I have a 1991 Cavalier V.L. automatic, and other than the dash, when I received the car, it was in perfect condition. I have put the car beyond the thoughts of GM when they designed it, and the car is still running. The only downfall is that there aren't a whole lot of things that I can do performance wise to it.
3000$ for a 10 year old Cavalier is a ridiculous price. In 2001 there black book value (in Canada at least) was of approx.800$-2200$.
They really have to be your favorite car to put up with things like that.
I have owned 3 cavaliers, my first one was an RS, and I blew the tranny and motor, and windshield wipers stopped working.
The second was a 94 Z24 that was totaled in Maine, then shipped up to the states for parts. Instead they fixed it up and sold it to me. Went to get it registered and they said I couldn't cause it was smashed in the states. Well whoever restored that car did a damn good job cause you could not tell it was in an accident and the car was in MINT condition. The damn flooring and seats were still a fresh gray just like new, and not even 150 kms on it.
My next Cavalier was another Z24; brakes went the day after I bought it, fuel pump went, the power steering leaks in several spots, but now fixed so it's basically whoever buys the car brand new I suppose decides on the life span. How they drive it, and how they treat it; by the time it gets to you it's crap or it was well maintained.
I have a 1991 two door RS. The outside is great. There is a little bit of rust, but the guy I bought it from had it painted, and the company that painted it did a horrible job.
I'm getting ready to put neon lights, a racing steering wheel and a Kenwood AM/FM stereo cassette player with a 10 disk CD changer in it, as well as a 600 watt amp to back up two 12" subs and two 4"x9"s. All of the accessories, I have gotten from friends in the past 3 years, and for free. The car, I got running for $400.
It happens to be my 3rd car. The previous two cars were an 83 Chevy S10 and a 2001 Ford Focus. I love my Cavalier and I love Chevy.