Retro Review - 1/25 MPC '77 Chevette

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I think their simplicity is also appealing, but you're right in that they are definitely and entry level car, devoid of almost all creature comforts and luxury options...which is probably why they got 40 mpg.

Like my '82 Scooter, which had no glovebox door, a single-speaker AM radio, and those oh-so-plush cardboard inner door panels with the paper-thin thermoformed vinyl covers. Nothing quite says 'You're poor' like large expanses of visible, body-color steel inside the car, broken up only by a sea of chintzy vinyl upholstery. B)

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Posted · Report post

Like my '82 Scooter, which had no glovebox door, a single-speaker AM radio, and those oh-so-plush cardboard inner door panels with the paper-thin thermoformed vinyl covers. Nothing quite says 'You're poor' like large expanses of visible, body-color steel inside the car, broken up only by a sea of chintzy vinyl upholstery. B)

The only thing worse that what you described above Chuck is that same car with an automatic transmission, talk about slow as molasses ! A good friend of mine had one with the A/T and while he got great mileage, he had to leave 15 minutes earlier than I did just to get somewhere at the same time as me! :P

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My Dad bought a '77 Chevette 'Sandpiper' back in July of '77!!!

Being from Johnstown PA, we had the third of three great floods that July. After the waters subsided, insurance companies had HUGE lots of cars for sale that were in various conditions. This Chevette had just been sold a day or two before the flood, and had 89 miles on it! Not a scratch on it, but was in water almost up to the dash. :( Still had the window sticker on it, I think he paid $1400 for it. Took it home, gutted the interior and scrubbed & disinfected all of the upholstery and carpet (pale yellow!!!) Changed the pitted torque converter while running a dehimidifier inside it for a week 24/7!

Ran like a top & was a faithful family car that we used well into the 90s (never even ran it in snow!). I wish my Dad wouldn't have sold it, always wanted to build a ProStreeter out of it, sandpiper graphics and all! ;)

I was 10 years old that summer, couldn't find a '77 kit, so I settled for the '78 (only the grilles were a bit different). Still have it unbuilt in my stash :)

Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

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Posted · Report post

Love the chevettes, i have one of these i built many years ago, and iam still missing the headlights, anybody have any. My friend had a chevette, the one with the chrome grill that he drove to school, it had a v8 in it.

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The only thing worse that what you described above Chuck is that same car with an automatic transmission, talk about slow as molasses ! A good friend of mine had one with the A/T and while he got great mileage, he had to leave 15 minutes earlier than I did just to get somewhere at the same time as me! :P

Mine at least had the four-speed. Remember the one you had to push down on the lever to get into reverse, otherwise you'd inadvertently shift it into 3rd (if I recall correctly)? Yep, THAT one.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

when i started reading this thread, i thought, oh man, not ANOTHER girlie man car! i mean a gremlin, two gremlins and now a CHEVETTE!!! your mom used to drive one and if anyone with ANY ambition to move on up in car circles ever showed up in one of these we used to throw rocks at them to chase them and their little car out of here. what is getting into these model companies heads releasing this pap!

but then i looked a bit further and this actually looks pretty kool what with the rally version and the tent and diorama stuff...not bad at all!

so even that funny 70s econo-can junk can have some appeal in retrospect i guess!

edit: oops sorry...i should have read further, this is not a current reissue, right?

also that part about cars being in floods; many of those cars were brought to california by, im sure among others, Cal Worthington who then filled his lots with them and sold them to unsuspecting buyers. they pretty much all were total junk because though they had cleaned the interior and washed out all the obvious dirt, the silt from the mississippi or whatever river it was had permeated right down into every crack and crevice up to water line. and everywhere then stated to rust from the inside out from the water trapped in all the silt. the biggest problem though was that all the microscopic sized silt got into wiring harnesses and add that to the electronics being flooded once meant the cars electronics and electrics were never right. a real mess and Cal got sued big time when the came to light. quite possibly could have been some Chevettes in there too!

end edit

Edited by jbwelda

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Posted · Report post

Say what you will, the Chevette was a marked improvement over the Vega/Monza.

Okay, granted, that's not saying a great deal, but still....

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i actually thought the vega was a very kool looking design...that motor and its overall unrepentent cheapness killed it though. if they had put a V8 or even a halfway peppy V6 in it it would have been a success in my book

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The Vega did at least look cool- I'll give it that. But from what I hear, the quality was laughable at best.

My mother's first car was a brand-new '71 Vega. Within a year, it was beginning to rust along the rockers and rear quarters- and I don't mean surface rust, I mean actual holes were forming in the metal, and it was about to lunch on its third head gasket. Her father, who worked for GM, always made sure that it got fixed. But the last time he picked it up to be dropped off for repair (when that third head gasket was about to go), the Vega mysteriously disappeared and he brought her back a new Nova, which gave her several years of trouble-free service.

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I just bought a 78 Chevette kit. I liked that Sandpiper graphic so much I have been on the lookout for a decently priced one. I will be building the Sandpiper edition, complete with the color coordinated seat belts! If not for this review, I would have had only 276 other projects lines up!

The Sandpiper will be second in line though, so hopefully early 2013 sometime.

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I just bought a 78 Chevette kit. I liked that Sandpiper graphic so much I have been on the lookout for a decently priced one. I will be building the Sandpiper edition, complete with the color coordinated seat belts! If not for this review, I would have had only 276 other projects lines up!

The Sandpiper will be second in line though, so hopefully early 2013 sometime.

Are you making the decals yourself? I wouldn't mind chipping in on a set for myself if so. We might be able to find two other people who'd be interested, too. :D

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Posted · Report post

Is this kit comming back out? as in re released???

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I just bought a 78 Chevette kit. I liked that Sandpiper graphic so much I have been on the lookout for a decently priced one. I will be building the Sandpiper edition, complete with the color coordinated seat belts! If not for this review, I would have had only 276 other projects lines up!

The Sandpiper will be second in line though, so hopefully early 2013 sometime.

Erik, I believe the 1:1 Sandpiper trim package was only available on the '77 model, but the '78 kit grilles are easily converted.

Are you making the decals yourself? I wouldn't mind chipping in on a set for myself if so. We might be able to find two other people who'd be interested, too. :D

As much as I hate to admit this...yes, I'd be interested in a set of Chevette Sandpiper decals! :blink:

Edited by jeffs396

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Posted · Report post

MPC did '78 and '79 Chevette kits and promos with the "flatter" nose, but I don't think they did an '80+ with the wraparound tailights.

The '78 kit has the same basic hood as the '77 but the chrome grille inserts are different. The '79 kit "Bear Bait" has the later grille with rectangular headlights and a revised hood. That was the end of the line for MPC Chevettes. You're right, they never got around to adding the wrap-around taillights.

MPC's '77 Chevette was among my first glue kits, and I've got one stashed away to build one of these days.

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Posted · Report post

Is this kit comming back out? as in re released???

No.

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Thanks,Casey. i THOUGHT i had read it right, RETRO . Would be nice to see back again anyhow.

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Posted · Report post

Gotta love those old 'Vettes.... :)

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Are you making the decals yourself? I wouldn't mind chipping in on a set for myself if so. We might be able to find two other people who'd be interested, too. :D

That's my plan Casey. I can just add some extras onto the decal sheet and supply a few.

Yes, Sandpiper was 77 only, but as stated above, not much difference - and it's not easy finding these darn kits!

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Posted · Report post

This one is on ebay right now, dont know year it is

chevette-1.jpg

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Posted (edited) · Report post

This one is on ebay right now, dont know year it is

chevette-1.jpg

79 or 80. Different grill and headlight set up.

Look close at the box - regular price, $4.99. On clearance, $1.99!

Edited by Erik Smith

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Posted · Report post

My wife drove one when I first met here and It was okay for getting around town, but nothing more than that. I did have the model kit at one time but don't remember if I ever built it.

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My wife drove one when I first met here and It was okay for getting around town, but nothing more than that.

My brothers ex wife moved to West Virgina (we live in central Indiana) and he drove his Chevette there every other weekend to see his son, and did it for years.

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Posted · Report post

We had an 82 4dr. 4speed.

Drove it to Pittsburgh Pa a couple times

My mom got pulled over for speeding on I-70 coming home once too!!

Last NEW car we have bought.

the 2 cars since were both used. 86 Reliant, & current driver 91 Dynasty

I would love to get one of those Chevette kits!!

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This one is on ebay right now, dont know year it is

chevette-1.jpg

That's the 1979 annual called "Bear Bait" and it was the last Chevette kit that MPC Issued. It had extra custom parts that are unique to that issue. The only other Chevette kits were the 1977 and '78 annuals. There were promos all three years too.

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I came out of a situation of being homeless and I bought a Chevette for $25. Got a job delivering Pizzas and never looked back. The car was cheap and I hammered the poor strut towers to smitherines. Put muffler strap over the top of them to keep them from coming through the hood. My next car was a screaming V8 powered 76 Hornet X hatch.

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