Everyday Iron: 1983 Chevette
Cars are kind of like people. Some seem to have been born with various health problems, others drink or eat themselves into an early grave; some are overly cautious and don't take any unnecessary risks to life and limb while others jump out of planes or off of buildings all for the thrill of looking death in the face and living to tell about it -- or not. And still others seem to do everything right but still die before their time.
And then there's that really annoying group, the ones who smoke and drink and carouse till all hours, eat whatever they want in whatever quantity, never exercise, and otherwise engage in all manner of bad habits. . . . .and still live to a ripe old age. I recall an interview with one centenarian from some years ago who attributed her long life to "cigarettes and black coffee." You know the type. And probably hate them as much as I do.
For this edition of Everyday Iron we have a seemingly indestructible car that by all rights shouldn't still be on the road.....and yet it soldiers on some 30 years after it was produced: a 1983 Chevette. It's owned by a neighbor of my mom's from a smallish 'burgh in south central Wisconsin -- you know, the place with harsh winters and abundant road salt. I don't know all that much about it, but I'm pretty certain it didn't reside in a garage its entire life. The owner isn't particularly assiduous in terms of caring for it, but she hasn't ignored maintenance either. It's got some rust but not nearly what one might expect, and the rear quarter panel there has been repaired (poorly) at least once.
Still, it's got no major accident damage, hasn't been extensively repaired or restored, and still runs at least marginally well. The owner has put only 61,000 miles on it in all that time (no long road trips) and reported that it's recently developed a small oil leak. It's a little slow starting in the morning (*ahem*) and doesn't exactly sound like a Ferarri, but it gets her where she wants to go with a minimum of fuss and bother. Not bad for $3,000.
I have to say, this car just tickles me to no end. There's something plainly adorable about it and its kin. The lines seem simple and functional, saying "I am a compact utility car" and little else. And who doesn't love a trooper?