Loaded Scooter: 1982 Chevrolet Chevette

By Nathan Avots-Smith

Gas is cheap again (so I’m told, at least, not really here in California), so sales of trucks and big trucky things are booming, but the pendulum will swing again and when it does, you’re going to wish you were driving a Chevette. What’s that, you say, you don’t care how expensive gas gets, you wouldn’t be caught dead in a Chevette? Well, if you can pass up this cherry, rust-free, two-owner, 49,000-mile ’82 Chevette Scooter, more power to you, but one lucky buyer will be getting 40 em-pee-gees’ worth of fun for just $3,400, and they’ll find it on craigslist in Tipp City, Ohio. They’ll be thanking reader Pat L. for passing along the tip to us, too.

This Chevette may be the most basic Scooter model, but it’s a loaded Scooter—and if you think “loaded Scooter” is an oxymoron of “jumbo shrimp” caliber, feast your eyes on the cloth upholstery, fully carpeted floor, and (working) A/C here. The seller has also added a CD player for true luxury, and everything inside looks to be in great shape. When it was introduced in 1975, the Scooter didn’t even come with a back seat as standard, although rear-seat delete quickly became optional and we can see in other photos that this ‘Vette does indeed seat four. The photos have been artfully cropped to not show the fiberboard door panels with no armrests, though, and “fully loaded” in this case also means that, in addition to air conditioning, the 65-horsepower four is saddled with an automatic transmission. No, the Chevette buyer can never truly have it all.

Their inability to fit all of this sub-14-foot car into a single photo notwithstanding, the seller seems to have taken good care of this most basic of transportation pods, with recent replacement of the fuel pump, shocks, and springs, and maintenance records noted in the ad. The red paint, which is said to be original, sure looks nice—when was the last time you saw a Chevette this shiny? The only real visual demerit is that, in true GM fashion, the plastic filler panels behind the bumpers have taken a leave of absence, but we’d expect nothing less. I would quibble that the price seems a little high—NADA pegs “high retail” for an ’82 Scooter at $1,775, but a nice Chevette is kind of uncharted territory and I suppose we’re approaching the point where it’ll attain some kind of novelty collectible status. At least when gas goes back up, unlike other classic American cars, the owner will still be able to afford to drive this one!

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Comments

  1. Warren

    Another giant finger plate hider. Clean car though. Trying to think the last time I saw one on the road especially here in the midwest…..
    .

    1+
  2. Dave

    Could be wrong, but weren’t there more of those pesky little Escorts running around back then?

    1+
  3. robj

    Somehow, these are not as junky looking as I recall and it’s actually a pretty clean design for a boxy, 4 banger, Econo-box. Three pedals would be nice though.
    The rear seat delete would be kinda neat. After all, how often would you be loading up the family in this? And think of the weight reduction! It would be like adding 1/10 a horsepower. Hold on!

    3+
  4. Dan

    And I do love it when the writer calls them door “panels” instead of cards. Keep up the good work!

    8+
  5. Big Mike

    I think a road trip to Ohio is in store for me this weekend. When I first stared dating my Wife, her step-dad owned a 82 Chevette at the time, and on certain days she was able to drive it to school, although it was a 4 speed and was just a basic car, with a 4 banger in it, and it was white. But besides that my Wife wants to good take a look at it.

    8+
    • grant

      Thats a neat story. I had Shove its when i was a kid too. Slow but i had fun. Let us know if you pick it up.

      1+
  6. Ralph

    I think by this vintage the fiberboard door panels were gone from the Scooter trim level, it had the same plastic door panels as the “upline” Chevette, but it still had no bright trim, I think the Scooters all had black dashes and door panels though.

    The glove box door was also missing from early Chevette Scooters too!

    2+
    • Nathan Avots-Smith Staff

      You may well be right about the door panels…all the more reason I wish there were better pictures: solving historical mysteries!

      1+
  7. AMXSTEVE

    I had one EXACTLY like this but it had a stick. Wonderful piece of crap it was, boringest car I ever owned but it was just a commuter. I couldn’t wait to get rid of it!

    3+
  8. jw454

    Econo box commuter car. The General sold quite a few of them as did Henry’s company with their version of the same formula. They served their purpose at the time just like the entry level econo boxes of today.
    I like this little survivor and its less than 20 miles away! If I was in the market…. maybe the answer.

    1+
  9. rbtempe

    I had one as a college car and it was a woodie, vinyl wood sides.

    0
  10. Nova Scotian

    Had 2…i likened the tiny gas pedal to a mini Mars bar. It was so tiny. The foot well however…hated it. So cramped! Fond memories though. Thanks.

    0
  11. Will
    1+
  12. Brian

    I had an’83. Although a 4 speed, it was still an automatic. I taught my 5 year old to shift. He could up and down shift all the right gears without being told. All I did was push in the clutch.

    1+
  13. dkray

    Fun to drive and gets lots of attention? Maybe the attention is lots of finger pointing and laughter. My take? Give me a break! $3400? You’ve got to be kidding. IIRC, 0 – 60 was something like 16.6 seconds.

    0
  14. MillsGT

    I am the owner of this car. Nice to see it in an article. I bought this car off of the original owner. She was in her 80’s and had moved in with her daughter and son-in-law. Her husband had just passed away from injuries sustained after being hit by a car. They were both walking in a parking lot and her husband shoved her out of the way to keep her from being hit by the car. Quite a love story. This is a Scooter. I have the paperwork when they bought the car along with invoices from every repair they ever had done to the car. It does have the fiberboard door panels AND it had no glove box door.I added the door. It just looked better. My first car was a 1981 Chevette 4 door stick with air. This was back in 1987. I found this car for sale and just had to have it. I have gotten more thumbs ups in this car while driving and have gotten more people wanting to talk about this car while I’m at places like gas stations. A/C still has the original charge. I have found no repairs that have ever been done to the A/C. No rust whatsoever. Now i’m reconsidering selling after reading this article!

    6+
  15. W9BAG

    I’ve know a few friends that have had these, and they really liked them. One, was a friend that rode in long distance bicycle events, and his wife drove the trail vehicle, which was a Chevette DIESEL ! It proved to be very dependable. Another friend, bought his first one the first year they came out, paid cash for them, drove them for a year or 2, then traded them in for new ones. They were all very seldom driven, always serviced at the dealership, with usually under 20K miles at trade time. His last was a 4dr. CS, fully loaded (for a Chevette). It was a COPO car, and he checked every box. Very comfortable velour interior, and actually quiet, relatively speaking. I believe he kept that car for over a decade, after hearing that they were were hitting the corporate axe.

    1+
  16. jrc

    I will take one gremlin to go

    0

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