The Majestic Chevy Badged Suzuki Minicar

This website is dedicated to the the 1986 Chevy Sprint, a car that has stood up the the abuse of three decades and just keeps running. Although I no longer have this car, it continues to serve its owners with its same unyielding reliability that it showed me. The Sprint was sold in the real America by Chevrolet, but was really Suzuki made Cultus that was re-badged. Suzuki did a wonderful job designing this car to be reliable, economical, and functional. This design would continue on as the Geo Metro, Pontiac Firefly, and the Suzuki Swift. The Sprint, although spartan, is a car that is adequate for most of tasks that daily use through at it. The sprints high fuel economy comes at the expense of power and weight, and is little more than a 4 wheel motorcycle with an enclosed passenger compartment. This cars reliability also comes from its simplistic design since there are very few things to go wrong on it. Every once in a while it will need a carburetor rebuild, but besides that, its just regular maintenance.

Considering all the abuse that this car has sustained over the years, its amazing that its still running. So far its 5 figure odometer has rolled over twice. My 2 brothers and I have all learned how to drive a manual transmission on this car, and there is only a slight tendency for it to fall out of first gear. Its been used for off-roading, hauling, drag-racing, and road trips. Its never been garaged, and has sustained substantial UV damage. Once the rear window latches broke, it also got water damage. A bag of grass seed in the back at the time started growing around the spare tire. The carpet became fungus and had to be ripped out. Life has not been kind to the sprint.

The paint on the Sprint sucks. Sun damage was evident after the first ten year. After twenty years of sun it got its first or many rattle can repaints. First it was painted with textured granite paint, and then shortly after covered up with silver. The silver was too bright to look at, and was repainted black with a purple bottom. After being relegated to ranch duty hauling stuff around a farm, it was painted metallic blue with racing stripes. There are talks of repainting it Caterpillar yellow since they have a lot of that sitting around on the ranch.

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Unfortunately the days are numbered for the sprint. Truth is that at this point, its just not worth it to fix the car if something major goes out on it. There are also so many little things that are falling apart with age, like the inside plastics, foam seats, and rubber weather stripping. With California's ever rising vehicle registrations fees, the price to register the car is probably more than the value of the Sprint. At current diterioration rates, I wouldn't be surprised if by 2012, the car is inoperable. But there is Hope.

There is talk that Suzuki will bring the new Swift to the USA for the 2011 model year. Although it won't have the same fuel efficiency as the old Sprint, it would get about 35mpg with 120hp and have all the modern safety features. Or you can do what I did and get a Suzuki SX4. So if your interested in a old sprint, you might be better off looking at a new Suzuki. Then enjoy it for the next 24 years

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