7,174 Careful Miles: 1987 Chevy Chevette

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For a car that’s meant to devour highway miles while returning high MPG’s, this 1987 Chevy Chevette here on eBay has enjoyed a sheltered existence. With only 7,174 miles from new, it is barely broken in and still appears as-new. It was built in the last month of Chevette production and owned for many years by a GM employee, and has accumulated less than 500 miles in the last five years. 

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There it is – the barely turned odometer. I wonder how many auto company employees have cars like these sitting in their garages, purchased with heavy discounts and the option to choose their favorite colors and features. Of course, I don’t know that my first choice would be a Chevette, but to each their own. With its automatic transmission and AM/FM radio, this looks to be about as high-spec as you could get a Chevette, and given the short production run of 1987 vehicles, I’m guessing this is a rare find for both the condition and the model year.

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The seller points out that the seats have been covered since new and remain in excellent condition. I wonder what the original owner thought when he or she squirreled away this fuel economy champion in 1987? Did they hope it would become a collector’s item, or was it simply the feeling that it would be the last car they ever bought new so why not cherish it? I’m not sure which is more likely, but I can’t imagine there were too many Chevette owners who took this level of care and pride in their vehicle.

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The familiar 1.6L four-cylinder engine sourced from Isuzu provided fairly reliable service and decent gas mileage, on par with some of today’s fuel economy leaders. The Chevette can be a fairly economical car to own if treated right, and the diesel variants are said to have even greater longevity. This is clearly an example for the GM-obsessed collector, if not GM’s own museum. My favorite part? The unopened mudflaps still in the original wrapping in the trunk. The seller is asking $7,500 – think they’ll get it?

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Comments

  1. Kris

    Love it. Love everything about it. But $7500? Another case of rare =/= desirable. The potential pool of buyers is a small and tight fisted one.

    • Barry

      All it takes is one person to be willing to spend $7500 on it. There’s a lot of people and alot of money in the world, however I don’t know of many 1987 Chevettes with <10k original miles, do you?
      Just because you think it's alot certainly has nothing to do with if it will sell or not.

  2. grant

    Great condition or not, it’s still a Chevette….

  3. piper62j

    You see those odometer numbers????? Straight across… Not a rollback…
    Nuff said… I rest my point..
    Great find and a real nice car.. New owner will have a sweet ride..

  4. BIG FISH

    Why, and ask myself why do I get sucked into looking at these low mile chevetts when I will never want one or own one. Its ten miniutes of my life that I will never get back. They were junk when new and still are junk 30 years later. It great to see survivors, but the only reason for that is it wasn’t driven. I know in going to take some heat but its only special because it hasn’t ben crushed. I bleed red white and blue but the American cars of the day just could not compete with the jap cars mechanically They were all rust buckets and that’s why they are all gone.

    • Howard A Member

      Changed my mind, on the original comment. That’s simply not true.

    • Yellowjax Member

      Why are we still using the term “jap”?

      • Blackta1

        It’s short for Japanese.

    • Mike

      I do not take the time to read about the cars I am not inspired in, I simply delete them, you can do the same. The staff at BF do a good job of describing the car or whatever so you can see what it is. If you don’t want to read it reach over and hit DELETE!!
      Just saying.

      By the way Chevette are pretty cool little cars!!!!

      Like 1
  5. Kent Pearson

    Why do you waste our time with Chevettes, Falcons and other who cares crap?

    • grant

      Because in this case it’s interesting because it presents as new. I’m not a Chevette fan either, but you chose to read this entry. You wasted your own time. And Falcons are cool. Chevettes? Not so much but you could’ve skipped it.

      • David

        This site is not so much about cool cars you might like, there are lots of sites for that. It’s about barn finds and survivor cars and even strange cars. The Chevette is part of history, the days of Pintos, Chevetts and Pintos. It’s history we might like to forget, but there it is. Yes, they were even worse than the Datsun B210.

        Like 1
      • Bobsmyuncle

        So are we to understand that you or any of the readership has more say about the content than the Barn Finds staffers and owners?

        Weird.

    • teachestech

      No need to negative Nancy! It’s nice to see a variety.

      Like 1
    • Rando

      oops I accidentally gave this post a thumbs up. I don’t always care for the Chevettes and other cars, but I do look at most of them. ALL of them when I have time. Just to see what is still out there in the world.

    • George

      That is what I was thinking. I worked as a salesman for a Chevy dealer to hone my persuasive skills for my real job as a lawyer. The Chevettes sat over on the corner of the lot. They were pretty much left undisturbed other than watered occasionally. They eventually took on the persona of of a rock sculpture. One day I decided to pull one out. There can be no argument that they were not ugly, but they were ugly. Wait, I already said the. The interior was as inviting as the Republican Convention and the engine was gutless. I think they tried selling them for the window sticker price with the result that several of them were still on the lot for third birthdays. They are proof that GM does not know how to make an inexpensive econo-car. By the time they get the thing right it gets discontinued.
      I can’t see more than $2000 if buyer plans to drive it. Maybe $2500 if he doesn’t. It’s kind of like Russian Roulette. Drive it a bit and it turns into a Chevette with 40 K worth $500 bucks, or don’t drive it and it will deteriorate to being worth $800.00.
      Regardless what you do, just having it will place you a category of being a bit weird.

  6. Blueprint

    I, for one, like to see Chevettes since they bring back good memories of my early driving years when they were current. We all had a friend who drove his / her Mom’s Chevette.

    Like 1
  7. Rich

    If I had a Chevette I’d leave it in the garage and wouldn’t drive it either, lol. Just kidding. Nice find though.

    • Alan (Michigan)

      👍 Hahaha… Nice one!

    • Bobsmyuncle

      This is how it’s done.

      Rich has shared an opinion, yes it’s subjective it’s even negative but it’s presented with wit and has managed to garner a couple chuckles.

      There are a few posters that could learn a lesson here.

      Like 1
  8. Roselandpete

    Would be fun to have but not $7.5k worth of fun.

  9. Bobsmyuncle

    Rather than a collector or a museum, I’m guessing the employee bought the car for an aging parent.

  10. Alan (Michigan)

    Now if it was a 4-speed…. LOL

    The only question I have to ask is: Why?

    With all of the possibilities for mothballing some other (admittedly more expensive) car from the same year, why mothball this one?

    Oregon front plate, NY rear plate…. ???

    • Gary Merly

      It’s bi-statesual??

  11. Tony S

    This blog is losing it’s appeal with all the bunghole commenters. Great material – but like many, many sites over the last 10-15 years arseholes ruin it. :-(

    • Rando

      There are always a few negative commenters. They seem to move on after a while and the same positive folks stay around making it fun.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      There is no denying that there is a lot of BS commenting.

      All the “junk” and “too expensive”, or “this doesn’t belong on Barnfinds” comments are empty filler.

      They don’t further the conversation, they are outright subject, without supporting facts, or angry self righteous blabber.

  12. Nova Scotian

    Our first family car was a Chevette…1987,Frost White, with a front air dam. We took exceptional, exceptional, care of it, washing it lovingly, as it was entered as part of the family. Dirt was not allowed to remain on it long. We drove it everywhere. Our mom was so proud to be able to afford a brand new car, her first car. It took some dings and scratches over the years we owned it. As per usual car ownership, it was traded in a few years latter for yet another brand new Chevy. The Chevette worked well for our family first car….I can still see my moms proud smile and hands washing this little white gem.

    Like 1
    • Howard A Member

      Hi Nova, that’s a great story, and I feel, what this site is all about. Memories. Perhaps some don’t see it that way.

      Like 1
    • dj

      My dad bought a new one in 1979. White with green interior four door. Harmonic balancer/pulley came off and dented the crap out of the hood within two weeks. When we went on vacation, we had to turn the a/c off to climb hills. Drove it to the beach and dad stopped to help some stranded folks. The girl had on a see through bikini and I was young. Ah, the memories. Crappy car but great memories.

  13. Howard A Member

    Well, I’m sorry you feel that way, Tony, I hope you weren’t talking about me, I feel this site has gotten better than ever ( I just wish it was faster in the aft.) And to Kent, move on then, we like this stuff, that’s why we’re here. As for this car, Chevette’s were good cars, highly under rated, and on par with anything Asian, which was their goal. I’m a buy American guy, sorry, but I never could understand, why buy a foreign car, when these were around? This particular car, I have a hard time thinking this has 7K miles ( as usual) Inside very nice, but the motor, IDK, maybe, but it looks like more than 7K miles ( replaced radiator hose, looks like new blower motor, general crusty look) Many people pulled these behind motor homes, and disconnected the speedo. Still, a great car here. I’d love to have it.

  14. John K

    Of all the 80’s cars to find with less than 10K on the clock, it had to be a Chevette! Family had one just like this. I had one but it was a 2-door diesel. The diesel proved that when you are at rock bottom you can, in fact, keep digging.

    • Alan (Michigan )

      Rock bottom, digging….

      Funny! Have not heard that expression before, consider it purloined, and thanks!

      :-D

  15. RichS

    The one thing about these cars that annoyed me whenever I had to drive one was how the column angled noticeably toward the center of the car, making the steering wheel not square with the dash. I’ve never seen anyone else comment on this so my rapidly approaching AARP status brain has me wondering if I was imagining it all these years.

    Anyone else notice this?

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Rich, yes I have noticed that. I believe these were patterned after the Opel, which had that same steering wheel angle.

      • Richard V

        It must have not been the case with the Opel Kadetts as I’ve owned several throughout the years and don’t remember that anomaly. It would have driven me nuts!

  16. Nick

    I truly believe that cars like this are the future collectors. Think about it, how many Chevettes, Horizons, omnis, escorts, tempos, and k cars are still on the road? I see them rarely and for the millions that were produced that’s saying something. Everyone had one or knew someone that did. I’m not saying by any means that they are great cars, but most times people are purchasing the memories they had associated with the car.

  17. piper62j

    Yellowjax,,, The word “Japs” is still around because is accompanies “yankees” and all the other slang words of us in the AARP gendre.. LOL

    They’re just words our generation understands and not meant to harm anyone. When we’re gone, the “slacker” generation will take over.

    Get it???

  18. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    I don’t recall ever seeing one with a hood ornament.

  19. larry K

    Google V6 Chevette and see some beauties.
    Or don’t.

  20. angliagt

    When the Chevette first came out,I drove my ’71 Corolla 1200
    down to the dealer to test drive one.After a 10-15 minute drive,I
    realized that I could keep my Corolla,& be about $1500 ahead,& have
    a better car.
    I was disappointed,to say the least.

  21. Chebby

    It’s very nice for what it is, but you could have a lot more fun with $7,500.

    Also, whenever I see a Chevette with air conditioning, I think of Michael Douglas
    as D-FENS, going on a rampage because it doesn’t work.

  22. Kevin

    Love this car but have no space to keep it. Would love to trade up my 1982 T1000.

    This red car has Power Steering! Rare.

  23. Kincer Dave Member

    One sure way to stir the pot on this site is to post up a Chevette lol, I had one and loved it for what it was, others don’t oh well. I wouldn’t want this without a 4spd though.

  24. Tony

    I test drove one of these 4 door with ac at Long chevrolet in Bensenville, did not buy it since it had no power with the ac on. Also the starter was impossible to remove with the ac compressor being in the way. Bought a blue 2 door with no ac, my 4 daughters learned how to drive on and they taught it was a fun car. To this day they still talk about the little blue Chevette.

  25. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    The fit and finish on the car is appalling. Looks like two separate strains of paint were used! Panel gaps variable. Welcome to the ’80’s!!!! And if the box in the trunk are factory mud flaps, what are currently mounted on all four wheel openings? And I agree about the hood ornament. Never saw that on a Chevette. The Pontiac version maybe, but not on the Chevette.?

  26. Prowler

    I remember going to the local Chevy dealer when these came out in I think 1976 with my dad…driving his big block 1972 caprice
    He wanted to see just what this whole small car thing was all about
    Found a salesman and he gave us the keys to a 2 door powder blue 4 speed chevette to test drive
    My dad loved to screw with car salesman so he told them to appraise the caprice for a trade while we were on our test drive
    If I remember right these cars had 50 or 60 horsepower so it was a pretty tame ride compared to dad’s big block 400 caprice
    I think my dad got it up to about 75 mph with a lot of drama and vibration
    But looking back I think all the 1st economic. Boxes were similar
    My sister bought a pinto mpg
    Which I think was the bargain basement variety….I think it was under $2000…..another underwhelming ride of the day
    After we got back to the dealership the salesman had sharpened his pencil and had all the numbers ready to start the process of my dad trading for the chevette
    I don’t think my dad was half out of the car before asking for his keys and there was no way he would ever buy a tin can like this
    Atleast half the way home he kept repeating that he couldn’t believe a piece of wire held the glove box open
    Later that the year the caprice was traded for a triple black Monte Carlo which was great…because I got to drive it

  27. Mike Reese

    I saw one in a Chicago suburb a couple years ago that looked showroom new .. and elderly couple were driving it. Betting it had few miles on it, as well.

  28. Lion

    Well this was a great read. To all you naysayers I love my ’83 Chevette. Bought off the showroom floor —- well, no, Chevettes were never inside the showroom — My wife drove her new car every day to work with no trouble. Our three kids each took turns with it including driving off to university. A niece and nephew next each took it over, then there dad used it for a few years. I got it back three years ago and use it as a winter beater. Over 100,000 miles now and no problems. New tires, batteries, exhaust, starter, etc. No engine or tranny problems ever. Starts at -20 and gets 40 MPG. Even those tiny seats remain in good condition. Early November I’ll fire it up and get it ready for another Canadian winter on the prairies. Best little piece of crap I ever owned.

    • Alan (Michigan )

      If I could give more than one “thumb up”, I’D give 10.
      Thanks for posting, Lion.

  29. JP

    My sister had one years ago,an early model,the doors would fly open when cornering,not an endearing quality in a small cheap car…or any car.

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