Junkyard Find: 2009 Chevrolet Chevy

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 2009 chevrolet chevy

In all of my 35 years of exploring junkyards in the western United States, I had never found a Mexican-built, Mexican-market car until a few weeks ago, when I spotted this General Motors de México-manufactured 2009 Opel Corsa in a Denver-area self-service wrecking yard.

Chevrolet sold a car called the Chevy II for the 1961 through 1968 model years (after which the name of the top trim level, Nova, became the car’s name for the remainder of its production run), but this is the only genuine Chevy ever made.

These cars were built at GM’s Ramos Arizpe plant, where Sonics and Equinoxes and Cruzes roll off the assembly line today.

There are Chihuahua state registration stickers on the car, and it seems to be in fairly good condition. How did it end its days in a wrecking yard 875 miles to the north, in a country in which no member of the Corsa family was ever sold legally? I don’t know the rules about visitors bringing Mexico-plated cars across the border for business or vacation, though I have seen plenty of such cars in American border towns; perhaps this one overstayed its travel permit and got towed away and impounded after its owners took a trip to Colorado.

I believe this is a 1.2-liter O-series Opel engine, rated at 79 horsepower.

Five-speed manual transmission, of course, because this car was not made for soft, two-pedal Norteamericanos.

I thought about buying the radio, because it would be somewhat cool to have a genuine CHEVY-badged CD player in my Civic, but I passed on this opportunity (mostly because the dash harness connector was buried enough to be a hassle to cut out of the car).

¡Siempre contigo!

The last year for the Chevrolet Chevy was 2011, after which this European-designed GM econobox was replaced by a Korean-designed GM econobox in the Mexican market.

But that wasn’t the end of the line for this version of the Opel Corsa; you can buy one (badged as a Chevrolet Sail) in China to this day.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Writer d'Elegance Brougham Landau.

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  • Roke Roke on May 15, 2018

    This engine doesn't belong to the GM Family 0 –as Mr. Murilee Martin states–, but probably to the GM Family II, which is old –not older than the Iron Duke nevertheless–. In this case this F II is a single OHC and it has sequential fuel injection (that's why the "SFI" in the head cover). It cranked out more than 100 hp according to GM of Mexico (I don't recall the exact power), supposedly SAE homologated. If this “genuine” Chevy has ran 60,000 kilometers (37,300 miles) it's time to –no pun intended– to change the timming belt, which is pricey here in Mexico, and expensive as hell there in the USA –because of labour costs–. If it's true that here in Mexico people use crappy Chevys as daily drivers that are better suited for the cruncher for sure, that Chihuahuan Chevy could be a valuable car down south the border. As I stumbled upon this junkyard find of this clean Chevy, my best guess is the owner in the USA avoided to do the expensive timming belt change, and, as this engine is an interference type unit, no guy smart enough would dare to keep this engine operating beyond 60,000 kilometers.

  • Arath Martnez Arath Martnez on Nov 20, 2019

    Hello, I am the owner of a Chevy, I am from Chihuahua Mexico, if you want to see some photos send me a message It is a very good car for the city and the road It is a 1.6-liter engine with 100 horsepower, on saturn is only the agency that sells the car not the brand, Regards

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  • Michael Charging more for less. Hmmmm
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