW buses buried up to the roof in mud or selling toasted muscle VIN #s for thousands, I say why not.

    • Gay Car Nut

      I agree.

  16. Hide Behind

    I do not know where rest of all are from, but in my area ealy nice examples of older small trucks, no matter the make, with all the work done can pull an easy 10-15k, maybe more depending on extras.
    Not realy that many as of old garage and shade tree mechanics out there , non professional, but lots of mommy and daddys credit unions and credit cards that pay for sonnys too lazy to work kids rides.
    And it is not just sonny boy but smart daughters as well.
    Just got done reading what part of young woman’s brains set off endorphins so they purchase SUV and get off driving hubbys’ big trucks.

    • Gay Car Nut Seattle

      For a truck like this, that’s about how much I’d be willing to pay. Think about it, It may be pristine condition and a rare find these days, but it’s still a 40 yr old Japanese utility truck. I’d love to buy it and use it for mowing the lawn.

  17. Gay Car Nut Seattle

    $24k does sound rather steep, even given its condition and its originality. I’d be willing to pay $10k for the truck.

  18. S.Ryan

    Very Very Rare.
    Mine only made it 70 miles before it blew head gasket and the bed rusted off!

  19. Lemble

    Put a Yenko sticker on it and the Blind will pay an extra 40 grand for it.

  20. Doo Daaaaaaa! Member

    I had one, a 84, it was a very dependable little truck! It did everything I asked it to do! This is another case of a greedy person wanting to make a buck! He hopes that some poor guy or gal will fall in love with it! Then he will take advantage of a poor ignorant parson who only sees the miles and not check out the value of the little luv! The price is set so only a true dummy would jump on it! There is one in every crowd!

  21. Wayne

    Lemble, The Yenko Sticker and a chrome exhaust tip!
    (Like the Yenko Honda Civic!)

  22. Comet

    Looks to have been rustproofed when new. The irony of rustproofing was that cars usually rusted around the many plugs used to cover the many holes drilled in the body to apply the “rustproofing.”

  23. cmarv

    Junk when new , junk now . FLASH RUST , OMFG , best laugh of the week !

  24. Fran

    Should be in a GM museum in China. Since GM has lost their soul.

  25. Wayne

    The car pictured was not my personal car. (mine was a duplicate only in 1978 form) It was however my “demo” for a year and is the one that the dealership used as an advertising/promotional car that ended up with second place in the national SCCA solo championships. My experience (after growing up, living and repairing cars in the Chicago area) is that in most cases when rust proofing is done properly. It only slowed down the visual aspect of rust. As most of us know, that usually the process was not done correctly. In fact in most cases the rust proofing made thing worse by trapping in the moisture and causing catastrophic rust . Once a year in the early summer, I would spend several hours hosing out any area under the car that could trap dirt and salt. (I would be completely soaked and muddy and not allowed to enter the house unless nude!) When my Honda Civic was recalled for rust problems the service manager was amazed that the car looked like new underneath with the exception of some surface rust. Mine was the only car not requiring repairs or vehicle replacement. (of which there was many) And this was only after 5 years of use. Great cars those early Civics. But deathly allergic to the tin worm.

    • tom schweikert

      i saw a luv with camper shell with sleeping bags etc and told my girlfriend i had to have one…it looked so cozy! i went out to h&h chevy in omaha ne and asked what gear ratio it had…4.56?…bye

  26. Jaded Old Car Fan

    Did Barn Finds become a wholly owned subsidiary of Smashed Monkey Garage? BTW that name seems to fit them. Seems to be a lot of cars associated with them posted lately.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      We are not associated with Gas Monkey or any other tv show.

  27. Benjaron Member

    We had one of these with a box for food service delivery’s It had a small diesel in it Other than the auto tranny puking prematurely. One of the knothead employee’s filled it with gas and that was the end of it . On the plus side nobody
    ever got a speeding ticket driving it.

  28. Steve A

    Lot of money for a turd. 💩

  29. Bavarianfan

    Very cool. I recently found and purchased a 1962 BMW 700 with a similar story. 148 miles. Little dusty but otherwise mint. Tiny little thing.

  30. PAPERBKWRITER

    Wonder what the dealer gave the person who traded it in?

  31. Car39

    It’s $4000 for the truck and $20,000 for storage fees.

  32. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Another wonderful “Holy Grail” find, courtesy of Dennis Collins. LOL!

  33. Gay Car Nut Seattle

    I agree. This has always been my favourite generation for the Chevy LUV truck.

  34. RichS

    When I was in high school, my future ex-wife’s brother had one of these his grandfather willed to him. One day he asked me to take a look at it as I was in the HS auto program. He said it was running really poorly and the oil light was on.

    Brought it into the shop and first thing, lets check the oil level. If you remember these trucks, they had a short dipstick on the side of the engine block. I pulled the dipstick out and oil overflowed out OF THE TOP OF THE DIPSTICK TUBE.

    Drained the oil and got a little over 10 quarts out of the thing. Really. The sending unit had failed and he kept dumping oil in without checking it, figuring eventually the light would go out.

    A new sending unit and 4 1/2 quarts of new oil and it ran GREAT. Go figure.

  35. W9BAG Member

    General Telephone had these as fleet vehicles in the 70’s.

  36. gto4ever

    no love for the luv! sorry

  37. michael streuly

    24k for a love truck no way. 2400.00 all day.

    • Gay Car Nut Seattle

      I totally agree. It may be rare, it may be near immaculate condition, but it’s worth nowhere near the $24k being asked. I’d buy it for between $800 for a parts vehicle, or around $2000 for an immaculate condition vehicle.

  38. Chris

    Theres a Jeep Comanche showing 10 miles on the odometer at the Jeep Gladiator launch.

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