Nicest One Left? 1982 Chevrolet LUV Diesel

We have seen trucks from this Lubbock, Texas seller in the past and they have generally been really nice, maybe some of the nicest examples left on the planet. Oddly enough, the trucks that we’ve seen here have been the Japanese equivalent of this 1982 Chevrolet LUV Mikado diesel pickup. This one is listed here on eBay and the current bid on this example is at $4,666 but the reserve isn’t met yet.

The Chevrolet LUV (light utility vehicle) was based on the Isuzu Faster, a Japanese pickup that was sold in several markets under several different names. The Chevy LUV arrived in North America in early 1972 in what I think was a much more interesting-looking truck. Toyota and Datsun pickups were hot in the US and GM wanted a part of that market. Ford also offered the Ford Courier and in the spring of 1972, GM had the Chevrolet LUV.

This truck is one of two 2WD pickups offered by Chevrolet as the LUV for the second-generation – one with a 104.3-inch wheelbase and a 6-foot (73-inch) box and one with a 117.9-inch wheelbase and a 7.5-foot (90.1-inch) box. This truck is the latter, the long box. Chevrolet also offered the LUV in 4WD configuration with a smaller wheelbase and box size. Isuzu eventually brought the Faster here and named it the P’up, short for pickup. This red LUV is a second-generation model which was introduced for the 1981 model year in late-1980. It sure looks like a nice example of what is, despite its small size, a very tough truck.

The interior deflates my dream a bit, I was hoping to slide inside and see the level of preservation, or condition, that we find on the exterior of this truck. Things are very faded inside with obvious dash cracks and a dash pad over those. Most of us have watched YouTube videos where someone spends a weekend (concentrated into a 10-minute video) and dyes and overall makes an old faded interior look almost new again, so it’s doable. I would want to tackle that for sure to bring it up to the level that the exterior is in. The headliner looks great and it reminds me that I need to redo the headliner in my 1980 Dodge D-50 Sport pickup. This is a Mikado edition so it has nice interior upgrades, it’s worth putting some time into this truck to make the interior look nice again.

The engine is an Isuzu 2.2L inline-four diesel with 58 horsepower and 93 ft-lb of torque. 1982 was reportedly the only year that the diesel engine was offered in the Chevy LUV in the United States, although Isuzu continued to offer them in the P’up. The Chevrolet LUV would go away after the 1982 model year when the Chevy S-10 was introduced. Have any of you owned a Chevy LUV?

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Comments

  1. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    it’s the Chevette of pick ups.

    Like 8
    • nlpnt

      Chevy Spectrum of pickups. Both were Isuzu-built.

      Like 6
  2. gyates

    My father-in-law bought one of these. He bought it brand new in 1984, so that gives an idea of what the market was for these… Slow, slow, slow is an understatement. Did I mention it was slow? :) He used it to pull a small bass boat we used to fish out of. The interior in his, even when new, didn’t look a lot better than this one. I drove it a couple of times. No thank you…

    Like 3
    • alphasud Member

      I bet your father in law invented the term road rage when other motorists ended up behind him towing that Bass boat!

      Like 6
    • Rusty

      Couldn’t have been any slower than. VW Rabbit diesel pickup.

      Just saying.

      Like 2
      • David

        So I had an Isuzu diesel version, great little truck. I actually out ran a mazda pickup a friend had of the same year, his was a gas burner of course. I was getting 42 mpg on the highway without AC, installed ac and was still getting 36mpg back then. Never had an issue, except that I should have kept it.

        Like 1
    • Gary Rhodes

      Hell, they all do. I checked out a Ram 1500 4×4 loaded to the gills on Feebay, $92,000.00.

  3. mike b

    One spring break I was tasked w/ taking the family Chevette in for service. I spent plenty of time admiring the Trans Am in the showroom before taking a test drive. Of a LUV diesel which compared favorably. With the Chevette, that is. The parents agreed & bought a LUV identical to this one. I managed a speeding ticket in it, the next year, lifting the throttle a bit late after cresting a long grade. Acceleration was glacial, but it would cruise nicely if you were proactive on the hills. I think highway mpg was around 40, very good for the era.

    Like 4
  4. Tim

    I had an identical work truck with the exception that mine had the shorter bed. Yeah, very, very slow, especially with the a/c on. Drove it through shallow water to get to a worksite and sucked some H2O into the intake, bending a rod in the process. The danged thing still ran! Smoked like a bonfire though. Oil capacity on this engine was quite large as well. People were always asking me to pop the hood to check out the tiny diesel engine.

    Like 4
  5. slantview6

    My father in-law also pulled a boat with one of these. Same results.

  6. David K Sebben

    Chevy needs to build something similar to this today. Low priced, no frills, just basic honest transportation for hauling and fuel economy.

    Like 14
    • William R Hall

      Aint goin to happen, can’t make piles of money and it doesn’t fit the current Chevrolet Image.

      Like 1
    • Gary Rhodes

      Hell, they all do. I checked out a Ram 1500 4×4 loaded to the gills on Feebay, $92,000.00.

  7. Charles Atlas

    My 1986 Ford Escort Pony 4 speed has 90 horsepower. I LUV it.

    Like 9
  8. Blyndgesser

    A high school friend bought a brand new 1982 LUV diesel, in May of 1984. I think the dealer incentives amounted to about 50% of MSRP. Also, it was already rusting under the hood.

    Like 2
  9. Howard A Member

    Scotty “Nicest One Left” G.,,and there’s merit to that, as he picks vehicles that didn’t stand a chance of surviving, yet, here you go. There was a LUV 4×4 gas job like this near me. It never moved, but owner claimed it ran. I offered $2g’s, but he refused. The owner was ill, the house is for sale, and the truck is gone, surely junked. I think mechanically, they were better than the S10. The S10/Sonoma was just a more solid truck, and owners, like me, put up with the crappy motors. I happen to drive a 4 cylinder, and even gas, it is a gutless thing, I can’t imagine what a diesel, with half the hp would be like. I’m sure it’s “turn the a/c off going up hills” and ether start @70 degrees,,that gets old and these are such tinny things, I doubt it would even be worth it to upgrade. They made great reefer trailer motors and skid steers too, I think, but not for the highway.

    Like 4
  10. Ed Casala

    I remember seeing a comedian back in the day when these came out and he joked about the new inexpensive security system he got for his car. He simply put a diesel sticker on the back and it was never stolen.

  11. Howie Mueler

    Talk about lipstick on a pig.

    Like 2
  12. Troy

    This has to be the first one I have seen in years that wasn’t covered in rust. At least you know it will go faster than a Prius

  13. Robert Eddins

    Geez, no love for it.
    I think for a smaller town run-a-bout it would be a great little pick up. Put some cool mags on it, and save the time and hub caps for 5 years later when you,d sell it for double the money.

    Like 1
  14. Norman Wrensch

    I still have a 75 LUV but I never drove it with a 4cyl in it. it has had sbc’s since 78 nothing slow about it. Last motor was a 302 Chevy, it will have a 327 in the near future. It’s a blast to drive.

  15. Gary Rhodes

    The slowest thing I owned was a 87 Dodge Dakota 4cyl. 5spd. I bought it new specifically to swap a 340 4spd into after the warranty ran out. I worked at the dealership and got it for $100.00 over cost. To get it up to 70-80mph was a chore and with a riding mower on a utility trailer it wouldn’t pull the steep hill by my house. It was the only new vehicle I ever owned.I was meticulous on the maintenance and had 80k on the original garbage Goodyear Vector tires. They were so bad Goodyear was replacing them left and right. We had two service bays filled with them stacked 10 high. Never got the 340 transplant, sold it in 96 and bought a 70 D100 318 four speed longbed. A much faster truck

    Like 1
  16. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this one ended with no sale after appearing to be bid up to $7,600! It was relisted and now it says that it ended early because it’s no longer available.

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