Home Car Review Regular Car Reviews: 1976 Chevrolet Chevette

Regular Car Reviews: 1976 Chevrolet Chevette


Designated “Unsafe for Highway Use.”

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  1. I miss my 1980 Chevette. My boss back then had a brand-new 4×4 that she was super-proud of. We had record-breaking cold weather in Ottawa Canada that winter, and she called me frantic that her new 4×4 wouldn't start. Without a block heater or even a newish battery, I got into those really cold Chevette vinyl seats, pumped the accelerator twice, turned the key and heard the slowest cranking I have ever heard in my life – but she kicked to life. With the 4-speed manual in neutral, I released the clutch and promptly stalled the engine with the thick transmission oil which was basically like candle wax at -30C. Okay, second try… rowr-rowr-rowr-rowrVRRRROOOM! I sat with my foot on the clutch for a few minutes, then gradually started to slip it in neutral to allow the transmission oil to warm up and become liquid again. When the 'Vette was idling in neutral, I used a cassette to scrape the windshield before the engine was warm enough to defrost it.

    I picked up my boss at her home and drove her to work. Promotion followed, I got my own set of keys to a McDonalds restaurant a few days later. LOL.

    Memories of 1993. I loved that car. The build quality of the body was good – they never seemed to rust through the way most other cars of the era did, I guess GM learned from the Vega. The interior was so damned cheap that it was funny. But it did the job. And eventually, I scored a Buick V6 and gave my 'Vette a second life, the winter beater that never let me down became the primer-spotted sleeper that would eat Mustang 5.0s for lunch.

  2. OK, snicker at this car, but I had bought a Vega from the same dealership. GM realized they could have avoided the whole mess(Vega cracked blocks, etc due to aluminum engines) by importing what was essentially a Euro car. The Chevette, albeit crude and barebones, was much better than my Vega and much cheaper for GM than to tool up for the totally new (doomed?) Vega…

  3. Rated 53-60hp when new, depending on model. Top end models were eventually rated at 70hp. All those figures were undoubtedly at the crank, not the wheels.

  4. I took my driving license test with this car, borrowed it because my car was a 1978 Pontiac Grand Safari wagon, 6.6 Liter. I used it because I was concerned that the immense wagon would challenge me in the parallel parking test. The Chevette did not disappoint. The unpowered brakes and steering gave me a good workout on the emergency stop and 3 point turn, but I nailed the parking.

  5. When I did security work as a teen my boss would pick me up in one of these, I remember how small the footwells were

  6. That stupid air filter is identical to the Vega air filter. I know, I owned a Vega and a Chevette. The Vega was a much nicer car…that's not saying much.

  7. Haha omg I had a white one with wallyworld spinner rims onit and two 12s in the trunk ladies panties was wet no lie 🤣🤣🤣

  8. The most epic race I've ever had involved me in a Chevette and some random person on the highway in a Pontiac T1000. We hit speeds of nearly 65mph, both cars shaking violently, but I pulled out the victory in the end. A few decades later I watched an old Motorweek review of the T1000 and found out the key to my victory – apparently Pontiac just took a Chevette and made it heavier – and even less powerful.

  9. I owned a used Chevette for a couple of years back in the mid-80s. It was reliable enough, but my overall impression was that it fulfilled only half of the inertia equation. When at rest, it tended to stay at rest. Once in motion, it would find any excuse to go back to rest. It wanted to be a car, but not quite enough to actually try to be a car.

  10. Попытка американцев конкурировать с японскими малолитражками😏

  11. My friend has one of these.. I told him to sell it because its bring the property value down!! Total crap!!!

  12. Yeah, owned an '84 Chevette 4spd. What GM today would call "Pearlescent white"… which means not white. Vinyl interior… and yes it was real vinyl. Like sitting on a garbage bag. NO a/c naturally, how could the 1.6 engine possibly power air conditioning?

    In fairness to the model tested… a 40yr old car that has not seen regular service won't produce anything like it's factory rated power. This one also has oversized tires on it and, yes, that does make a difference when measuring hp at the rear wheels.

    As I recall, the factory quoted power for a 1.6l model was 55-60hp. As some have noted, driveline losses (particularly with the 3spd slushbox auto) tend to run around 20hp or so on small and poorly engineered cars like this. So your 76 model probably still develops around 45-50hp in its "whatever" condition. This sounds horrifyingly low by today's standards, but there were plenty of cars (some a lot bigger than the chevette) on the road in the 70s with well under 100hp. A six cyl Mercury Comet or Ford Maverick (a much larger car) barely topped 100hp. The Dodge Omni (you remember it, I know you do…) hit the market with a 1.7l vw based engine that produced a whopping 75hp at the crankshaft. Then contemporary "stars" like the second gen Honda Civic 1300s produced 60-70hp, significantly more than the first gen 1100cc engined model did.

    Even the first gen VW Golfs (Rabbit in N/A) were sold with 60-75hp engines (except the GTI, the first of which had 108hp).

    So, yeah. The Chevette sucked. It was a cheap commuter car. They all sucked.

  13. Omg. I haven't done acid in about a year.

    And I wish I was on it when……
    You know.
    That part.
    Oh. I feel I just peaked.
    Not in that way.

  14. My mother drove one of these things for years. Eventually the hood popped open going down the highway and then the engine(probably from the filter) set fire. Teenage me said "when was the last time you changed the oil on this thing?" noting the flashing oil indicator. And she looked at me deadpan "change?"

    We made it home that day, driving 4 miles with the front end of this fucking car ON FIRE. I never got back in that deathtrap and mom drove it for a few more months until the floorboards started to rot away and you could literally flintstone the fucking thing up the street.

  15. Total fallacy.
    While the Chevette had little power, it was adequate for the 2k pound car.

    For the time, the Chevette was a decent car for the city and not bad on the highway.

    It’s fun to denigrate the little Chevy, but…….

    1977 Chevrolet Chevette Coupe 1.4L ( © GM Corp. CC-BY 3.0)1977 Chevrolet Chevette Coupe 1.4L ( © GM Corp. CC-BY 3.0)
    1977 Chevrolet Chevette Coupe 1.4L (man. 4) specs

    Chevrolet Chevette Coupe 1.4L (man. 4) , model year 1977, version for North America (up to October)
    manufactured by Chevrolet (USA) in USA
    3-door hatchback body type
    RWD (rear-wheel drive), manual 4-speed gearbox
    gasoline (petrol) engine with displacement: 1398 cm3 / 85.5 cui, advertised power: 42.5 kW / 57 hp / 58 PS ( SAE net ), torque: 96 Nm / 71 lb-ft, more data: 1977 Chevrolet Chevette Coupe 1.4L (man. 4) Horsepower/Torque Curve
    characteristic dimensions: outside length: 4031 mm / 158.7 in, width: 1570 mm / 61.8 in, wheelbase: 2395 mm / 94.3 in
    reference weights: shipping weight 888 kg / 1958 lbs base curb weight: 916 kg / 2019 lbs
    how fast is this car ? top speed: 149 km/h (93 mph) (©theoretical);
    accelerations: 0- 60 mph 15.6© s; 0- 100 km/h 16.8© s (simulation ©automobile-catalog.com); 1/4 mile drag time (402 m) 20.3© s (simulation ©automobile-catalog.com) 1977 Chevrolet Chevette Coupe 1.4L (man. 4) Detailed Performance Review
    fuel consumption and mileage: average estimated by a-c: 9.1 l/100km / 30.9 mpg (imp.) / 25.7 mpg (U.S.) / 10.9 km/l, more data: 1977 Chevrolet Chevette Coupe 1.4L (man. 4)

  16. When my mother was pregnant with me, she got stuck by the seat belt for four hours! I remember that horrible car the drive shaft and transmission basically burnt throughtthe rear carpet. There was nothing like getting leg 🦵 burns for "family day" ah yes those were the days…

  17. 23 HP? Are you sure it was that much? I drove a brand new dealer sample once. OMG what a dog. Not Greyhound I'm talking Droopy from the cartoons. It couldn't out of it's own way at gun point.

  18. When I was in college (Central Michigan University) studying Journalism and Advertising and All The Girls In Sweeney Dormitory, General Motors launched an intercollegiate marketing competition to "reintroduce" the Chevette. They saw it as the ideal first car for college graduates, another in a long line of marketing errors GM has made over the years. But I joined the CMU team as a "market analyst and copywriter" and we did well enough to compete at regionals. Students liked the car conceptually but were like, "And who's gonna pay my school loan bills while I'm paying for a new car?" Many of them never did pay off their school loans, choosing to even deeper into debt in medical school. As for me, I bought an old Fiat 128SL, another in a long line of judgmental errors made over the years.😉

  19. It provided a ride for a lot of people. Many young kids drove them too. Just remember them in the left lane on the interstate floored. Not bad, as many think they were. Cheap ride!

  20. Well I have to say that I have to contradict some of these points. I bought a red '77 Chevette as my first car and I actually loved it. It was a stick shift which was my favorite transmission. Mine was the 2 door and I actually never had any problems at all with it. I should have never got rid of it, but I bought a new car and couldn't have 2 cars at the time.

  21. My aunt had a Chevette. She was driving down the street one day and the transmission fell out of it.

    A friend had one. She got to work one day and the drivers door fell off.

  22. I bought one in 1978 the first month the alternator bracket broke the radio died and within six months the rear end went out the biggest piece of s***I ever bought except for that 73 pinto now that was a jem!

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