Ron Paul Is Auctioning Off His Tip O’Neill-Smiting Chevy Chevette, for Peace

This machine kills fascists. |||A little comic interlude on this Washington Day of Silliness: Ron Paul is auctioning off what appears to be his lime green clown car.

Ah, but there's an interesting policy story behind this fundraising stunt! Take it away, Dr. No-Taste-in-Cars!

In 1979, when I was headed to DC for my first full term in Congress, I bought a car to keep there. It was a 1979 Chevrolet Chevette. But this compact 4-door soon proved to be controversial. Tip O'Neill, the powerful House speaker, was advocating gasoline rationing for the rest of us, while he was chauffeured around in a Lincoln, all at taxpayer expense. And no waiting in gasoline lines for him, nor paying for it: he had his own pump in the House garage.

So my little car—which I paid for myself, of course—was parked next to the Tip behemoth for a cheeky photo. Well, you would have thought I was Ed Snowden. There was a huge blow-up. Tip even levied the ultimate punishment: he blocked pork-barrel funds for me, which I was not seeking anyway.

The photo in question:

Suck it, Tip! |||

Only 69,000 miles, deadline Oct. 15, funds go to the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. "That's the one that outrages the neocons, so you know it is important," he explains.

Link via the Twitter feed of Robert Wenzel.

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  • sarcasmic||

    I larfed.

  • Almanian!||

    My sister had a Chevette. Sold it when she moved to NYC.

    I drove it when she was living in South Africa. What a piece of shit that car was. I do have to say - if Dr. Paul's is in as good a shape as it appears in that picture....it's still a piece of shit that's not worth much.

    Hope you raise a ton for your fund, Doctor P!

  • Snark Plissken||

    '79 has to be one of the worst years for American cars.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Was there a good year for the Chevette -- other than the year of its discontinuance, I mean?

  • db||

    An ex-GF of mine had an '81 Chevette in high school (early '90s) with a manual transmission. She drove it like a fucking rally driver. It was insane.

  • SIV||

    There are a few great Chevettes (from reading a few wiki articles).The Vauxhall Chevette HS and the 1st gen Isuzu Impulse.

  • Lord Humungus||

    I disagree - but I like the Caprice and Monte Carlo from those years. Of course the stock engines...uh... need some replacement.

  • Pro Libertate||

    My grandmother had a Caprice from 1978 that lasted--in very good condition--until her death in 2003. Until the last few years, she drove the heck out of it. Oddly good car from a bad era.

  • Rasilio||

    When I was in College (mid 90's) I had a '79 Caprice. Paid $300 for it and it was a surprisingly good running car as long as you didn't mind 8 MPG

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes, it adored gasoline.

  • Lord Humungus||

    8mpg and 0-60 in twenty years. It's win-win!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Not my grandmother's. It accelerated at a distressingly high rate. Then again, it was a Caprice Classic--maybe that's different?

  • Paul.||

    One's classic, the other isn't.

  • seguin||

    I think the major issue was that by that time build quality was wildly inconsistent. I've known people with Citations that said that theirs just never died, and others blew their motors at the drop of a hat. If you got a good one, it was good.

    As for the Chevette, it was actually pretty interesting in Euro trim, but we didn't get those. Doesn't mean you can't modify it.

  • CatoTheElder||

    To put 1979 in perspective, back then American cars were just as bad as British cars.

    US car quality was so bad that Ford even imported a British car (Fiesta) and touted its dependability.

  • KDN||

    A kid I went to high school with drove a primer grey 77 Chevette. We tried to use it to break down the fence of the local abandoned rail yard one day, but it failed to overcome the mighty chain link fence. Following that, we duct taped the headlights back onto the car and went to the strip club.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "So my little car—which I paid for myself, of course—was parked next to the Tip behemoth for a cheeky photo. Well, you would have thought I was Ed Snowden. There was a huge blow-up. Tip even levied the ultimate punishment: he blocked pork-barrel funds for me, which I was not seeking anyway."

    Didn't some newspaper do an article about how this was When Politics Worked?

  • Jason S.||

    Nailed it. For real.

  • db||

    I wonder if Jay Leno has a spot in his garage?

  • Doctor Whom||

    Tip even levied the ultimate punishment:

    ... as is only just. Who dares hold the nobility to the same rules that they impose on the peasants?

  • Restoras||

    The thing next to the Chevette looks like a 6000 SUX.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    +1 dollar

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    We fucked in a governmental
    Lincoln Continental.

  • albo||

    Chevettes were "great." I think they used plywood on some of the parts. It was GM trying to make a small car to rival the Japanese, who owned that business. It was like expecting a glutton to make a salad. They really had no clue.

    I'm a former 1973 Vega owner. That car came pre-crapped-out.

  • Anomalous||

    The Vega was the worst piece of crap I ever drove.

  • seguin||

    My sister-in-law's grandfather loved Vegas, but he had them sleeved after their owners junked em.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Had one too. Wasn't the worst car we ever owned. But close.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Back then the US auto industry equated "small car" with "cheap car". Maybe they were trying to compete with Japan, but they barely beat the Trabant.

    Trabant

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If you're going to be driven around, it better be in a land yacht. Otherwise you look pretentious.

    Would this have been around the time Chris Matthews went to work for O'Neill?

  • Paul.||

    Chris Matthews is O'Neill. Or they share wigs.

  • albo||

    Heh. It got The Truth About Cars treatment:

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.c.....e-sort-of/

    "The seats were made of vinyl specifically designed to sear beachgoers' skin"

  • Lord Humungus||

    Waaay back in college, I was rolling in a mighty 99hp Nissan Stanza with over 200K miles on the clock. Someone with a Pontiac T1000 (a Chevette with different er, grill and taillights) tried to drag race me from a stoplight. Emphasis on the word try. The Stanza was sloooww - but not that slow.

  • sloopyinca||

    Auctioning off a car? Bah! I auction 200-300 cars a month in addition to a lot of construction equipment.

    Now auctioning off the middle name of a child? That's where it's at!

  • ||

    Man we need more politician's that are willing to pull stunts like like that.

  • sloopyinca||

    I miss my 1970 Thunderbird with the 429 Super Cobra Jet that was dropped in it. That fucker was faaaaaaaaaaast.

    Also, it was the only car I've owned that got better mileage in town than on the highway. My lead foot and the 6-pack carb did me no favors on the on ramps of I-75.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I love that old man!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    What's the current bid?

  • sloopyinca||

    I e-mailed him and am awaiting their response. I'm ready to bid as well.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I'm pulling this number directly out of my ass, but I suspect a pristine Chevette owned by a "celebrity" might be worth upwards of eighteen hunnerd bucks.

    Hopefully, the doctor's car will be bought by the Kochtopussians for fifty grand.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Also, I remember a magazine article from days of yore in which a group of renegade GM engineers put a V6 and a five speed in a two door Chevette. It sounded like fun.

  • Bobarian||

    There was an HO version of a Citation that was set up like that. Went like stink and drove like shit. I don't think they ran for very long, either.

  • sloopyinca||

    In other auction news, I'm going to be selling approx 1300 CalTrans vehicles in the next 3-4 months as they roll into their new fleet.

    Why? Not because they have lived out their full life and have maintenance costs that exceed what a new vehicle will run, but because the new contract says they are to get new ones.

    Many of these are sub-80,000 mile SUV's and Priuses that should have at least 5-6 more years left on them.

    Oh, and the deliveries are already pouring into the CalTrans facilities but they can't be put into service until the commission to determine how they will be logo'd and what lights will be put on them because of new EPA regs (probably gonna be LED lights even though they cost 5x as much and are used very sparingly) in the state.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "So my little car—which I paid for myself, of course—was parked next to the Tip behemoth for a cheeky photo. Well, you would have thought I was Ed Snowden. There was a huge blow-up. Tip even levied the ultimate punishment: he blocked pork-barrel funds for me, which I was not seeking anyway "

    That would be the same Tip O'Neal who presided over what we are now told by the Dems was a much more civlized and bi-partisan age where the gubmit could actually GET THINGS DONE!

  • John Thacker||

    The government may have shutdown in those days, but that was when it was a Democratic House disagreeing with a Democratic Senate, or a Democratic Congress disagreeing with a Democratic President, the way it was intended. None of these Republicans in there.

  • Cytotoxic||

    "That's the one that outrages the neocons, so you know it is important,"

    And does everything it can to vindicate what those neocons said about you and otherwise makes a self-parody your foreign policy views.

  • CE||

    Because Bush and his neocon ilk brought us peace and prosperity and balanced budgets and an end of terrorism and ushered in the Age of Obama?

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