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Vauxhall Chevette Images and Technical Specification

 

 

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History

It was launched in the UK using Vauxhall's slogan and musical 'jingle': "It's whatever you want it to be! - A sporty coupe, a family saloon, a handy estate...". More conventional 2- and 4-door saloons, and 3-door estate variants (essentially the Opel Kadett with Vauxhall front sheetmetal and engines) were also built from 1976. The Viva remained on sale until the end of 1979, when the Vauxhall Astra was launched, while the Chevette remained on sale until 1984, itself being replaced by the slightly smaller Vauxhall Nova that was launched in 1983, with Chevette production being reduced in November 1981, when Astra production was moved to the Ellesmere Port factory. This longevity led to the Chevette being exported to Germany after 1979, when the comparable Opel Kadett City had ceased production; it provided an unusual small car in that it still had rear wheel drive. By this time, it was the only Vauxhall to be sold in continental Europe, while the Chevette also held this dubious distinction in markets like Mauritius and New Zealand; and none have been exported since. A van version, based on the estate and called the Bedford Chevanne was also built, and badged as part of GM's Bedford commercial vehicles marque. Although the Chevette was largely a rebadged Opel Kadett C with revised front-end (detailed below), it did use the 1256 cc overhead valve (OHV) engine of the Viva instead of the Kadett's units, which were produced by Opel. The Kadett's double wishbone front suspension, rear-wheel drive and rear suspension with Panhard rod, torque tube and coil sprung live axle were carried over unaltered. Inside, the two cars differed only in terms of their dashboard and switchgear: the Chevette stuck to the British & Japanese right-hand drive tradition of having the indicator switch on the right-hand side of the steering column, while the Kadett had the mainland European left-hand drive custom of the flasher stalk being on the left. The Chevette also had a much more angular instrument binnacle, although the instrumentation within was similar (though in imperial rather than metric measurements). The Chevette's front end featured a more aerodynamic-looking nose treatment than the Kadett, based loosely on the design of the "droopsnoot" Firenza. In contrast the Kadett had a more conventional flat-fronted design. In 1980, the Chevette underwent a facelift with flush fitting headlights, giving it a "family look" alongside the larger Vauxhall Cavalier. It also received new wheel designs, revised C-pillar vent covers and revamped interior trim with re-designed front seats to increase rear knee room marginally. However, it was effectively the beginning of a phase-out in favour of the newer Astra, Vauxhall's version of the front wheel drive Kadett, which was launched in January 1980. Production finally finished in January 1984, approximately one year after the launch of the Spanish-built Nova. The Chevette was a successful model for Vauxhall, with around 415,000 units produced in just under nine years

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