Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Unloved Chevrolet Chevette

For model years 1976-1987, General Motors' American entry-level compact car was the Chevrolet Chevette.  Its Wikipedia entry is here.

According to Wikipedia, the car sold reasonably well, even though it had a number of technical shortcomings.  I rented one once in Toronto, driving it as far away as the New York City area.  That was many years ago, so I don't have clear memories other than it got me around and that I was glad I don't own a Chevette.

As for the styling, Chevette's small package size offered little scope for flashy features.  Plus, the car was engineered to be cheap to build, so styling had to be more subordinate to metal stamping and assembly demands than usual.  GM's styling operation was probably still the best in the business when the Chevette was being developed (even though a few design clunkers were slipping into production), so the Chevette's appearance was competently bland.  Slightly larger wheels would have improved matters, I think.


The 1976 Chevette pictured here has a roof rack and fake wood sides, but I include it because it shows the initial grille.

Here is a 1979 four-door, six-window Chevette.  The grille has been restyled to lessen the cheap impression given by the chromeless original.  Headlamps are now rectangular rather than circular.  The six-window treatment makes the greenhouse a little fussy on such a small car.

A view of the Chevette's rear, this on a 1981 model.  By this point, the tail light assembly was wrapped around to the sides.  Very simple styling without serious technical flaws.

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