The LUV turned extra feature-packed all through the Nineteen Seventies, with an accessible computerized transmission, seven-and-a-half-foot-long cargo mattress, and non-compulsory four-wheel drive for $971. Coinciding with the discharge of a four-wheel drive model in 1979, the LUV was topped “Truck of the Yr” by Motor Pattern. That very same 12 months, LUV gross sales reached an all-time excessive of 100,192 items.
By 1980, LUV gross sales had been declining as rivals supplied niceties resembling extra horsepower and prolonged passenger cabs with small bounce seats or additional storage behind the entrance seats, neither of which the LUV had. The LUV was utterly redesigned for the 1981 to 1982 mannequin years, nevertheless it was too little, too late. Particularly since Chevy’s personal S-10 compact pickup — which was bigger than the LUV however smaller than the model’s full-size C/Ok truck — was launched in 1982 and advertising and marketing two smallish vehicles was thought of redundant. Not surprisingly, the LUV was killed off after 1982 in the USA.
These days, the first-generation 1972 to 1980 LUVs have been found by the recent rod crowd, particularly since its anemic 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine might be simply swapped out for a standard small block Chevy V8 or the perennial favourite LS-swap. One such instance, known as Luvzilla, cranks out an estimated 1,500 hp — that is 20 occasions the 75 horsepower output of the unique 1972 LUV and light-weight years from its humble beginnings.
[Featured image by JOHN LLOYD from Concrete, Washington, United States via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY 2.0]