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Vauxhall Chevette

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Vauxhall Chevette

The Vauxhall Chevette was a model of car manufactured by Vauxhall in the UK from 1975 to 1983.

Timeline (UK model range)

  • May 1975 - Introduction of the Chevette 3-door Hatchback in Base and L model variations. Both had an improved version of the 1256 cc OHV engine from the Viva, with a similar 4-speed gearbox, rear wheel drive, independent front suspension, rack-and-pinion steering and servo-assisted dual circuit brakes. Initial standard equipment included two-speed heater fan, radial tyres, reversing lights, heated rear window and reclining front seats.
  • November 1975 - Introduction of the Chevette GL with sports wheels with 175 x 70 SR tyres, bumper over riders, and higher equipment level including new center console, front door pockets and velour interior door panels.
  • January 1976 - Limited edition Chevette E introduced with L type specification but with black rubber surrounds on windows, revised brightwork and vynide (plastic) seats. U.S. version, the Chevrolet Chevette, is introduced as the smallest domestically-produced car there.
  • April 1976 - Revisions: base renamed L and gains cloth upholstery; L renamed GL with no changes; GL becomes GLS and gains velour upholstery.
  • June 1976 - E and L 2- and 4-door Saloons and GLS 4-door Saloon introduced with mechanical specification of Hatchback versions. E has reduced equipment level without reclining front seats. L and GLS have specifications of hatchback models plus (on GLS) clock, cigar lighter and bonnet light.
  • September 1976 - Chevette L Estate introduced with specification of Saloon model. Bedford Chevanne Van version of Chevette introduced. Similar to Chevette Estate, but without rear side windows and rear seats.
  • January 1977 - Chevette E 3-door Hatchback introduced with similar specification to the Saloon model.
  • January 1978 - Chevette HS 3-door Hatchback introduced with 16-valve 2279 cc slant-four engine, 5-speed close-ratio gearbox, uprated brakes and suspension. It proved extremely fast and a great success in the rallying tournaments. The HS also featured a full front air dam, black and tartan interior trim and additional instrumentation. Other versions of the HS included the HS-X (with walnut trimmed interior) and the Panther Westwinds (with single-cam turbo), both of which were made in very small numbers.
  • October 1978 - Chevette GL 4-door Saloon model introduced with similar specification to Hatchback model. GL Hatchback now has sports wheels, additional bright trim around the windows, and matt-black rear panel. GLS Saloon discontinued.
  • September 1979 - Revisions: all models now have flush-fitting headlights, restyled seats, front door pockets, additional fascia vents, new badging and rear fog light. GL adds protective side mouldings. Optional 3-speed automatic transmission available on L and GL models.
  • November 1979 - The rear-wheel drive Opel Kadett range was discontinued and replaced by a new front-wheel range with the same model name.
  • April 1980 - Chevette E Estate introduced with specification of Hatchback and Saloon versions; the E model was intended for the fleet market. Limited edition Chevette Special 2- and 4-door Saloons launched, based on L models. Introduction of the Chevette HSR, which was just an evolution of the Chevette HS.
  • June 1980 - Limited edition Chevette Sun Hatch 2-door Saloon model introduced with sunroof, tinted glass and radio fitted as standard.
  • October 1980 - Chevette ES 2-door Saloon and 3-door Hatchback introduced with similar specification to the E models but with even lower level of trim with vinyl trim plus carpets. Revisions: E has plaid cloth upholstery; L has radio and quartz clock; GL has front head restraints, radio and (on hatchback) load area cover.
  • May 1981 - Limited edition Chevette Black Pearl introduced with black paintwork, silver strobe stripes and ES type specification.
  • January 1982 - Limited edition Chevette Silhouette 3-door Hatchback introduced with black paintwork, strobe stripes and ES type specification.
  • September 1982 - ES and E models discontinued; range now consists of L and GL saloons and hatchbacks and L estate. Revisions: all models now have laminated windscreen. L models now have push-button radio.
  • August 1983 - With the introduction of the Nova four months earlier, the Chevette range was reduced to just the Chevette L 4-door Saloon and 3-door Estate.
  • January 1984 - Production of the Chevette L 4-door saloon and 3-door estate, the last available model, ends.

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