Tuesday, January 5, 2016

White Porpoise: 1992 Chevrolet Cavalier Wagon

In the recent decades of compact economy car history, a few names have been constant.  Volkswagen Golf, Honda Civic, & Toyota Corolla have all been in production for decades and with each new generation they get better, but somehow maintain a sense of history.  General Motors compact offering however, has seen a number of name changes in that same time period: Nova, Citation, Cavalier, Cobalt, Cruze. While VW/Honda/Toyota are building on decades of reputation, it would appear that GM wants the buyer to forget that miserable econobox they purchased a few years prior and step up into the new and improved econobox that is probably better, but equally forgettable in a few years.  Of course that doesn't mean that there isn't a butt for every seat, and you will find fanboys for any make/model, even the 2nd generation Cavalier has its following.  Find this 1992 Chevrolet Cavalier Wagon offered for $2,400 in Ft Myers, FL. Tip from Dascpcu.

The 1988-1994 Cavalier was built in epic numbers in coupe, convertible, sedan, and wagon versions -- and you will see the Z24 editions driving around, but I can't tell you the last time I saw a Cavalier wagon in the flesh, much less one this clean.

Under the hood is a transverse mounted  2.2 liter overhead valve inline-4 that pushes out 110 horsepower with the aid of multi-point fuel injection (new for '92).

The interior isn't something that will wow you with gadgets or vintage cool, but this one is much better than the examples I've seen in local junkyards.

See another white whale porpoise? tips@dailyturismo.com


  1. So, how is GM still in business after a prolonged run of this swill?

    1. Yeah, I'm torn on that front, because when I look around the domestic industry the bailed-out GM actually has several products I like and would buy, the Chrysler whose investors got shaken down in the Fiat sale has a couple, but Ford's got nothing. Okay, the Transit and, maybe, the hatchback Focus. But not much.

  2. I had the extreme misfortune of having one of these as the office car for my first real job back in 1998. It was only six years old by that point, but was still, by far, the worst vehicle I have ever driven. The engine droned like a wounded water buffalo. The doors creaked and slammed with a tinny, yet heavy crash. The rear portion of the center console was no longer connected to the floor and would bounce up and down over larger bumps.

    It was a truly miserable piece of junk and I wouldn't wish one on my worst enemy. I would not drive this car if they gave it to me for free and paid me the asking price.

  3. I have somewhat fond memories of the first Cavalier circa '82, it was an okay car, reasonably tight chassis (let down mostly by crappy tires) though nothing that'd keep you from buying a Corolla.

    If you want to know how bad the '80s were for GM (and no automaker has ever been so unredeemably awful for so long as GM was in the '80s) consider that this wagon is a '92 yet it's still the same basic sheetmetal they were pushing out a decade earlier.

  4. "...but I can't tell you the last time I saw a Cavalier wagon in the flesh" - and you could have kept it that way for the rest of us.

    I remember getting a Cavalier as my free loaner at the body shop. It had 20K miles on it, and the brakes were HORRENDOUS. Even at "Free", it was too expensive...

    1. How does a body shop get a Cavalier as a loaner? Car gets hit, repair quote comes back at 2x the nominal value of the car. Insurer declares it a total, customer walks away with a check, body shop gives the insurer scrap value and repairs it on shop time.


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