1984: You own the Chevrolet Chevette, instead of the Chevette owning you

1984: You own the Chevrolet Chevette, instead of the Chevette owning you


Before soccer dads were required by law to have minivans, they took the kids to practice in Chevettes.

One of the big advantages of building cars on the same simple rear-wheel-drive subcompact platform all over the world for more than a decade— from Opel Kadett Cs to Daewoo Maepsys— is that it costs next to nothing to keep stamping them out, even while more spacious and fuel-efficient front-drivers flood the competitors’ showrooms.

Chevettes were sold in North America all the way through 1987, which means that they had the opportunity to compete for sales with the slightly cheaper Hyundai Excel. Here’s a magazine advertisement for the 1984 version, showing off its amazing affordability, its low price, its penny-pinching nature and, uh, something about dependability.

The General used a different version of the same advertisement when targeting white Chevette buyers. Note the golden retriever.

We saw another version of this advertisement a few months ago, with the same text and similar layout… but showing a white family with dog and baseball gear instead of a black family with soccer gear. Whether it’s J.S. Pryor and his soccer-playing sons or A.J. Jones and his baseball-playing sons, the Chevette was cheap.

110 billion owner-proven miles, though we’re not sure if that includes the Isuzu I-Mark.

The Chevette was quite a bit cheaper than the Ford Escort— nearly a grand cheaper, in fact— and that was enough to keep it in production.

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