Friday, July 11, 2008

A Living Chevette!

For all of you who said the last Chevrolet Chevette has long since passed to the Great Dealer's Lot in the Sky, take this fresh image and deal with it! There is no tow-truck to be seen, and no one would be graceless enough to fake an image like this (not even me), so I'm afraid the weight of evidence indicates that at least one Chevy Chevette is still capable of driving.

For those of you who refuse to honor its memory, the Chevy Chevette was GM's 1970s-1980s answer to the smaller Japanese cars that kept appearing in US showrooms with exotic, insidious qualities like mechanical reliability and fuel economy. That answer, if expressed in words instead of Chevette form, would have been something like: "Here you go! Here's a small car for ya! It's a piece of shit, and we're not even bothering to give it a name -- just turning Chevy into a diminutive -- but you asked for a small car, and here it is! Now shut up and keep buying our terrible cars!" And so America did, for a while.

GM's bonds are somewhere on the low end of junk and there's talk of bankruptcy. None of this is actually funny.

9 comments:

mikesdak said...

Several college classmates of mine drove Chevettes (this was the early 80's). They were pieces of crap, but - like pieces of crap - they were tough to damage. They squeaked and rattled and drove terribly when they were in good shape, so taking them over off-road courses and driving over concrete parking spot markers and generally ruthlessly abusing them didn't degrade them very much.

Dale said...

Good point, Mike. I look at the scratches on our older vehicle with some comfort, knowing they mean I don't have to worry about leaving the thing parked in any old lot at any time of day. No one is likely to steal it, and another ding is just another ding.

When I daydream about having a truly 'fancy' car -- not often, mind you, as I'm not a 'car person' -- I do wonder if the stress would be worth it.

tsugradstudent said...

I found your site through the Humanist Synposium. I just wanted to let you know that my first car was a 1979 Chevy Chevette that I had from my junior year in college (88) until several years after I had graduated. It ran like crap, but got decent gas mileage and I never got a speeding ticket in as I needed a good tailwind to reach 70 mph. Thanks for the trip down memory lane

Dale said...

tsu, thanks for stopping by. I myself never got to drive a Chevette, but I did pilot one of its successors, the Geo Metro. That was truly teh awesome.

Mike said...

Dale, On the way to Sioux City Saturday I saw a two-tone (blue over gray)Chevette actually driving on I-90 at a speed appropriate for that road.

Dale said...

Mike, that's quite a find! Actually I've seen a handful of Chevettes out on the streets since I made such a big deal about this one. They're not that rare, I gather.

Anonymous said...

The Chevette is the best car ever made! My 1981 Chevette is still going strong and it has never failed to get me from point A to B. It never breaks down always good to go.

Anyone that trashes a Chevette has never owned one and doesn't realize the personality that these cars have. Look into the headlights and you'll see a soul something that doesn't exist in other cars.

Anonymous said...

In fact we took the Chevette over the Bear Tooth Pass the highest road in north america!

http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/images/beartooth/beartooth_map.jpg

Dale said...

Anonymous, was it hard to push it all that way?

I kid because I love. Chevettes do have some quirky charm to them. Not a lot, but a smidge. I actually wish I saw a few more of them around.

I'd rather look at an old beater Chevette instead of three shiny new Pontiac Azteks. Now that's ugly.