Remember the days when mini pickups were a significant share of the pickup market? In spite of the Chicken Tax and low fuel prices, mini trucks were once quite popular in the US with offerings from Toyota, Datsun, Ford via Mazda and Chevrolet via Isuzu. Nowadays the smallest pickup you can buy is the size of a full size truck back in those rose colored days. Find this 1973 Chevy LUV for sale in Monroe, WA for $2,000 via craigslist.
Chevy’s entry in the small truck circus was the LUV or Light Utility Vehicle. It was actually an Isuzu Faster – an ironic name for a small pickup powered by a 75hp 1.8 liter four banger. GM took a stake 34% stake in Isuzu in 1972, and the LUV was the first Isuzu to be sold in the US. Because of the Chicken Tax that slapped a 25% tax on imported trucks, the LUV was shipped without its bed attached. Attaching it once the truck arrived at the US port allowed GM (and ultimately the end consumer) to pay a 4% import tax.
One of the low points mentioned in the ad is that “the interior is a mess“. Who knows what is under the blankets on the seats? At least you can watch the Wheeler Dealers LUV episode and get some interior referb tips from Mike Brewer.
The ad sells it as a reliable daily city or short distance driver. It has had some carb work done at a local specialist, new brake drums on all four corners (remember drums all around?) and has a Cherry Bomb exhaust that sets off alarms in parking garages (bonus!). Some brake work and getting the heater to work remains. Extra credit for the last line in the ad: “…this truck looks really cool and runs great, but it is not pleasant to drive if you’re used to modern cars. Only four gears means it’s hard to cruise on the highway, and no power steering means you’ll get a workout trying to maneuver in tight spaces.“
See another vintage mini truck that perks up your ears? email us here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gianni is Daily Turismo’s Pacific Northwest correspondent.