The Pontiac T1000 was introduced in 1981, and was one of the smallest Pontiacs ever built, trumping even the J2000 in small size. It was obviously a badge-engineered Chevy Chevette. Different were the rear lights, grille, and some trim.
If you remember 1981, you may recall the corny TV commercial when they first came out. It was a computerized/robot type voice exclaiming “T1000” at various intervals. The videography left much to be desired, but it did give the impression of the T1000 being more ‘hip’ than the Chevette. Now, on to the car itself…
Body styles you could get were 3-door hatchback on a 94.3 inch wheelbase or 5-door hatchback on a 97.3 inch wheelbase. The windows over the quarter panels on the 3-door were able to be opened, whereas on the 5-door they were sealed shut.
The only powertrain choice was a 1.6L SOHC 2bbl I4, which was backed by either a 4-speed manual or 3-speed automatic. Horsepower the first year was 70 with torque rated at 82.
In 1982, a 5-speed manual was optional, though only on the 3-door. Horsepower on the 1.6 engine dropped to 62, while the torque remained at 82.
For 1983, ‘T’ was dropped from the name and the car was simply called ‘1000’ from here on out. The front seats were now reclining units. A luggage rack was a new option. Also, a credit option for an AM radio delete could be called out. Two new trim packages were available which were the 1000 Sport which was a striping group, plus the 1000 Custom which was a trim group.
The T1000 nameplate lived on through 1985. Incidentally, like the Chevette, they were quite popular in the U.S. Postal Service lease-fleet, though most T1000s were 5-doors, unlike the Chevettes in the fleet which were 3-doors.