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Short List Remaining: 1980 Chevette Survivor


Reader Daniel N. sent in this find, stating “I am always fond of the Chevette.” While not everyone may share Daniel’s feelings, all of you will have to admit that this survivor is in great shape, with only a small list of items to complete for it to be just right. It’s located in Dryden, Michigan (which makes the body condition that much more remarkable) and is listed for sale here on eBay, with a starting bid of $4,500 and no reserve.


My freshman roommate in college drove a 1978 Chevette, so I got well-familiar with it. There’s a reason we drove my TR6 most times we went home. However, I have to admit it never let us down and the hatchback swallowed all the laundry we took home, something the TR6 didn’t do very well. While many folks even at the time slammed the Chevette, it was inexpensive and generally got you from point A to point B. I’m hoping someone like Daniel with good memories of Chevette travel sees this car and purchases some memories.


The inside won’t disappoint you if you’ve read this far! Very clean and with an uncracked dash, the styling of the dash is reminiscent of more sporty GM cars of that era. The door panels look absolutely perfect as well.


The seat’s upholstery doesn’t look like they have ever been sat in. I would try to make friends with the dog before sitting in them now–it doesn’t look terribly welcoming to visitors. The seller tells us that it was an estate car and had been stored for a while. It now has only 46,387 miles!


Here’s the 1600 cc four cylinder engine, complete with air conditioning. This engine was designed specifically for the Chevette and was a modern (for the time) overhead camshaft engine. I’m guessing this is the standard version rather than the rare “high output” version, which means 62 horsepower versus 75. The short list of items that need repair for the car to be “right” are as follows: the speedometer needle needs to be replaced, it needs one headlamp, the fuel gauge and air conditioning are not working and the seller says it needs replacement front bumper trim strips. I’d also recommend replacing the old tires. Do any of you have fond Chevette memories?


  1. Pookie Jamie P

    Cheap enough? I’ll buy it!

    Like 1

    Yeah I had one. $4500 for this and the A/C and fuel gage don’t work?
    That’s a tall order for a $2500 car when new.

    Like 0
  3. JoeW

    Bring an LS-7

    Like 0
  4. David Montanbeau

    We stuffed a 1970 Cadillac 500 between the towers. It was a crazy street machine, to say the least. Did 11s in the 1/4, burned rubber the whole length and floated the valves. When we had our car lot in the late 80s in Detroit, I would go to Tn and buy them dirt cheap. They were a good seller along with the Pinto and Bobcat.

    Like 0
  5. Roselandpete

    $4.5k seems high to me but you never know.

    Like 0
  6. Stryker

    Crude (even at the time) but trusty. Growing up in a small Midwestern town where more GMs were owned than Ford and Mopar combined, Chevettes were a common car for high school kids. We were not kind to them, but they withstood our bored teen shenanigans fairly well.

    Like 0
  7. Mike

    It’s cars like this that made people from my parent’s generation, who grew up with American classics from the 50’s and 60’s, flock to Japanese cars in droves. My grandmother had an ’82 and that car was the biggest piece of junk I’ve ever seen. I know a lot of people have bought a rough Chevette and done an engine swap and if you can do it for cheap I can see how that may be fun but what’s the purpose of buying this car? Just because it has low miles for its age does that really make it a museum piece? I can think of plenty of other cars worth buying for $4,500. That is if it even goes that low.

    Like 0
    • Kincer Dave Member

      My grandfather who was a big Pontiac fan, had two of these Chevettes, a 79 and a 85, he used them as cheap transportation to and from work and that was after the Japanese imports a Dodge Colt and a Datsun B210 both of which were troublesome, incidentally after my Pap bought his 90 Cavalier I ended up with the 85 Chevette and used it as a work car as well and being in my early 20’s at the time I wasn’t easy on it but it kept on running, I ended up trading it in for a car for my new wife at the time.

      Like 0
  8. Charles H.

    Here’s a link to a video on a stock looking sleeper ’78 Chevette with a big block 427 under the hood!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulmVJrVR73M

    Like 0
  9. Brad

    My first car…… Oh the memories haha

    Like 0
  10. grant

    I had two when I was younger, I suppose they held up ok. Although we learned the hard way they don’t do burnouts well. But we replaced the spider gears with minimal assistance from the BFH and it only popped a little going around corners. This seller should probably sell what he’s smoking, I don’t see him selling this for $4500.

    Like 0
  11. Roy

    I’ve seen 85 CORvettes go for less than $4500. But some people just love to wastee $$$

    Like 0
    • PRA4SNW

      Roy, I was thinking the same exact thing. I saw a CL listing last week for an 82 Collector’s edition with 55K for $5500.

      Like 0
  12. jaymes

    too bad its not a citation ( hopefully they relist it!

    Like 0
  13. Mike

    The High School I went to the local Chevy Dealer allowed the drives Education class to use 4 of these little cars, and I would always get to drive the one with a 4 speed, because nobody else in my group knew how to drive a manual!!!!!
    My Wife’s Step-dad had one when we first started dating, and drove it 80 miles a day to work, and it would get about 30 – 40 miles per gallon. I always liked the little cars, always wanted one, but never did get one.

    Like 0
  14. Dan

    Racing Chevettes on Ice… Highway Thru Hell.


    Like 0

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