With all due respect to the Hot Wheels Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra castings, the true Japanese trucks in the Hot Wheels lineup are the Hilux-esque ’87 Toyota and Datsun 620. The 620 especially is the epitome of classic Japanese pickups.
Well, we get to add another. Photos have just surfaced of the first New Model of 2016, the ’77 Chevy LUV.
Yeah, it is a Chevy, but that is the only thing that isn’t JDM about this one. The Chevy LUV (Light Utility Vehicle) is actually a rebadged Isuzu Faster. The Faster was Isuzu’s response to the small Datsun and Toyota trucks, and they had GM distribute it in North America as the LUV. The LUV actually stuck around for awhile until Chevy developed their own small truck the S-10.
And that makes this a very excited new casting around here. I won’t hide from being a JDM apologist, especially when it comes to unique castings like this. The LUV is such a great choice, and a hefty kudos to whoever came up with the idea to produce it.
Of course the Hot Wheels version got the typical Hot Wheels treatment. Instead of stock, it is a racing version. Of course I would prefer stock, but I don’t have any problem with this one. It looks great. Plus, the deco is actually (almost) stock. This is actually a slightly modified “Mighty Mike” trim, as shown in the LUV’s brochure:
It also came in red, which I would think is the next recolor.
Nonetheless, we cannot wait to have this one in hand. 2016 is off to a very exciting start…