Chevrolet Celebrity


The Chevrolet Celebrity was basically the Chevrolet Citation on a mission, as you'll learn in this article.

Introduced in early 1982 as the 1983 Chevrolet Celebrity, this new car shared the same basic compact-car-class chassis as the Citation. The Celebrity's body, however, was longer with enough extra sheetmetal to push the Celebrity into the midsize class.

Chevrolet Celebrity Image Gallery

1982 Chevrolet Celebrity
The midsize Celebrity joined the Chevrolet lineup in 1982.
See more pictures of the Chevy Celebrity.

That allowed Chevrolet to price the Celebrity $1,500 to $2,000 over the Citation, and it also gave Chevy a front-wheel-drive midsize car to sell alongside the rear-wheel-drive Chevrolet Malibu.

Available with four- and six-cylinder engines, the Celebrity debuted with two- and four-door sedan body styles. The 1984 Chevrolet Celebrity lineup added a four-door station wagon.

The Chevrolet Celebrity also would offer a Eurosport option group with a firmer suspension and specific trim. It did a fairly credible job of infusing this all-American car with some sport-sedan flair.

Celebrity's exterior dimensions, styling, and equipment levels were spot on for buyers who wanted a reasonably priced car in the midsize class.

Sales averaged 350,000 annually from 1984 to 1987. The 1986 Chevrolet Celebrity found almost 405,000 buyers, making it one of the most popular cars in the U.S.

By the end of its run as the 1990 Chevrolet Celebrity, this gilded Citation would be counted among the most successful Chevrolets of its time.

Continue on to the next page to find out why the Chevrolet Citation made such an ideal base for the debut of the Chevrolet Celebrity.

1982 Chevrolet Celebrity 4-door sedan
The 1982 Celebrity featured angular but aerodynamic styling.

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:

  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.

1982 Chevrolet Celebrity

1982 Chevrolet Celebrity 2-door coupe
The 1982 Celebrity was unique among Chevy's midsize models
by virtue of its front-wheel drive.

The 1982 Chevrolet Celebrity front-wheel-drive line debuted to join Chevy's rear-drive Malibu and Monte Carlo mid-sizers. Though its available two- and four-door notchback body designs were unique, underneath was basically the Citation's X-car platform. Both cars rode the same 104.9-inch wheelbase, but the Celebrity (continued) had longer overhangs at each end that resulted in a total length that was more than 11 inches greater.

Celebrity's mission, however, was somewhat different than Citation's. Its added length put it in the mid-size category rather than the Citation's compact class, even though interior room was similar. It also boasted a more traditional American-car appearance than the Citation's hatchback body designs and didn't even offer a manual transmission -- just a three-speed automatic with lockup torque converter.

Engine choices differed a bit from what was available on the Citation. The base 151-cubic-inch 2.5-liter four (90 horsepower) and 173-cubic-inch 2.8-liter V-6 (112 horsepower) were carried over intact from the Citation, but the H.O. (high output) 135-horsepower 2.8-liter V-6 didn't make the trip. In its place was listed a 262-cubic-inch 4.3-liter diesel V-6 with 83 horsepower -- and great fuel mileage. It's unlikely, however, that many -- if any -- Celebritys got the diesel in 1982, which was perhaps just as well. Like its V-8 counterpart, the diesel V-6 would prove problematic down the road.

1982 Chevrolet Celebrity 4-door sedan
The 1982 Celebrity was based on the same X-body platform
as the smaller Citation.

1982 Chevrolet Celebrity Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

Celebrity

2,691-2,794

$8,313-$8,588

92,330

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:

  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.

1983 Chevrolet Celebrity

1983 Chevrolet Celebrity 4-door sedan and 2-door coupe
Celebrity sales grew in 1983 as other Chevy models
suffered setbacks.

The 1983 Chevrolet Celebrity returned in its second model year with only slight changes. (Because the mid-size Celebrity's first model debuted in January of 1982, Chevy could have legally called it a 1983.) Electronic tuning was adopted for all optional radios, and the former eight-track tape player option was discon­tinued.

Powertrain choices carried on from before, though the 4.3-liter diesel V-6 that was listed for 1982 but not widely available (if at all), became a regular option at the start of the 1983 model year. None of the available engines were able to move the 2800-pound Celebrity with much verve, but the gas V-6 (a $150 option) was considered adequate for the purpose, and the diesel engine ($500 extra) smoother and quieter than most.

Celebrity's debut season was short, and in its first full year sales totaled about 140,000 -- not a particularly impressive showing for a Chevrolet, and this despite a slight drop in prices. But as the mid-size Malibu began to be phased out and the compact Citation accrued a worsening repair record, the Celebrity would become one of Chevy's -- and the country's -- top sellers.

1983 Chevrolet Celebrity 2-door coupe
Celebrity coupes sold less than 20,000 units for 1983.

1983 Chevrolet Celebrity Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

Celebrity

2,710-2,790

$8,059-$8,359

139,829

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:

  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.

1984 Chevrolet Celebrity

1984 Chevrolet Celebrity Eurosport package
The Celebrity Eurosport package for 1984 mated practicality
with upgraded performance and styling.

The 1984 Chevrolet Celebrity lineup was bolstered for 1984. With the Malibu gone and the Citation suffering from a poor reliability record, Chevy added a Celebrity station wagon version, a handling and appearance package called Eurosport, and more performance-oriented drivetrains.

Though the 92-horsepower 2.5-liter four, 112-horsepower 2.8-liter V-6, and 85-horsepower 4.3-liter diesel V-6 remained available, the High Output (H.O.) 2.8-liter V-6 from the Citation was added as an option, here rated at 130 horsepower. Celebrity also offered a four-speed manual transmission for the first time, which was available with the base 2.5-liter four and H.O. V-6. Standard with other engines was the three-speed automatic, while a new four-speed overdrive automatic was optional on either 2.8-liter V-6.

Celebrity's new wagon came in two- and three-seat versions, both proving quite popular with a combined production of some 80,000 units. The new Eurosport package, which included sport suspension, larger 14-inch tires on rally wheels (in place of the standard 13-inchers), black-out decor, and special trim for its modest $226 fare ($191 on wagons), also drew a significant number of orders. In all, nearly 355,000 Celebritys were sold in 1984, almost 100,000 more than combined Celebrity/Malibu sales in 1983.

1984 Chevrolet Celebrity wagon
In 1984, Chevrolet introduced a new Celebrity wagon.

1984 Chevrolet Celebrity Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

Celebrity

2,663-2,964

$7,711-$8,679

309,288

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:

  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.

1985 Chevrolet Celebrity

1985 Chevrolet Celebrity sedan
The 1985 Celebrity was Chevrolet's second-best-selling car.

The 1985 Chevrolet Celebrity had only subtle changes to the model lineup. All models got 14-inch wheels and power brakes as standard equipment. Furthermore, coupes and sedans could now be "dressed up" with vinyl roofs, while wagons could wear simulated wood paneling.

Like other Chevrolets this year, there were also some engine modifications worth noting. The base 2.5-liter four got roller lifters but no more horsepower, holding steady at 92. The H.O. 2.8-liter V-6 got multi-port fuel injection to replace the former carburetor, dropping five horsepower in the transition, to 130. The "regular" 2.8-liter V-6 and 4.3-liter diesel remained unchanged at 112 and 85 horsepower, respectively. The four-speed manual was now available only with the four-cylinder engine (no longer with the H.O. V-6), with a three-speed automatic standard elsewhere. The two gas V-6s offered an optional four-speed automatic.

Prices were up about $400 this year, but sales kept climbing: from 276,500 in 1984 to 355,000 for 1985. That was enough to make Celebrity the second largest seller in Chevy's line, close on the heels of the Cavalier.

1985 Chevrolet Celebrity Estate wagon
All 1985 Celebrity wagons, like this Estate model,
were five-doors.

1985 Chevrolet Celebrity Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

Celebrity

2,689-2,953

$8,102-$8,959

354,832

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:

  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.

1986 Chevrolet Celebrity

1986 Chevrolet Celebrity Eurosport package
The 1986 Celebrity became the best-selling car in the
United States.

The 1986 Chevrolet Celebrity entered the model year with a new front-end appearance featuring a finely louvered grille and a revised rear-end treatment with three rectangular lamps on each side. A bench seat became standard on all models, and inflatable rear shocks were offered on the coupe and sedan.

Officially signalling the end of an era, the costly, unpopular, and trouble-prone diesel engine option was dropped. That left the base throttle-body-injected 2.5-liter four with 92 horsepower, the carbu­reted 2.8-liter V-6 with 112 horsepower, and the H.O. port-injected 2.8 with 125 horsepower -- down five from the year before. Only the four-cylinder was available with a four-speed manual transmission, the other engines offering either a three-speed automatic (optional with the four) or a four-speed automatic.

Though prices were up by $600 or so, Celebrity continued its recent run of popularity. For what was becoming a rather dated design (especially next to the new "aero-styled" Taurus over at rival Ford), the Celebrity tallied up an impressive sales total -- nearly 405,000 for 1986 -- though that was surely helped by the demise of the Citation II.

1986 Chevrolet Celebrity 2-door coupe
The 1986 Celebrity offered good value, adequate performance
and reasonable utility.

1986 Chevrolet Celebrity Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

Celebrity

2,689-2,912

$8,735-$9,931

404,883

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:

  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.

1987 Chevrolet Celebrity

1987 Chevrolet Celebrity Eurosport VR
The 1987 Celebrity Eurosport VR was produced in
limited numbers.

The 1987 Chevrolet Celebrity became the most popular Chevrolet, passing the Cavalier. When the tally was counted, over 362,000 people cast a vote for the Celebrity. Cosmetically, the Celebrity gained aerodynamic composite headlights with integral side marker lamps, along with restyled optional aluminum wheels. Otherwise, there were some engine enhancements but little else.

Due to several small changes, including a redesigned intake manifold, the standard 2.5-liter "Generation II" four-cylinder engine gained six horsepower, now rated at 98. The optional V-6 likewise was modified with new heads and received a boost of 10 horsepower to 135. A three-speed automatic was standard with both engines, while the V-6 was available with a four-speed automatic and -- new for 1987 -- a Getrag-designed five-speed manual.

As before, a two-door coupe, four-door sedan, and five-door wagon were offered in one base trim level. Opting for the $240 Eurosport package brought sport suspension, rally wheels, special side moldings and rub strips, and blackout trim, all of which helped to transform your everyday Celebrity into a sporty people mover.

1987 Chevrolet Celebrity Eurosport wagon
The standard Celebrity Eurosport package was available
in wagon guise.

1987 Chevrolet Celebrity Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

Celebrity

2,685-2,931

$9,995-$11,382

362,524

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:

  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.

1988 Chevrolet Celebrity

1988 Chevrolet Celebrity 4-door sedan
The Celebrity model lineup was unchanged for 1988.

The 1988 Chevrolet Celebrity front-drive intermediate received some technical refinements for 1988, but it changed little in styling. The former made the Celebrity a bit more road worthy, but the latter left it trailing far behind Ford's sleek new Taurus in the looks department.

The standard engine remained the 98-horsepower 2.5-liter four, but it earned a new "Tech IV" designation by adding a pair of balance shafts to cut vibration and gaining some stronger internal components. Still optional was the 2.8-liter V-6, though rated power dropped from 135 to 125 horsepower. The Tech IV came only with a three-speed automatic transmission, but the V-6 also offered an optional four-speed automatic, while those opting for the sport-oriented Eurosport package could even mate the V-6 to a five-speed manual.

During the 1988 model year, the Celebrity racked up sales of nearly 260,000, but that was far below 1987's total. Celebrity's antiquated styling was beginning to affect its popularity, and a replacement for the six-year-old design was sorely needed -- and soon to come.

1988 Chevrolet Celebrity Eurosport wagon
All 1988 Celebrity models, including this Eurosport station
wagon, saw a drop in production.

1988 Chevrolet Celebrity Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

Celebrity

2,727-2,970

$10,584-$12,200

258,456

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:

  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.

1989, 1990 Chevrolet Celebrity

1989 Chevrolet Celebrity Eurosport
The 1989 Chevrolet Celebrity did not come in a two-door version
-- the model lured only 12,000 buyers the previous year.

The 1989 Chevrolet Celebrity came as a four-door sedan and five-door wagon, but neither were long for this world. After garnering less than 12,000 buyers for 1988, the two-door version of the Celebrity did not make a comeback for the 1989 model year.

Aside from the loss of the manual transmission "credit option" for the V-6, 1989 powertrain choices remained the same as before: a 98-horsepower 2.5-liter four with a three-speed automatic transmission and an optional 125-horsepower 2.8-liter V-6 that could be mated to either a three- or four-speed automatic. However, midyear brought a revised version of the 2.5-liter four boasting 110 horsepower.

With the new Lumina coupe and sedan effectively replacing their Celebrity counterparts, the wagon was the nameplate's sole representative for 1990, primarily because there was no Lumina version -- at least, not in that form. There was, however, a new Lumina APV minivan, and it would soon supplant the Celebrity wagon in Chevy's midsize lineup.

In its swan-song year, the wagon received a new powertrain offering. The optional V-6 grew from 2.8 liters and 125 horsepower to 3.1 liters and 135, and though a three-speed automatic remained standard, a four-speed automatic was newly optional.

Despite being based on the much-maligned X-car chassis, the Celebrity and its corporate A-body cousins fared well over their lengthy tenures. Celebrity topped the nation's sales charts in some years, and though the Pontiac 6000 dropped out after 1991, the Buick Century and Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera would survive through the mid-Nineties, sometimes leading their respective divisions in sales.

1989 Chevrolet Celebrity Eurosport
As in earlier years, the 1989 Celebrity Eurosport was the
flashiest Celebrity.

1989 Chevrolet Celebrity Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

Celebrity

2,751-2,928

$11,495-$12,960

201,661

1990 Chevrolet Celebrity Facts

Model

Weight (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

Celebrity

2,954

$12,395-$12,645

NA

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:

  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.