Though it only lived for almost a decade and was marketed for only one generation, the Chevrolet Celebrity could take pride in being the best-selling car in the U.S. in 1986 while it was halfway through its industry existence. This mid-size car was produced by General Motor’s Chevrolet marquee from 1981 to early 1990. Production of the coupe version was discontinued after 1988 while the manufacture of the sedan ended in 1989. It wasn’t until the early 1990 when the last celebrity wagon rolled out of the assembly plant. The Celebrity was replaced by the Chevy Lumina.
1982: Introduction of FWD Chevy Celebrity
The first Chevrolet Celebrity that was revealed in early 1982 was a front-wheel-drive vehicle aimed to join the Chevy Malibu and Monte Carlo in the mid-size class. While it shared the same compact car chassis with the Citation, Chevy made the Celebrity’s body longer enough to be recognized as a mid-size car. It sported a more conventional American-car looks and delivered a great fuel mileage.
Under the hood was either a 2.5 liter four-cylinder that can crank out 90 hp or a 4.3 liter V-6. Both engines are paired with a three-speed automatic with a lockup torque converter.
1984: Launching of the Celebrity station wagon
The Chevy Celebrity lineup was bolstered for the 1984 model year. Chevy offered a station wagon variant as well as a handling and appearance-oriented package named Eurosport. Also offered were drivetrains that were more performance-oriented. The new wagon was available in two-and three-seat versions.
For 1985, the Celebrity line received only subtle changes and upgrades, including 14-in. wheels and power brakes, which became standard on all models. The coupes and sedans got some kind of dressing up with their vinyl roofs, while the wagons received simulated wood paneling. A year after, the Celebrity welcomed the model year with a redesigned front end, featuring a beautifully louvered grille and new rear-end treatment.
1987: Celebrity as the most popular Chevrolet
The 1987 Chevy Celebrity took pride in becoming the most popular Chevrolet. On the exterior, it received aerodynamic composite headlights featuring side marker lamps, as well as optional aluminum wheels. For this year, the 2.5L “Generation II” four-cylinder engine was rated at 98hp while the optional V-6 received new heads plus 10 additional horses, making it able to produce 135 hp.
1989: Final year for the Chevy Celebrity
For the 1989 model year, the Celebrity was offered as a four-door sedan and a five-door wagon. It still had the same V6 engine options but in the middle of the year, Chevy offered a revised version of the 2.5-liter four-cylinder option generating 110 horsepower. However, this marked the last year for the Chevy coupe and sedan, which were replaced by Chevy Lumina. The wagon became Celebrity’s remaining representative for 1990, which was also its final year in the market.