Did you know that the Chevrolet Chevette was manufactured in the United States through the 1987 model year? It’s true! Serious fans of Chevette trivia also know that American car shoppers could buy a new Chevette with an Isuzu diesel engine; Chevette Diesel owners could eke out tremendous range in their oil-stinking, cramped, rear-drive econoboxes, and isn’t that really what car ownership was all about in the middle 1980s? I see the occasional Chevette in my travels (not to mention on the race track), but this California find is the first diesel Chevette in this series.
With all the San Francisco Bay Area veggie-oil-diesel freaks snapping up Peugeot 504 and Mercedes-Benz W123 diesels for conversion to never-to-be-finished french-fry-grease-burners to take to Nevada, you’d think that this Chevette would have been worth enough to evade The Crusher. Guess not.
At least it has a manual transmission, so the 51-horse engine would have been just miserable instead of completely intolerable.
Don’t use starting fluid!
The Isuzu engine in these things was a very reliable, if gutless, powerplant.
How many GM products got this exact HVAC-control panel?
The most famous Chevette Diesel in the world is, of course, the Zero Budget Racing car, which has done very well in 24 Hours of LeMons racing.
OK, let’s watch some Chevette ads from around the world! Here’s Brazil.
The Chevette Amigo was just the car for picking up streetwalkers in Venezuela.
The Daewoo Maepsy was the Korean Chevette.
In Canada, they ice-race Chevettes aka Pontiac Acadians.
Canadian Chevettes were badged as Chevrolets, too.
To get a sense of the incredible slowness of the Chevette Diesel, here’s some rear-facing video from the Zero Budget Chevette Diesel at Gingerman earlier this year.