Friday, February 13, 2015

A true Hooptie if there ever was one; the Blue J

I was strolling along on the island of Manhattan recently when I did a double take. What was this frumpy beater doing in a tony neighborhood like this?
What we have here is a 1988-1990 Chevrolet Cavalier that somebody painted blue with a brush and some cheap house paint. Absolutely nothing about this car is remarkable except for its condition. You know by looking at it for 2 seconds that this beast knows the city well.
Painting within the lines is so hard! Tape is super handy for these sorts of things, but that's not for Cavalier Owner! Cavalier Owner does what he feels, which looks like a combination of spray paint and brush touch-ups. The foggy droplets built up inside that turn signal sum it up nicely. Somewhere along the line the seal broke on that light and now there's a tiny weather system inside.
Parked in front of a classic walk-up and next to a school this thing really harkens back to earlier days in NYC. I'm sure this block was sketchy at some point in the late '80s when this ride was new.
BLAMMO! Every time I see a proud dent like this one I picture the old Batman TV series with POW! animations backing up the fights. This thing's been knocked around big time.
There's a mysterious wound under the corner taillight. I'm guessing this car was rear ended hard enough to warrant a replacement bumper? Regardless the metal under the lens being pushed in like that had me scratching my head. Hard to tell any repairs because they matched the paint so well.
The damage on this little ride is comprehensive! No body panel is spared. From the angle of the back seat it looks like someone got in and ripped it open to gain access to the trunk at some point. 
The Cavalier was built on Chevys J platform, which included such forgotten flops as the Oldsmobile Firenza, Buick Skyhawk, and Pontiac Sunbird. Perhaps the most infamous of all the J cars was the Cadillac Cimarron which was basically a Cavalier with leather seats, different grill and taillights, and Caddy badges. The hit to Cadillacs reputation was almost fatal before they upped their game with the mildly better Catera and CTS. 
The lines aren't really terrible for an '80s Chevy. A friend of mine had a rare Cavalier that was actually pretty fun to drive; it was an earlier model with 4 square headlights, 4 doors, BROWN as can be, and best of all a 5 speed manual! Never saw another one since.
Oh man this one has the auto trans alright, sticking up out of a pile of garbage. Aftermarket cassette deck hanging out of the too-big opening is a nice touch. The seats are just nasty. I'm not usually in favor of hanging perfumed trees from the rearview but if this was my ride I'd plant a whole Vanillaroma forest. *I like that vent under the dash pointing directly at the drivers crotch though!
Aww, I feel kinda bad picking on lil' Cavvy with its sad eyes and assortment of random lights. 
How fitting that this bus was passing when it did, as Reliant Transportation is the reason you still climb into this blue Hooptie day after day. There's something to be said for a car that's evolved into something else that can be parked in even the worst neighborhood at night though. If you took this car and drove it up to Westchester you'd end up with a kite tail of cops just waiting for your license plate light to go out, but here in the Big City she's another able donkey. Keep on keeping' on Cavalier!

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