Sub-10,000 Miles, Revisited: 1980 Chevy Chevette

Survivor-grade Chevettes pop up with more regularity than you’d expect, but this one appears to be strikingly similar to a car featured on Barn Finds not too long ago – except this time, the price tag has been inflated accordingly. This Chevette has only 8,800 miles from new, which is just 300 miles more than when it was apparently bought in Indiana and driven down to North Carolina. You’ll find it here on the Raleigh Classics auction site, with a suggested bid range of $12K-$17K. 

That’s an impressive increase compared to the $6,950 asking price that it was listed with when Scotty wrote it up in November. Oh, the internet – keeping memories alive, especially helpful for savvy car buyers. The Chevette retains all of the qualities that made it worth featuring last year, from its gleaming original paint and perfect chrome bumpers to its original tires and four matching hubcaps. Power comes from an Isuzu-derived 1.6L G161Z single-overhead-cam, inline-four with 70 hp and 82 lb-ft of torque.

The patchwork seats haven’t suffered any ill treatment in the time they’ve been used to drive the Chevette from an Indiana storage locker to the rolling hills of Raleigh, and the fun-sapping automatic transmission remains in the center console. Of course, given both this seller and the previous one made sure to highlight the presence of the original BF Goodrich Lifesaver tires, perhaps it wasn’t driven down the highway but simply accrued the miles making in-town drives before being re-listed.

While flippers are always going to flip, the increased asking price documented here is quite a jump from what it likely sold for last year. In addition to that, the market for survivor-grade Chevettes isn’t exactly what you’d call “hot” – a Chevette does not get driven spiritedly, and as a low-mileage example, this one is simply destined to be a conversation piece in a larger collection. The question is whether anyone with that kind of excess scratch is going to spend it on a time-capsule Chevette.

Fast Finds


  1. Rock On

    The suggested bid range would be more accurate if it was packing an LS engine.

    • Keith

      Only if that LS engine had a Corvette wrapped around it

      Like 1
  2. Mark

    Or a turbo diesel 4 cylinder

  3. JW

    Those kind of $$$ for a Chevette, this flipper is stoned !!!

    Like 1
  4. Bob

    Ask too much and then take a lowball….to get what you wanted.

    No brainer with a car like this…that few want.

  5. Tim

    Our family owned one of these in 1980 brand new. Total piece of junk. We kept it for 1500 miles before selling it.

    • billy

      So why buy it in the first place? Could you not figure out it was unworthy before signing on the dotted line? 1500 miles, that is a lot of depreciation on resale just because someone had a tantrum about the car or didn’t do their homework before purchase. Okay, not a great performance car, but adequate, and the Isuzu engine is solid. I learned to drive stick on one of these. Not every car is going to be the equivalent of a Miata. Some cars are just good reliable transportation, we need those too you know.

      • rando

        Yep. My ex wife’s mom had a 79, bought used in the mid 80s maybe 83 or 84. She handed it down to my ex in 87. she drove it for years. Then in 92 or so, I drove it to work 45 miles/day roundtrip for a while. It was a 4 spd. The silver paint was fading when we finally sold it off and it ran around town for a few years after that. So they aren’t all junk. I don’t remember having to do anything to it other than maintenance and I’m not sure we even did too much of that. It never needed anything so why bother?

        Haters going to hate anything that isn’t an LS powered or Fox bodied whatever. But they could be reliable cars.

      • Andrew

        They were sold in Europe as the Opel Kadett City, and were quite popular back then as a second car. The ones I knew kept going and going until one got tired of owning it. I don’t understand why people talk down on an cheap entry level car. Every student could afford a new one.

    • RS

      A co-worker had one of these back in the early 80’s and took me and another person to a work location down the toll road. What a noisy tin can of a car! I was not the least bit impressed. Of course the value of this one isn’t as a great driving car but as a piece of automotive history. Love the condition, and that it has AC apparently, but… way overpriced. Think what else that money could get you.

  6. Rob

    I drove one of these for years around our town before getting my license. Great car, didn’t need any maintenance not even an oil change its whole life span :D

    • Anthony R in RI

      Was that because the car’s life span was less miles than the oil change interval?

  7. jaymes

    always wanted one, too bad its closing in on grand national territory tho.

  8. Kincer Dave Member

    Pick all you want on these but I had one for a beater/work car and I pounded the crap out of it and it never let me down, one time timing belt broke and I put a new one on along the road and was on my way, so I guess it let me down once but was an easy fix and then I kept on beating it and ended up trading it in after three years for the $600 I paid for it lol

  9. Larry K

    I’m more of a Pontiac Acadian kind of guy.

    • Craig LeMoyne

      I’m a T1000 man myself, lol

  10. Mark

    Had one. Engine blew 2 days before Christmas. A full Minnesota winter without a ride. Sold it as is for $1K but I stilled owed $2,500 on it. Good times … not really.

    Cute car but it was high priced last fall. I guess a guy can ask.

  11. PebblebeachJudge


  12. Vegas Vic

    its nice ride, great old school little car, still its NO T1000!
    Poncho pride!!

  13. madbrit

    If any of you Chevette lovers want a project, I have a “desert fresh” 1978 2 door with a pretty much rust free body (I have not looked underneath yet). Bought it to install a 427 Chevy which needs a new home.

  14. John K

    Had one of these, but with the diesel – – as another poster mentioned, sometimes you just need transportation. Not the worst car I ever owned (that title goes to a Shelby Charger), but that diesel Chevette certainly was a contender.

    • Keith

      John if you want to relive your nightmare I know where a Shelby Charger is that’s for sale, and it just needs “a little work” :D

  15. Levi77

    Delivered for a local drug store in high school. They bought one new, I closed driver side door, passenger window fell and broke. 4 months later Kinda slammed drivers door, that window shattered. Boss was not impressed with the car, or me. Gee whizz.

  16. J Jefferson

    There is a ‘collection’ of these available near me… you can probably buy the lot for less than what Raleigh Classics is hoping someone will bid.


    • BMW4RunninTundra

      Wonder if out of 11 of them, you could possibly build 1 good one?!?! Aaahhh, heck forget it. That question answers itself…………

    • Stu

      It looks like the Chevette King has already sold everything of value. All that’s left are 4-doors.

  17. Chris

    Great little car for the time. I learned how to drive a stick in one of these. Ours worked well and never let us down all the way up to 100k miles. Ahh…memories.

    • Miguel

      No, the GLC was a Mazda.

  18. alfred

    A chevette. And barn finds is what i look forward to every day. Bro your killin me

  19. alfred

    Still better than a vega. I guess

  20. Tom Driscoll

    If you’re too young to appreciate a maverick, this might be right up your alley!

  21. mike d

    I bought a new 86 Pont. T 1000, basically the same thing.. way underpowered, always felt cramped ( and I am of avg height and weight) dealer tried a bait and switch ( a much more better equipped one) rust did it in.. not too many mechanical problems … but would never get another one, or recommend one

    • Miguel

      I went to buy a 1987 Pontiac Sunbird. The salesman pointed over to one side and said he had the T-1000. I said, “do I look like an idiot?” The Sunbird I bought was a cute car.

  22. 61-7

    A friend of mine took his mom’s new Chevette onto I-75, turned on the A/C and literally blew the crank onto the road. Dealer prep forgot to test the A/C prior to delivery.

  23. Joe

    I had a beige ’84 4 door with a 4 speed manual. Bought it new and drove it regularly back and forth from lower NYS to Plattsburgh while completing my undergraduate degree. Like Chris mentioned above, never any mechanical problems and it handled well, even in heavy snow. I got six good years out of it.

    • LAB3

      Agreed on it’s ability to go through the snow, did well in the mud too going back on two tracks during spring mushroom hunting season

  24. Stu

    In 1979, I purchased a new Chevette (2dr, 4-spd) for approximately $2700 and drove it for 9 years until an unlicensed 16 yr old girl hit us broadside. During the winter I would occasionally pull an all-steel Arctic Cat snowmobile trailer with (2) Arctic Cat snowmobiles (1979 El Tigre 500 & 1980 Jag 440) . You wouldn’t believe some of the hills it went up. The car never gave me any trouble and it would go just about anywhere. Truly an excellent car. Because of its durability, our family ended up purchasing a total of (5) new Chevettes from 1978-1980. The only (2) areas of concern were the front & rear coil springs and the distributor at around 60K miles. Both were inexpensive and easily replaced.

  25. John B

    I worked in dealer prep at a Chevrolet store when this one would have been new. The automatic is the deal-killer for me here. I drove a number of Chevettes from the $4300 Scooter on up, and the ones with the sport shifter equipped manual were surprisingly fun to zip around in.

  26. RoselandPete

    I remember when the USPS issued those to its letter carriers.

  27. Jay E.

    Had a patina’d Chevette diesel listed here on BF a month or so ago. It sold for $150.00, running when parked 10 years prior. The buyer fixed the starter, added some new diesel and it fired right up. He added new tires and drove it away. My jaw was on the ground. I’ve seen it since and he loves it. 12 to 17K? wowza

  28. Tim Rusling

    I drove a few of these a lot as loaners when my total POS Turbo Buick was in the shop, which was many, many times. I think every surviving Chevette except this one is delivering pizzas. At least in our area.

  29. Dave

    This is the very first car I remember. We briefly had the same car, brand new and identical in every aspect except I think it was a 4-speed. I remember scampering into the back seat when I was 3 and being utterly fascinated by the windshield wipers that parked high up in the line of sight. Kind of weird and sad in a way, but that left rear 3/4 view with the door open took me right back to Presbyterian preschool.

  30. Anon ymous

    Why are people perplexed that it only put 300 miles on it? May it be possible that it was trailered from Indiana to NC or a shipper grabbed it for the buyer to flip at auction? Not sure why that is such a hard concept to conceive?

    Also the price they are asking is spot on for an original, unrestored car like that. Sure it isn’t desirable for most, but there are niche collectors for every type of car and a rarity like this would be the holy grail for that group.

  31. Tim Rusling

    My dealer at the time would have said that was normal. In my Buick, mind-blowing detonation with ultra premium gas, and A/C on Max blowing room temperature was normal too.

  32. Tim Rusling

    If they were one thing, they were tough. Since they were basic and GM’s T-body, we just called them the Model T.

  33. Steve in Charlotte

    I bought one new in 1981. It’s the only “Vette” I’ve ever owned.

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