Once a popular mini-pickup in the 1970s, it seems most of the Chevrolet LUVs sold in the U.S. have turned to dust, so when we found this Chevy for sale in Hemmings, we had to pause and admire.
LUV (“Light Utility Vehicle”) pickups were available from 1972-81 in the American market courtesy of Isuzu, the same brand that produced the Buick-Opel and later sold cars in the States under its own name. Typical of compact Japanese pickups of the time, it came with a 4-cylinder motor and a penchant for being overworked. Today, they are a very rare sight.
This 1978 LUV in Hemmings has been taken to another level. Not only has it received a 305 small-block transplant, but also its bed has gone through a fiberglass “Stepside” conversion, which likely was available in the aftermarket when the LUV was new. In addition to having been frame-on restored, this LUV has new rubber, seals, and gaskets, excellent chrome and trim, custom interior (with original dash), and AM/FM/CD stereo for your Cheech & Chong albums.
Many people complain about collector cars being out of reach to the average enthusiast. With this LUV, it goes to show that $16,500 will buy you a lot of fun with plenty of room to expand the hot-rod possibilities already laid out for you.