Thursday, April 19, 2007

For John Z and Erin....

Well, I have a huge box of photos and slides in my storage locker, and I'm sure I could find a shot of The Beast in there somewhere. But I just couldn't get to it in time. So I scoured the 'net for a picture of a lime-green 1976 Chevette like the one I drove, and actually found two. One is someone's actual car, the other is from a 1978 sales brochure. Here they are. The top photo is actually much closer to the color of my car than the sales brochure.





At the time, my family was just about broke, and when our '66 VW Beetle died, this was all we could afford. One of the most obnoxious pieces of machinery ever turned out by the Chevrolet Motor Division, but it carried my sisters and I a long, long ways. Taught me more about auto mechanics than I ever wanted to know, too...

There are lots and lots of very good reasons that these cars are not being produced any more. They were underpowered, overweight for their engine size, and it is the last car that anyone in our family ever owned that didn't have air conditioning.

But it took a whole lotta abuse, and like a Timex watch, it kept on ticking. (For the most part.) And it sure was easy to find in a parking lot. Or a snow storm...

But this is just one more place I'm glad I'm not, today...

4 comments:

wilsonian said...

Oh. my.

My Mom had a few ugly-by-necessity cars, and we walked for quite a few years before she could afford a car. But seriously... in my expert opinion, that is one ugly car :)

bobbie said...

ha! chevy's answer to the amc gremlin - we had a yellow one of those! my dad worked for amc and "it it was good enough to put bread on the table, it was good enough to drive"... sigh.

Totem to Temple said...

The Chevettes were just that, reliable and pratical cars. The parents of one of my best friends growing up had the infamous Chevette Diesel (Isuzu's small diesel engine with the upside down oil filter similar to the diesel in the chevy luv trucks) that would top 55-60 mpg highway.

They bought it in an extreme purchase after first getting stuck not getting gas on odd/even day in the 1970's in their old Chrysler Newport gas guzzler 'tank' and then dumping it on the Pinto which was problem plagued where they traded on the Chevette diesel.
-----

But the best story was another friend of mine who had one. We would go to parties and when we meet chicks, he would tell the chicks

Hey baby, I drive a vette

When they would go out with him to see the 'vette' (thinking it was a Corvette), half of the women would walk away (some slapped him) while half of the women would love him for a good originally thought out joke and he would have a great date with them.

Keith Brenton said...

I think I had the only good Chevette ever made. It was a '77, aqua blue with a custom sports stripe, 3-speed stick and great gas mileage.

I accessorized it. Put in an eight-track table from the Radio Shack clearance table for $10.

It cost $7,000 new and I got $1,000 for it as a trade-in in 1987. It had 90,000 miles on it. I still can't believe it.