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Junkyard Gem: 1981 Chevrolet LUV Mikado pickup

Murilee Martin

During the 1970s, each member of the Detroit Big Three imported small pickup trucks from Japan and badged them with their own brands. There was the Plymouth Arrow pickup (made by Mitsubishi), the Ford Courier (made by Mazda), and the Chevrolet LUV (made by Isuzu). Here's a rare example of the latter truck, found in a Northern California self-service wrecking yard.

LUV stood for Light Utility Vehicle, and quite a few of these Isuzu Faster-based trucks were sold during the 1970s.

The second-generation LUV debuted for the 1981 model year; the appearance of the Chevrolet S-10 pickup in 1982 resulted in the termination of the LUV at the end of that year. After that, Isuzu sold these trucks under their own name, as P'Ups.

The engine in this LUV is a 1.8-liter Isuzu I4, rated at 75 horsepower. This was the era when men were men and pickups had double-digit horsepower and no air conditioning.

I couldn't find any TV commercials for the second-generation LUV, so here's one for its Australian sibling, the Holden Rodeo.

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