Piston Slap: Scootin' Around A Classic Car Valuation?

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta

Cheryl writes:

I have a 1982 Chevrolet Chevette Scooter and I’m trying to determine its value. It has manual transmission and no A/C. Is there a source you recommend I contact?

Thank you for your help!

Sajeev answers:

Cheryl, you don’t know how long I’ve been waiting for this moment. For something, anything, related to the Chevy Chevette.

Plus it’s a Scooter: the stripped out model so minimalist it mocked the works of Josef Albers for being too busy! Many readers know Chevettes were a terrible great candidate for V-8 swaps, especially this super light version.

I can’t imagine anything better than LSX-FTW TURBO SCOOTER!

On to your query: Classic car values have the fluidity of a wandering stream, and everyone’s opinion is the right answer. Researching values at NADA, Hagerty and Hemmings is a good start. Also, check the classified section of Hemmings and eBay for comps.

But here’s the real problem: perceived condition of a classic.

Countless sellers think their vehicles are worth more than market value: their ride is in “A+” example when it’s actually a solid “B”. The latter happens when the seller overvalues the reconditioning’s quality (paint job starting from bare metal vs. Maaco) and utility (no rotisserie restorations on undesirable cars).

And I don’t even wanna discuss market valuations of restomods, in varying degrees of customization/budgets.

But I, using my infinite powers of perception, think your 1982 Chevrolet Chevette Scooter is worth anywhere from $200 to $7000. The low is for a non-runner that’s lived outside, worn to bits and worth little more than roughly scrap value. The high is for a museum quality, less than 5,000 miles, untouched and original down to the factory tires and battery.

An LSX-FTW Chevette Scooter? PRICELESS.

Off to you, Best and Brightest.

[Image: Shutterstock user J HIME]

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.


Sajeev Mehta
Sajeev Mehta

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  • RHD RHD on Dec 17, 2015

    Everyone that I have known who drove a Chevette hated them. They were GM's cheapest car, the epitome of outdated mediocrity. At least the one pictured above is precisely the right color for what most former Chevette owners think of it.

  • Deliverator Deliverator on Dec 18, 2015

    I have a special spot in my heart for Chevettes and Acadians because one was my first car. It had the 5-speed Borg Warner which was cool and was the Scooter. I added most of the features those cars had that I could snag from the junkyards. But I had lots of problems with the carburetor and it would ice up when it was cold and shut off the car. Also the throttle would freeze stuck... in the wide open position. Still I liked that car.

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  • Varezhka And why exactly was it that Tesla decided not to coat their stainless steel bodies, again? My old steel capped Volant skis still looks clean without a rust in sight thanks to that metal vapor coating. It's not exactly a new technology.
  • GIJOOOE “Sounds” about as exciting as driving a golf cart, fake gear shifts or not. I truly hope that Dodge and the other big American car makers pull their heads out of the electric clouds and continue to offer performance cars with big horsepower internal combustion engines that require some form of multi gear transmissions and high octane fuel, even if they have to make them in relatively small quantities and market them specifically to gearheads like me. I will resist the ev future for as long as I have breath in my lungs and an excellent credit score/big bank account. People like me, who have loved fast cars for as long as I can remember, need a car that has an engine that sounds properly pissed off when I hit the gas pedal and accelerate through the gears.
  • Kcflyer libs have been subsidizing college for decades. The predictable result is soaring cost of college and dramatic increases in useless degrees. Their solution? More subsidies of course. EV policy will follow the same failed logic. Because it's not like it's their money. Not saying the republicans are any better, they talk a good game but spend like drunken sailors to buy votes just like the libs. The sole function of the U.S. government is to take money from people who earn it and give it away to people who didn't.
  • CecilSaxon Sounds about as smart as VW's "SoundAktor"
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