Car Crush: Vauxhall Chevette

Cars

the Chevette was the Likely Lads hot hatch before hot hatches were hot hatches.

Shovel-nosed, Pinto-esque, uniquely strange and oddly appealing, the Vauxhall Chevette was a Likely Lads car before Likely Lads were Likely Lads.

And what am I talking about when I use the term Likely Lads?

We’re talking about kids who infuse their cars with a certain energy, the distinct sort of creativity that is born of living in a suburb with tasty A-roads, enclosed street systems on low-rise estates where few coppers dare to tread.

It might have been a made-over Opal, but in the early-mid seventies the Chevette was a really strange looking shape – especially the coupé. That droop snoot was of course closely related to the rarer bird that was the Firenza – and it was perfect for housing the goodies that turned your car into something greater than that consumed by the mass of men.

Chevette-5

In rally homologation mode, the HSR model Chevette (above) was rarer than hen’s teeth – and you could see the beginnings of the true hot hatch in the Chevette’s lines well enough.

The Chevette was phased out and finally disappeared in 1983 – to be replaced with the Nova. More of that in next week’s feature thread…


Cars like the Chevette, stripped down everyman classics, laid the groundwork for a culture of car modifying that was a powerful force in youth culture.

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