If this 1984 Chevrolet Chevette CS listed for sale on Hemmings.com isn’t the most well-preserved example of the most representative Chevette, I’m not sure what is.
The original owner may have sprung for an option or two—Chevette experts chime in here to note any options you see—but with a manual transmission, crank windows, no power brakes or steering, two doors, and an AM radio, it’s hard to see how the car could have come much cheaper. Typically, this is the kind of car most people buy to run into the ground by commuting over long distances with minimal-to-zero maintenance, but this one was actually treasured by its original owner, who undercoated it, stored it indoors, put vanishingly few miles on it, and generally treated it like a highly optioned Buick rather than an econobox. It’s not perfect after all these years, but it still has a lot more going for it than 99 percent of the Chevettes still out there. From the seller’s description:
All original. Clean green title. My mom bought this Chevette brand new, her “blue jewel,” and put it away in the barn only a few years later all covered with sheets and blankets inside and out. She had it out a few times since to change the oil, start it, wax it, drive it a little, then put it back away “to save it.” It is the CS version with the 1.6 liter 4 cylinder engine and manual 4 speed transmission, cloth seats, seats 4, hatchback. Car comes with full history and a story. Comes with all original paperwork and documentation, warranties and receipts. All maintenance records and logs from new. Mom even had a cute blue flowered journal where she recorded the maintenance and every gallon of gas she put in the car. It was dealer undercoated at new, Vesco Ban-Rust “lifetime.” The undercoating did a good job. The interior is near new. Seats and hatch and floors were always completely covered with rugs, blankets, and towels. She never sat on the seat fabric. Never in an accident or painted in any way. Original Firestone P155/80R13 tires and they still hold air. It was never stored or sitting outside so the paint is in really nice, but original, shape. The black moldings are all original, not sundrenched or faded. These cars did not have metallic paint and there are a few storage blemishes, but no stone chips on the front hood like most cars. No power what so ever. Manual steering. Manual brakes. Manual transmission. Manual windows. Manual locks. Manual key to open hatch. Driver side mirror only. AM Radio. Cigarette lighter. All lights work and are original. No pets. No smoking ever. In the past few months, the car had its oil and filter, lube, front brake pads and adjacent lines, and battery replaced. We have driven it a few dozen miles and it has driven fine.
It was a gamble for American Motors Corporation’s Jeep division to introduce the “XJ” Cherokee, using a venerated nameplate on a new 4×4 that was very different from any Jeep that came before. This compact, efficient, and stylish people mover was thoroughly reimagined for the 1980s and became an immediate best seller in its first year on the market. With decades of hindsight, the XJ Cherokee proved a winning formula with incredible longevity, and 1984 was where it all began.
The Cherokee and Wagoneer being sold in 1983 had their origins in the early 1960s, being large, six passenger, two- and four-door SUVs. Those “SJ”-chassis models were powered by inline-six and V-8 engines, and their traditional body-on-frame construction was rugged, if not particularly intended for daily driven on-road comfort. A clean-sheet replacement for those near 4,000-pound, 186.4-inch-long trucks had long been in the making, and the new versions of these models reached AMC/Jeep showrooms for the ’84 model year, having modernized four-wheel-drive motoring.
The crisply attractive design shared by the new Cherokee and Wagoneer variants was drastically downsized, their “UniFrame” integrated chassis-bodies measuring 21.1 inches shorter, on a 7.3-inch shorter wheelbase, and weighing in an average of 800 pounds less than the original design that stayed in production as the upmarket Grand Wagoneer. The XJ came as a basic two- or four-door Cherokee, a well-trimmed two- or four-door Cherokee Pioneer, a sporty two- or four-door Cherokee Chief, and as a plush four-door Wagoneer and premium Wagoneer Limited.
Innovation in automotive engineering has brought us some interesting creations over the years. One car company broke ground in the 1980s with a unique family sedan (and wagon) equipped with a 4×4 drivetrain to deliver passenger-car comfort, better fuel economy than trucks or sport utility vehicles, and all-weather capability.
It’s been more than 30 years since AMC – which stood for American Motors Corporation – went defunct in 1988. What started as a merger of Nash-Kelvinator and the Hudson Motor Company in 1954 evolved through a series of organizational changes and had a diverse product lineup with some unusual entries over the course of its lifetime.
If the title of this Readers’ Rides feature didn’t already give it away, the 1984 Ford Mustang you see here is not your average Fox Body Mustang. Owner Phillip Landry of Lafayette, Louisiana took his 1980s Mustang build in a very unique direction—the car was put together for land speed racing and is powered by a 1950 Mercury flathead V-8 engine that Phillip can switch between a roots-style supercharger and a turbo depending on the event.
“We race this car at Bonneville where we hold the XF/BFALT record at 142.822,” Phillip told us. He also races with the East Coast Timing Association (ECTA) at Wilmington, Ohio, and Blytheville. With help from his friend Damon Braus and brother John Landry, the trio has the car dialed. So much so, Phillip said, “At Wilmington we would change over from a single four barrel to the supercharger setup while waiting in line.” He also added, “Of course I couldn’t do all this without my wonderful, supportive wife Mary.
1984 Chevrolet Camaro Z28, This automobile is built as Functional Art on a stock 1984 Camaro and is called “DreamRyder”. All the body panels fit over the Camaro body and can be removed if needed. It is a driver, and runs very well. It is very popular at shows, draws incredible attention and has won many trophies. It is really a work of art and should be in a museum. I have built a complete set of molds and tooling capable of reproducing this body. I will sell the car and molds together or separately. This Camaro was built basically the same from 1982 to 1992 and includes Pontiac. The panels made from these molds will work on any of these cars. This is a great business opportunity. The car can be enjoyed as is or used as a reference for building new cars. You could sell kits or complete cars. There are many of these car out there to be used.
We return to the Car Clock of the Week series with a type of clock that was all the rage in the 1970s and well into the 1980s: the mechanical “digital” timepiece with motor-driven reels. Honda used this style of clock in Accords and Preludes and Ford installed them in Lincolns; General Motors ran mechanical-digital clocks in some higher-end cars of the period, but nearly every last one I’ve tested has been dead for decades. Yes, you were lucky to get five years out of one of these clocks, but I’ve found one in a discarded Olds in Denver and it works perfectly.