1986 Chevrolet Cavalier CS Sedan

Swift, what Normal Motors platform stayed in creation for practically a quarter-century, on five continents? No, not the rear-wheel-travel T-Physique (most effective-recognized right here as the basis for the Chevette), simply because those people autos have been built for extra than a third of a century. We are speaking about the incredibly productive J-System, which built its debut for the 1981 model calendar year and trapped all-around until finally the pretty past Chevy Cavaliers and Pontiac Sunfires rolled off the lines in Lordstown and Ramos Arizpe. The ideal-acknowledged of all the Js was the Cavalier, of system (the two the American variation as nicely as the British a single), and the initially-generation 1981-1987 model was a gigantic revenue hit for The General. Even with just about two million first-gen Chevy Cavaliers bought, I locate these vehicles virtually nonexistent in junkyards these days. Here is 1 of the few that managed to endure properly into our current century, observed in a yard in northeastern Colorado final month.

The leading-of-the-line Cavalier for 1986 was the sporty Z24, nevertheless the RS convertible was the most expensive. The CS trim degree was just a single tiny step higher than the wretched foundation Cavalier (revenue of which went mainly to fleet buyers), and the CS sedan value $7,350 vs . the base sedan’s $7,047 price (that’s about $18,640 and $17,870 in 2021 bones, or clams).

Provided the super-low cost first sale rate and subsequent fast depreciation of this pretty reasonably priced compact, it is really extraordinary that its entrepreneurs held onto it for so lengthy with all the rust.

Only two engines have been out there in this car or truck: the foundation 2.-liter four-cylinder (rated at 85 horsepower) and a 2.8-liter V6 with 120 horses. Considering that the V6— which was regular equipment in the $9,068 Z24— included 610 clams to the price tag of a Cavalier CS (which is about 1,545 bones now), you would not discover quite a few of these cars with the excess 35 horsepower. 

The base transmission in the ’86 Cavalier was a 4-on-the-ground guide, but just about just about every Cavalier shopper who wanted a a few-pedal setup opted to shell out the further $75 ($190 now) for the five-pace. Even so, most American auto buyers during the middle 1980s needed automatics, just as they do now, and so most of these vehicles have the three-velocity automatic you see below. That expense an additional $465, which arrives to about $1,180 immediately after inflation.

The Cavalier was never ever magnificent, but it was affordable and it acquired the job carried out.

It can be been a occupied afternoon. It really is been a lazy afternoon. And everything’s awesome.

Drink Pepsi, gain an ’86 Cavalier!

You feel Gorbachev could give vehicles like this to the Soviet people today?