Thursday, September 25, 2014

3k: Nostalgic Already: Custom 1996 Chevy Cavalier

What's the distillation time between passe and relic? Are we there yet? Just when you thought all the speed-needy adolescents were all taking dirt naps with bits of chrome-gilded Chinese plastic lodged in their skulls, this Cavalier unearths itself with all the hallmarks of The Fast and The Furious customizing trend. It's spotlight-worthy for three reasons: No rust. Quality execution (in the way that Michael Bay has truly perfected the special effects explosion) and plenty of go to match the show kudos to a T3/T4 turbo and intercooler. Find this custom 1996 Chevy Cavalier in Rochester, NY for $3,200 via craigslist.

Did you know that a Nissan Maxima was driven by "Vince" in The Fast and The Furious? It wasn't all Civics and Eclipses back then. Domestic models weren't spared during the movement either, and body kits of all manners of unsightliness adorned GM W-bodies and Dodge Strati in popular magazines back in the day. Starting with a 1996 Cavalier increases your chances of awards in the sparsely attended Domestic Custom Sub-Compact category at car shows. Plus you get the torquey DOHC 2.4L four-cylinder, in this instance paired to a five-speed manual transmission

Just one look at the exterior and you see the gang's all here. Look at those 18" Motegi MR7s, the wheels that carried street-racing dreams of an entire generation. An aluminum spoiler, Z3-style fenders, a front end from a 2005 Pontiac Sunfire plus a Bomex bodykit all shellacked in an agreeable blue hue needlessly manipulate air around an otherwise smooth body before exiting aft of Altezza-style taillights. But the crown jewel is the roof scoop. A roof scoop. In 2014.

There's nothing wrong with this car besides needing an adjustment of its "dog poppers," a hilarious typo meant to say door poppers. The whole package evokes a simpler time when one would find a car on Car Domain, watch its exhaust clip on Street Fire, and share it on your buddy's MySpace page. It either induces a nostalgic response, or a gag reflex like a dog vomiting the excrement he just ate. At least it's cheap - and quick.

See a well-executed bygone trend? Email us at

PhiLOL actually likes the tuna here, but abhors structural rust. Save the manuals.


  1. yeah, meh - that series cavalier has, in my opinion, the very worst stock taillights ever - not the outside shape so much, but the shape you see when the light lights up - completely odd random pointy/bulbous shape - zero attention to detail - i'll see if i can find a photo...

    nah, none - maybe i'll take picture before they are all scrapped - or buy one at a pick-n-pull and stick a night light behind it

    i remember starting to notice this kind of thing years ago after reading an article (ny times?) about how much design work went into the then-new miata taillight, which really were something special at the time

  2. From the: "Shits dope, Nah mean brah!!!" School of Customization. I wonder if the 3.1/3.4 can still keep up.

  3. Sweet rig but it ain't no citation X-11.

  4. A car like that says a lot about the driver.

  5. My Dog pop's a load every day !


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