We all heard about the Big Three’s fondness for name debasement in Jason Shafer’s most excellent ’68 Newport CC. But sub-models fell to the same indignity. Anybody else remember the mid-’90s Cavalier “Rally Sport?”
Lest you forget, the original Rally Sport was an appearance package on the cool ’67 Camaro. Want a little more chrome and gingerbread on your Shivrollet? Look no further. Some may claim the 1967-68 Camaro was a bit plain, but I personally love the spare, no-nonsense looks.
Fast forward approximately thirty years. Now we have a J-body RS. While the idea itself wasn’t too bad, the execution was miserable. Of course, the Z24 was the boy-racer, top-trim Cav, and looked the part; it even came in an attractive convertible version. But the Cav RS? Bleah. Okay, the alloys look nice, but time hasn’t been kind to them either.
So, what did one get over a basic Cavalier coupe? Not much. How about a goofy purple logo that reminded one of a certain 1990s children’s TV show dinosaur. Hardly sporty.
I can hear you J-body fanciers now: Oh, but Tom, they must have had a bunch of interior upgrades. Umm, no. Well, there WAS more of the purple RS-logo on the headrests, but that was about it. Plain black plastic door panels, plain black plastic dash, and plain black cloth buckets. Blah.
And the back seat. Nothing but plastic-fantastic Rubbermaid™ penalty box seating. You’d like room for your kneecaps, you say? Too bad.
Nope, these things do nothing for me. The 1995 and up Cavalier and Sunfire coupes are pretty nice looking coupes, but the RS trim package was a fail. Why not just get a base coupe or full-boat Z24? Fortunately, the RS trim level has come back up in the world, returning–as it should–to the uplevel Camaros. Thank goodness!