$4,500 Scooter: 1983 Chevrolet Chevette

This 1983 Chevrolet Chevette Scooter has been with the same owners, and was garaged, for three decades. It’s now listed on eBay with an unmet opening bid of $4,500! You Chevette lovers, this is a nice one and it’s located in East Setauket, New York. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Kevin F. for submitting this one!

The Scooter featured a black grille and headlight buckets and also black bumpers. This car has a mere 26,000 miles on it, it appears to be in great condition from the blacked-out grille and trim to the rust-free white body. I wish my white body was rust-free.. But, they do mention that “the rear bumper has a small dent, one ding and a ding-like mark on passenger door,”

NADA lists a high retail price for a 1983 Chevette Scooter as being $1,825, so that $4,500 opening bid is pretty aggressive, especially for a car with an automatic. But, condition is everything with “collector” vehicles and this may be one of the nicest examples out there. The Scooter was the base model for the Chevette, and they also had Woody and Rally packages for those who wanted to spiff things up a bit.

The white and black theme carries on to the inside. The only real flaw appears to be a sagging headliner. The seats look like they’re new front and rear, but they mention that the “driver seat has a split of several inches along one flat seam that sits closed.” The hatchback area looks good, there should be more than enough room for your rock band equipment back there, so when you show up to band practice with this white Chevette.. yeah..

Speaking of rockin’, here’s what I believe is a 1.6L inline-four that would have had 65 hp. The seller says that this car is “in good running condition. Equipped with automatic transmission, air conditioning, and new battery.” I’m not sure if they’ll get the price they’re looking for, but who knows. Thoughts on this Chevette Scooter?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Ralph

    Scooter was the only nameplate that made it this far, by this era, the Rally and the Woody models were long gone, I think they were really only around for the first few years of the Chevette.

    The later Scooters are less stripped than the early ones, the original Scooters had an optional rear seat and the doors were made from a fiberboard type material.

    Like 1
  2. Tom V

    My wife had one of these from new. Her’s had the 5 speed manual and NO A/C! What a girl. With Michelin X-Ice snow tires, she used to plow through 8 to 12 inch snow falls like a boss. Remember, these were RWD!!! The little Scooter would not die. Sold it to a friend and he eventually gave it his son. Last I heard, it was still running!

    Like 1
  3. bugnbox

    I am strangely attracted to this car. Back in my high school days I had a friend who’s parents bought him a brand new Chevette after he plowed his 70 R/T Charger through the back of the garage wall, knocking his mother off the couch. They figured less power was probably wise for him. His was a manual trans and a four door and we would all pile in and thrash the poor thing. It was a great running car and put up with the abuse very well until a full throttle clutch drop ripped the rear end right out of the car leaving us stranded miles from home.

    I cant see a Chevette without remembering those carefree times.

  4. txchief

    Too much over salvage value for me. I’ve learned my lesson buying cars out of NY. I’d bet you could put your foot through the floorboards, and that the rockers have been sculpted from Bondo!

  5. P

    Nice car.
    Price?
    You’ll see Paul Lynde Junior first before I’d write a check for $4,500

    Like 1
  6. irocrob

    I like it but do not think it would take the mountains on my hiking trip in Tennessee. Not much power and I can imagine going up the mountain with the air conditioning on.

  7. Ralph Robichaud

    Neat little car, worth every penny asked for.

  8. RoselandPete

    Not a bad price for somebody who always wanted a Vette. :)

    • Chris W.

      Could always pop an LS 3 in there and call a real ‘vette!!

      • Marshall

        Actually, that would just be a Chevette trying hard to be a Corvette. And besides, it would be abominating an original low mileage vehicle.😏

  9. Miguel

    How does a Chevette Scooter have A/C. Scooter was the strip model of this car.

    • Jason

      My grandfather had a ’79 scooter with A/C. They would have been unsellable in southern Louisiana without it. It may have been a dealer option. The car had a top speed of about 40 mph with the air on because it would lug and lose speed if you put it in 4th gear. I believe the back seat was a dealer option in the Scooter also.

    • Danny74

      Yes the scooters were the base model. Although AC was not standard it was always an option for every trim package. Maybe whoever ordered this car brand new ordered it with AC or the dealer installed it. We could just have been what the factory decided to send those dealers from that location.

  10. Howard A Member

    Again, people that aren’t from this time period, probably don’t know the situation, but the Scooter was Chevy’s answer to the growing import domination. These were for small package or pizza delivery, or “Scooting” around town. The open road, not so much. The Chevette was a great car, certainly nothing like the gas hogs it replaced, but these were changing times, and the Chevette fit the bill. Simply amazing to see one like this. Very few survived.

  11. CJay

    My grandmother had a automatic in her Chevette. We would count how many times it shifted between 2nd and 3rd on the long hill near us. 6 miles and 36 shifts. I was like 14 and remember thinking ” For the love of GOD!! Just pull it back into second gear!!!”

    Like 1
    • Joe

      yo CJ, you have me laughing head off

  12. 71 Z28

    I bought a Scooter new in 82 because I was driving from MA to NJ twice a week. No a/c and a five speed. Put over 60,000 miles on it in the first year. Never left me stranded and to this day is still one of the best cars I’ve ever driven in the snow.

  13. Nova Scotian

    We owned a 4 door and a 2 door! 4 door better for getting in/out, and parking lots. To spin the tires, we’d find a steep driveway covered in tar sealer, drive down forwards, stop, shift into reverse and promptly floored it… Teenage antics….lol …this is the car I learned not to twist off lug nuts with the stupid supplied L-wrench.

  14. JimmyJ

    A good friend of mine had one of these back in the 90s and i had a 83 civic you couldnt compare the two if u think this car is not a complete POS youve never driven a comparable japanese car.
    The only reason these were sold is because they were american and people wouldnt touch a japanese car.
    The wheelbase is so short it feels like riding a roller skate and the transmission hump is so big you can barely fit your feet on the pedals.
    You couldnt give me this car…

  15. Miguel

    It always bothered me that the steering column was installed at sort of an angle.

    If there was not enough room for the steering column, your legs don’t stand a chance in a crash.

  16. Touring Fordor

    Weren’t they just rebaged Vauxalls? That might explain the weird steering column angle….

  17. cyclemikey

    $4500? I dunno, you could buy a lot of time with a shrink for that kind of money, and get over your unhealthy Chevette obsession for good.

    And you’d probably have enough left over for a good solid Corvair project car…

  18. Ed

    After years of the biggest n best n payments to match paid cash for a 80 auto n air. Got wife around Pittsburgh mountains all winter and GMs free plane tickets gots us to LA vacation. We loved it.

  19. Car Nut Tacoma (Washington)

    Lovely looking car. I remember when the Chevette was on the market. I’ve always liked the 1982 and later Chevettes. I’d buy one if it were in this nice condition. I don’t mind imperfections as long as it doesn’t penetrate into the car. I’d also buy a Chevette Diesel.

  20. Rustytech Member

    I’ve said it before “these were great little cars” bought and sold many back in the day. This car looks great, A/C is a plus. This car will not be fast, but they were fun to drive. I think the price is somewhat high even in this condition.

  21. johnj

    My first thought when I saw this was the “Bad Seed” Chevette build. 500 Caddy motor stuffed in a ‘Vette, a real just for fun hack job. Look it up. And I even have a built 472 in the garage………………….

    • Marshall

      Oh yeah, that would be a hack job all right! I had a 472 engine,…in a 1969 Cadillac Fleetwood. Stuffing a 472 in a Chevette would make it so nose heavy,that the front tires would probably pop from too much weight.

  22. Pablo

    Had a 1980 “burnt orange” scooter.
    I funded well both a welding shop (necessary to re-attach shock towers & to “replace” driver’s floor) & my mechanic (who repeatedly replaced brakes which were too small for a car this heavy.) Column’s stalk would come off in my hand, and windshield wipers would turn on of their own volition.
    All in all a good car for when I was 16.

  23. John

    I had a new daughter, a new house and a new mortgage in 1976. I needed a new car and I could afford a Chevette. I bought a blue Rally 1.6. I can’t remember if it had a 4-speed or a 5-speed. But it was a manual. It broke timing belts every 100,000 miles. I put three of them in it. It’s gas tank rusted badly enough that it needed replacement. That’s the only real issue I had in in over 300k miles. And it’s paint was still shiny when we gave it away. In its lifetime it went over Trail Ridge Rd too many times to remember, it met a bear in Banff, it went up the AlCan highway, it climbed Pikes Peak with two adults and my daughter in it. It was not fancy, comfortable, and for most, was socially an embarrassment. I always wanted it to have a better radio. But it was fun to drive, it got 30 mpg or better, it lasted 300k miles. It always brought us back from where it took us to. Not much to complain about.

    • Lion

      Right on, John. I bought my wife an 83 4door hatchback new off the showroom floor (that’s a lie, Chevettes were never allowed inside the showroom). She drove it to work every day for years until our oldest kid was 16. Then it went through our next two, including two university tours, a niece and nephew used it in their teens, and finally back home now as a winter beater here in southern Saskatchewan. I just spent a few hundred on engine electronics, and a timing belt that broke while a alternator was being installed, but nothing other than tires and batteries prior to this. It is only at 100,000 miles now so only 1/3 of its way through life, eh?

      • John

        Well I know the blue ones will. Other colors, well—-

  24. Lion

    Mines blue…with a red stripe on the beltline.

  25. Darren

    I wouldn’t have paid 4500$ for this when it was new.

    • John

      That’s true. They were under $3000.

  26. Joe

    I hear you Darren .
    GM thought they were doing the American public a favor. They were only doing themselves a disfavor because they sold his car for just several years but they had low power and could really be
    “a casket on wheels” !
    This is probably where GM began to mean
    “giant mistakes ”
    it got so bad, that if it wasn’t for the government bailout, meaning you and I the taxpayer paid for it, GM would be gone today

    • Lion

      And so would Chrysler. That leaves Ford and imports. American industry…yippee,

      • Marshall

        That reminds me of Lee Iacocca’s TV commercials in which he would say “not GM, not Ford, not the imports”.
        But now, his pitch would probably be more like, “not Asian imports, not European imports, and not those other Detroit imports”.

  27. GI Joe

    Marshall, you are spot- on right
    Do you remember the TV commercial when Lee Iacocca stood in front of the Plymouth Reliant with the hood open and banged on the hood and said
    “if you can find a better car by it !”
    Lots of people bought the Reliant and the Dodge Aries, and i think they ran pretty well.
    I saw lots of them still on the road, years later

  28. Danny74

    Best car ever had with a 78 Chevette . We got it from a friend when they moved. It had brake problems and they couldn’t move it anymore so they just let us have it. My brother’s fixed it up, painted it put under cote on the Rockers and under the whole thing with bedliner and drove that thing for many years before getting passed down to me and I drove for many years and one summer my brother use the car again for a summer job and rear-ended a pickup truck and crush the whole front end. It was the best car ever owned. Had a lot of Pep to it it was a 78 Chevette. That model by far was the best out of all the years in terms of what engine it had any missions and the look of the car it was also the only year that it had the square hold Grill in the front of the curved nose which was only for 76 77 and 78 years but that grill insert was only in the 78. I love that thing got really great gas mileage and I was also really quick being a 4-speed. Wish I never had to get rid of it but nobody was willing to work on it after the accident. Also I think we put in the larger carburetor on what when we had the carburetor rebuilt when we first got it we bought a rebuilt Holley from a shop that dealt with you about all the time and he said he jetted it a little bit better than stock. I even once got a speeding ticket in that car doing 85 and it’s in a 55 and the judge made the cop talk with me to bring it down to a lower charge because he didn’t believe that I was going so fast and the Chevette.

  29. GI Joe

    Good-o Danny !
    You had a good one for sure !
    Do you remember the front bumper on the Chevettes ?
    Just one jerk backing into your parked car
    would snap it in two at the middle

  30. Lion

    Our daughter got a ticket for 120 kl, or 75 MPH. Her boyfriend was driving and swore he was only 10 kl over our 100 speed limit. I checked later and the speedo was about 10% slow on our Chevette.

  31. GI Joe

    Lion,
    Thanks you for your post.
    As a parent , like me , you remember that feeling you feeling you had every time your child asked for the keys to the car and went out for the evening …?
    I do too.
    The whole thing with small cars is that the brake pads are about the size of six
    postage stamps square and the tires are maybe 13 inches.
    At the same time; the speed of the car, 75 mph and if that emergency stop has to be made, it is near impossible to make a straight steady stop in time.
    Now we get to the suspension system of a small car , so this is when the combination of those factors, and the mitigating factor speed, causes what newspaper articles about driving mishaps are all about .
    Try getting this message through to youth
    As they say , “Good Luck”

  32. Chris A.

    That steering wheel looks like something from an Opel of that vintage.

  33. John

    I found that a lot of chassis parts were interchangeable with contemporary Opels. I used Opel wheels for my winter tires

  34. John O'Brien

    Thoughts?

    I paid $100 for an ’81 Scooter, 4-speed, in 1992….

    $4500?
    They’re smoking something good down in NY…..

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