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This 1977 Chevrolet Chevette Is Dead-Stock And Ready For A Re-Powering!


This 1977 Chevrolet Chevette Is Dead-Stock And Ready For A Re-Powering!

Recently, I got to spend more time than I ever wanted with a Hyundai Santa Fe. And for the most part, I hated it. I hated the blandness, anonymity-promising nature of the little gray crossover. I hated it’s tepid, not too bothered acceleration. I hated the way it looked. In fact, only two things stood out as positive notes for me: the sound system was a solid plus, which makes a 12-hour drive on the Interstate much more enjoyable, and it’s fuel economy was a pleasant surprise. Ever since then, I’ve been looking at certain vehicles that could be a lot cooler than some rental-spec crossover that looked like it went into a wall face-first. Being honest, not one vehicle in the BangShift Mid-West stable qualifies as even remotely close to economical. With as much driving time as I put in per year, surely there’s a way to have a decent economy ride that has some sense of BangShift-worthy vibes to it.

This 1977 Chevrolet Chevette is a good start. As much as I’d love to re-create Steve Magnante’s “Bad Seed” car, Caddy 500 and all, instead I’d look straight into a 4.3L V6 swap. Raiding an S-10 for the six and a five-speed manual shouldn’t take much searching, and the 195 horsepower V6 would be a very useable engine in the lightweight body. I’d convert the axles and rotors to five-lug spec and slap on some 1980s Camaro Z28 five spoke wheels to fill the wheelwells and would be happy with a two-seater hatchback that could swallow up luggage and work gear for a week out on the road. It certainly beats dead stock with Frisbee wheel covers and a questionable 1.6L four-banger…

eBay Link: 1977 Chevrolet Chevette


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11 thoughts on “This 1977 Chevrolet Chevette Is Dead-Stock And Ready For A Re-Powering!

  1. Matt Cramer

    I might want something a bit more rev happy than the 4.3 truck motor. How about a 3.6 V6 out of a Cadillac CTS? Or maybe a Nissan SR20DET.

    Reply
  2. Rock On

    Totally agree with you Matt. Owned a 1996 Chevy Blazer 4×4 for ten years with the 4.3 litre V6. Very agricultural type engine. Would probably investigate using a Buick V6 or even an Oldsmobile/Rover V8.

    Reply
  3. Gary Perkinson

    I completely understand the desire for a swap, but that car looks pretty straight. I’d keep it stock, tune it and clean up the interior–weirder things have become collectible…

    Reply
  4. ThatCaseyfella

    Well, if we are building in the ol\’ mind garage, im going to go with a LSJ supercharged 4 cly from a 2005ish colbalt ss. with trans from a solstice. and because the chevettes have torque tubes rather than drive shafts, while we are in there cutting it up, we should upgrade to a ford 8.8 inch rear with coil-overs. and full cage, with modest fender flares, discs all around and wide tires to keep it on all fours. 10 out of 10 would pro-daily.

    Reply
    1. Gary

      I owned an 81 Chevette and had to replace the clutch in it. No torque tube in a Chevette. just an old school transmission hanging off the motor connecting to a solid rear axle via driveshaft.

      Reply
  5. Nigel Mansell's Ferret

    Gut it and drop a hayabusa into it. 1500lbs and 200hp. Oh ya and a 50 shot of the good stuff. Front suspension is surprisingly good but the rear not so much. Volvo LSD rear axle, pan hard and some coil overs. Bolt on flares and some 255 skins. 11,000 rpm full throttle shifts on a 6spd sequential dog box. Gold Jerry gold.

    Now the “if it could be done they would be one” naysayers search “chevette with bike engine”

    Reply
  6. Roger

    Crush this sh!tpile alongside that Cosworthless Vega, Shove-ettes were a misreable excuse for a car. Drove a brand new ’87 to Philly (from Cleveland) on a dealer trade and that demon spawn scared the living sh!t out of me! Seemed like a good fart would blow that turd right off the road, and gawd, that turd was by far the most uncomfortable vehicle I’ve ever driven.

    Reply

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