How many times have we all said, “If I could just somehow have looks and the MPG of a Chevette diesel and the utility of a pickup truck all rolled into one, I’d be happy?” I know that I have(n’t).. Well, if you’ve said that, and you wish to publicly admit it here among your friends and cohorts, we promise to not poke fun at you! This is that vehicle: a 1981 Chevrolet Chevette Diesel Pickup. Boom! This one is on Craigslist with an asking price of $1,400, or $1,100 last weekend! Wait, we missed that deadline, I wonder if it’s back up to $1,400 again? This oil-burning small hauler is located south of Chicago in South Holland, Illinois. No, I wouldn’t drive this on Chicago freeways, just for the record. Thanks to Rocco B for sending in this funky cool find!
There are basically two decent photos of the exterior and the example above is one of them. It doesn’t show too much other than a hard cover over the pickup bed and a wire-wheel-laden spare tire on top of it. And, a sweet custom (ahem) rail around the box. I want to see what’s under that cover! You can just barely make out the tail lights, but you can see them better in this photo. Pretty unique, eh? Not to mention the unique grille badge treatment! Ok, I’m kidding a bit, and someone did put a lot of work into this creation. I would most likely not be able to do anything like this without a lot more welding and fabricating experience so my hairpiece, I mean, my hat is off to them for working their magic on this Chevette. It sure would be cool to tweak this and make it a lot nicer than it appears here.
Hey, it’s a 5-speed manual transmission! It’s hard to argue with the drivetrain on this one, at least in my world it would be. There aren’t many interior photos and the ones that are there are a bit fuzzy and not overall shots. But, it looks fairly good overall, I think? Maybe? Sort of? I’m not sure what’s going on in the above photo on the sill? It looks like it’s cracked! That can’t be good. Or, maybe that’s just a plastic trim piece, in that case, no prob, just hit a salvage yard and you’re in business again. The seller says that it has a solid body, which I’m taking to mean no rust.
Here’s where the drill baby, drill, oil-burning magic happens. We’ve featured Chevette diesels in the past and most of you know that Chevy and Isuzu teamed up to create a few thousand Chevette diesels. This is Isuzu’s 4FB1 1.8L inline-four diesel with a monstrous 51 hp and 72 ft-lb of torque! A stump puller it may not be, but a 300,000+ engine it most likely is. The Chevette diesel reportedly got around 42 mpg which ain’t nothin’ to sneeze at, even with fuel prices being so relatively low now. It reportedly starts and drives good and it starts every time. I really like unusual vehicles like this one. If it were in nicer condition it could really be fun to own. As it is now, is it worth the price? Are there any Chevette diesel owners out there?