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.

Join the conversation
2 of 33 comments
  • 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

  • Jeff S Corey--We know but we still want to give our support to you and let TTAC know that your articles are excellent and better than what the typical articles are.
  • Jeff S A sport utility vehicle or SUV is a car classification that combines elements of road-going passenger cars with features from off-road vehicles, such as raised ground clearance and four-wheel drive.There is no commonly agreed-upon definition of an SUV and usage of the term varies between countries. Thus, it is "a loose term that traditionally covers a broad range of vehicles with four-wheel drive." Some definitions claim that an SUV must be built on a light truck chassis; however, broader definitions consider any vehicle with off-road design features to be an SUV. A [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossover_(automobile)]crossover SUV[/url] is often defined as an SUV built with a unibody construction (as with passenger cars), however, the designations are increasingly blurred because of the capabilities of the vehicles, the labelling by marketers, and electrification of new models.The predecessors to SUVs date back to military and low-volume models from the late 1930s, and the four-wheel drive station wagons and carryalls that began to be introduced in 1949. The 1984 [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_Cherokee_(XJ)]Jeep Cherokee (XJ)[/url] is considered to be the first SUV in the modern style. Some SUVs produced today use unibody construction; however, in the past, more SUVs used body-on-frame construction. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the popularity of SUVs greatly increased, often at the expense of the popularity of large [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedan_(automobile)]sedans[/url] and station wagons.More recently, smaller SUVs, mid-size, and crossovers have become increasingly popular. SUVs are currently the world's largest automotive segment and accounted for 45.9% of the world's passenger car market in 2021. SUVs have been criticized for a variety of environmental and safety-related reasons. They generally have poorer fuel efficiency and require more resources to manufacture than smaller vehicles, contributing more to climate change and environmental degradation. Between 2010 and 2018 SUVs were the second largest contributor to the global increase in carbon emissions worldwide. Their higher center of gravity increases their risk of rollovers. Their larger mass increases their stopping distance, reduces visibility, and increases damage to other road users in collisions. Their higher front-end profile makes them at least twice as likely to kill pedestrians they hit. Additionally, the psychological sense of security they provide influences drivers to drive less cautiously. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_utility_vehicleWith the above definition of SUV any vehicle that is not a pickup truck if it is enclosed, doesn't have a trunk, and is jacked up with bigger tires. If the green activists adhere to this definition of what an SUV is there will be millions of vehicles with flat tires which include HRVs, Rav4s, CRVs, Ford Escapes, Buick Encores, and many of compact and subcompact vehicles. The green movement is going to have to recruit millions of new followers and will be busy flattening millions of tires in the US and across the globe. Might be easier to protest.
  • Sckid213 I actually do agree that most Nissans are ultimately junk. (I also think many BMWs are also). I was talking challenging the 3 in terms of driving dynamics. Agree all were failures in sales.
  • THX1136 More accurately said, we are seeing exponential growth in the manufacturing capabilities in this market. Unless, of course, all those vehicles are sold with customers waiting until more a produced so they can buy. Indeed, there are certainly more EVs being purchased now than back in 2016. Is demand outstripping manufacturing? Maybe or maybe not. I sincerely don't know which is why I ask.
  • ToolGuy The page here (linked in the writeup) is ridiculously stupid https://www.tyreextinguishers.com/how-to-spot-an-suvLike, seriously stupid, e.g., A) Not sure that particular Volvo is killing the planet as quickly as some other vehicles we might choose. B) A Juke is "huge"??? C) The last picture shows a RAV4 Hybrid?