Curbside Classic: 1980 Chevrolet Citation X11 Club Coupe – Is It The Last One Left?

Chevrolet Citation X11 fq

(first posted 1/7/2013)     Well, probably not the last one, but this really is a rare bird. I’ve shot several Citations in Eugene, but no notchback sedans (“Club Coupe”), and certainly none in X11 trim. So I can’t let this find by mistergreen posted at the Cohort just sit there without being duly cited.

Chevrolet Citation 1980

The Club Coupe was the wallflower in the 1980 Citation lineup. Of the 800,000+ Citations sold in its extended 1980 MY (best selling car that year), only a very small percentage were Club Coupes. I don’t have the exact breakout, but it was undoubtedly well below 20%. They were a fairly unusual sight even when new. Hatchbacks were hot, and the Citation’s roomy body and FWD made the most of that. It really didn’t make a lot of sense to buy a notchback coupe, even if it was a couple of hundred bucks cheaper.

Chevrolet Citataion Club coupe 1980

One has to wonder why Chevy thought it was going to sell. Undoubtedly, it was a couple of old-fart Sales Execs at the Chevy Division that were freaked out about the idea of across-the-board hatchbacks. “Must have a notchback!” Like the Vega notchback coupe, which sold so well…Not.

Chevrolet Citation club coupe 1980

It’s trying so hard to look like an updated Chevy II, isn’t it? The more formal X-Body coupes that Buick and Olds sold, especially the Skylark, sold quite well, although the real action was always with the four-doors with these cars (as well as their A-Body successors). Oddly, the Club Coupe was dropped for 1981 and 1982, and then revived for 1983 and 1984, and then dropped again. An on-off sort of affair.

Chevrolet Citation X11 s

In 1980, the X11 was mostly an appearance package. It did come only with the 110-hp 2.8-liter V6, and a “sports-type suspension”, as well as a full-instrument dash and different steering wheel. But it was more show than go.

CC 118 233 800

But in 1981, the X11 traded its pretender black stripe for the real thing: the new 135-hp HO V6, along with some bigger alloy wheels and other genuine enhancements. The change was significant, and the ’81  and up X11 was a well-regarded performer.

chevrolet citation 1980 X11 -4

This X11 coupe is a bit odd in that it has regular wheel covers, and not the styled steel wheels shown in the brochure as part of the X11 package. And for that matter, it doesn’t have the little lip spoiler on the trunk either.


Chevrolet Citation X11 int


But one can barely make out the X11-specific steering wheel, so it looks genuine enough. It also has the column-mounted shifter for the automatic. All in all, a very modest expression of the X11 theme. Granny wanted a bit of sportiness in her new Citation. And now one of her grand kids is driving it (I assume).

Chevrolet Citation X11 rq

What; no Citation Deadly Sin rant? We’ve done that (elsewhere) and we’ll take up the cudgel again here another time; anyway, it’s such a nice sunny day; I’m in too good a mood for that. And one has to celebrate a rare find like this, especially when it’s in such original condition. We salute you, X11! A hale and hearty survivor of the Deadly X-Virus Plague.