For $11,500, Grab A Not So Grand National Cavalier

Illustration for article titled For $11,500, Grab A Not So Grand National Cavalier

Starbucks has a shitload of sizes for your caffeinated consumption, including Short, Tall and Venti. Slotted between those last two is Grande, and that could be the size of the engine in today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Cavalier. But is its price sufficiently demitasse?


Mon Dieu! Canada has a lot to answer for, and apparently that includes yesterday's Fauxrrari Fiero. Sporting awkward lines and an equally cumbersome price, that Canuck caricature added a very authentic 93% Crack pipe loss to its certificate of appraisal.

There are copies, and then there are homages, and today's 1987 Chevrolet Cavalier Z 24 represents one of the latter. Of course it's cross-brand and with the engine driving the wrong end, but still, stay with me here. The J-bird Cavalier never offered a compelling, much less limited production, performance model in the way that Buick did with the Regal based Grand National and GNX. In fact, the most potent engine made available in the first gen Cav was Chevy's 125-horse 2.8-litre V6. One hundred and twenty five horses out of nearly three litres! Oh what a time the eighties were.

Illustration for article titled For $11,500, Grab A Not So Grand National Cavalier

This Z-24 has had its 2.8 ripped out out by its short and curlies and in its place has been plunked an L67 - nominally a Buick motor, but one that was used in the FWD Monte Carlo. That engine is a mixture of old- and new-school, being part of a family that can trace its lineage back for decades, but featuring such modernities as port injection, distributorless ignition and an Eaton M90 sitting in its Vee. All together that made 240-bhp and 280 lb-ft of torque steer back in the day, and here it's backed up by that thing you all love the most - boobies! a manual gearbox.

Illustration for article titled For $11,500, Grab A Not So Grand National Cavalier

That Muncie/Getrag box was designed for GM, and was used in tons of applications so parts availability shouldn't be a problem if/when the supercharged V6 lunches it. The ad claims the suspension has also seen upgrades, albeit not as substantial as those under the hood, but the updated 5-spoke brushed alloy wheels are nicely subdued.

On the outside, those wheels offset a paint job blacker than the inside of a well digger's ass, as well as subtle aero aids front and rear. That all conspires to make the car look — in the seller's mind at least — like it's a mini Grand National. Squint hard and maybe you'll see it too. Regardless of whether he thinks it looks like a red hot chili Buick or just a judiciously jumped up J-car, it really doesn't matter, it's still a pretty cool Cavalier.


Of course, it's now up to you to make up your mind as to whether this L67-sporting Z-24 is worth his asking price of $11,500. That's a lot of cheddar, even if the mods made here are in no way cheesy. What do you think, should this custom Chevy get the nod? Or, does that price make it impossible to cop a Cavalier attitude?

You decide!


Minneapolis Craigslist or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Isaac Graff for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your commenter handle.


Rob Emslie

Wow, somebody's offering up the Cavalier haterade in Big Gulp size with free refills today. I fully expected this car, if not its price, to be completely embraced, but the thing of it is, it seems y'all can't stomach Cavaliers.

So here's a question; is there a J-body in existance, of which you are aware, that might be worth this car's asking price?