Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

Serious off-roading means taking things slow, and nobody does slow better than today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Chevy LUV. Let’s see if its price could make for a contrastingly quick sale.

Lincoln, the car company, was founded by Henry Leyland in 1917. Leyland supposedly chose the name, Lincoln because Abraham Lincoln was the first President that he helped elect. It’s a good thing he wasn’t a few years more senior, or else yesterday we would have been considering a Buchanan Continental.

Instead, we took stock in a 1969 Lincoln Continental Mark III, which at fifty years of age seemed almost as antiquated as its presidential namesake. Old can bring gold however, and that Mark III’s seller was seeking a substantial $15,000 for his tidy but imperfect Lincoln.

That price demanded perfection as most of you averred, and the Continental went down in a heart wrenching 59 percent Crack Pipe loss.

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Yesterday’s Lincoln came from an era when automotive engine output was counted in gross horsepower rather than net. What that means is that an engine was tested without all of its ancillaries—alternator, A/C, etc.—in place. The measurement changed to the more realistic fully-loaded net rating in the early ‘70s, and that resulted in more accurate but substantially lower horsepower ratings for all cars and trucks.

Calculating the gross vs. net output of today’s 1981 Chevy LUV’s diesel probably wouldn’t have helped it much. Its 2.2-litre Lsuzu C233 oil burner puts out 58 (net) horsepower from its four clanky cylinders. Even if you were to denude it of its power-leaching hangers-on you still wouldn’t get a rating that anyone would find impressive.

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That’s okay though, since the diesel also pumped out a decent 92 lb-ft of torque. That makes its 4X4 drivetrain of more use when the going gets tough. Appreciably, there’s a four-speed stick in between.

Perhaps the most comical aspect of the Chevy LUV diesel is that it’s really a thinly disguised version of a truck Isuzu sold in other markets as the “Faster.” Maybe that’s meant to be ironic, like nicknaming a fat guy “Slim,” or referring to the Toyota Prius as “handsome.”

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The LUV name is an acronym, standing for Light Utility Vehicle, and under that name it served as GM’s captive import pickup. That was before the company realized that they could make small pickups here and introduced the locally grown but less imaginatively named S-10. This one hails from the model’s penultimate model year and rocks a short bed body on its 4WD chassis.

The truck is said to have a mere 87,000 miles on the clock, and to have had “thousands” invested in its restoration. That money seems well spent as it seemingly included a new coat of factory red paint and a new vinyl interior.

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There’s only so much that you can do to spruce up an old car and while the upholstery in here is very nice, the dashboard seems to have aged into several different shades of whatever it once was.

The interior’s also simple as a pimple, offering little more than the basic gauges, switches and some heater controls. It’s all very tidy in here however, a look that extends to the exterior.

This is not a show truck by any means. The bed is tough-lined but there’s no description of what lies beneath that plastic. The bodywork is straight and the underside appreciably clean, but there are signs of shortcuts throughout. The engine bay is an example as it presents a missing intake snood and some spots of surface rust on various fasteners and whatnot.

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It’s not at all bad, you just have to wonder what you might do with a truck of this nature. Before you can do that, you’d have to figure out whether or not you might pay its $11,300 asking price.

Sure, it’s a survivor, and has had a lot of money poured into it to make it nice. On the other hand, it’s a slow old truck that offers limited utility today lest you negate all that work by banging it up and wearing it out.

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That’s quite a conundrum and let me tell you, I don’t envy you the weight of responsibility in managing today’s vote. Still, vote you must.

What do you think, could this partially restored LUV be worth that $11,300 asking? Or, does that price leave you wanting just to be friends?

You decide!

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Chicago, IL Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to DinnerOnion for the hookup!

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