Chevrolet Celebrity

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Chevrolet Celebrity
84-85 Chevrolet Celebrity wagon.jpg
Manufacturer Chevrolet (General Motors)
Production 1981–1990
Model years 1982–1990
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size
Body style 2-door coupe
4-door sedan
4-door station wagon
Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
Platform A-body
Related Buick Century
Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera
Pontiac 6000
Transmission 3-speed 3T40 automatic
4-speed 4T60 automatic
5-speed Getrag manual
Wheelbase 104.8 in (2,662 mm)
Length Coupe & Sedan: 188.3 in (4,783 mm)
Wagon: 190.8 in (4,846 mm)
Width Coupe & Sedan: 69.2 in (1,758 mm)
Wagon: 69.3 in (1,760 mm)
Height Coupe & Sedan: 54.2 in (1,377 mm)
Wagon: 54.3 in (1,379 mm)
Predecessor Chevrolet Malibu
Successor Chevrolet Lumina
Chevrolet Lumina APV (station wagon)

The Chevrolet Celebrity is a mid-size car produced by Chevrolet. The Celebrity was introduced in 1981 for the 1982 model year. The Celebrity was the best-selling car in the United States in 1986. Although sold for only one generation, it received a variety of facelifts during its nine year run. The coupe was discontinued after 1988, the sedan after 1989 and the wagon by early 1990, with the new Lumina line replacing it.



The Chevrolet Celebrity was based on the front wheel drive A-body platform shared with the Buick Century, Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera and the Pontiac 6000. GM had previously used the "Celebrity" name as a body style designation on pillared Oldsmobile sedans in the 1960s [1]

Part of GM's mid-size A-body quartet, the Celebrity used the same engines as the Pontiac 6000. Power steering/brakes and an automatic transmission were standard equipment in 1982 and 1983; the automatic became optional later on. A 4-door station wagon debuted for 1984, as did a Eurosport handling/appearance package which included Sport Rallye wheels (14" steel), blacked out window-area trim, a black steering wheel, and a heavier duty F41 suspension. While engine choices for the Eurosport were identical to other Celebrities (other than the diesel), the interior of Eurosports featured unique red emblems on the interior door panels and dash. The exterior featured unique red center stripes on the protective rubber door and bumper molding, and fender and trunk emblems were red rather than chrome. There was also a fold out third seat in the trunk of the station wagon. The Rallye rims could also be ordered with base models. Another model was the Celebrity CL, which had woodgrain on the dash and wheel and plush seats and diamond-spoke wheels, the Celebrity Classic, which deleted the fixed rear windows and added a mock convertible top and offered power windows (optional on other models), and the Celebrity Estate, which features simulated woodgrain siding.

The base 2.5 L "Tech IV" I4 engine (Pontiac's Iron Duke) was criticized for being underpowered, but a high-output fuel-injected V6 became optional in 1985. A new, optional Getrag-designed 5-speed manual transmission became available with both engines. However, the manual transmission option was dropped in 1986, and the 3-speed automatic became standard. The diesel engine departed for 1986. The Generation II engines, reworked for 1987, now had fuel injection standard and had a new distributorless ignition system. Balance shafts were added to the Tech IV engine for 1988. The coupe was dropped for the 1989 model year, replaced by the Lumina mid-size coupe. The 4-cylinder engine received a 12 hp (9 kW) gain late in the 1989 model year. While the Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac A-bodies received regular styling updates, the Celebrity was not touched after 1987 because GM planned to replace it with the Chevrolet Lumina. Only the station wagon remained for the 1990 model year, with a new optional 3.1 L V6 engine and door-mounted front seat belts with the other A-body cars.

Switching to FWD allowed more interior space than the Celebrity's predecessor, the Malibu, due to not needing a drive shaft tunnel on the floor (more so in wagon form, reverting to 8-passenger seating that had been missing from mid-size GM wagons since 1977), with front wheel drive traction and more responsive handling. These cars bettered the dismal recall record of their X-body parents significantly. There were driveability problems with the computerized engine control system in 1982 models, and deterioration of the upper engine mount (also called a dogbone) caused engine/transaxle vibration.[citation needed] Because tooling costs had not been monetized for the 1978-vintage A-body platform, GM could not discontinue it in 1982 and so the FWD A-body line had to run alongside the older RWD models for the first few years of production (the Malibu was discontinued in 1983, while the RWD A-body Buick lasted through 1985 and Oldsmobile models survived all the way to 1987).

Chevrolet Celebrities in all models were available with 2 different bolt patterns on the wheel hub, either 100mm (JA1 code) or 115mm (JA2 code). Additionally, the trans-axles and brakes were different on these two patterns. The smaller of the bolt pattern was used in the standard models, and used a non-vented disc brake while the larger bolt pattern was to house the heavy duty vented disc brakes. A misconception is that all Eurosports came with the larger bolt pattern—this was not the case. Most of the heavy duty braking systems went to base model Chevrolet Celebrities for fleet vehicles and taxis.

In addition to the standard Eurosport package, there was a limited edition Eurosport VR version available, based on the 1986 Eurosport RS concept car. These very rare Celebrities were only produced for two model years (1987 and 1988) and came in one of four available monochromatic color schemes: Red, Silver, Black, and White. Notably, Fern Green was omitted from the color selection. Eurosport VRs were also fitted with special ground effects and body decals. 1987 VRs were available as sedans and wagons only, with the treatment expanding to the coupe for the 1988 model year. The 1987 models (often considered the most desirable)[citation needed] were given a special "VR only" interior, which included red carpeting, special tri-color door panels, bucket seats with thigh bolsters, and a rear seat cup holder. 1988 VRs did not receive the same interior treatment, as it turned out to be too costly, but were given either standard trim or upscale CL trim. All VR conversions were done by Autostyle Cars, near the Oklahoma City assembly plant, from where all VR Celebrities are believed to have originated. The Celebrity wagon was replaced by the Chevrolet Lumina APV.


  • 1982–1990 Tech IV 2.5 L (151 in³) TBI I4
  • 1982–1986 2.8 L (173 in³) 2 bbl carbureted V6 (RPO LE2)
  • 1984 2.8 L (173 in³) 2 bbl carbureted V6 (RPO LH7)
  • 1985–1989 2.8 L (173 in³) MPFI V6 (RPO L44 (iron head, '85-'86) and LB6 (aluminum head, '87-'89))
  • 1984–1985 4.3 L (263 in³) Diesel V6
  • 1990 3.1 L (191 in³) MPFI V6 (RPO LH0)


  1. ^ Witzenburg, Gary. "The Name Game", Motor Trend, April 1984, p.82.

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