This smoke shop opened right about the same time I started seeing this Chevette in traffic. And now they’ve found each other.
The Vauxhall Chevette wasn’t a bad handling car, but the 1256cc engine was a ‘dog’. It virtually was totally ‘performance-free’ if there could be such a thing. And the Viva before it had handling to match. Visually it was quite pleasant though. The later Chevettes were rectangular ‘bug-eyed’ little beasts..at least downunder anyway. They came in a pleasant range of bright colours ..but those engines …uuugggghh !
The UK climate saw off most of them,it was probably the last Vauxhall to prematurely rust out.
Thats what has always boggled my mind about British vehicles. The British climate is quite damp and a bit dreary and very conducive to rust. I would have expected that due to this, British engineers might have come up with some rust arresting agent to apply to cars but instead they rust out quicker then a 1958 Chrysler in the Mexican desert. Go figure
Always wondered why GM used the ‘Chevette’ name in UK. Did the Chevy connection sell these cars? Did the name have meaning to UK market?
Not really,Chevys could still be had from Lendrum & Hartman in London til the late 70s though there were few takers as by the mid 70s the cars and .petrol had become very expensive.Chevrolet trucks and buses were built in the UK pre war before they became Bedfords.
The Chevette’s rear looked like a mini version of the Citation’s rear. Including identical light placement and shape. As well as licence plate location and bumper design.
I’ve never been a big fan of creating close family resemblance across a brand. As I thought Chevette-like elements in the Citation, made the X-car appear cheaper.
A Mercury Topaz with a Lincoln roofline, may have helped Topaz sales. But it sure cheapens that Lincoln. Or a Dodge Shadow coupe that looks like a mini Chrysler LeBaron coupe.
Some universal branding is necessary in the development of a manufacturer’s car line. To create an image for a brand. But I find amongst various classes of cars, with many car makers, it has too often been misused.
In my area, the Cavalier/Sunfire replaced the Chevette as the basement budget-minded choice about 30 years ago.
FYI, the 2-door Shadow was a hatch. I couldn’t believe it myself, either.
So was the 4-door.
I always liked seeing a “family resemblance” in a car line. I remember parking my ’67 Malibu next to a friend’s ’77 Impala, looking at the front despite being separated by a decade and different models you could still tell they were “related.”
One of my favorite family resemblances would have to be the ’84-’85 LeSabres and Regals. Both are obviously related and good-looking, yet easily distinguishable from each other.
Probably another big brother/little brother resemblance would be the 1967 Grand Prix and 1967 GTO.
This is a neat subject in itself.
Yup. Studebaker used to be a premium brand. The 39 Champion was their first cheap model branded as a Studie, but it at least looked different than the senior models.
The 1950 Commander Land Cruiser ran on a 120″ wheelbase with a 246ci 6 and listed for $2180.
The 50 Champion ran on a 113″ wheelbase, with a 170ci 6 and listed for $1519, yet looked like the Commander, same airplane nose front, same trunklid and rear end.
So the Commander buyer pays more than the price of a top of the line Buick or Olds, and gets a car that looks like one that competes with a Chevy.
By 56, the senior Studie nameplates were just trim and engine options on the same platform as the Champion, and none of them could compete with a Ford or Chevy.
50 Commander Land Cruiser. Can you see the 33% price premium over the Champ?
Hey man, that’s my car. Wow look at those wheels, I never realised they were different colors because you know like when I park this at home the weeds cover the wheels and when I go to the shop I’m in the car so I can’t see them and then when I get out of the car you know I’m thinking herbage so I you know have my mind elsewhere and then when I get out of the shop I’m like really happy and can’t wait to get home and fire up the bucket so you know I not really thinking about wheels because there are more important things to like expend my brain’s energy on and like… now I’m feeling hungry.
You sure nailed the punctuation on this stereotype! 😛
“Like, Dude, I was out drivin’ in my ‘Vette when the law starts tailin’ me . . . “
The Eugene Vice Department, may need to investigate further…
The car: Opel Kadett, made in Brazil with impossible to replace starter. I saw one last year and kind of admired it for making it that long. The owner thought I was looking down on him. Not so.
The smokes store: As with the car not all is right: the OPEN sign is only half lit. And there are some problems with the concept too: millions of people can ‘smoke da weed’ without much lasting side effects. There are hundreds of thousands of people who will suffer from schizophrenia and other mental illnesses triggered by that same smoke………..
I see the problems, I have no solution. Well, I am capable of fixing the lights in the OPEN sign.
All the references to weed in these comments makes me wonder if other places think Oregon is like it’s northern neighbor with the legalization of it. This shop sells Tabaco and pot is not legal here in the green state, at least not yet anyway. Old cars being held together with baling wire, now that’s legal.
Can anyone please enlighten me as to vehicle safety inspection in the USA?
It is a wonder quite a number of older imported classic V8’s imported into NZ have issues with rust in the underbody, and yet many were still in regular use on the roads prior to being exported..
Is it a state by state issue, some states being stricter than others on such things as rotted body structures?
Such vehicles here require to be taken body off frame and extensively rebuilt under a qualified engineer’s sign-off prior to being complianced for road use registration and periodic licencing, and even then they remain subject to a six monthly fairly tough third party inspection to remain on the roads (if built prior to 2004)..
I saw a beaut 396 Nova 4 speed the other week (looked fantastic), asked for some detailed underbody shots, and there it was… fissures and holes around the gearbox and footwell areas ..not worth the time to repair let alone even consider importing …darned shame …suppose a desert vehicle since new would be okay ..right??
Here in the states it’s like 50 separate countries, all have their own DMV, each writes it’s own laws. In A lot of things California sets the tone, smog limits for example, but far as inspection it’s each state setting there own requirements. My brother from Sacramento was just complaining to me yesterday by e-mail that he has to have his cars smog checked but can’t understand why we up her in Oregon get away with none, if it’s good to have the air clean in cal why not here. I had nothing to say except I do like saving the money. For buying any car here it is defiantly buyer beware and one should have a competent mechanic check them over and if importing come over and inspect in person.
..thank you ! 🙂
@Craig: no problem. Never had to smog a car in one of our metro areas so was ignorant of that, as Paul stated. and you may want to defiantly be-aware of our rust issues, but you most definitely want to check them twice. Cheers;-)
Let me add a bit more to tmt: there are two kinds of inspections that (some) states require: smog and safety. The smog inspections are actually triggered by the Clean Air Act, which requires that all metropolitan areas monitor and meet certain standards, and if they fall below them, the are required to take steps like smog inspections. In Oregon, there are two metro areas (Portland and Medford) that do require smog inspections, but not after a car is beyond a certain age (25 year, IIRC).
Safety inspections are strictly a state issue. Some states have them, many don’t. And what is inspected can vary considerably. I’m not an expert, having lived in non-safety inspection states (CA and OR) for so long. But way back in the early 70s, Maryland already had one, and it required the seller to meet the inspection standards before they could sell a car, and not as a regular recurring inspection.
I’m not an expert, but I think not many states have them (probably mostly in the East), and they’re almost certainly not nearly as thorough as the inspections typically required in Europe, Japan and other countries.
In the US, cars are almost essential in many cities, and it wouldn’t be popular to deprive low-wage workers the cheap transportation that old cars provide. Realistically, how often is an accident caused by a safety defect? As compared to the driver’s poor judgement/intoxication?
Thanks so much..! 🙂 Yes, I was wondering how it could be, and I agree with you very few accidents are likely because a wheel has fallen-off (lol) ..
Some years ago I had SGS do a pre-purchase inspection of a ’74 360 Satellite I was wanting to buy from a private seller in Florida (he was a diesel mechanic) whom I thought would own a good solid safe car. It looked GREAT in the digital body photo’s!!
However, when the SGS inspectors got there they discovered a non-functioning brake master cylinder and refused to even test drive the car because they considered it to be a potentially deadly hazard for their own and other road users’ lives if they did so. Also the understructure looked actually “knibbed away by some gigantic super-hungry metal-munching (yum-yum) mothman critter” …so dat wuz dat ! haa (how the hell did he stop the Satellite at red lights I cannot guess ..perhaps he jammed it into reverse gear and let the 904 or the 727 do the job for him???) .. .. these days one is very cautious about purchasing stateside .. there are however some fantastic virtually re-manufactured masterpieces available for a price .. megabux ! :))
Here’s another datapoint on car inspections in the US
In the 70s, my Uncle lived in Pennsylvania. Cars there were inspected for rust twice a year. If the inspector found a hole the size of a half dollar, you received a citation and something like 60 days to either patch the hole, or park the car.
Here in Michigan, there are no inspections of any sort. In 45 years of car ownership, I have never taken a car in for a safety inspection, nor emissions inspection. I think there was an emissions inspection for metro Detroit at one time, but that law expired in the 90s. At one time Grand Rapids was going to start emissions inspections, but people challenged the EPA and successfully demonstrated the pollution in the city was actually blown across Lake Michigan from Chicago, so the Grand Rapids emission requirement was cancelled at the last moment.
Steve, thank you for this perspective! 🙂 ..since 1966 when my own motorbike and later car ownership kicked-off there would have been these vehicle inspections in the many hundreds at about $35 each (ie: several bikes, cars, trailers, caravans, all at one time, over the years, and ALL needing this mandatory ‘testing’ every 6 months) ..and the number of times a genuine safety fault has been detected you could count on the fingers of one hand actually.. never brakes or steering, but a wheel bearing or two requiring tightening, and just once quite recently a modern GT Radial Indonesian-made tyre that was beginning to separate in the tread. I guess that WAS a safety issue.. but perhaps it was my own doing for exceeding the maximum 36psi inflation rating for what is/was a very lightweight tyre.. so, that is say 48 x 10 x 35 dollars ($16,800) paid thus far to the NZ vehicle inspection regime .. mm 🙁
The reality is that in many areas inspection requirements are just a revenue stream for the gov’t that they don’t want to give up and/or a license to steal for those that jump through the hoops and make their payment to the gov’t for the privilege of being able to hold people over a barrel. I’m not saying that all inspectors are that way but some certainly are.
“This is your mind on drugs…”
You know, Chevy’s ubiquitous 2.8 / 3.1 liter 60 degree V6 is a straight bolt-in to the Chevette chassis. Lots of guys have already done it, and GM itself even built a prototype and slapped the SS moniker on it. The V6 Chevette never made production only because with the upcoming Beretta, it was deemed unnecessary.
I remember seeing photos of that prototype. Wish GM wouldn’t have worried so much about cannibalizing sales among its cars – so many interesting things might have seen the light of day. Thought such a swap would be fun. Sadly when I had Chevettes I was too busy and too poor with college.
Years ago I remember seeing a couple Chevettes that had Buick 3.8 V6 engines installed – which I believe was much more work to install than the 60-degree Chevy engine.
The Beretta and the Chevette didn’t have anything to do with each other, the Berretta was much more expensive car than the Chevette, rather, Chevrolet stuffing the 2.8 V6 in the newer J-body Cavalier creating the Z24 is what made the V6 Chevette unnecessary.
By the time they installed the V6 for testing it was already in the Chevettes “swan song” days, product planning wise, it was around 1982-1983. By that point they decided that it wasn’t worth the investment since the Chevette wasn’t going to be around that much longer and it would almost be out of production by the time the V6 version made it to market.
The Chevette was expected to die when the new Suzuki derived Sprint came out in 1985, it got a reprieve of 2 years and lasted to 1987.
I hope to eventually find a nice stock multi-port 2.8 or 3.1 out of a wrecked/junked 3rd-gen Camaro/Firebird to drop in mine. The MPFI intake is real low profile and should not cause any hood clearance issues.
140hp is exactly double the horsepower of the 65-70hp carbureted lump currently installed and should make it a fun little booger.
I like that – good luck with it! Kinda’ miss my Chevettes.
For some reason, the cover photo reminded me of this scene from The Sopranos. Anyone remember?
I remember this scene! Christopher was contemplating running away with Adriana to save her from being murdered. He was about to go and was filling up his H2 and spotted his road-life doppelganger getting in the citation; broke and angry, dragging his gritty family along. It was a sad enough sight to make him change his mind and stick with the easy life and let them whack Adriana. This was a great scene, good car casting.
Absolutely right. That single shot of the itinerant family wordlessly summarized Christopher’s decision-making process in a few short seconds. It’s called craftsmanship, and David Chase is a consummate craftsman.
My paternal grandmother had a “Shove-it” just one step above a “scooter” model which perpetually smelled of smoke because of her cigarette habit. Multiple packs a day.
The only other person I knew personally with a Chevette was a girl in college. Very hot girl, very crappy car, red paint and rainbow vinyl stripes. Got a chance to help her with it a few times when the wipers wouldn’t shut down or the horn stuck. She rode in my Cutlass Supreme once in a bit of irony it was the late 90s and velour/velvet shirts were in for ladies and he shirt matched the blue button tuffed velour of the interior. Sigh… wait, what was the question?
Better hold your nose entering that shop, as the sign warns of “vapors”. That Chevette has been upgraded. It now has “smoke tinted” glass.
It may not be a Pacer, but I’m sure this Chevette is quite the mirth-mobile just the same. Party on, dude!
Make sure your Xbox still has all four wheels, Paul.
*munchmunchmunch* whoa… How did all these people get into my computer? Better call those electrical guys… Hehehehe that car has different colored wheels….purple….. and…red purpleandredpurpleandredpurpleandred hehehehehehe purple is like the color of the most righteous buds and red is like… red is passion red is angry chill dude have some more pizza whoa red is like this pepperoni… Hey man that’s my car! Whooooaaa those wheels are different colors…
I know I’m out of touch, but, what are vapors? or do they mean vaporizers?
I’ll answer my own question, even though I don’t like doing yahoo searches, you get way more information then you wanted and it might not be the gospel truth, vapors are what women get when they’re passing out from being pregnate or their corsette is too tight, or probably from having to drive a Chevette to the smoke shop to get their electronic chevgarettes.
but, what are vapors?
I would suspect the sign refers to the nicotine fluid that is vaporized in electronic cigarettes.
Are you sure this picture wasn’t taken in Albuquerque and the Chevette belongs to one of Jesse Pinkman’s street distributors?
FWIW, the final 1987 Chevette MY was cut in half at last minute. GM pulled the plug on them at end of Dec. 1986. So, no 87’s were actaully built that CY.
Also, the resemblence between the X and T cars couldn’t have ‘cheapened’ the X’s any worse than the actaul build quality!
Belongs to the son of “Babes with Axes”/”Steel Wool Band” Eugene local musician TR Kelley, and was once owned by TR.
Awesome car owned by awesome people
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