Chevy produced the Spectrum from 1985 to 1988. It was another compact car Chevrolet rebadged to sell as its own. The famed Italian designer, Giorgetto Guigiaro, designed the Spectrum, which was, in fact, an Isuzu Gemini.
Under the hood was a 1.5-liter four cylinder with 70 HP or the turbocharged version of the same engine with 111 HP. The later engine brought some performance to the otherwise ordinary Spectrum. After it Chevy discontinued it, the Spectrum appeared as the Geo. It was another lost GM economy brand they sold until 1990.
The next offering of obscure and rare Chevy models is not the classic late 60’s Nova. In fact, this list is talking about the 1985 to 1988 Chevrolet Nova, which is a forgotten and obscure model. If you think you have seen this car before, you are probably right. You did see it, but with a Toyota badge on the grille.
They built it in California, in a plant shared between Toyota and Chevrolet, so the Nova was Chevrolet’s version of the Toyota Corolla. It was a clever plan. To fight those import cars, Chevrolet imported the import, and sold it as its own model. However, despite the good initial sales and highly praised Twin Cam version, the market just forgot about the Nova.
By the early 90’s, they marketed all Chevrolet’s economy cars, inexpensive models and base line import rebadged cars under the Geo brand. However, after the 1997 discontinuation of the Geo, some economy models returned to Chevrolet’s line up. One of those cars was the Prizm.
The Prizm was a compact sedan with a modest engine, interior equipment and a low price with wide appeal. Chevy based it on the Toyota Corolla, which was the same as the Nova 10 years before it. Interestingly, car fans forgot the Prizm soon and they discontinued it in 2002 because it wasn’t particularly fast, good looking or special in any way.
Chevrolet Malibu Maxx
Chevy introduced the Malibu Maxx in 2004 as a bigger, more practical version of the economy, compact Malibu. The Maxx version was an interesting option since it was slightly longer than the regular model. It also had more room in the back and featured a hatchback rear end. In contrast to the standard Malibu, the Maxx had more space and practicality, but a slightly awkward design and appearance.
The base engine was a 2.2-liter four-cylinder, but the interesting version was the SS. With a 3.9-liter V6 engine and 240 HP, the Malibu Maxx was capable of a convincing performance. However, the market didn’t seem to understand the appeal of the Maxx, so they discontinued it in 2007.
Even though Chevy discontinued the Uplander not so long ago, in 2008, most car buyers have forgotten this minivan. Conceived as Chevrolet’s entry in the minivan segment, the Uplander shared the platform, engines and design with other GM products like the Pontiac Montana and Buick Terrazza. The base engine was a 3.5-liter V6, but the 3.9-liter V6 unit was optional. The standard versions came with front-wheel drive and later AWD was also available.
However, even though the Uplander had decent technology and design, it was a slow seller. The car just wasn’t special or desirable. It also had some mechanical problems, poor assembly quality and less than perfect interior materials. After a few years on the market, it was gone by 2008 and nobody has missed it since.
These obscure and forgotten Chevrolet models may have struggled in their time, but today car fans are in search of them. After all, who doesn’t want a car most other drivers have never even seen on the roads? They are unique pieces of car history.