1978 Vauxhall Chevette GL 1.3 from UK and Ireland


A relic from the past best forgotten about


Gearbox failed after 10000 miles.

Head gasket failed after 40000 miles.

Water pump failed.

Two alternators failed.

Distributor failed (broken wire)

Front footwells rusted through.

Intermittent failure of all lights.

Shock absorbers worn out.

General Comments:

Car was purchased brand new and owned for 18 years!

Poor performance from the old Viva based OHV engine, but very simple mechanically and no electronics at all.

Car is as complicated as a knife and fork ie: very basic.

Surprisingly good suspension design and handling from rear wheel drive, but tricky on ice and snow.

HS and HSR rally versions look interesting, but rare.

Hatchback version can just about accommodate 4 adults or small loads.

Has servo assisted brakes, but forget things like power steering and ABS.

This is a primitive car by modern standards.

Rots quickly once rust has set in and build quality did not really exist with Vauxhalls in 1978!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd January, 2006

14th Jul 2008, 22:54

If the car was so bad, why keep it for 18 years? Shocks generally won't last for that length of time. Old cars aren't as sophisticated as modern cars, thanks for that pearl of wisdom!

20th Aug 2008, 13:16

My 1st car was a 1978 Chevette, and looking back it was great. It was a GL with tartan seats with 88000 miles. I give £50 for it, covered 10,000 miles in 6 months (the horse shoe wire on the points came off on a dark night without me having a torch!). This was the only let down, and once I got a torch it was simply fixed!

I weighed it in for scrap for £45 in 1994 after purchasing a Nova, but was very sad to see it go. It was still tested and I would say it had lots of life left.