Grandpa’s 10K Commuter: 1984 Chevy Chevette

s-l500

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

If your grandfather was anything like mine, he took care of his possessions and never took anything for granted – living through the Great Depression will do that to a man. Even his quite ordinary Toyota Camry was kept in better order than the way most Americans care for their vehicles, which is why this 1984 Chevy Chevette here on eBay caught my eye: it has around 10,000 original miles and still shows as new. Sure, with mileage that low it should look good, but we’ve seen plenty of nearly-new cars left to rot. If you want to take home a survivor Chevette, act quickly: the auction ends in just under two days. 

s-l500 (2)

Though the seller had to run some interference on an incorrect VIN number and questions over the mileage (10,000 versus 18,000), the fact remains that this Chevette is nearly new, inside and out. I don’t even mind the tan exterior, as it at least goes well with the chocolate-toned insides. The car is saddled with an automatic, but I’m not surprised – it was a Grandpa car, after all. While I hope to be self-shifting by the time I reach that age, it is perhaps wishful thinking.

s-l500 (3)

That 1.6L four-cylinder will not return astounding acceleration, but it will offer up some decent fuel economy. The cosmetics seem to back up the car’s low mileage with a mostly-shiny air cleaner and a timing belt change sticker still visible (at least, that’s what I think it is). The seller does not provide any insights on what sort of maintenance has been performed over the years, and I would be curious if the original owner drove the car sparingly in the last few years. There’s another question whether this Chevette is originally from Washington state despite residing currently in NJ.

s-l500 (1)

Bidding has been active and is currently just under $3,000. I’m not surprised anymore, given how many once-undesirable vehicles seem to keep finding new homes if they remain in survivor condition. Since I find it hard to believe anyone truly yearns to drive a Chevette every day, this has to be a case of people with “fun money” who think it’d be a gas to own a nearly new commuter car like this. Or am I mistaken, and there exists a cult of Chevette enthusiasts who are going to fight over this one in final hours of the auction? I guess we’ll have to find out.

Get Daily Email Updates:

Comments

  1. grant

    I owned this cars twin in 1992. Wasn’t impressed then and I’m still not. 3000? Dollars? I just cannot fathom it. The paint is shiny though.

    0

    • gene polis

      I had a red ’83 and a silver ’84, didn’t keep either one more than a year. They make decent FIRST cars, but nothing to brag about. My ’02 Toyota Echo was a much better car…..

      0

  2. roger

    Nice car,but I want a Cor in front of my Vette,if I can ever get one.
    Have never owned FWD car,and hope I never have to.
    Nice Chevette,if it is your thing.

    0

    • Josh

      They aren’t FWD, these are RWD compacts

      0

  3. Roselandpete

    It is a fun money car.

    0

  4. Gord

    These are rear wheel drive.

    0

  5. Timothy

    We do have a chevette cult if you wanna call it that check us out on face book chevette owners not the eastern club called chevette owners group just regular chevette owners though and also chevy chevette cars and parts we are like a close family of enthusiasts and have a meet every year it’s very fun and I love my two chevettes wouldn’t ever part with them

    0

    • Ken Nilsson

      I have a 1980 Chevette that was stored in a garage for 28 years. It was a car show regular last year in Kentucky where I live. I am looking for the bumper fillers in white and cant seem to find them. Maybe the part name is different I don’t know. I would appreciate any help you could give. Thank you

      0

  6. mike

    AC compressor sticker!

    0

  7. packrat

    Mom had an 83 in white. Bought it from the estate for 750, sold it for 300. Had 27k miles on it. Miles of vacuum line, the mechanics couldn’t keep it passing emissions. One of the fixes involved taking a roll of solder and a plastic faced hammer and closing some vent holes on top of the carburetor. Dialogue in front of other customers: “Packrat, it’s because it has so many miles on it.” But it only has 27k– “Well, old cars that haven’t been driven that much get these problems” (Back to back sentences) I quit the car and them.

    0

    • Brian Jacob

      I don’t know where you live, but here in New York [Long Island], my 1985 Chevette only has to pass a safety inspection every year. For some reason, it’s exempt from emissions testing due to it’s age. When I recently had it inspected, my mechanic wasn’t even interested in the fact that the “check engine” light was on–he only wanted to see that the tires were decent and that my headlights, taillights and directionals were working.

      0

  8. Mike

    My Wife Loves Chevettes, why I don’t know. Says if it was closer we go take a look at it.

    0

  9. Larry

    I learned how to drive a manual transmission car on a 4-speed Chevette. The footwell was so narrow, I had to wear different shoes to drive it. Shifting into different gears was a guessing game, since the shifter mechanism was so loose.

    (That experience actually came in handy in college. My friend had a similar 4-speed Chevette. I was the only person who could drive her car, since I could consistently find the gears.)

    0

  10. Rando

    I had to drive one of these for a while back in the 90s. An OK car for commuting or a first car. Nothing else. Mileage wasn’t that good with a 4 spd stick. Absolutely NO personality, especially in a 4 door. Yes other cars I can find some redeeming quality in a 4 door, but not a Chevette. Can’t see over $1K, no matter how nice or low mileage it is.

    0

  11. Chebby

    Urf, memories. My grandma had this exact year and color Chevette, only hers was a 2-door. It had something like 24k on it in 10 years and by then it was junk. Awful, awful, awful cars. Awful. The only cool thing about hers was the shifter was misaligned so if you put your hand on it, it would drop from Drive into second. I used to pretend it was a “slap stik”. What a piece of crap.

    If she had bought an Accord in ’84 it would probably still be running.

    0

  12. Bill

    This is an auto with A/C…. eep… not sure your economy or acceleration will be that great, but it would be fun for banging around the city in. not sure $3k fun, but …fun.

    0

  13. Joey

    I have a yellow 85 Chevette with 57k. Showroom quality. Every single weekend I drive it I have people approach me with stories and memories. I have people photograph it and film me while driving next to me. It’s a fun car that gets a ton of attention. There is a pretty solid family of Chevette enthusiasts out there (FB) and we share mechanical advice and where to locate parts.

    0

    • Mel Alba

      Can share the same experience with you Joey..My 87 Chevette gets the same attention..There seems to be a love hate relationship with these cars..no in betweeners..39,000 miles.. 2 dr.. 4 speed..I will not part with mine, its a time capsule for sure and from the public comments almost everyone from that era has some experience with a Chevette..I take mine to shows and park beside some screaming cool hot-rods and everyone gravitates to my Chevette..just a blast to drive..You just never see these cars on the highway…A true survivor some day to get the respect it deserves.Ride on

      0

  14. Jo

    My first car was an 84 chevette 4 speed 4 door 1.6L and I still have it. It was I’m rough shape when I got it and still is but I love it. It’s great on gas and a great commuter. If I had the know-how to fix it up, I would. That is a goal of mine (to learn it and do it). My chevette is the reason I won’t buy new cars. I know that they can make a basic car with no frills that is great on gas, they just choose not to. If they made a 2016 Chevette in the way they made them in the 80s, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

    0

  15. William H

    Bought an ’84 Chevette for a daily driver for work. It was brown 4-door version and it had a Yanmar diesel power plant. I had a $100 Earl Scheib bright blue paint job sprayed on it and applied neon pink graphics (this was back during the mini-truck craze so it fit right in). Finding parts was super easy as the Yanmars were used extensively in industrial machinery. Only thing I ever had to really do on it was replace the glow plugs. It came with a block warmer that turned out to be quite handy in the winter. Kept it plugged in and it would start right up and the heater was instantly blowing toasty. Transmission finally went out somewhere around 350K and the repair was going to cost more than I had tied up in it, including the original price of the car. Ended up getting $800 from a guy that needed the engine for his generator.

    0

  16. Michelle

    Chevettes ate awesome little cars my dad bought one brand new when I was a kid…a white one four speed and a few years later my mom bought a red automatic one…great memories

    0

  17. AMCFAN

    It is amazing to think as history reveals is that GM could (and did) put the bowtie emblem and Chevrolet nameplate on a turd and it would sell……..that was until the buying public got smarter and the Japanese cars got better.

    0

  18. JW454

    My sister had two of these both automatics with gas engines. Even at highway speed when you turned on the A/C it felt like you were slamming on the brakes. Other than that they were OK DD.

    0

  19. 2VT

    My Chevette turned 100,000 miles while racing through turn 9 at Riverside back in ’79

    0

  20. Keith

    “If you want to take home a survivor Chevette”. Words which, until now, have never been written or spoken.

    0

  21. Keith

    Was just trolling my local Cl and it turns out this car is in the next town over from me. I can’t imagine this would happen but if anyone is actually interested in this car I could check it out for you.

    0

  22. Charles H.

    That’s not a timing belt change sticker on the the timing belt cover, Jeff, in fact that’s not even the timing belt cover, it’s the A/C compressor, and that’s the spec/info label for it…..at least that’s the sticker, or label I think you’re refereeing to…..

    0

Leave A Comment

Rules: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Click here to list your car for sale.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.