Billed as Chevrolet's first "world car," the Chevette was a reworked Opel Kadett from General Motors in Germany. With highway mileage estimated at 40 miles per gallon, the Chevette was the most fuel-efficient Chevy. It was 17 inches shorter and, at just under one ton, 600 pounds lighter than the Vega, previously the smallest car in the Chevy lineup. Although it was the lowliest of the Chevrolets, the Chevette contained several firsts for the division. It was Chevrolet's first all-metric-measurement car and the first to put lights, turn signals, flash/pass signals, and wiper and washer controls into a stalk on the steering column. Chevrolet had hoped to sell 250,000 Chevettes in 1976 by taking away sales from the Datsun B210, Toyota Corolla and VW Rabbit. Only 187,817 sold, but it was still one of the biggest-selling Chevrolets of the year.

THE SPECS

Price $3,098

Engine 80-cubic-inch overhead-cam four-cylinder

Horsepower 52 at 5,200 rpm

Wheelbase 94.3 inches

Overall length 158.7 inches

Seating capacity 4

HISTORICAL FACTS

Year 1976

President Gerald R. Ford

Median family income $14,958

Dow Jones industrial average (year-end) 1004.65

Academy Award movie "Rocky"

Milestone McDonald's introduces Egg McMuffin