By on November 4, 2006

generalleechevy222.jpgI remember my Dad carrying me out to a little greenish-yellow station wagon when I was two. We had that car a little more than a year and that’s my only memory of it. This puts me in rare company: one of the few Americans with a positive memory of a Chevy Vega. My parents would not be in that group. One rear end collision and one melted engine, and the Vega was gone. If I missed out on the joy of picking rust scabs, at least I got to sample the full majesty of the Chevette. Was it a bad car? Was it a match for the Vega? To steal a line from “Bloom County,” it wasn’t that bad, but Lord it wasn’t good.

The car in question was a blue Chevette hatch, my bud Joe's family car. Joe’s parents weren't poor as much as they were deeply frugal. When it was time to join the growing ranks of the “two car family,” they added a posh red Chevette to their stable. I became very (not to say over) familiar with the blue Chevette. At first, I rode shotgun. After I got my driving license, I became the Chevette’s wheelman. Joe didn’t get any kick out of driving (understandably); he was perfectly happy handing that job on me. He also palmed-off testing his home-built rocket-launchers on me, but I digress.

Aside from its unabashed expression of its owners and manufacturers’ penny-pinching, there was nothing particularly “wrong” about the Chevette’s interior. Speedometer, gas gauge, idiot lights and a glove box with no lock. Done. The seats were made of vinyl specifically designed to sear beachgoers' skin. The gear change was a mess and you had to use your whole hand to flick the turn signal. We referred to the back seat as the torture chamber and, by God, it was.

Driving the Chevette was like a dream. The car liberated us from our families, blessing us with the freedom that all young drivers feel when they first set sail for the big wide world. Not that it was pleasant. The Chevette looked and drove like a slightly jumped-up pedal car. There was none of the gliding heft of The General’s larger vehicles. Nor was there any of the sure feedback of other hatchbacks. Our Accord was getting on, and was never all that fast, but it felt like a car, not a toy. It was as if GM execs created the Chevette simply to justify their disdain for “those tinny foreign cars.”

The Chevette’s utter lack of get-up-and-go was remarkable. You could floor the 1.4-liter four and get nothing more than a slightly louder rattle. It wasn’t THAT slow (we had a VW MicroBus), but there was no power reserve. The Chevette’s anemic power delivery and iffy feedback (despite lacking power steering) made for careful driving. As for top end, the little Chevy might hit 60– downhill with a tailwind. Since we mostly stayed in town, the lack of top speed wasn’t much of a factor.

While the Chevette was stable to the point of catatonia in normal driving conditions, the rare occasions when I drove it in the rain were nigh-on religious experiences. Trying to guide an underpowered, numb feeling, lightweight rear wheel-drive car sitting on narrow tires while keeping track of other drivers without an effective window defrosting system evoked all the terror beloved of slasher movie audiences. I don’t think I ever drove the Chevette in the snow. If I had, I’m sure I would have remembered it. On the plus side, the Chevette proved to be a fairly reliable ride that withstood teenage abuse and neglect. 

Looking back, I don’t think the Chevette deserves to be lumped-in with that era’s epic failures: the Ford Pinto and the Chevette's immediate predecessor, the Chevy Vega. No question: the Chevette was never the best car in its class (Dodge Omni, VW Rabbit, AMC Gremlin, Toyota Tercel, Renault Encore), nor was it the cheapest (especially if you added the options other cars offered as standard). The Chevette stayed in production as long as it did (1976 – 1987) to fill a “hole” in GM’s line-up, and then prop up CAFE ratings. 

The Chevette wasn’t a failure for what it was. It was a failure for what it could have been. The Vega was horrible, but it was a start. Its replacement (Chevette and the Monza) didn’t move the game forward on any level other than reliability (and only relative to the Vega). No front wheel-drive, no style, no aluminum engine, no disc brakes– nothing that said small and inexpensive can be beautiful. In fact, the Chevette marks the point where the imports started to run away from the domestics, as Detroit turned their back on small vehicles and once again stuffed their pockets with cash from larger ones. Now there’s a memory for you.

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64 Comments on “A Look Back: The Chevrolet Chevette...”

  • avatar

    Agreed. I bought a used 82 Chevette once for basic transportation. It looked cool compared to other Chevettes, with a lowered front end making it look like a hot rod—until I found out later, 4 broken springs were what gave it that cool look. The front springs were actually broken into 4 pieces each.

  • avatar
    Gerry T

    Happy to be reading more of these types of articles. When I was going to school to take my bachelors degree, I owned 2 Vegas, a silver hatchback, and then a purple GT. Next on to a red Pinto. During the gas shortage in 1980 I removed the back seat and used the area to store four 5 gallon gas cans ! I then drove it 4000 miles from Calgary Canada to San Diego and back. I suppose if anyone had rear ended me it could have been mistaken for a Mount Saint Helens eruption.

    After I graduated, I bought a 280zx, however in a few years I was back at school doing my Masters degree in the rust capital of Canada, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

    Back to the shit-boxes.

    Over the 2 years I owned a beige Chevette and an orange Buick Skyhawk.

    This article brought a smile to my face as I remember thinking these cars are the cross I must bear while I “improve” myself. Today I see the odd Chevette around town and like this article, it brings me back to a place I was 20 years ago. I must admit I still have a soft spot for the Pontiac Firefly rag top, though my wife will have none of it.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    I will always be greatful to the Chevette for teaching me about engines. See, I learned what a piston was when a Chevette I was riding in punched one through the hood. Learned what oil was, too.

  • avatar
    Gerry T

    I learned how to replace floor pans and valves.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Pontiac T-1000, baby. The name alone was worth the price of admission.

  • avatar

    My first car was a Chevette; the water pump and starter motor were replaced curbside. The body panels unbolted and the interior panels unscrewed, allowing them all to be renovated and repaired indoors without a garage. When the clutch went I still drove it for two days until I got it fixed. A dealer replaced the exhaust manifold for free because I supplied the parts (compare to a recent Mitsu dealer who charged $100 to say the Check Engine Light was lit because the gas cap wasn’t on tight enough).

    Go to many 3rd World hell holes and you’ll still see Chevettes and other cars of their era held together with duct tape and string because they don’t require half the resources of NASA to diagnose and repair. I bet there will still be a Chevette running somewhere when the last Prius is rusting in the scrap yard … then tell me which is better for the environment.

  • avatar

    Driving/sitting in a Chevette, NEW NEW NEW, 30 years ago was the point that I realized that something horrifying was happening to Detroit, and I would never buy another domestic car again. The seats may be the worst ever sold in a car outside of the Warsaw Pact. I remember going back to my Fiat (yeah, yeah, I know how to fix everything on one of them…who am I to say…) and thinking to myself: “This puppy may not go 1,000 miles without needing something, but by golly it at least has real seats, and goes, and stops and turns.” The tragedy of GM is that 30 years later they still don’t know how to make a decent competitive small car. I could forgive GM for the Chevette if they had ever learned anything.

  • avatar

    My first girlfriend’s parents had the rarest of beasts…a DIESEL Chevette! If I recall, Chevy was only able to unload around 1500 of those POS on the American public.

    My second (more serious) girlfriend had one Chevette, crashed it (into a CORVETTE), and dad replaced it with ANOTHER ONE!

    If I ever see another one, it’ll be too soon!

  • avatar

    Aw, guys.

    Simple as a Jeep, but twice as reliable, Chevettes were good rides. For a time in my life, if I was shopping for a car and I didn’t know what I wanted, I ended up with a Chevette — like 5 times over about 15 years. Cops ignored them, and no self-respecting car thief would be caught dead in one. That made them the perfect city cars, as far as I was concerned.

    As far as speed, you have to pick your battles. If your Chevette is an automatic, don’t pick any; if ever there was a case to be made against automatics in small-enigned cars, it was against slushbox-equipped Chevettes.

    But manual-transmissions cars can be fast around town if you hold onto lower gears. Interestingly, the four speeds have a better gear spread than the five-speed versions. Top speed for a Chevette in good condition is barely 100. But with a four-speed, second gear is good from just under 10 mph to just over 60. Third was good from about 25 mph to right around 85.

    Ask me how I know …

    I autocrossed a couple of my Chevettes, with great success. On mid-speed courses, they were awesome challengers. While Euro-rods were constantly shifting between second and third gears, I’d just come out of the hole hard, speed-shift into second and run it like a go-kart. And I’d eat their lunch. Really.

    One of my favorite weekend activities was to toss the helmet into my Chevette and go Porsche-huntin’ … though the Porsche Club guys didn’t find it funny at all. My Chevettes NEVER lost to a 944, and over time beat every 911 in the club events I ran. Not to mention beating most or all of the 911s EVERY time I ran.

    Thanks for the article. Now I’m going to scan eBag and see what’s available …

  • avatar

    I have two memories of the Chevette.
    1)A friend’s family had one and a bag of milk had broken and leaked all over the carpet. The car smelled like it drove at that point

    2)A ride snowboarding as a university student with someone driving an 8 year old Chevette. We had to will it up the hills and the speedo didn’t work (no worries about speeding tickets in that thing) but it got us there and back and apparently never broke down.

    My first car was a hand me down Mazda GLC with massive rust “vents”. I don’t think that was one import that was running away from the Chev.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    My perception was that Chevette drivers were not only driving a slow car but were driving it very unagressively. A VW Bug was not fast, but drivers usually flogged them to within an inch. Bug drivers could always be counted on to move the instant the light changed. Chevette drivers were the opposite. Thy would wait until the after the light had changed to restart the car, put it in gear and begin to accelerate — slowly.

  • avatar

    “To steal a line from “Bloom County,” it wasn’t that bad, but lord it wasn’t good.”

    The cartoon to which the author refers is one where Opus is a movie critic and in writing his review, goes on with, “Bad, bad, bad, bad!”, finally ending with, “Well, it wasn’t that bad but, Lord, it wasn’t good…”.

    In any case, the Chevettes I most fondly recall are the super el-Cheapo Chevette Scooters. Imagine stripping an already stripped car to the bare bones. These were the Chevettes that had smooth cardboard inner door panels with no armrests.

    But what I really like about the Chevette Scooter is how, for a short period (after the Vega was discontinued), it was actually the preferred choice of compact vehicle for hot-rodders to shoe-horn a small-block Chevy V8 into. Those Chevettes so-equipped could really scoot.

  • avatar

    Robert Schwartz:
    November 4th, 2006 at 3:43 pm
    My perception was that Chevette drivers were not only driving a slow car but were driving it very unagressively

    It wasnt that we didnt try… the poor chevette just didnt have the ability.

    I learned a lot from the 2 chevettes I owned… I replaced a tranny and more but they were fun vehicles to own!

  • avatar

    Hilarious commentary, Andrew.

    Being an encyclopaedia of knowledge about the bad cars from the 70’s-80’s, a slight correction is warranted:

    Chevette’s immediate predecessor, the Chevy Vega.

    Not quite. None of the models exactly replace the other, but the genes of the Vega were reflected in the ’75 H-bodies, not the ’76 T-bodies (Chevette). Here’s the lineage:

    Corvair –> not replaced
    Chevette/T1000 –> produced from 1976-1987, not replaced?
    Vega (produced 1971-1977) –> GM H-Bodies (Monza/Starfire (and the highline Starfire Firenza!)/Sunbird/Skyhawk) produced from 1975-1980 –> GM J-Bodies (Cavalier/Firenza/Sunbird/Skyhawk/Cimarron) produced 1981-2005 –> Current models (Cobalt/P5/Ion).

    PS to Gerry T: My sister had a 77 Skyhawk POS. Hers was a dark brown, oval-shaped protuberance, prompting her friends to aptly call it the Poopmobile.

  • avatar

    First girlfriend bought a new Chevette right out of high school in 1984.

    I recall the local Chevy dealer selling them for $4,995 new, your choice of colors. No A/C, manual tranny, no rear defrost.

    However, it served her well – she used to tell everyone she drove a “Vette”.

  • avatar

    Well this subject is definitely an excellent one for laughs. Thanks Mr. Dederer!

    One of my good friends owned a blue Chevette for ten years, in which he crossed the country at least several times. A fine craftsman, he made the thing a beautiful wooden dash.

    My own sort of cmparable car was a ’77 Corolla with the 1.2 liter engine, which I bought from one of the (future) Iraq weapons inspectors when it was 8 years old, and drove it for the next 8. You floored it–which I did all the time–and it felt like another person had started pushing. The steering was numb, but the turning circle was awesome. And it was amazingly inexpensive. For everything during the 8 yrs, 70k miles I had it, I spent about 10 grand on everything. That includes capital cost (purchase price – sale price equals not more than $600 in today’s dollars), repairs, gas, parking tickets. I did save a bit of money by tuning the thing myself. Among high points in that car’s life with me: it got shot once, when a police chase went through my neighborhood in DC. And I once ferried the svelt former head of Medicare (from Bush 1), Gail Wilensky, a Porsche driver, downtown from her office. I got two tickets in Rock Creek Park on that drive, one for speeding and one for going over the double yellow (I was passing a slowpoke) but in those days all you had to do was get a hearing and reschedule it once or twice and they would lose track of you. (Those were the only two tickets I ever got in that car. It didn’t feel safe above 55mph and even then it didn’t feel very safe.

    It seems we have a budding fiction writer in our midst, Mr. jrhmobile:

    I autocrossed a couple of my Chevettes, with great success. On mid-speed courses, they were awesome challengers. While Euro-rods were constantly shifting between second and third gears, I’d just come out of the hole hard, speed-shift into second and run it like a go-kart. And I’d eat their lunch. Really.

    One of my favorite weekend activities was to toss the helmet into my Chevette and go Porsche-huntin’ … though the Porsche Club guys didn’t find it funny at all. My Chevettes NEVER lost to a 944, and over time beat every 911 in the club events I ran. Not to mention beating most or all of the 911s EVERY time I ran.

    Yeah, I used to pass Corvettes in my Corolla–in my dreams.

  • avatar

    Ok now I have to share my Chevevtte memory. I’m 5 years old, and my Mother, Grandmother and I are tooling about in the family chevette, on our way home from church. As we pull through a intersection, we get blindsided by a Ford Ranger. The chevette goes flying across the road and ends up on it’s roof, with us dangling by our seatbelts.

    We all walk away from the accident, and when the wrecker people get the car right side up again, my mother starts the engine back up and we limp it home. I think she got about 150k miles out of that before she traded it in for a Chevy Citation (remember those? I still have PTSD thinking about it), which is a story for another time.

  • avatar

    Ahh, the Chevette. My first job in HS in the 80’s was working the counter at the local Auto parts store. As part of my duties I would occasionally have to make deliveries. Our delivery cars were 2 Chevettes (81 and 82) and 2 Ford Falcons (65 and 66). We treated them all like stunt cars and they never broke down or complained. I remember seeing my buddy pull up to me in the 82 one day all bleary-eyed telling me how he just pulled the handbrake in the rain at about 50MPH. He spun the Vette about 4-5 times he said but he corrected and lived to tell the story. Good times.

  • avatar


    No fantasy here. Look up Cumberland Motor Club records in the mid ’90s. They’re online.

    In an autocross, where folks can’t get above 60-70 mph dodging cones in a parking lot, things even out. And not having to shift between 2nd and 3rd was worth 2/10ths a shift. Every shift.

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    A high school buddy’s mom, now 82 and living in Anchorage AK still has the Chevette she bought when she was spending most of her time at Prudoe Bay doing data entry. The little econobox has just a bit more than 50,000 original miles on it. She still swears by it and has told of people leaving notes under the windshield that say, “Nice Chevette!” Magazines such as Sports Car Market forget the any car is just a machine, not (necessarily) an investment portfolio.
    It is the memories and feelings we put upon any machine, which really give it value. One person’s collectible is another person’s old crock.

  • avatar

    In a previous job, I was a pizza delivery driver. Our fleet consisted entirely of old Chevettes (it gets better, taxi cab yellow with a big red crown on top). And we neglected and abused them so badly, I’m surprised protective services weren’t called on us. Because of 20+ years of abuse and neglect, they varied from rattling like a Vegas craps table (during regular driving) to sounding like a cannon had gone off (going over railroad tracks).

    Driving them was only redeemed by the RWD. As everyone else has mentioned, the autobox Chevettes are basically hamster-mill powered. Some cars would stall if you floored it (the only way to keep up with traffic), others couldn’t top 80km/h (if you tried, the car would just slowly lose power – not fun when you’re completely surrounded by transport trucks). But this being Canada, and the Chevettes having almost bald, skinny tires, winter was a hoon and a half. I remember going around a gentle s-curve during a snow storm. I’m sure the feeling was accentuated by being in the car, but I felt ridiculously sideways. Like, Clarkson in a Monaro sideways. I think the sheer lack of POWARRRR!!! is the only reason I only spun out once (well, accidentally, three point turns were a bitch with the slow and heavy steering).

    So yeah, the Chevette was, and still is, a terrible car, but I’d love one as a winter beater.

  • avatar

    Ah the dreaded Chevette, Shove-itte, Sh*t-vette, or whatever you want to call it. It was a truly awful automobile and evidence that Detroit cars were heading for the crapper!

    My wife owned not 1, not 2, but 3 of those dreaded things in succession in her teen and college years. Admittedly, my 1981 Escort (which I had in the late 80s) didn’t exactly set the highway on fire, but it would run rings around that Chevy crapmobile. The THM-175 auto slushbox was miserable and sapped whatever slim amount of motivation came from the 1-bbl-carbed 4-banger. Run the A/C and you’d actually lose about 3~4 MPH!

    I had the dubious distinction of driving that 3rd Shove-itte (a gray 1984 model) a couple times). As usual with GMs of that era, the glue holding the headliner deteriorated and the interior resembled a harem-tent. The brake pedal would literally flop back into place with a loud click when you released it. The steering was only approximate. The front end shimmied mercilessly at speeds over 60 (once you actually got there), and past 70, there was a danger of body panels flying off. Once, the gas strut support for the rear hatch failed while she was loading groceries and the hatch fell and KOed her!

    Once she had a flat tire and tried using the lug wrench that came with the car. It was (and I kid you not) 9 inches long! How the freek do you expect anyone to get any leverage with THAT?

    It’s only redeeming value is that it carried the girl I loved, (and still do) from A to B. Don’t even think of asking anything more from it. Gas mileage in the low to mid 20s was nothing to write home about, either. Traction in rain or snow? Yeah, right! Only my 1972 Nova was worse.

    BTW, that 3rd Chevette died at 90000 miles in dramatic fashion, (I still refer to it as a mercy killing) when it threw a rod right through the side of the block. I told her that if she even THOUGHT of buying another one of those cussed things, I would be gone. She finally saw the light and we purchased an Olds Cutlass Supreme for her. Nowadays she drive an Avalanche!!!

    I still see one about every 6 months or so. I haven’t seen one not in dilapadated condition in about 4 years.

    As a comparison, that aforementioned 1981 Escort was sold at 130k miles and it was driven by it’s next owner all the way to 160k before it got clobbered by a van (no injuries, fortunately).

    BTW: My Uncle also had a positive Vega experience. It was the first (and last) time I ever saw a 3-speed stick on the floor.

  • avatar

    This car gives nostalgia a bad name. I’d rather go down memory lane discussing Milli Vanilli. Puhleeze.

  • avatar

    I can accept jrh’s story about whipping Porshes in a Chevette. I had one and would routinely run the local hilly, curvy backcountry roads at an average speed of around 65 mph. With P155’s on them in a modern rubber formulation those little pipsqueeks could track like they were on rails if the rest of the suspension was in working order. Winter was a totally different story. Driving it in winter was more thrilling than the rides at an amusement park that was due to be condemned the next day.

    The first car that had my name on the title was a 1978 Chevette coupe in burgandy. 1.6L originially rated at 68hp and a 3-speed auto. My parents bought it for me with just under 50k miles on the clock, and later signed it over to my when I managed to finder better insurance rates than I had under their policy. I rolled the odometer around to 120k miles before I traded it on a 1988 Celebrity Eurosport wagon. A major mistake that was.

    Regardless of all its faults, I thought that was a great little car. Yeah, the seats were vinyl but they were adequate. Vinyl didn’t bother me since in my family most of the vehicles we owned had them. No AC, but with the door window down and the rear quarter windows flipped open it usually didn’t need it. The thing was a rattletrap though. Where most cars would have a cardboard deck cover the spare in the back, the Chevette had a stamped metal one with a flimsy piece of rubber flooring tossed over it. However, that part made a lot less noise when I bolted a pair of 6×9 speakers in enclosures to it.

    Was it reliable? Usually. By that I mean it exhibited the same breakdown routine that every GM vehicle I ever had after it also exhibited. Life was pretty good until right around 100k miles and the thing would start breaking down. The alternator would fail, and the battery shortly thereafter. Then the starter. Etc. Etc. The speedo failed around then too. Once I got through that mess life was pretty good again until the slight running oil leak it had started getting worse.

    Oh, and I called it a Vette too. Shortly after I got it I went to work one night and told people I got a new car. When they asked what it was I said “A Vette”. After gasps in astonishment they ran to the window to see. The groans of disappointment were priceless.

    GM’s replacement for the Chevette was the a re-badged Suzuki called the Sprint in 1988 which later morphed into the Metro. Up until about a year ago I had one of those too. A 1994 coupe in bright green. The Metro was better in some ways, worse in others. Lots more room inside due to being FWD, but the handling took a decent hit because of it. Better seats in cloth, but more roadnoise than I ever remembered dealing with in the Chevette. Definitely much more reliable.

  • avatar

    This car gives nostalgia a bad name. I’d rather go down memory lane discussing Milli Vanilli. Puhleeze.

    Then don’t click here:

    BTW, Milli Vanilli were pioneers in their field. After getting flamed for lip syncing their concerts, all their talentless successors are now doing it. :)

  • avatar

    Yes, but didn’t Milli Vanilli lip synch to someone else’s voice?

    Thanks for your memories. At Stephan Wilkinson’s suggestion, we’ll be making Saturday nostalgia day.

    As part of that effort, after the TWAT awards are announced next week, we’ll be running a writing contest for “A look back.” Some of you might want to save your best nostalgic material for that.

  • avatar

    OK I have to share that I had a 1984 Pontiac T-1000, a blue 4 door hatchback with automatic, AM radio and um, er, well, it had cloth blue cloth seats, carpet, and oh yeah, it had dual “rally sport” exterior mirrors! It was a 1.6 litre, had 2 barrel carburetor, feedback computer for the 3-way catalyst and a stepper motor on the carburetor to keep the air-fuel mixture correct for the catalyst (well, in GM’s dreams, anyway).

    We were a young married couple, had a small child, lived on as tight a budget as you could possibly imagine and were tired of the 1977 Plymouth Volare’ wagon continually letting us down, so bought the Pontiac new.

    Within a few months, we moved to Colorado, and on weekends, we would drive west up into the rockies (yeah, VERY slowly – it would go up the mountains in 2nd gear, rarely shifting to 3rd) and we’d find the old narrow-gauge railway roads and go on them (you rarely saw anything but CJ Jeeps on them otherwise) – yeah, young and dumb, I know.

    But we started the call it “Blue – our automotive mule” and it was. Plus, strangely enough considering it was a GM product, it never let us down one single time in boondocks (this being well before the days of cell phone safety nets and all). We might be 50 miles from civilization on 2-tracks and narrow gauge railways in the Rockies (in the summer, of course) and all was well, every time.

    Now with maturity and wisdom under my (more substantial) beltline, I would never dare such a stunt, never mind weekend after weekend. I think my guardian angel will probably kick my rump when I first see him, for making him work such overtime in the mid 1980’s!

    Yeah, when I was asked to drive a Chevette about 10 years ago to move my wife’s colleage’s car across town, it was totally shocked at just how small and horrid the thing was.

    I realized then, that my fondness for “Blue, the automotive mule” was true, but I’d forgotten how truly terrible the car was in comparison to anything “DECENT” or modern.

    I think, in retrospect, that the ONLY reason the Chevette / Acadian / T-1000 was as “semi-decent” in the mid 1980’s, was because Opel engineers did the basic engineering for GM-Brazil, and GM HQ needed a cheap small car to build in the US and actually had to do it quickly, so ignored the usual “NIH” (“not invented here”) syndrome – and thus the car wasn’t entirely screwed-up by the guys who did the VEGA.

  • avatar
    Lesley Wimbush

    You know you’re a car lover when you can reminisce fondly about past POS’s.
    Thanks for a good (refreshing) read, Andrew

  • avatar
    Austin Greene

    Hey! Lay off of the Chevette. It may have been one of Car and Driver’s ten best third-world cars (January 1985) but it also had a metric tonne of personality. For anyone that ever dated an average looking girl, but who had a great personality, you know exactly what I mean!

    The RWD Chevette was produced from MY76 to MY87 with a 1.6 Litre engine becoming standard in 1978. It was based on the T body Opel Kadet that also spawned the Pontiac Acadian / T1000 as well as the Isuzu Impulse. Parts of the T body even continued life in the P body Fiero.

    The Chevette may have had an interior straight out of the stone age, but they were cheap, plentiful and durable. Just ask anyone who delivered pizza in the ’80s. I recall that when production ended in January 1987 General Motors did a little research and discovered that 85% of these NASCAR interiored econoboxes were still on the road.

    And for those interested in a little more corporate irony, just compare the humble two door Chevette with the Saturn Sky. Overall length: Chevette – 161.9, Sky – 161.06; wheelbase: Chevette – 94.3, Sky – 95.09; personalities – immeasurable!

  • avatar

    Talk about “there’s more here than meets the eye”…
    As I recall, the Chevette was a quick-and-dirty badge engineered job, based on the Euro Opel Kadett. (A further badge job was the related “Opel By Isuzu”.) I rented a Chevette once and called the agency when it wouldn’t start. Turns out, all it needed was to be started with the clutch disengaged. (Yes, National rented sticks as recently as the early 80s.) It was cheap and slow. Recently at an old-timer car show, someone had an immaculate, low mileage Chevette Sandpiper that almost ran away with the Best In Show.
    I guess today’s Chevette, segmentwise, would be the Aveo.

  • avatar

    Kinda humorous, dontcha think, that 30 years after GM had to use Opel design and engineering to get into the econocar segment because GM's domestic talent was..uhhh..somewhat lacking, they STILl have to use Opel design and engineering to even get people to look at their domestic passenger car lines? The best part of the Vega was the manual transmission, initially a 3-speed. And get this: The transmission was an Opel 4-speed with one less gear and ratios juggled to compensate. Or…an Opel transmission dumbed-down for domestic consumption.  Back in Gas Crisis '73, my wife had a '72 Mercury Capri, I had the '72 Opel 1900 Manta Rallye. Cars that were light-years ahead of the Ford Pinto and the Chevrolet Vega in all areas. The more things change…well, you all know the rest.

  • avatar

    You know, there really ought to be a whole section on cars like this. “Sh*tboxes I Have Loved,” or something.

    It’s always amazing to me how a mass-produced vehicle can develop a charm despite its numerous flaws.

    For me, my favourite bad car I owned was a ’91 Escort GT with no interior and a 3″ exhaust that I bought for $150 (canadian). Never has anything been so loud and slow, but it was more FUN to drive (read: flog) than pretty much anything I’ve been in.

    What say ye. moderators? Can we have a “Manure-streaked Diamonds” section?

  • avatar
    Dr. No

    What’s next, misty eyes over the Vega? Pinto?

    These are best forgotten than remembered, unless it was your first car, in which case you can be pardoned. But cars like these were juicy bait for the Japanese to plunge head-first into the U.S. market and feast on it. The Japanese must have thought at the time: “Are they kidding?” The rest of the story everyone knows.

  • avatar

    Back in the mid. ninetys my buddy had some financial problems.He ended up driving an 82 and a 84 Chevette him and his wife needed cars and it was all they could afford.That is a common thead in most comments I read today.
    With some basic mechanical knowledge we kept those 2 cars running til he could afford something better.
    As others have pointed out the VETTE was reliable,easy to fix,parts were cheap,and you could beat the crap out of it.and they could stand up to a Canadian winter With a standard shift, and a set of snow tires,and a little bit of driving skill it would get you around.
    The Chevette was a basic car it never pretended to be anything else.Reviewing the comments I see more positive than negative.G.M.was and is rightfully proud to have built the Chevette.May its memorys live forever

  • avatar

    Pinto next week.

  • avatar
    Austin Greene

    Well that will be a blast from the past!

  • avatar
    Bob Elton

    I must be several generations older ythan most of the reders of this site. My crappy car memories are from the 50s and 60s. Maybe I’ll write about eh joys of owning a 57 Chrysler New Yorker. I had half a dozen of them when I was in high school, back inthe dark ages.

    Bob Elton

  • avatar

    My parents had a Vega due to the “energy crisis” in the early-mid ’70’s. They still curse that car. “No power, the door handles broke off it, blah, blah, blah..”

    They went from a 1970 Mach 1 Mustang with a 351 Cleveland to the Vega, and then rebounded into some giant, huge late ’70’s Chevy. That car must have been 22′ long whatever it was.. I guess big cars were all the rage in the late 70’s as if in protest and rebellion to those little cars people drove a few years earlier. Until the next “energy crisis” in 1980’s. Sell off the big cars and bring on the crap cars! Gutless pieces of chit! I disdain them all. Hence the desire and drive to have a 800+hp turbocharged Mustang… You can have one too easier then you think…

  • avatar

    The 70s and 80s were dark days indeed for GM cars. Who wants to remember the Vega, the Chevette, the Citation and all of their various badge engineered Pontiac, Buick and Oldsmobile variations. It is a wonder that GM is even still in business today. One must not forget the V-8 diesel horror story or the Cadillac Cimarron. Yuck, it all leaves such a horrible taste in the mouth! Toyota was already way out ahead with thoroughly average but decent designs for the Corolla, Corona, Celica, Land Cruiser and Hilux. Even today I would much rather drive a restored 1980 Toyota anything than I would any of the 4 or 6 cylinder powered GM, Ford or Chrysler cars of the same era. And now we have Detroit executives bemoaning the idea that people don’t give the home team a chance …. pfffft, we gave the home team a chance for decades and they abused us.

  • avatar

    As the unfortunate former owner of both a ’75 Vega and a ’81 Chevette, I can honestly say they were both ghastly vehicles. The Vega was my first vehicle, and ok, but it sucked transmission fluid through some sort of solenoid which it then routed to the carb. The result was a smoke cloud so thick I actually caused an intersection accident.
    The Chevette was no better, leaking oil aout of every possible oriface it had, and to make matters worse, the hood flew up (and over) the roof driving down the highway.
    If I had to pick a favorite of the two, it would definately be the Vega. At least it had a nice interior and some character. But after those two wonderful experiences, I bought my next vehicle – 87 Toyota truck!

  • avatar

    It was your modulater valve 50$ parts and labour in 1980.Did you ever have to buy an alternater for your Toyota you could of probably buy another Chevette for the same price

  • avatar

    I know, I was 15 years old and did not know crud about cars. The Toyota did well with over 180K and all I ever did was a T-stat and the starter contacts points. Drove that truck all over the U.S. while in the Marine Corps and it never let me down. Can’t say that for the chevy crud.

  • avatar
    Austin Greene

    Okay spongecop my B.S. detector is starting to go off:

    How do you have a Chevette hood, with federally mandated dual latch, fly up and over the roof, unless that was one tremendously abused and neglected vehicle? A little unrepaired front collision damage?

    Then you say that at 15 years old you drove all over the U.S. while in the Marine Corps. Don’t you have to be 16 to qualify for a drivers license and 17 for Semper Fi? Or are you one of those guys who served with W. during Nam?

    Oh hang on spongecop – I just reread your post – you’re a Toyota owner! My B.S. detector is always going off around you guys so there’s no need to respond…

  • avatar

    A long time ago, maybe 20 years or so, I remember catching a female standup comic on TV. Maybe it was Paula Poundstone, I’m not sure. It was someone sort of like that.

    In her schtick she told about her crappy her life was, her job sucked, her boyfriend left her, her mother was mean to her, and she was so depressed that one day when she was driving home from work she decided to end it all by driving into a tree.

    Unfortunately, she had a Chevette, the slowest car in the world (and something that would make one depressed). According to her, do you know what happened? After the car hit the tree?

    The box of Kleenex fell off the dashboard!

  • avatar

    When we were young marrieds in ’80 or so, my wife and I needed a car and, having scored good jobs, decided to get a new one. Unfortunately, one of the bi-annual gas crises had just come along and economical cars were in short supply. We had to wait a week to test-drive a Chevette.

    I’ve never been too fussy about automotive performance (I’d been driving my Dad’s 231cid Econo-Thrift and Power-Glide equipped ’67 Camaro happily for some years) but this thing was awesome in its powerlessness. It stalled whenever you stopped (and the salesperson said they’d only fix that if we bought it) and, when you floored it on level pavement, you got extra noise but no detectable acceleration.

    Thanks but no thanks. Sometimes, it’s better to pay extra for gas.

    There are few cars for which the 2CV would represent a step up but the Chevette is surely a member of this elite club.

  • avatar

    The Pinto was damn reliable. Not great technology but relaible. Mileage was good for the day and the three I owned/drove never caught fire. Move them ahead 30 years and they would be competitive with Aveos and such.

    Reminiscing is fine but appyling today’s engineering standards to 30 year old cars ain’t fair.

  • avatar

    When I was a kid, my single parent mom graduated us to a 1982 brand new chevette, 1.6 4 speed manual, no ac, I think it made 68hp. I think the horrible chevettes were the A/C Automatic ones, because we rented one in florida once, and it kept stalling out. She had this car till 1990… I learned to drive in it, and how do drive a stick shift. While not the fastest car in the world, I thought it *felt* sporty, and I recall the unassisted steering to be precise. I remember when we went to buy it, there WAS indeed a shortage of chevettes here on long island, they were flying out the dealer… basically you picked your color, and if you wanted the scooter edition or not. Our was an actually nice maroon, with matchbox-like metal flake paint (I think I paid extra for that on my town car). We did have problems a few times with the “computerized” carb (god how I love fuel injection), and went through a few clutches. (I’m not sure how many of these repairs were legit, or whether they were the single mom schoolteacher being taken advantage of by the dealer). But I don’t think it ever stranded us anywhere, and held up like a tank.
    It really came through for us in a time when a bad ride could have sunk the family. Yes, escorts and even my dad’s pinto seemed luxurious in comparison, but when all was said and done, the escorts of the time were actually much more expensive cars, AND front drive was still seen as “skeptical” at the time. (I’m sure others remember that as well)


  • avatar

    It’s nice to see a few positive stories on POS cars. I have good memories of a Pinto of all things. Me and a buddy bought one for $50. This car had no electrical system so the old lady sold it cheap. We cut off the roof, doors, fenders, etc… Then we put truck tires on it. For a total investment of about $175 (including the beer) we had a very fun dune buggy.
    We tore all over the North Nevada desert in that thing. The clutch finally went out about 10 miles from the nearest road. As far as I know the car is still there.

  • avatar

    Ok – as someone who had several Chevette’s in the family and under my own ownership – I think it was a great small car. The Omni? that’s a laugh. Piece of junk. VW Rabbit? It bested the Vega to fastest time to rust out (I lived in the Northeast) and had the same crappy VW 1.7 liter engine that was in some of the Omni’s. All my Chevette’s were reliable, held up pretty well to the salt and during the last year of production cost only a few hundred more than the exulted $3999 Yugo yet it was 100 times (or more) better of a car. BTW: I loved the rear wheel drive and have made a personnal goal to never have another front wheel drive car (had a Plymouth TC3 and a Pontiac J2000 way back). My last Chevette was a Chevette S with a Sun roof, tinted Windows and the deep blue with redish/orange trim strip and white raised letter tires. Great car!

    BTW Toyota recalled more cars last year then they sold…..

  • avatar

    Wow, you and I are probably the only two people in the world with fond memories of the Vega. I remember the day my dad brought home a shiny red ’72 Vega hatchback. It was so sleek compared to our Dodge Dart that my mom thought it was a “sports car.” He loved that car, too, right up to the point where he totaled it in an accident. Fortunately, he didn’t own the Vega long enough for it to self-destruct. To this day my dad thinks the Vega was one of the best cars he’s ever owned.

  • avatar

    Didn’t they make a Chevette GT with a V6 in it? When ever I see a Chevette it brings a smile to my face. My best friend had one when we were in high school. The crap we did while in it still amazes me that we survived.
    Thanks for bringing back the memories.

  • avatar
    Austin Greene

    “To this day my dad thinks the Vega was one of the best cars he’s ever owned.”

    A statement that is so unbelievably shocking yet sad. Your poor father. What does he drive now – an electrolux?

  • avatar

    I had a Chevette.At the time (mid 80’s) I was a drug addict. I would drive my Chevette about 45 mi’s each way to Detroit to buy drugs which is of course not significant.But the car, and it’s condition is a slightly amusing story.

    The brakes did not work_ at all. So to stop the car I had to shift into reverse and that would stun the car enought to slow it down. That was fine if the car did not stall;because the ignition did not work and my method of starting the car was to touch a metal rod the starter which would usuually work.

    The floor had rusted out so that on rainy days………yep I drove it on rainy days……. water from puddles and the road would swoosh up into the car and I would get soaked.

    I once drove the car over the Ambassodor bridge from Detroit to Windsor Ontario .

    I finally sold the car for about 30$.I told the guy that bought it that he should not drive it because it had no brakes. But he insisted………..and he could not stop the car………… until I had him pull into a drive way in an empty lot. It reminded me of learning to ride a bike and not being able to stop.

    Looking back I am slightly amused by my esacapades……..very slightly…………mostly I am happy to not be the morn I was back then now

  • avatar
    Austin Greene

    So the message here kids is stay in school – don’t do drugs – or else you will end up driving a POS from General Motors!

    BTW detroitannarbor, I am also happy that you are not the morn you were back then.

  • avatar

    No hot rodders here?

    I remember a 1982 Chevette that we swapped in a GM 2.8 liter V6 from a Blazer. With 135HP from the V6, the car felt like a rocket, but what we did was beef up the suspension, add some 14″ Panasport wheels, and Michelin “X” tires, and the car was a blast to drive. Later on, a friend brought over the front end of one of the Vauxhaul Chevettes that turned out to be a BITCH to install, but it did make the car unique.

    I wish I knew where that car was today.

    And I have fond memories of the Vega as well.

    The Vega had many firsts that are now overshadowed by its reputation.

  • avatar

    I had an 86 or 7 S**tvette. It was crap but I loved it. The fuel pump was loose and the POS would stall on me constantly. 70mph downhill was about it. Mine was a luxury model, it had power steering. It spewed oil from 10 different spots on the engine. I had plywood on the driveway to absorb all the oil because the ashfelt was soup. On day in the winter, about 6″ of snow, I start to drive and it sounds like I’m dragging an anchor, I get out look under the car to see a big piece of floorboard had been pulled down and was dragging in the snow, I cut the floorboard out and put a piece of cardboard over the gapping hole. The timing belt snaps on me one day and I’m freaking, I blew the POS motor!!! But the thing wouldn’t die. I was told that this car was originally built for the US postal service in right hand drive. Is this true? 4 hours on the highway and i could barely walk, burnt more gas than my wife’s Taurus.

  • avatar
    Diesel Chevetee

    You guys want a chuckle? And I swear the BS meter will not go off. I owned a 1987 Chevette that the last owner transplanted the complete running gear from an 83 with the 1.8L Isuzu Diesel and 5 speed stick. I bought it for $1.00 and drove it all over creation. Repairs done: tires, shocks, timing belt, glow plug relay (went out at girlfirend’s house after an argument, don’t argue with your girlfriend!) and some fuel. The guy I sold it to drove it to Florida from Utah and back without any problems.

    I miss the fuel economy, 40mpg in town almost 60 mpg on the freeway, could reach 85 mph on flat ground (no tailwind here), and if I got a tailgater I would just put it in 5th gear and floor it. Tons of sooty smoke, great for convertable mustangs. And it really did have plenty of power. Diesel with a stick and someone who knows how to make it go, and it could scoot. I put escorts, corollas, and gas chevettes to shame.

    The best memory: the day I was taking a friend out of town and as usual the plug for my block heater jumped over the hood. I didn’t know a grown man really could scream like a girl!

    The demise of the car: The guy I sold it to didn’t pay, I had to repo it and found out the engine was blown. I crushed it. Oops. One went on eBay today for $1825.

    If you want to know more about the GT version and proof I’m not BSing check or do a search on one. They’re terribly popular to do biodiesel conversions on.

  • avatar

    Laugh if you want,guys, but I am the proud owner of a 1985 Chevette,28,000 original miles!! Bought it last summer with only 18,000 miles…still had all the little paper tags under the hood..I just replaced in original factory tires..It went from Portland,Oregon to San Diego and back 2 times…..The mechanic said it had never even been on the freeway before! As far as speed,we just came back from the SD trip and she cruised down I-5 at 65 very easily..Eat your hearts out.LOL Just your VERY basic American cheapy car..

  • avatar

    alright guys and gals heres a story for you,my first car was a 1976 chevette(dull orange)i mowed a older ladies yard that took me about 5 minutes to do,and she gave me the had been sitting for about a year im guessing,i had to put air in the tires then i grabbed one of my friends to help me push start the little 4 speed it statred up after pumping the gas a few times,i was 14 years old not legal age to drive and never drove a stick before or anything else other than,god i hate to admit this but a moped.the only reason i knew how to clutch start a car was because my older brother had a 70’s honda(littelst car i think ever)and he always made me push the thing when his battery crapped out,so i made him show me how you can start a car with push starting it,that was so cool i thought back then.and i really am thankful he showed me,other wise i would have pushed that little chevette about 10-12 blocks to get it home,yes i did stall it a dozen times trying to figure out how to drive a stick,but hell it didn’t matter to me i had a car and mom and dad had no idea at that time.we finally made to my house and i will never forget my mom and dads face when i pulled up in the chevette,my mom was ready to kill me wanting to know who’s car i was driving and why was i driving it,my dad on the other hand god bless his soul was laughing his butt off.when i got out of the car mom started her questioning,i told her and my dad how i got it and at first my mom told me that she was going to make me and my dad take it back to where i got it,but my dad smoothed talked her into letting me keep it but it had to stay in garage until i was 16 years old and i had to keep good grades,keep mowing yards until i was old enough to get a job making min.wage,and that i had to get my own ins.when time came,and i would not be able to drive car to school,just to wouldn’t have mattered to me if they told me i would have to become pres.of the great u.s.i was bound and determined to keep car and be the only 14 year old at that time in my school that had a car.i kept to my word and did the things they asked me to do.the next yard i mowed my dad made me take the money i got from it and buy a used battery at phils junk yard in southgate, was only about a mile from where we lived.i bought battery for $5.00,put it in myself with dad watching over me.he then made me check out the complete car from top to bottom showing me what all the mechanics was to it.(my father was a backyard southern hillbilly mechanic from k.y.and he was good everybody we knew use to bring there cars to him to fix)after going through the chevette it met his approval of being road safe,but i still wasn’t going to be able to do anything with it for another 2 years,so he made me put it on jack stands so the tires wouldn’t dryraught any more than they were,and disconnect battery to end up reconnecting about once a week to start up the engine.i was so happy because now i could start doing things i wanted to do to make the chevette my the way i wanted it.first thing was 5-6 cans of red spray paint,painted in about 30 min.then i went on to learning how to take out the a.m radio and installing a pioneer cassette player with two 6×9’s that cost around $50.00 at time,then i don’t remember how but i got some cool chrome hubcabs(sorry whoever owned that omni).then i was satisfied.well i kept the car for about 6-7 months when my older brothers friend came over and offerd me $200.00 for it on payments,i was dumb enough to do it but i made him let me drive it 1 time when my parents weren’t home which happend to be the day he brought me the first of last $10.00 payments.i thought i was so cool driving it down northline (a main street in my neighborhood)but then reality set in it wasn’t my car anymore but i had ten bucks in my pocket and it was winter time with no snow to shovel for money,and he was suppose to give me ten bucks a week until he payed it off,and then at 14 years old that was good i dealt with not having it anymore my mom couldn’t be happier and my dad was happy to have his garage back,so i thought i was doing good,until my brother told me that the guy moved out of state the following week.i never did see no more money than the $10.00 that he gave me.i learned alot from that little 76 chevette.and then when i was about 19-20 years old i was just married,had a baby on the way,and my 77 mustang11 died(now that was a p.o.s),so a friend of mine had a 85 chevette he sold me for $500.00 on payments,$100 down $50.00 a month my wife and i were so greatful to have a car he could have charged me a $1000 it wouldn’t have mattered to me or her. we drove the thing for about 3 months, and some older man pulled up next to me at a light and asked if i wanted to sell it, i told him everything had a price tag,just kidding around,he wasn’t though,he bought it right there for $1500.00,when i walked into the house a little late from work and my wife didn’t hear the car she freaked out!she immediately thought the worse,but after i told her what i did she relaxed,told me to pay off my buddy and take rest of money and find a car with what was left over,i ended up with a 84 tempo and didn’t owe any money out.we did o.k. but i never could get the chevette out of my mind.i have been through a couple of divorces since then unfortunatlly.but to end my long story i was out earlier today and found a 76 chevette 1.4cyl-auto.with 27,000 miles on it,super immaculent condition,1 owner(90 year old woman)no bulls!!!!,garage kept,i have all papers to prove everything said here including a copy of the title where i changed it from her name to mine,the org.release of lien,also.two door everything org.but battery and exhaust which were replaced in 2000,and yes i do have receipts.1 tear in seem on drivers seat from age of rust,bondo,and never been wrecked.manual brakes and steering.i couldn’t beleive condition of car,so i was so impressed with everything i couldn’t resist i had to have it,i made her a offer,she accepted happily!i drove it from dearborn hgts, where i live now in warren,’s unbelivable it handles better than i ever remember the way they did when i was younger,but man it really brought back some memories when i got in it being 5’11” and 200lbs.same size i was then but car feels like it shrunk!!you guys can say whatever you want about these cars but im exceptionally happy.and i don’t know what kinda gas milage u might have gotten but i figured it out after i got home and im getting about 32-34 miles per gallon.and i was cruising at around 65 to 70mph.and no i don’t think it will go any faster but what the hell,i just stay in slow lane and away from truckers and no would have to see this car to actually beleive me,but as soon as i pulled in at my home a guy stopped and asked if i would sell it,i couldn’t resist but to tell him everything has a price tag,so he made me an offer of a $1000.00 above what i just payed for it myself and guess what,i just couldn’t do it this time,sorry bud but i made my mistakes back in the day but not now that im a little older and much wiser apparently,because if u look on line and if you can find one in this condition theres guys paying close to $10,000 on these,but i think i might be the only guy around that has one this rare and in such great shape with all the proof i have on car,she’s not going anywhere soon!!my ex-wife might have the kids but daddy got the baby back.if interested in knowing more info.on car leave a message.i love to talk about it.and nope don’t have anything better to do.i hope it brings back some good memories,and the kids love it!i know i do.and that is one cool little general on this site!!!!

  • avatar

    All these years and all of the “problems” and my Diesel Chevette Still gets better mileage than a Prius. Funny how everyone harps on the domestics for mileage and quality when the fact of the matter is, the domestics have always been clearly better than the imports.

    I have tried imports. I had a 92 Toyota Corolla. By far the biggest POS car I have ever owned, leaked every fluid from every where, went through CV joints and exhaust annually. And was completely shot at 100K miles. If thats what you import lovers call quality, you can have it. I will keep my 25 year old chevette with 300K+ miles on it that has out lasted my corolla with twice the age and three times the miles.

  • avatar

    Oh my god! I miss my beige Chevette Scooter. My parents ordered it brand-new and it was the next-to-last one off the assembly line for the ’81 model year. Dad used it to commute over an hour and a half each way for about 5 years, storing it in the garage during the winter and finally putting it in semi-permanent storage in 1986 to await the day I got my license.

    Though I do have some fun “bad” stories from it, for the most part it was incredibly reliable. It taught me valuable lessons about driving (don’t trust your brakes to stop you in the rain!) and basic auto repair (the e-clips which hold pressure on the cable clutch were wafer thin and broke all the time). It had a 4-speed manual tranny and was a blast to drive on the back roads around my home. Hill-hopping in it was the best!

    That poor car took so much abuse from me. Thankfully, my dad is a mechanic and kept that baby in pristine condition. When he sold it to a friend in 1994, it had about 80,000 miles, not a spec of rust anywhere, and no dings or dents. I was sad to see it go and still wonder if it’s out there somewhere on the road.

    If I had the chance to buy one like that, I’d snap it up in a heartbeat.

  • avatar

    I bought an 85 Chevette in Wpg, MB, 4 door hatch, had 47,000km on it, in 2002. Today it has triple that on it. It went from Winnipeg to Thompson, MB, to the middle of Sask. to Vancouver island B.C.. Sometime I could have run up thoses hills faster. I had 4 and 100 A/C. All four windows down and going 100km/h. Couldn’t hear diddly form the radio but I had some fresh air. Recently two separate mechanics said they’re surprised that it hasn’t fallen apart and left me in the center of the road. The rust is eating away at the undercarriage. It’s brakes and water pump are shot. It’ll cost more to repair it than it’s worth, so off to the metal recyclers. There at least I can get 200.00 for it. It’s been a good reliable vehicle. I saw this site and wanted to leave my two cents worth. For my cars Obit.

  • avatar

    The year is 1993. I bought my white 2dr hatchback chevette from my girlfriend for $150. I was in college and had other trucks but this car was easy. The hood flipped up on me while driving and drinking a beer in the winter on an overpass! I ran through a toll booth gate stick at 50mph. I drove it to prom. I drove it to western illinois university, went to a party and shot it up with a hand gun 9mm without hitting the windows. I drove it down town Chicago and had it valet ed after that. I even got t boned by a hit an run drunk driver in a full size pick up truck.
    I then sold it to my friend for $200 3 years later whom drove it at university of illinois. He got hit by a l woman in an SUV. He chained down the hood finally, drove it for two more years and gave the car back to me. I briefly drove it, then sold it to my co-worker for $50. He drove it two weeks,got a flat tire and decided to leave it forever. When my friend got his liscence revoked for tow yard fees, he got his liscence back by proving we sold it for $50. So the failure of purchasing the expensive $25 used tire was the demise of the car now that is probably a battleship hull.

    Anywho, I am having a four door high output, mint, no ac1980 silver chevette delivered tomorrow by motor carrier won on eBay for $1,700 with red “vinylette” interior. Let the good times roll bitches!!!!

  • avatar

    Anyone know what year ( I believe it was early 80’s) that Chevy made an orange Chevette with tan vinyl seats? My parents owned one when I was a kid and would love to try to track one down to buy. I can’t find any good resources, the typical ones like craigslist or auto trader etc don’t really have much. Anyone have an inside scoop? thanks!

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