Junkyard Find: 1977 Chevrolet Chevette

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

The ’79 Monza wagon we saw last week was a choice specimen of Malaise Era misery, to be sure, but how did the Vega Monza compare to the Chevette?

Let’s say it’s 1977, you’re a Chevrolet shopper, and you want something that doesn’t gulp the fuel like a Caprice or Chevelle. The Chevette Scooter listed for a staggeringly cheap $2,999, while the cheapest possible Vega sold for $3,249. The Chevette had a 57 (!) horsepower engine, while the four-cylinder Vega/Monza packed a somewhat mightier 84 horses under the hood.

The Vega handled better, the Chevette got better fuel economy, and both looked most appropriate in 70s brown paint.

I’m just shocked that an early Chevette stayed on the street long enough to see the second decade of the 21st century before getting crushed.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • AndyGee AndyGee on Aug 02, 2011

    The Chevette is european in origin as early as '72 IIRC. Vauxhall had their own hot hatch versions that were quite the rally beast the HSR and HS. I've also owned about half a dozen chevettes over the years as winter beaters.

  • GinoXB GinoXB on Jan 20, 2013

    Why can't any of the junkyard near me have anything like this? Where are these junkyards?!

  • Ajla No, with a "classic" I want the entire experience, not just the styling exercise so I'd have zero desire to remove the period engine**. With a normal 3-7 year old used car such a conversion being economical while I'm still above ground seems unlikely. **If the car is already ripped apart then whatever but otherwise I lean heavily to no major alterations.
  • Jalop1991 Whole lotta EV hate here.
  • 28-Cars-Later They were mocked as whales in their time but the last B-bodies really were ideally suited for decades of family use and long distance travel.
  • 28-Cars-Later "Naturally, GM turned to its most tech-forward engineering team to work on the [Cadillac] Northstar: Oldsmobile."The most GM phrase I have seen yet.
  • Carson D The automotive equivalent of necrophilia appeals to people who have no redeeming social value.