For $2,495, This 1989 Chevy Cavalier Could Have Quite The Attitude

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Have you ever tried to kill a Chevy Cavalier? It’s a damn-near impossible task, akin to getting rid of herpes. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Z-24 may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for a certain audience, these are d’bomb. Let’s help out that certain audience with this one’s price.

Invisible cars—they are the scourge of both highway safety and our own personal aesthetic appreciation. Still, they exist—cars like yesterday’s 2006 Jeep Commander Limited that seem to blend into any background until you don’t even notice they are there until it’s too late. Plainly noticeable was the price tag on that particular Commander, which was high for the market, and way-high for around here, earning the truck a 77% Crack Pipe loss.


Of course, now you don’t have to think about it ever again. Instead, let’s think about this 1989 Chevy Cavalier Z-24 convertible. If any car ever said an ashtray full of stems and seeds, it was this car. It’s like Friday Night Lights in car-form. And the best thing of it is, you can’t hardly kill these things no matter how hard you try.

Were the GM J-cars any good? Well, yeah, if you wanted to get places without a lot of drama and with a little middle-American panache. Were they great? Oh hell no.


Still, this red and silver over grey mouse fur soft top is like a siren song of warm, cuddly mediocrity that you know is likely to get the job done and let you get a tan while you’re at it.

The J-body was once one of the most ubiquitous of GM’s car lines. Every U.S. division save for GMC had one, and its reach extended to Asia, South America, and Europe as well. As common as they once were, what you mostly see left now are the Cavaliers. That’s because they were originally built in greater numbers than any of their other platform mates. Attrition and all that, you know.


This ’89 Cav convertible rocks but 80K on the clock. It also seems to be pretty much intact, including those wonderfully weird square peg in a round hole alloy wheels.


It’s a Z-24 too, the body kit of which consists of lower body cladding that encircles the car, giving it a bit of a sporty look. That’s offset a bit by the trunk lid-mounted luggage rack that screams Weekend at Bernies and popped collars.


Inside, there’s room for four close friends in seats that looks as soft as a mother’s kiss and as grey as a grandma’s wig. This being a car that hails from the ‘80s don’t expect anything much in the way of a toys department inside, although it does look to have power windows and top.

The mechanicals are equally simplistic. Powering the car is Chevy’s tried and true 2.8-litre, 130-bhp pushrod V6, and feeding that is an inside out air cleaner that’s quite the conversation starter. Transmission duties are handled by a three-speed automatic gearbox and... zzzzzz.


Oops, sorry. Still, you take this car to any Pep Boys for service and they won’t get all wide-eyed in terror at the thought of touching it—it’s just that simple.


What’s bad here? Well, the clear coat is peeling off on most of the horizontal surfaces like dogs have been peeing on it for months. That sucks as it either requires you to get a reshoot, or start describing it as the world’s worst “rat rod.” Another issue is the plastic rear window which is more of a privacy curtain at this point.

Other than that it has “cold A/C” and is said to “run and drive great.” What high schooler wouldn’t want to have this parked in their driveway come Christmas morning? That’s pretty much the audience, right? Some kid who needs cheap wheels but wants something a little less soul crushing than a dented Kia Rio or similarly flawed Toyota Echo? Enough time has passed that even you or I could drive this Cavalier, ironically at least.


The price to do so is $2,495, and it’s now your duty too vote on whether or not someone should plunk down that much in order to do so. What do you think, is $2,495 worth a shot? Or, is this Chevy just too Cavalier?

You decide!


Lexington KY Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to matthewp for the hookup!

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

Share This Story

About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.