By on January 2, 2010

loooong bed luv

In this day and age, when it’s increasingly uncommon to to find even a full-size pickup with a regular cab and long bed, I took a double take on coming across this long-bed Chevy LUV. I’ve got some interesting LUV’s and Isuzus in the can from Eugene, but none in this particular configuration. That bed sure looks like its a full 8′ long, but according to wiki and my own memory, its a 7.5′ number. Still, plenty of load space for this little hauler with 75 or 80 hp. These Isuzu built trucks were everything that its Chevy S-10 successor wasn’t: simple, cast iron-rugged little work horses, although rust was a problem in the wrong parts of the world.

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14 Comments on “Curbside Classic CA Vacation Outtake: Very Long Bed 1977 Chevy LUV...”


  • avatar
    Damage

    This is what a truck should be, a real work truck. Simple, practical and impractical at the same time (lots of space outside but no back seat for your designer handbag and no fold-down DVD screens). How did we ever survive without 380 hp Toyota Tundras? Quite well, actually.

  • avatar
    DangerousDave

    I feel like a double winner in the game of curbside classics today.  I had one of these LUV trucks too.  Mine was a red shortbed, bought to haul my racing motorcycles.  It was a great little truck, good on gas for the usually long trip to the track.  I ended up customizing the thing with “mag” wheels (special order because of 6 lugs) and some beefy tires.  The bench seat was replaced with white Thunderbird power bucket seats from the bone yard, which made the road trips a lot easier on the butt.  Of course it had a quadraphonic 4/8 track deck for the ultimate in sound.  I later bought an E150 for racing, but wished I’d kept the LUV truck.  After having big pickups in recent years I realized that small pickups were where its at.  I have a Ranger now, its no LUV truck, but I guess its about as close as you can get these days.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Inevitable question answered:
     
    LUV=  Light Utility Vehicle

  • avatar
    educatordan

    I actually went looking for a Ranger standard cab long bed when I bought my F150.  I knew they were out of production (in 2006) and I would be looking for used but I might as well have been looking for spare parts for a Pope (automobile, look it up.)

  • avatar

    HEY!  what’s this “wrong” crap….”rust was a problem in the wrong parts of the world.”
    Here is the US Northeast, the right part of the world, we put salt on the road to melt cars!

  • avatar
    Jimal

    Back in the mid- to late-80’s when I was in high school I had a job delivering parts for the local auto parts store. The store had a fleet consisting of two early LUVs, an early Courier, an S-10 and Ranger. One of the senior guys sorta had dibs on the Ranger and its working AM radio, so I spent most of my time driving one of the LUVs or the Courier until the bondo couldnt’ hold the rust together the LUVs and they were replaced with another S-10. The Courier was still there when I left but in the end I think they ended up with just a fleet of Rangers before going out of business in the late 90’s.

    What I remember of the LUVs was sun cracked dashes, torn seats and a smell that was the mix of old spilled coffee and old unshowered parts driver. I can’t remember the last time I saw a LUV, or a Courier for that matter, in these parts. I do remember something about Chevrolet or Isuzu being forced to recall these for rust and particularly in California the trucks were recalled and crushed for being unsafe. It has been a while so my memory may be a bit off.

  • avatar
    davey49

    The S-10 was a much better truck than this but not a minute on TTAC can go by without the obligatory GM hate.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Maybe you should go to the CC on the beautiful DeVille to feel the love…
      And ponder that positive virtues and satisfaction rarely garner hate … as Freud was supposed to have said, “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”, and in this case, the “hate” as you repeatedly complain about, may just be a trailing indicator of all the dissatisfaction the General garnered over the years…
      Cars are emotive, post pictures of old cars, and both the good and, more often than not, bad memories, and emotions, come to the fore.
      I don’t mean to say “get used to it, or get lost”, but you should at least expect some of this.
      BTW, the LUV was the brainchild of John DeLorean.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Yes, the S-10 was a better truck, but the S-10 was not what it should have, or could have been, considering how good the full size Chevy pickup was.  Just compare the dash of a ’70’s era C-10 and look at the S-10’s “hockey stick” instruments nestled into a padded square box…and that’s for starters.  But hey, all of them rusted pretty badly in the salt states…

    • 0 avatar
      davey49

      The problem I have here is that the TTAC public is looking at the S-10 from a modern viewpoint.  Compared to a new truck the 1982 S-10 is poor, compared to the LUV, Courier and Datsun and Toyota trucks at the time, the 82 S-10 was a step up.I don’t consider reliability in this viewpoint either, it isn’t a factor when comparing new vs new.
      I’m pretty sure (don’t remember) that the hockey stick/electronic gauges were an extra cost option and the standard IP was regular round gauges

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      Re-read what I said: These Isuzu built trucks were everything that its Chevy S-10 successor wasn’t: simple, cast iron-rugged little work horses.
      I’m not dissing the S-10; it was a more refined vehicle, but when it comes to these qualities, the Isuzus has it beat. The early S-10’s had some serious issues, and it was never built to the same level of mechanical component quality that the Isuzus were.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    I love PU trucks with single walled beds like the LUV so everytime you load something in them you get dents on the outside. 

    “But hey, all of them rusted pretty badly in the salt states…”

    That’s funny as I live in one of those salt states and wouldn’t agree with that statement in the least. Still, even though my last 3 fullsize trucks have all been GM,  the S10 sent me running  to Toyota when I bought a compact truck . 

  • avatar

    Paul,
    I look forward to the P’UP posts. I drove a hand-painted (with a brush—and not by me) P’UP during law school. Part way through my third year, the fuel pump in the gas tank gave out. To start the thing, I would have to lift the hood, remove the cover from the air cleaner and spray carb cleaner into the carb. You should have seen the looks on the faces of the folks driving Volvos.
    The engine had 250k and it still got over 30 mpg. I could get around 400 miles on a tank of gas. It topped out around 50 mph, but it was indestructible. No power anything even on my DLX version. It was built and it drove like a tank.  No truck since, S-10 or otherwise, has ever really compared.

  • avatar

    A friend of mine had an early S-10. It had a Suzuki sourced 4 cylinder which ran and ran and got exceptional fuel economy at the expense of NO power. This thing would seriously have trouble on large hills with 2 people in it and NO cargo.

    As another poster noted it had analogue gauges in this one and being “cool” we put an aftermarket deck in it with 6x9s in the back and some nice door speakers. This one was the “extended cab” but there was nothing behind the bench. No problem! A pair of milk crates and “voila” instant rear seating.

    I traveled hundreds of kilometers over the years in the back of this truck and looking back I am so thankful that I was never in an accident. Sitting sideways on milkcrates is not the epitome of safe.

    This truck was not the epitome of cool either. Other rides that this friend had included a 1978 Bobcat station wagon which was red but sadly had the woodgrain treatment. This was supplanted by a blue 1986 Pony which got pitting in the roof after just over a year. A Reliant was also in the mix along with an early minivan.

    One of his coolest cars was actually a mint 1978 Civic which even then he did not winter drive. Last I saw this car was still garaged in OTtawa and in exceptional shape. It even had mags at the time which looked a bit like ones that came on earlier Minis.

    I always hated this S-10 for some reason…


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