By on July 23, 2012

Did The High Plains Chevette-O-Rama leave you hungry for more ‘Vette action? Of course it did. TTAC delivers with this YouTube video of Chevettes in mortal combat. Find out more here. And yes, your humble author will be trying to buy a seat in the 2013 winter season!

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18 Comments on “Ice Ice Baby!...”

  • avatar

    I’ve heard about this I was trying to get some of my friends interested to go and see it live in I believe Western Canada.

    • 0 avatar

      I know there was a racing series like this in Quebec as well. It was actually somewhat more sophisticated; they pop riveted strips of metal from the bumper to the body to keep the bumpers from locking during the door-to-door action.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    What little money GM made off these things cannot be replaced by the lost revenue and customer retention of customers going to other brands. Long story short; in the early 80’s I needed a ride at a certain price point. Local dealer had a chevette or a Prelude. The Prelude made 2 coast to coast trips. A solid example of GM blithely ignoring the competition; should be burned with diesel fuel and magnesium shavings. Wasn’t this voted one of the worst GM cars ever? How do they find rust free ones to race?

    • 0 avatar

      > What little money GM made off these things cannot be
      > replaced by the lost revenue and customer retention
      > of customers going to other brands.

      Indeed. When I couldn’t leave the dealership with my very first car back in 1979, a brand new Chevy Chevette, because a part was missing/broken in the manual transmission (no second gear, no fourth gear, just first and third, don’t remember about reverse), I felt cheated, to put it mildly. Things didn’t improve later on and I traded the car after 18 months.

      I still wish GM well, I wasn’t against the bailout, but I just can’t see myself getting another one. That said, the idea of ice-racing an old Chevette and destroying it without hurting anyone (including myself) sounds really appealing!

  • avatar

    Would they let Pintos play too? As long as they moved the fuel tank?

    • 0 avatar

      That would be awesome! Need to have a true battle of beaters. Picture Dodge Omnis, AMC Gremlins, and Yugo GTs swirling round the corners at a face-melting .35 Lateral G’s, early straight fours banging to they’re about to blow head gaskets at a screaming 2000 rpm, and the car rapidly approaching average school crossing speeds blazing to a record quarter mile at 22 secs!!

      Proof that beer can make watching anything fun.

      • 0 avatar

        Hey now Gremlins are a bit harder to come by than those other cars. Let’s leave them out of the contact sports. ; ]

        Were there any 4 cylinder Gremlins? The one my friend had was a straight 6.

      • 0 avatar

        The gremlins wouldn’t even move, they’re VERY front heavy.

      • 0 avatar

        Hobie-Wan, there was 4 cylinder offered for a while. 2 liter made by Audi I think. (Possibly VW) I believe AMC started buying them to replace the rotary engine that was supposed to go into the Pacer.

  • avatar

    I did ice-racing a few times back about 30 years ago in my Ford Fiesta – the races were organized by size of car, and by drive wheels. I think it would be a hoot to race the Chevettes.

    Contrary to what most people believe, the Chevette, while under-powered and poorly appointed, were a mainstay of the roads here in Western Canada for many years. The cockroach of the road in those days – and if you got lucky and got one that wasn’t a lemon (built on Wednesday morning?) you could abuse the heck out of it. Cheap and easy to repair, and lots of available parts.

    Something else people tend to forget (or have deluded themselves about) was the horrific rust issues that contemporary Hondas and Toyotas suffered. A 1976 Chevette tended to last a lot longer than a Civic of the same vintage.

    • 0 avatar

      While the Chevette was not the move powerful cars of the day, they DID prove durable and reliable, when you got a good one. Some guy who may still have YouTube channel showed an old, Chevette, a base 2 door that had been around through several owners, I want to say it was a ’79, but could be mistaken. Anyway, it went from its original owners to several others over the years and back, still running I might add.

      It looked a bit worse for wear, but it still ran though.

      On the 4th of July, I spotted a yellow one going Eastbound on Highway 16 towards the Narrows Bridge and I think it was an early 80’s model and it may have been a 2 door at that, but definitely an 80’s vintage due to the shape of the rear end from the side.

      They don’t rust out in Puget Sound Country so it’s still possible to see a 35+ YO Chevette, or even older Pinto still running about.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Drifting in its infancy.

  • avatar

    I’ve flogged a Golf in anger at the Minden ice races in Ontario, and I distinctly remember a battle with a beige 5-door Chevette. I learned that day that my driving skills were not as advanced as I thought.

    If anyone in Ontario ever wondered what became of the rear-engined Skodas we used to see in the 1980s, they ended up at Minden as racers.

  • avatar

    Given the growing rarity of older compacts, maybe someone could try it with older Dodge Caravans.

  • avatar

    A T1000 would work here, just not a T101.

    • 0 avatar


      I have not seen it in recent months but there was a nice 85 or so Pontiac T1000 in my neighborhood for several years, a nice white 2 door example that was still being driven.

  • avatar

    On one level, I’ve liked these cars and no, I don’t think they were great, but they had a certain something that was emblematic of the period and they really didn’t look that bad for what they were. They proved to be long lasting if you got a good one and maintained it well.

    My sister had a bright red ’82, 2 door Chevette (bought used) back in the late 80’s when she and her first hubby lived in Ft Walton Beach. It was not a Scooter, but it wasn’t well equipped either, had the styled steel wheels, center chrome cap and may have had trim rings, I forget now, red with beige interior, no AC and an AM radio. The previous owner connected up 2 small, I think 4″ surface mount speakers in the way back area, in front of the removable panel that hid the jack, just under the hatch opening between the taillights and she drove up to Georgia to get me at our youngest sister’s place at Ft Benning GA (where this sis’s husband was station with her 2 daughters). We drove around Atlanta on the back roads to avoid i-75 with both windows open to keep cool due to it being very hot and could barely hear the radio over the wind, cranked up even.

    But the car was a decent ride to do trips like that in, would’ve been nicer if it had AC but oh well.

    So needless to say, I have a soft spot for these and never in the world considered them the best choice out there, but certainly not the worst either.

    I even test drove a ’79 light blue 5 door when I was looking to replace my ’68 Chrysler, but it was going for more than I could afford (this being 1983).

  • avatar

    I remember driving a brown Chevette once, it felt light and nimble but a bit slow and short on build quality (rattles everywhere).

    They’re okay cars, but I’d rather get a Civic and rust proof it, if only I could find a stock example.

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