HomeCar CultureMy Classic Car: 1983 Chevrolet Cavalier

My Classic Car: 1983 Chevrolet Cavalier

And an off-frame restoration of a Chevrolet 210


From all of us at The ClassicCars.com Journal, we wish you a happy Father’s Day. Today’s reader story is from a father who bought a car to teach his kids to drive and ended up getting much more out of it! Do you have a classic car with a story to share? Visit this link and fill in the information to submit your story for a chance to be featured on the ClassicCars.com Journal.

I bought this 1983 Chevrolet Cavalier from my brother-in-law to teach my kids how to drive. It was an insurance adjuster vehicle and only 32,000 miles on it. I told my daughter if she learned how to shift (as it had a four-speed) she could drive it to school. We lived on a farm, so I took her out on a hay field and showed her the basics on shifting. After our quick lesson, I told her if she drove back to house, she could drive to school the next day.

Several hours later, she came driving it up the lane. She drove it for two years back and forth, and eventually took her younger brother with her. When he was old enough to drive, she taught him to drive the car. The next two years he drove the car while his sister went to college.

After graduation, I put the car in the garage and it set for several years. Then I bought a 1957 Chevrolet 210 with no motor or transmission. I started a complete off-frame restoration. As anyone can tell you, doing an off-frame restoration is costly and time consuming.

The restored 210

While doing the restoration, my wife and I started to drive the Cavalier to classic car shows in our state and nearby. We get such a rush as people come up and say, “Is this a Cavalier?” They cannot believe how great it looks.

We have won awards with it, and as many car shows as we’ve been to we haven’t seen another Cavalier like ours. It is not valuable, but it brings a lot of smiles and memories.
Yes, we are proud owners of a classic car no one wanted.

Jim H., Ohio

A bonus image of the restored 210 also winning awards. Congrats, Jim!


  1. What a heartwarming story! 😢 I’m retired living on the beach in Hua Hin Thailand & dream of the days my 5 sons & me did VERY extensive renovations to low priced classic cars 🚙
    Had to sell the 3 classic cars the boys restored when we sold our farm, I can still see the sitting in the barn

  2. It Looks like she did a good restoration jobץ
    Even if the cavalier is no valuable, it doesn’t matter. It is important to love what you do and especially if you have sentiments to the car. The value is not always important.

  3. Great story! I have owned several Cavaliers and they were the toughest cars ever! My first one was a 1996. I bought it as a salvage vehicle in 1996. It only had 2,000 miles on it and had been repaired from a serious accident. I drove that car for over 10 years and it had over 353,000 miles on it It never gave me a problem all the while I owned it. It was used every day for my work and I decided to replace it with another one. They all provided over 200,000 miles and were GREAT cars. I guess that’s why Chevy doesn’t make them anymore?


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