(first posted 3/17/2012) You have to hand it to GM. The 1980 X-bodies were by all accounts an unmitigated disaster. Yet they took that very same platform, updated and enlarged it, and turned it into the new A-body, which lasted for fifteen years and by the end, was a relatively well built, reliable car. The Celebrity was Chevrolet’s version.
The Celebrity was introduced in January 1982 as a late ’82 model. It had the same 104.9 inch wheelbase as the Citation, but an additional 11″ of length and conventional three-box styling made it look very different. The added length put it in the mid-size class, competing with the Malibu for the same customers.
It was initially available only in sedan and coupe versions. The standard engine was a 2.5L, 151 CID four cylinder with 90 horsepower. Optional engines included a 2.8L, 173 CID V6 with 112 horsepower and a 4.3L diesel V6 with 83 hp. All ’82 Celebrities had a three-speed automatic as a manual transmission was not available at first. Due to the late introduction, only 19,629 coupes and 72,701 sedans were sold.
Not much changed for ’83, although you could no longer get an eight-track tape player. With the full model year, sales were up with 139,829. 1983 was the last year for the rear wheel drive Malibu (shown above), so the Celebrity would have Chevy’s mid-size slot all to itself shortly.
Station wagons arrived for 1984, replacing the discontinued Malibu Classic wagon. Unlike the Malibu, the Celebrity’s rear windows actually rolled down. All Celebrities received a restyled front fascia with a taller grille. There was also a new optional H.O. version of the 2.8L V6 with 130 hp.
An attractive new trim level, the Eurosport, was available on all models and included sport suspension, 14″ rally wheels (the aluminum wheels seen on the coupe above were optional) and blacked out grille and trim with red accents. ’85s were much the same, although the H.O. engine’s carburetor was replaced with fuel injection.
1986 Celebrities were restyled both front and rear with slightly smoother fascias. The diesel was history. Plain and Eurosport versions continued to be offered in coupe, sedan and wagon versions. The Celebrity really hit its stride this year, with almost 405,000 sold. Unfortunately for Chevy, the Ford Taurus would soon steal the Celebrity’s thunder.
1987s got new composite headlights, but not much else changed. The four-cylinder was still standard, with the 2.8L V6 optional. Sales were down to 362,000. One new model was the Eurosport VR.
The VR included a monochromatic exterior with matching alloy wheels, plus a custom interior. It was strictly an appearance package, although a supercharged V6 like the Buick GN would have been interesting. It looked awfully sporty though, with a large front air dam, side skirts and a grilleless nose. The package was even available on the station wagon. The above image is from eurosportvr.com, which has much more information on these special Celebritys.
The Celebrity was six years old by this time, and smoother, more aerodynamic designs like the Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable and Honda Accord made it look more dated than it really was. The Celebrity had smoother front and rear styling than earlier in the decade, but the jelly bean look was in and the ‘sheer look’ that GM had applied to most of its cars in the early 1980s was becoming passe.
I was a kid when these were new, but I only knew two people who had a Celebrity. Our pastor had a base sedan much like the one above, only in navy blue. It was later traded in on a Corsica. The one I was more familiar with was a Eurosport sedan that a friend’s parents had.
It was a pretty sharp car in dark gray with the black and red trim. I probably rode in it but don’t remember doing so. It was an ’87-’89 model as it had the composite headlights. It was eventually traded in on a dark red ’93 Grand Voyager with a red interior.
The 1988s were essentially the same. The Eurosport VR continued and was now available as a coupe, though it remained a low-production car. The special interior featured on the ’87s was eliminated and all VRs had regular Celebrity interiors. Celebrity production had been trending downward since 1986’s high, and output for ’88 was down to a little less than 260,000.
This was the last year for the coupe, with only 11,909 built. 1989 was a short model year and the last year for the sedan, as the 1990 Lumina was waiting in the wings to replace the Celebrity. In 1990, only the wagon returned, with a revised 3.1L V6 with 135 hp. It was joined later in the year by the Lumina APV minivan, which ultimately replaced it.
To the end, the Celebrity provided traditional six-passenger seating and a variety of trim options. I suspect that the sedan was especially attractive as company cars and rentals. There’s no breakout between base vs. Eurosports, but I imagine the lion’s share were standard sedans. The Eurosport that my friend’s parents had was the only Eurosport I recall seeing back when they were new. I also remember seeing a lot more Cutlass Cieras and Centurys than Celebrities. Northwest Illinois and Southeast Iowa liked their Oldsmobiles and Buicks, especially in the ’80s.
That holds true even more so today. I see Cieras and Centurys every day, but Celebrities are scarce enough for me to notice. I found the blue one in January and the white one just a couple of weeks ago (both are on the Cohort). It seems like Celebrities rusted a lot faster than their corporate cousins, as I remember seeing rusty ones frequently in the mid ’90s. Regardless, the Celebrity was good for Chevrolet; they sold a lot of them. Ironic that a troublesome little car like the Citation could be used as the base for a successful car line.
There are still a lot of Cieras and Centurys on the roads here. Of course they sold them until 1996, unlike the Celebrity. Not too many Celebritys left anymore.
I still see lots of Cieras on the road around the Cincinnati area. Celebs – not too often.
Respectfully…I don’t see Celebrity as that good for Chevrolet.
The fit and finish – compared to a Taurus – wasn’t even close and neither was the driving experience. To me it was just another cynical effort by GM to slap something together and bring it to market cynically believing there’d be enough suckers to buy it.
An aunt of mine had one of the first…an ’82, as I recall she liked it but it’s wasn’t trouble free. Then again, in those years, what new GM cars were? Unless you bought a stick-shift ’82 S-10 as I did in 1989 and drove the wheels off it with glee. As I did.
In 1986, I borrowed my pastor’s ’85 Celebrity wagon for a 30-mile trip to the airport. Looking out the mirrors was an excruciating experience, seeing the bright trim below the windows looking like it was slapped on by a 9-year-old. And the steering was frighteningly loose despite being just a year old.
The following year, I did a live radio broadcast from an Avis lot having an off-rental sale of GM A-bodies around 30k miles. I test-drove several of them and each one’s steering rack seemed loose. The ride was ok but none of them – whether Chevy, Olds, Pontiac or Buick – felt like anything you’d want to have to rely upon.
A major client of the station I worked for was a Chevy-Cadillac store where I spent many an afternoon doing live remotes. A GM poster in one of the manager’s offices stated, “Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Ford??” Having driven a couple Tauruses by this time…it was easy to understand. GM wasn’t even trying to compete. Ford had the superior car, the public knew it and they were flocking to Taurus like it were the new ’55 Chevy.
Having been a Chevy fanboy since the ’60’s, this was tough to swallow. In my world the sun rose in the east, set in the west and Chevy ALWAYS outsold Ford.
But after 15 years of crap masquerading as small and later midsize cars…Vega, Chevette, X-cars, J-cars and now Celebrity (and let’s not forget the otherwise-good RWD A-bodies with 267 engines and metric transmissions…a fatal combo!)…Chevy’s brand equity had finally eroded to where Ford was beating them in total sales. Remember…GM had 53% of the market not ten years before and Chevrolet represented around half of that.
During the mid ’80s I drove an ’85 S-10 2wd V-6 4-speed. It was as solid as could be, Well screwed together. Easy to maintain, I traded it on a Corsica in 1988 only because we’d had our first child and needed more room. I’ve vented on the Corsica elsewhere but at least when it ran it felt more solid than the FWD A-bodies.
Point is, to me…my two S-10s…the ’85 I bought new, then the ’82 I bought in 1989, were proof that GM could still build a quality vehicle, which is why I never gave up on them and today own a ’97 Blazer that’s had just about everything replaced on it but also has 260,000-plus miles and is driven and relied upon daily.
I respectfully don’t get the love for any of the FWD A’s…although I’ve learned thru CC that the Buick and Olds versions were finally refined to a point that they were well-built and durable.
Anyway, Happy St. Patty’s Day all! I’m actually off to do a live remote at a FIAT dealership. They’re having an Italian Fest today…on St. Patty’s Day, go figure, but I’ll have fun with it. But get this…it’s the only FIAT dealer in the city, and it went to a multi-line GM/Hyundai/Kia/Subaru store with a legendary name in these parts…interesting none of the Fiatsler dealers here took it. Wonder what that’s about?
All Fiat dealers (nee` Studios) are owned by a Chrysler dealer. Double check the dealer’s offerings in the surrounding towns–it might just have a Chrysler/Jeep location.
Rob, the megadealer in question JUST got a MoPar franchise, its first…in August. The live broadcast in question took place in March.
I don’t doubt your point but I’m betting there’s a first right of refusal in there somewhere which would open it up for anyone to claim the franchise.
Well, an educated guess is that with 5 years, that Fiat studio will either be the full line FCA dealership or the DCJR (Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram) dealer will have Fiats on the showroom floor. As Mopar moves away from sedans, the only “real cars” on offer will be Fiats, or rebadged Fiats sold as Chryslers. Look at the vans, gone and replaced by Fiat products. Pickups are still Rams, but the other trucks are Fiats. As the last sedan platforms die out, they are being replaced by Alfa platforms, so look for the next gen Mopars having an italian accent. Moparetti, perhaps?
I disagree completely the GM’s and the Celebrity rode better than any 80’s Ford I drove and the Ford’s had lousy build quality while the Celebrity still had that GM Fisher body clunk when you shut the door. The 84 Celebrity Hess & Eisenhardt Conv I bought in 2014 had 95,000 miles on it and still drove like a new car. It was the high output V6 2.8 and it ran great. I replaced it this year with a 86 fuel injected 2.8 which also delivers super gas mileage, almost 30 on the freeway. So I don’t know where you got your info but to me you are dead wrong on all accounts. Fords were garbage in the 80s and the Taurus is still UGLY unlike the early 80’s GMs which look clean and linear compared to the plastic bubbles of today.
Had a 1982 sedan model in the family from 1985 to the late 90s. Iron Duke power and three speed auto, two tone brown exterior with a rust colored interior, manual windows, locks, and seats.
Good interior room for the size of the vehicle
in 200,000 miles or so of family usage the transmission was flawless
the interior held up well
5mph bumpers that were very forgiving for a teenage boy
HUGE square trunk, extremely useful.
Regularly returned 29mpg in mixed driving
gutless for passing on the highway, you basically mashed the pedal and prayed
engine needed to be rebuilt at about 100,000 miles
Went through 3 alternators at around the 120,000 mile mark because the Chevy dealer couldn’t figure out how to align the thing properly
Ate tires cause it wouldn’t keep a front alignment
ate front brake pads because of the notirous X/A body brake proportioning issue – this also caused my mother to do a 180 on an icy road
Headliner let go
paint faded to nothing-ness
rusted like a SOB even though it was zeibarted when new
If GM were to build an updated version of this car (especially the EXCELLENT space utilization in the interior) I would give it a serious look because I now trust the post-bankrupcy GM to fix all the other crap. To this day that car remains the best useage of small square footage I have ever driven or rode in.
(especially the EXCELLENT space utilization in the interior)
I dunno, Dan. I remember a lot of friends’ parents had A-bodies when I was a gangly teenager. The seats were always awful. I think the knees-hit-your-chin feel of 80s family cars drove a lot of people to buy SUVs in the 90s.
Have you ever been in a less than full size GM SUV? Especially an S10 Blazer? That’s knees on your chin.
Have you been in the back seat of a W-body? Seat cushion is on the freaking floor practically.
Have you been in the back seat of a G-body sedan? I have and during my entire teenage years I was never comfortable back there. The leg room was so limited for the size of the car It was refreshing to get into the Celebrity.
Hey educatordan, you know how you had a celebrity and a G-Body (The cutlass you have wrote about in the past and on how it was stolen), well my grandparents once had a celebrity and a G-Body (1985 Monte Carlo SS) once too. Although for them, the lovingly-cared for celebrity was stolen (but found parted out) and they sold the Monte Carlo after less than five years because the doors kept getting dinged and they didn’t hear about a solution (some kind of door liner I believe) until after they sold it. They loved both cars a lot.
Growing up in the heart of the malaise era, my parents had two of these – a 84 wagon and a 87 sedan. The 84 was new when they got it, and I remember them not minding it much aside from what dad summarized as it bein “gutless”, but we only rode in it on trips as it was Dad’s car, mom had a 77 LTD. dad got a 87 sedan in 89, and I know he wasn’t fond of the wagon, he rather liked the sedan. The wagon had the 2.8 but the 87 had the injected 2.5 which I remember him commenting that he liked better than the old car, and much better than mom’s car at the time. Which was a awful 88 caprice classic wagon with a carbureted 305. That car was, in a word, terrible.
What I REALLY remember was when the family cars changed forever. By 1990 mom had a new Plymouth voyager because the caprice was all used up after two years, and then in 91 my dad got what changed everything: a 1991 Mazda 626LX that was pretty loaded and had a stick. He, and both my mom and I, loved that car as it was a polar shift from all the malaise crap they’d had in the past ten years.
While all the GM’s we had were basically falling apart after two or three years, and don’t ever get them started on the Voyager, the Mazda stayed in the family for four years – only falling to a thunderbird hitting it portside at 45mph. At that point it was Mom’s car and I drove it as I had a 68 Galaxie that dad didn’t like me putting miles on.
I remember how unexcited my parents were about the cars they had prior to the Mazda, but then how that shifted. Hell in late ’92 Dad, upon me showing him a R&T, had to have one of the redone 93 626’s, so he became the first in town with a loaded 626ES.
After the caprice, the celebrity wagon and the voyager they never again bought a GM or chrysler product – or would even look at them. I don’t blame them.
An acquaintance in high school had one of these, looking much like the title pic in white with a porno-red cloth interior. To drive, I remember the steering feeling unnaturally loose (as Chas mentions above) and the 2.8 V6 making awfully guttural noises for its modest output.
Your heart had to go out to the Chevy salespeople pitching this thing against Ford Tauruses and Honda Accords in the late ’80s. Compared to those, it was a product of a different time.
That said, a wagon-bodied late-model Eurosport in black (like the brochure pic above) looks enough like a Buick GNX station wagon that I’d own one in a second.
Wow, I never knew these had the same wheelbase as a Citation. They fooled me! The Celebrities are very rare now — so much that when I recently saw this very well preserved Celebrity Eurosport, I had to take some pictures! The only rarer A-body is the Pontiac 6000, and especially the 6000 STE. I would love to see one.
I actually saw an ’89-’91 Pontiac 6000 with the smoother roofline yesterday morning, unfortunately I didn’t have my camera.
Interesting story, the day I saw your comments (chrisgreencar and Tom Klockau) on 3/17/12 I’m replying to, I saw a late-model Pontiac 6000 STE (I’ve always wanted one, especially with the rare AWD package) at the local Petsmart when getting some pet toys and food. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything to take a picture of it with (it was a white rust bucket) but at least I can say I saw one(:<)
One more shot of that Eurosport I saw. I love the red and blackout trim!
A friend of mine had a mid-80’s Pontiac 6000 in the late 80’s. One day on the highway the rear brakes locked at 60 mph when she touched the brakes to slow down a little, the car did a 360 in traffic and hit the guardrail. The car was totalled and she was almost killed. To this day she has never bought another GM (or any American) car.
Ultra-bland Genericar, with no build quality to back it up. No wonder we all drive Toyotas now.
The first brand new car I bought was an ’88 Celebrity Eurosport wagon, in kinda-badass looking black over silver. We compared three cars before buying: the Celeb, a Taurus wagon and a two year old Volvo 240 wagon (new Volvos being outside of the budget range). The Taurus was cheaper-looking inside, and had brakes that worked like an on-off switch, very hard to modulate. The Volvo was nice enough, but was a used car still priced above a new Ford or Chevy, and it had some quirks, like folding down the rear seat was a multi-step Rube Goldberg puzzle instead of just push a button and flop the seatback down. Besides, my dad had an ’84 Century wagon and liked it. They’re all the same under the skin, right?
All of which is to say that buying the Chevy seemed like a good idea at the time. It had the 2.8 V6 which was not made of the same stuff as a Buick V6. We had the intake gasket problems they all had. We had a minor oil leak in exactly the right spot to drip hot oil into the fitting for the crank position sensor and fry it. That was how I learned what a crank position sensor was. I told the service manager in unnecessarily colorful terms that Chevy had done just fine for 60-70 years with mechanical connections between the distributor and the camshaft and between the camshaft and the crank as the “sensor.”
The wagon ate front brake pads every few thousand miles. The transmission patiently waited for the warranty to expire and then crapped out at 53K miles. Meantime, the crank position sensor was sensing again, but other electrical gremlins appeared. Again and again. Some of them being the kind that would leave the car stranded for a random period of 3 minutes to 3 hours after which it would suddenly restart, and then behave fine at the dealer.
After one of those was fixed in exchange for a transfer of a good amount of take-home pay to the dealer, my spouse announced that we were trading the blankety blank thing in on a Toyota or Honda quickly before it broke again. Had a ’92 Camry in a week or so.
The A-cars were mechanically durable, but the interior on my parents’ Cutlass Ciera wagon was self destructing when it was only a few years old. Trim rattled and eventually fell off, vents popped out of the dash, etc. This was on a car that was garaged and had Pacific Northwest levels of sun exposure.
Also, the awful bench seat turned me against bench seats forever. The supportive velour buckets in the Saab 900 that was also in their stable were a world apart.
Sounds like these were a mixed bag, reliability-wise. A co-worker a few years ago borrowed his uncle’s Ciera for a while a few years ago (the car was probably at least 15 years old) and he said it got surprisingly horrible gas mileage. Other than that, I don’t have a lot of first-hand experience with them, but I thought they were really cool in ’82 when they came out. I even begged my folks to get a 1983 Cutlass Ciera, but they (wisely, probably) chose a traditional Delta 88 Royale rear-driver instead.
Unfortunately, at that time, whether FWD or RWD, buying any GM car, no matter the marquee was a hit or miss thing with reliability and general build quality.
I always thought the rear glass on the coupes was freakishly large, until it hit me: GM was trying to avoid having separate roof stampings between the coupe and sedan. Sheesh!
In the early to mid 90’s I moonlighted at a used car lot as a mechanic, and I can look you in the eye and tell you these were just as big of a POS as the x-cars were. Move along people, nothing more to see in these…
Agreed, mostly. They certainly aren’t seen as collector cars yet (although those 6000 STEs definitely have potential). I like the styling of these (in their original form) so for me there is plenty of interest here. But I see older cars as design statements and fun projects, not daily drivers. At least 80s GMs like these!
Don’t know if I agree with that, the parents’ Ciera with the 2.8 liter V6 and 3-speed automatic was pretty reliable. It lunched an alternator once, but fortunately that happened a couple miles from home.
These are getting rarer and rarer. I just saw a Celebrity wagon, and took a few pictures just because I can’t remember the last time I saw one. They’re on the Cohort if anyone wants to see them.
When I was in kindergarten I car pooled in my friend’s mom’s bronze 88+ Celebrity. I vividly remember us playing with the steering wheel (when his mom would go to a house) and one of the kids looking out the window yelled “why aren’t the wheels turning with it”. That day, at the age of 5, I learned the definition of sloppy steering.
It looked about as rusty as that white one in the last picture when they replaced it in 1996 or 1997.
I loved my ’89 Celebrity sedan. A great car – always ran perfectly. My wife and I drove it for 3+ years in Grad school with two baby seats in the back.
I still think the K-Cars were better, overall. At least the K’s didn’t pretend to be anything more than they were, until Lido went crazy with them.
After my aunt died almost 20 years ago, my cousins offered if I wanted to buy any of their cars – a Corsica and a Celebrity station wagon. We had our hands full with the move to Cincinnati and didn’t need a car as yet. In hindsight, we could have used that wagon for our many trips back and forth between Cincinnati and St. Louis.
I remember thinking dad’s 87 Ciera with the 2.8 was a rocket. Compared to my ’82 Riv (307 V8) it was.
One of the biggest misnomer in car names.
Have a 1989 celebrity Eurosport with the 2.8 v6. This has been the best car I have ever owned. 230,000 miles on the factory 4 speed trans. I drove this car 100,000 miles in one year. Put nothing into it but has. I also have restored it, putting 3,000 dollars into painting the car. I will drive the car until the day I die
I bought a 1986 Celebrity Eurosport new. It was a fun car to drive, but it started to rust within 6 weeks after I bought it. I loved the alloy wheels shown above. I still think they are the most elegant alloy wheels ever sold on a car in the US.
You’re right that a surprising amount were fleet cars. At a fleet auction, I bought a blue 89 with heavy duty everything–F40 HD suspension, HD cooling and brakes, and the Iron Duke 3-speed combo. It lasted 230k miles and 23 years; just got rid of it last year. The HD trim transformed the typical grandad Olds feel into a surprisingly tight ride. Using synthetic oils, the engine was flawless to the end; I’m hoping the pull-a-part I sold it to found it a new home. No rust problems (southern Plains car), no alignment problems, no brake problems, no tire problems, not really any problems except I drove the wheels off it (literally) and had to get another set of pull-a-part wheels for it.
The paint had a certain patina to it (mottled and primered) but the thing that let go and killed it was the weatherstripping. Every weatherstrip leaked and I had to bail water after some rainstorms, and my eyes would literally burn from the stench till things dried out. It was still running good till the end when I drove it to the pull a part and got a check in return. I like to think it still lives on in other GM A-bodies.
Just found an awesome commercial for the Eurosport VR.
Poor GM. They probably never saw the Yamaha-powered Taurus SHO coming.
“Designed with a vision of the racetrack… using advanced engineering techniques. Design elements include front fascia… rear fascia… and brilliant side stripe molding.”
This is so full of win. Thanks for posting.
This is my celebrity! i love this car and will drive it until the day i die.
I’m not a fan of these, never was, but I think it’s awesome that you are keeping it going and taking car of it.
In 1989 I bought an 86 Celebrity identical to the blue one pictured here. It was a fleet car for TRW that the traveling salesman had to sell or turn in. I think it had about 36,000 miles on it. It was the closest to new car I had ever had and i was mighty proud of it. I drove that car all over the state of Florida the next four years. In that time it was never ending series of problems. Some mysterious, like unexpected stalls, to the headliner falling. A staple gun solved the headliner problem temporalily but the stalling damn near killed me. Toward the end the drivers side power window quit working. This was a problem since I worked in a downtown office building with a card acessed garage. In the morning pulling into the building with everyone in a hurry, I had to stop, open the door and insert the card. Kind of embarrasing but not as bad as when the door handle broke and I couldn’t open the door or roll down the window. With impatient workers, including my boss, I would pull up, get out the other side, run around and insert the card, then hurry to get back in before the gate came down. I did this for about a month then got rid of the car. Good memories but a really crappy car.
I’m surprised that no one’s mentioned it yet, but the Pontiac 6000 STE was a big hit with all the buff books back in the early and mid 80s and gave GM at least a small shred of respectability with that crowd. As far as I’m aware, most of the same hardware was available (at least as options) on the other A-bodies, but the enthusiast press never seemed to fawn over them in the same way.
The quality of the review was directly proportionate to the quality of the division’s media people. Pontiac’s PR group knew how to make Car and Driver’s writers happy, and so their A-body was an Audi and Accord competitor while Chevrolet’s Eurosport and Oldsmobile’s International Series were the punchlines to jokes.
I had an 84 Buick Century. I didn’t buy another GM product for 10 years. After 3 years, I switched to a Ford Taurus. The Buick had bad steering, leaked oil, cupped the rear tires, I could go on and on. A real POS. After the Taurus, I bought a 95 Blazer, my last GM product.
This is my first time commenting here after a bit of lurking. I enjoy reading the stories of the various cars in this blog. As for the Celebrity, there were many of them here in the Boston area since there was a GM assembly plant in Framingham, MA that closed in the late 80s-early 90s. My good friend had a ’87 model that he had for a few years. I think the passenger door fell off near the end.
Yep, the Framingham plant made Pontiac 6000 coupes and sedans and Chevy Celebrity coupes and sedans…Not sure if they had the wagons made elsewhere.
We drove by there, everytime we visited my uncle’s condo in Framingham, in 1982-85.
I think they closed in 1989.
I still see these occasionally around Atlanta. Given that, especially in the last few years of production, they were heavy fleet/rental sales, the number that have survived are testament to the fact that GM finally got the quality right. They were very simple, practical cars. Why anyone would really consider this collectible is beyond me . . . the STE/Ciera GT models have a little panache to them but this did not. One thing I find interesting is that 20 some years ago (eek) this used to be considered a midsized car, whereas I daresay that today it would be considered compact/subcompact. Also, Kathleen Turner ran over a math teacher with a Celebrity wagon in “Serial Mom.”
Up in the Southcoast area of MA… there are plenty of Celebrities around here… wagons, sedans and coupes. Some ratty and some immaculate. We also have a few earlier, squarer 82-86 Centurys, Cieras and yes, a Pontiac 6000(a young girl drives it).
Actually, we have ALOT of 70’s and 80’s cars driving around, in pretty good running condition… I own 4. I own an 88 Acura Integra, 81 Toyota Corona and my 2 daily drivers… an 87 Nissan/Datsun 200SX and an 86 Chevy Monte Carlo SS. All run great and are reliable.
Well, I guess not EVERTHING rusts up here, in the Northeast. lol
We just purchased an 89 chev celeb wagon, CL. It has an original 67,000 miles and I am the second owner. The wagon is sweet but I am having trouble locating some original eurosport rally wheels for it. It is my first car and i cant wait to get my lic. Love the back seat facing out the rear. Int is perfect and once we shampooed it was even better. Any help for parts? Before the family made the elderly woman get rid of the car, she had replaced the tires,radiator,belts,steel rad lines,hoses,alternator,exhaust and battery. along with a passenger side mirror, a right front bumperette and an original radio would b cool….any help?
I picked up this 1987 Celebrity a couple months ago for $300. The pain is a little rough but the body is straight, the interior is decent, and it still runs strong. I have had to buy a tire, and an alternator so I am in the car at about $500 now.
Back in my Pontiac days I bought an ’84 6000 LE new. Pleasant looking with great space utilization, but that was about it. Sluggish V-6 and poor fit and finish. Cheap plastic everywhere. Ate tires and brakes. In spite of regular waxing the paint was totally faded and mottled after three years, which was a common complaint. Why couldn’t GM properly paint a car in the 1980’s? And I don’t want to hear that crap about new government paint standards. The finishes on my neighbors Camry’s and Accords seemed to hold up just fine.
These A bodies were a good concept, but the execution was indifferent, typical for GM at the time. For the first time I began to think the unthinkable – that these Japanese cars might be worth looking into. After two more so-so Pontiacs (both Bonnevilles) our family entered the Honda/Acura camp in 2001, where it still remains.
My first car was an 88 Celebrity. I still regret trading that car in when I was 18. It had almost 200k miles and the only major work I had to do to it was replace the alternator. It was not the hottest car on the road, but I felt safe in it. I traded it in on a newer SUV because my folks were worried it would leave me stranded out of town since it had high milage. So I gave it up for more freedom. I still wonder where it ended up and what I would do if I ever came across it…lol
One owner, yes a little old lady, my 94 yr. old mother-in-law, who just decided to give up driving
2.8 liter V6 w/ fuel injection
rear window defogger
tilt & cruise control
60/40 split bench seat
new tires @ 27,303 miles
new front struts & alignment @ 33,727
new battery @ 34,426
always garaged, not driven in winters, drives great, going to make someone good transportation!
Not my car….just thought I’d bump this with this ad.
My 84 Hess and Eisenhardt convertible is one of the best cars I’ve ever had and I’ve had 82 classics since I was 16 in 1977. It rides like a Cad the 2.8 gets 30 mpg has cold a.c. I love the thing 32 years old now gets better mileage than any ugly New Charger Camaro or plastic bubble Honda.
I will vouch for the mileage. My Olds Cutlass Cierra got 29 mpg with the A/C blowing out ice cubes. It was the most comfortable fuel efficient car I ever owned.
Ive got an 88 2.8 sedan with 59,775 miles on it that i got for free from my gpa with 57,xxx miles on it. The rust isnt too bad for an 28 year old car (its a year older than me) & im going to repair the rust damage and really make the car look nice. Then ill be workin on an engine & transmission build to swap into it whenever this strong lil v6 finally gives out (or i get bored and pull it to keep as,a,backup engine/tranny)
Ultimately, after working on exterior/interior appearance…. im going to make this fwd automatic v6 become……. a rwd manual v8.
Im an auto tech, this is tje firzt automatic i have ever owned, i do like the car but i hate that its an auto.
I might even add a sun/moon roof setup too just for the hell of it. Hubcap removal and adding tint are the firzt things imma do. I hate hubcaps and i like tje privacy and heat/glare reduction of tint. Also adds a lil improvement to the look til i get around to the body work.
I also customized my 84 Convertible with an 82 NOS grille fake hood scoops and spoiler. I love this car I’ve had 82 since 1977 various makes etc and this Celebrity has been in the top 5 for driveability reliability and comfort.
Yep my 84 Celeb conv is one of the best cars Ive had..amazing comfort and gas mileage
This car was about as interesting as drying paint. However, someone it had that mundane charm to it that a significant slice of the population loved and purchased enough of them to make it the best selling domestic mid sized vehicles in it’s class until the Ford Taurus/Sable came to the game!
These cars were everywhere back in the day. I’m sure the price point and overall value had a lot to do with it. I think the cheaper price in this case made for a cheaply made car. For some reason, the Chevys and the Pontiacs didn’t seem nearly as well-built – body and fit & finish wise – as the Cieras and Centurys. The drivelines were tough, but I remember them rusting out in no time. The Olds/Buicks never seemed to rust nearly as bad. And the interiors were cheap in comparison as well. The extra cost of the other brands made them seem like they were worth every extra penny. I guess like the old saying states – you get what you pay for!
My car is now 33 years old and there isn’t a speck of rust ANYWHERE on the car. Fit and finish was great on this one. Of course it’s a California car never seen snow.
While the “Eurosport” trim works on the Celebrity, I always detested the name “Eurosport.” It was a complete sell-out on any self respect for an American car. They should have called it Super Sport. That, is an appropriate Chevy name.
Like most people here, I remember more Cieras and Centuries, maybe because both our area Buick and Olds dealers were very strong back then, especially the “Good Olds Guys”.
When I went east to college, it turned out one of my friend’s grandmothers lived in town. Her grandmother was old Boston money who married old Philly money, and she was very no-nonsense and proper. So it raised my eye the first time I visited her house and saw her Celebrity Eurosport sedan in the driveway. Not exactly what I would have expected.
We sold a crap ton of these during the 90’s. There were so many good ones that were turned in by older folks with 50, 60 and 80K miles that is was just impossible to turn down any good running Tech IV or 2.8 Gen II V6 equipped car. We didn’t make a ton of money on them but it was enough to keep the lights on at the dealership and put a few bucks in our pockets. I remember seeing quite a number of these turned right back in for a newer car with 200 and even 300k miles on them.
The main issues we saw with these was the pre 1988 versions with the morning sickness steering which was mostly fixable by replacing the old steering fluid with trans X and fresh fluid. Some needed the driver’s side weather stripping replaced due to shrinkage. Some THM125C transaxles had the lockup solenoid go which made the car jerk and shudder until it unshifted to second gear. That was easily remedied with a new solenoid. Like Chrysler’s K-cars the tech IV valve covers leaked like sieves. There was an upgraded rubber gasket that we used to install on these that outlasted the cork seal by more than double. Alternators were hit and miss during these years but that was the case with Ford and Chrysler too. A few cars also had the TV cable shred which resulted in delayed upshifts. That was literally a 5 minutes repair and one I did to my 193 Ciera in a parking lot. Some 4 cylinder cars had smaller brake rotors that warped easily
Other than that the issues were rather minor and shared with most every other make at the time. It was so easy to get one of these cars in front row ready shape and usually involved a set of tires, a few gaskets and brakes. They were not bad cars in our eyes and customers seemed to like them, especially the wagons and Eurosport version.
YES– I HAVE A ’89 CHEVY STATIONWAGON IT HAD 180.OOO MILES ON IT WHEN I PAID $2.OOO FOR IT–HAD A LOT OF NEW PARTS PUT IN IT –PLUS A JASPUR NEW MOTER–& IT RIDES LIKE A SUPER SPORTCAR;–I LOVE IT–& I’LL KEEP IT AS A RUNAROUND WHEN I GET A 2nd CAR?
I’m 67 years old and a typical male who likes cars and motorcycles. I’m also a guy who likes working on them. That being said I had a 1982 Celebrity (bought it new) and without a doubt that car was the biggest piece of SHIT I have ever owned. It’s now 2020 and when I think of all the vehicles I’ve owned this car immediately comes to mine. I wish I could get my hands on the exact car I owned so I could cover it with gas and torch it off. Burn baby burn. As you can probably tell this car still pisses me off when I think about it.
New factory fresh Pontiac 6000s and Chevy Celebrities waiting to be put on trucks at the GM Framingham, MA plant in 1982.
They should have put them on ship and dumped them in the ocean. The Celebrity is the biggr nest piece of crap Chevrolet has ever sold.
Why so angry towards a car, did your mom leave your dad for a guy who drove a Eurosport? Lighten up, chief, not that serious.
I sold Chevys in the 80s. I ordered my grandmother a loaded Celebrity 2 door Eurosport 2 dr. maroon tan CL custom cloth with every option. alloy wheels, Eagle GT tires, V6 4 spd o/d gauges console floor shift. power seat power windows locks cruise tilt wheel. . Only 30k coupes were made in 85. 250k 4 drs was over $12,000.