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Faust

The winner! 1979 Chevette Out of Box!

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For the past week, I have been running a poll on my website, The Sprue Lagoon about which loser car I should build next. The winner, somewhat surprisingly, was the 1979 "Bear Bait" Chevette http://adamrehorn.wordpress.com/model-kits/out-of-box-reviews/mpc-125-1979-chevette-bear-bait'>http://adamrehorn.wordpress.com/model-kits/out-of-box-reviews/mpc-125-1979-chevette-bear-bait.

So, to celebrate, I decided to post a first, “out of box” look at the little monster! The “Bear Bait” treatment is so over the top that I could hardly contain myself when I got it. I really haven’t been that excited since I got my Pacer, or my Monza.

Check it out and get ready for an econoboxing good time! Just as a note, I think this particular kit is actually a Chevette Scooter, since it has no bumper rub strips. If that turns out to be true, you can kiss the chrome goodbye, and say hello to plain old silver paint! ROCK ON!

As you can tell, I’m pretty pumped about this one. It’s going to be a fun build, I think!

chevette-oob-001.jpg?w=640

Edited by Faust

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Don't remember that kit at all. This should be good.

Mark

Edited by the goon

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Yeah, I'd never seen it before either, before I picked it up really cheap (I think) at a toy show a couple of weeks ago!

It is going to be awesome, and awesomely stock!

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Cool! I was voting for the Chevette! Use that eBay auction for the 2,000 mile car for reference. It has over 100 pictures!

I have both the later Bear Bait and the earlier 1978 era Chevette kits. The older one is a paintless old built up that I'd love to build as my sister in law's old car. Bright puke green!

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I'm torn between the yellow one on ebay and a nice beige Scooter I also found pictures of. I think I'll do the beige, but the ebay yellow one is perfect for reference!

Imagine how weak, small and econo I can make a car look. Right, that's what's going to happen here!

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The only thing wrong with following the one on eBay is that it has air conditioning, thus a ton of extra plumbing under the hood. The very essence of a Chevette is rolling down the windows, no a/c!

With the two I have, I will do my early version as my sister in law's bright green 1977 bugger. I will have to trade out the transmission (kit has automatic, her's had a clutch). The later model I'm thinking a white light commercial theme of a pharmacy delivery car. Yea, that's the kind of car they used in the day!

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We had an 80 4 door Chevette for years. Drove the wheels off it (and 2 transmissions). Drove surprising well considering it was a egg beater on wheels. Interesting project.

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Alright! Woo hoo! I can't wait. Been hoping for this from day one. Oh, incidentally, my dad's 77 (I had been thinking 76 for some reason) had chrome bumpers without rubber. But it wasn't a Scooter even though it was stripped down. However, his was the older front end with round headlights. My moms was an 84 and hers had this front end and wrap around tail lights. This kit must of been a transitional period between the two styles.

Edited by Skydime

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See Skydime! Wishes do come true! :)

the 1979 is indeed a transition between the earlier round headlights and the later ones with the wrap-around. The front end didn't change a lot from '79 forward, but the back did in either 80 or 81, I think.

They tried, I think, to make the car better equipped and more "value for the money" to combat Honda Civics and the like by making rubstrips standard in '79, except on Scooters, if I recall. I have to double check though.

Hope I do the kit proud!

Don't forget to click on the link in my first post to get a taste of what's coming, either! I've got a full Out of Box review up, and I'll be starting the kit in a few days!

Edited by Faust

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Hi Adam,

The Chevette Scooter never had chrome bumpers, that was part of the idea of the Scooter model it was meant to be one of the cheapest cars you could buy, they only came with painted bumpers. I'm pretty sure the bumpers were done silver. I'm racking my brain trying to think exactly what came on the Scoot I can assure you it wasn't very many options. 5 Speed was standard, Radio was a option, I think even the cigarette lighter was a option. They had rubber mats in them instead of carpeting. I think they had painted grill and head light bezels too.

But I do remember the bumpers they were so cheap looking the car kinda reminded me of a Hugo. Oop's that's a low blow ! If my memory serves me right I think they were in the area of $2700 - $3100.00 brand new. I sold in a pretty big Chevy store and I can remember we only had 1 or 2 of them in stock. compared to 12 to 15 regular Chevette's in stock.

I would think that there's a website on line that would have the RPO's,and packages that were available on the Chevette, Monza as well as the rest of the GM lineup. Maybe not they might have dumped all of that info.

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Looking forward to this. Wish they would reissue the 77, I owned a 76 and a 77.

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I'd like to see you build it with the fender flares and ground effects. I mean if you're going to go 70's, you should go FULL 70's.

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I managed to find the Chevette brochure for 79 online this morning, but I haven't had a chance to look through it all yet. I think it will likely tell me the story I need. The Scooters weren't a big seller, eh? Not a surprise. I mean, that's BASIC basic transport!

I wish the kit had the rubstrips, because really, the car's not that bad looking and it would be nice to do it a bit dressy. Still, the wheels it comes with are also pretty low-end looking hubcaps, so it must be fate!

I'm sorry to disappoint you, Jantrix, but I've got to do this one stock. I have a rule; If I have two loser cars that are the same (like my two Omni 024s) then I will do one of them custom. However, I have to do the Chevette stock, since I only have one. I want to build a collection of what people actually drove while I was growing up! People did of course customize the little Chebbys, but I remember a lot of plain-jane beaters, too. It will go well with my Honda Civic and Cavalier, if it makes you feel any better. I do agree though that the custom setup is awesome. One day, when I get a second one, I promise I'll customize it all up!

Any pics of the interior (especially in beige) would help me a tonne!

Thanks, guys!

Power to the Chevette Nation!

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The Scooters weren't a big seller, eh? Not a surprise. I mean, that's BASIC basic transport!

The Scooter was the car that dealers could advertise cheaply, then sell the buyers up to better equipt models. I'm sure they sold some, my Uncle Dan was famous for buying the cheapest car he could. And I remember at least one brochure photo showing one as a delivery car. Businesses would buy those Scooters.

Ron Hamilton sold Chevys in this era and once told a group of us a hillarious story about a certain bare bones fleet ordered Chevette they had at his dealership. Maybe he'll show up and retell the story!

Edited by Tom Geiger

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Any pics of the interior (especially in beige) would help me a tonne!

It isn't beige, but it is a Scooter model. It's an '82 model, but as far as I know the interior changed little, if at all, between '78 and the end of the run in '87. Not sure about earlier models. I'll see if I can get the pics up, I'll try to do it as soon as I can.

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Not a 100% sure, but I think the Scooter may not of had a back seat or glove box door. It was called a "heater and a key" model.

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This one is right up my alley. The very first car I sold as a salesman was a "Loaded" 1978 Chevette 4 Door Sedan, in light blue metallic. I also sold about 100 of them to the telephone company, as well as to other fleets. I have a Blue '78 promo, and if I had another one, I would convert it to a 4-door, like the one I sold.

The rear seat was an option on the scooter, but it was pretty bare. The reason why there were not many Scooters, is that the price differential was very modest when you put an automatic transmission and a rear seat in the Scooter, and GM did not make many of them, as they were price leaders without a lot of profit margin for the dealer, or the corporation. The trade in on a Scooter was not too good either, as it was the cheapest real car you could buy. Some folks malign the car, but other than the rough ride, yes I had one for a demo, they were pretty tough, economical cars. They held up very well for the phone company.

One time I ordered one for one of the local school boards in School Bus Yellow, with a Black interior. The paint color was a special fleet color. GM mistakingly painted the car Fire Engine Lime Yellow, and tried to get us to sell the car to our customer with a factory authorized re-paint. The customer refused the car, and GM gave us an additional $1000 to take the car, since it was their mistake. They sent the school board a car in the correct color in 3-weeks, with an apology to us for the hassle. We left the car as it was, advertised the car for a ridiculous price, and put it on our showroom. It sold in two days. The fellow who bought it said he did not care about the color, and drove off into the sunset with his "Lime Chevette". He got a wonderful deal, all things considered.

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That's an awesome story about the Lime Chevette! I love to hear stories like this "from the inside", since not a lot of people really recall glory days of selling Chevettes, Citations and the like.

I had heard that you could even get carpet in a Scooter, as an option. Is that true? If so, why would you bother getting a Scooter at all? I guess that DOES explain the rarity. Growing, my brother's best friend's dad had an '84 (I think) Scooter in dark blue. It was pretty basic, but it served on well for a long, long time.

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The '82 Scooter I had not only had a back seat, but yes, it did have carpet... AND and AM single-speaker radio! No glove box door, though...

These were the only pics I have of the interior- as you can see, lots of black vinyl, cardboard door panels, and lots of body-color steel visible throughout!

1-vi.jpg

3-vi.jpg

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Amazing that the glove box door was an option. What does one really cost? And what use is the glove box without one?

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Yeah, I had a new car without a glove box door, but the kicker was a rubber bladder on the floor that you had to "pump" with yourleft foot to wash the windshield. Bought the car based on the color. A beautiful Rose color. 1.6-4 4spd. European Ford Fiesta. We loved that car so much we upgraded to a Biege/choc. fully loaded top of the line GT? maybe ST?. What a wonderful little car that was 40mpg. Had to sell it when we moved to VT in 89. Next to my 73 Trans-Am Super-Duty 455., one of the "cars that got away"

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The '82 Scooter I had not only had a back seat, but yes, it did have carpet... AND and AM single-speaker radio! No glove box door, though...

These were the only pics I have of the interior- as you can see, lots of black vinyl, cardboard door panels, and lots of body-color steel visible throughout!

1-vi.jpg

3-vi.jpg

That blue sure does bring back memories of my mom's! Chuck, what in the world is in the floor? Looks like a bag of trail mix exploded. :blink::lol:

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I think I have seen only about two built versions of this kit. I have the older version, but want to see what you do with yours. Keep us posted.

Mike

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