1976 Chevrolet Chevette Survivor

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While doing the preliminary rundown of a car before I write, I noticed that this 1976 Chevrolet Chevette was causing my brain quite a stir and making me question my view on automobiles. To start, the $1,525 is actually a worthy bid price for a car that is 43 years old with 65,052 miles and is still driving. It is located in Salem, Oregon and has been a two owner, clean title, VIN listed car that you can view on eBay.

The original 4 cylinder engine and automatic transmission have been well maintained with plenty of documentation to show for it. Things that have recently been replaced are the timing belt, radiator hose, alternator belt, water pump, spark plugs and wires, oil change with synthetic oil and filter, along with a coolant flush and valve cover gaskets. If all this is true, and the photos seem to suggest so, this car has a vibrant future ahead of it.

Inside, an aftermarket stereo has been added. The seller does note that there are a few wear and tear items in the interior including a cracked dashboard and a rip on the driver seat. As you can see in the photos, it looks really well for its age. The more I looked at the car in general, the more it made me question what really makes a car popular or not? For one thing, it is almost the same size as the Subaru that it sits beside in one of the photos, totally busting the small car stereotype in my eyes.

While it might not be as safe as the Subaru, it has at least 3 decades on it in reliability. It is not as visually appealing as many would like, as its color and proportions are a little odd, but it does turn heads. You would get attention driving it, to which some would say there is no bad press. If it is enjoyable to drive, functional, historic, practical, affordable, reliable, and in theory, safe, then what isn’t to like?

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  1. ChebbyMember

    I had a toy one just like this. I loved the toy. Later on, my grandma had a real Chevette and driving that was a letdown.


    Like 7
  2. Bakyrdhero

    That’s funny Chebby. I can relate, I had a 1/24 Yugo toy that I had a blast with. The real Yugos weren’t nearly as much fun.

    Like 5
  3. 71_LT1

    I gotta admit, I like the car and the color. I believe it would stand out and bring back some good memories from many people at the local car show, and definitely turn some heads cruising down the road. Nice find.

    Like 16
  4. MR wolf

    Were this a manual instead of auto I’d be all over it. Slow enough rowing the gears but add a slush box and it’s just too much snail. A fun little townie car…

    Like 5
  5. Coventrycat

    Way more interesting than cocoon kept mulletmobiles.

    Like 8
  6. CCFisher

    The photo of this Chevette next to the Forester is deceiving. The Subaru is 21 inches longer, 8 inches wider, and nearly 15 inches taller.

    Like 3
    • Fordfan

      The corvette had poor space utilization being rear wheel drive
      It had a large transmission hump up front

      Like 0
      • Rusty

        So did the Chevette 😉. Anyway, it had at least as much space as a Vega or Pinto in a smaller, lighter, better-handling package. They weren’t bad to drive with a stick shift, but an automatic took away most of the joy.

        Like 1
    • Sarcasmo

      And the Forester is 100 times uglier…Your point?

      Like 0
  7. David Ulrey

    I absolutely love it! I’ve sold a few back when they were just used cars. Kept one as a daily driver for about a year. Powerful? Heck no!!! Fun to drive though. If you are used to a sofa on four wheels you’ll be very dissatisfied but if you take it for just what it is, an economical for the time and relatively reliable car if taken care of. Darn near bought a brand new. Almost sorry I didn’t.

    Like 8
  8. HoA Howard AMember

    Great find, although the seller claims the Chevette was the 1st US car to get over 20 mpg. That’s simply not true. Nash Rambler and Studebaker got high 20’s in late 50’s. These were used and thrown away, yards were full of them. To actually see one like this is the rare part.

    Like 5
  9. Cncbny

    Face it, it’s the Nash met of its time! Period styling and filling the same niche. It tells the story of its era.

    Like 3
  10. irocrobb

    If I lived closer I and the bidding stayed low I would jump on it. I would put Historic plates on it and take it to a few shows.Bet you it would draw lots of people. I think they were right at 3000 dollars new in 1976.

    Like 3
    • John

      My 1976 Chevette Rallye 1.6 had a window sticker of $2730.46 with air.

      Like 2
  11. MJF

    I think those cars were survivors when they came of the assembly line.. lol

    Like 4
  12. bj58348

    My ex-father-in-law had one with a 4 speed. He pulled it behind his motorhome. One day they were going up a long hill at about 50 mph and losing power. People were driving past them waving and trying to get his attention but he just flipped them the finger and kept going. He released the emergency brake on the Chevette but left it in low gear. He had been pulling it that way for several miles. By the time he actually looked to see what was wrong the engine was on fire. I bet it was just one chunk of metal at that point.

    Like 3
  13. John

    I do not believe the mileage. As slow as these cars were with an automatic gearbox, there is no way it could have accumulated that many miles in only 40 some years.

    Actually, these little cars were pretty good vehicles for someone who is not in a hurry. We had 2. We got in a hurry. My wife traded hers for a Toyota Corolla. I traded mine for a VW Rabbit 2 dr. We both felt we had moved up to hot rods.

    Like 2
    • Sarcasmo

      Unless, it was a 1983-84 GTI, I highly doubt, your plain Jane Rabbit was a hot rod compared to a Chevette.

      Thanks, for the laugh, though.

      Like 0

    A crapbox is a crapbox, is a crapbox is a

    Like 1
  15. That Guy

    I think these are very well-styled cars. Yes, I can hear the laughter now…

    It’s one of the only cars of the era whose impact bumpers don’t look like freeway barricades or park benches. And it was pooh-poohed at the time for being rear drive instead of up-to-the-minute FWD, but I’d say today that’s a point in its favor.

    Build quality was crummy, but these were really cheap cars after all.

    Like 3
  16. Superdessucke

    Had a bad experience as a pizza delivery driver with a Chevette that led to me abandoning all restraint and dignity and urinating in its radiator in the restaurant’s parking lot. One of the most immature and satisfying things I’ve ever done in my life.

    But this is a pretty cool and solid looking example. Too bad it’s not a manual. These were very slow with the auto.

    Like 3
  17. Rick

    My dad had a red 4 door back in the 80`s. That car was a beast. I rear ended an aries k car smashed the hell out of it and that Chevette didn’t get a scratch. He sold it to a buddy who ended up with close to 200,000 on it. I wish that was closer I love the color would look good in my driveway

    Like 2
  18. BB

    That is one cute car gotta love the west weather for preserving these classics.

    Like 0
  19. Fiete T.

    Dodge Dart Lite. Plymouth Feather Duster.
    Better econo cars, better mileage possible, same era…

    Like 0
  20. John B.

    In 1977 I bought a new Chevette-it was a light blue 4 speed. I drove the wheels off that little car and spent very little on maintenance-it was a great car! If you expect more than dependable basic transportation then you probably won’t like a Chevette! Through the years I have owned several others. I currently own an 83 model with 300,000 miles on it-one of the better vehicles I’ve owned. Most people either love them or hate them!

    Like 2
    • Sarcasmo

      Engine and transmission wise, I guarantee the Chevette was in the shop ALOT less than the comparable Vega, Rabbit, Fiesta, Pinto, Accord CVCC(garbage carburetor) and Omni/Horizon.

      Like 0
  21. Steve lancaster

    We had a 1976 1.4 with four speed and who knows what axle ratio. I was 12 at the time. It had no a/c and was slow and you had to pull up on a lockout pin on the shifter to get to reverse. My mom drove it to Charlotte , a 150 miles trip, and we checked the actual gas mileage. It got 42 mpg with no overdrive and driven at 55 to 60 mph with some stop and go in between. Ours was maroon in and out and had the full chrome wheel covers, whitewall tires and an am radio with cassette.

    Like 0

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