Junkyard Find: 1984 Chevrolet Chevette Sedan

junkyard find 1984 chevrolet chevette sedan
In early 1973, the new GM T Platform was introduced to the world as the Brazilian-market Chevrolet Chevette, followed soon after by the Opel Kadett C in Europe. The Isuzu Bellett Gemini appeared in Japan in 1974, and it wasn’t long before these cheap, rear-wheel-drive subcompacts were being sold in every corner of the GM Empire. North America got the Chevette starting in the 1976 model year, and sales continued here all the way through 1987. American Chevette sales peaked here in the late 1970s, so the examples from the middle 1980s have been tough to find in junkyards. Here’s one of those cars, a thoroughly battered ’84 in a San Francisco Bay Area yard.
This one has the two-tone paint option, which added $133 to the price of a $5,508 car (that would be about the same as a $357 option on a $14,787 car in 2021).
A far more expensive option was the three-speed automatic transmission, which added $395 (about $1,060 today) to the final price tag.
Power came from a 1.6-liter Isuzu four-cylinder engine, rated at 65 horsepower in 1984. An Isuzu diesel was also available, generating 51 slow-motion horses.
Though very obsolete by this time, the Chevette just kept selling and so GM kept building it. A couple of new four-doors managed to get close to the Chevette sedan’s price in 1984, including the Mazda GLC ($5,644) and the Plymouth/ Dodge Colt ($5,639); even such super-cheap machines as the Toyota Starlet and Subaru STD were priced closer to $6,000.
It appears that this car sat outdoors for many years and endured a nearby fire that didn’t manage to set the interior alight.
Versatile, economical, dependable basic transportation.
In 1984, 97 percent of all the Chevettes ever built (presumably just the American-market ones) were still on the road. Strap that canoe on the roof and go on vacation!To see more than 2,100 additional Junkyard Finds, visit the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™.
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  • Pale ghost Pale ghost on Oct 15, 2021

    My wife bought a new one during the gas crisis. She loved it and I catch hell whenever I make fun of it. Her prior car was a Corvair and that she only kept it for a year probably accounts for her positive opinion. Her parents made her get rid of it for safety reasons. Her father was able to sell it for more than she paid for it.

  • Albigensian Albigensian on Oct 17, 2021

    I bought my first car in 1982: a brand-new Toyota Tercel. I’m pretty sure I paid about $5,400. for it. Then again, it was the base model, and stripped to a degree I’d never seen before. To mention just a few: 1. No radio. Not even an AM-only, just a piece of plastic where the radio was supposed to be. Of course, it didn’t have air conditioning either (but many cheap cars didn’t then). 2. No carpet. The floor was covered with sheet plastic. (Utilitarian, perhaps, but easy to clean). 3. A 4-speed stick (when all the other Tercels that year came with a 5-speed). I think they just left the top gear off of it. 4. Roller-skate wheels: 145x13 tires all around (which was small even for 1982). 5. No sound insulation, no outside mirror on the passenger side, an inside mirror that lacked the usual day/night feature. The car was transportation: it lasted for ten years before rusting away beyond hope (and safety). But I don’t think it came with anything not mandated by law. Of course, this type of marketing isn’t done anymore. Probably because buyers look on the internet long before setting foot in a showroom. No Apple Carplay? Fuggedaboutit!

  • Redapple2 I hope i fit in the new version.Wanted one since 1990
  • Redapple2 BeautySoulClass/eleganceRarityExpense.Very interesting series
  • Snickel Fritz I just bought a '97 JX 4WD 4AT, and though it's not quite roadworthy yet I am already in awe of it's simplicity and apparent ruggedness. What I am equally in awe of, is the scarcity of not only parts but correct information regarding anything on this platform. I'm going to do my best to get this little donkey back on it's feet, but I wouldn't suggest this as a project vehicle for anyone who doesn't already have several... and a big impressive shop with a full suite of fabrication/machining/welding equipment, and friends with complimentary skillsets, and extra money, and... you get the idea. If you don't, I urge you to read up on the options for replacing anything on these rigs. I didn't read enough before buying, and I have zero of the above suggested prerequisites... so I'm an idiot, don't listen to me. Go buy all of 'em!
  • Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.
  • ScarecrowRepair The 1907 Panic had several causes of increased demand for money:[list][*]The semi-annual shift of money between farms and cities (to buy for planting and selling harvests)[/*][*]Britain and Germany borrowing for their naval arms race[/*][*]San Francisco reconstruction borrowing after the 1906 earthquake and fire[/*][/list]Two things made it worse:[list][*]Idiotic bans on branch banking, which prevented urban, rural, and other state branches from shifting funds to match demands. This same problem made the Great Depression far worse. Canada, which allowed branch banking, had no bank failures; the US had 9000 failures.[/*][*]Idiotic reserve requirements left over from the Civil War which prevented banks from loaning money; they eventually started honoring IOUs illegally and started the recovery.[/*][/list]Been a while since I read up on it, so I may have some of the details wrong. But it was an amazing clusterfart which could have been avoided or at least tamed sooner if states and the feds hadn't been so ham handed.
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