The Chevrolet Celebrity is an automobile that was produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors. Sold from the 1982 to 1990 model years, a single generation of the Celebrity was produced, replacing the Malibu as the mid-size Chevrolet model range. During the early 1960s, the nameplate was first used by Oldsmobile for the pillared sedan version of the Oldsmobile 88.
It is based on the front-wheel drive GM A platform, and was produced alongside the Buick Century, Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, and Pontiac 6000. The interior space and running gear are the same as the compact Citation, but Celebrity is trimmed and equipped better. Power steering/brakes and automatic transmission were standard in 1982-83; automatic optional later. Most used cars have all three. A roomy 5-door wagon debuted for 1984 and so did a Eurosport handling/ appearance package. The base 2.5-liter four lacks power to haul a full load. A high-output fuel-injected V-6 became optional for '85, but the carbureted version had fewer driveability woes. Diesel power departed after '85. Generation II engines, reworked for 1987, have fuel injection, and a new Getrag-designed 5-speed manual shift became available with the V-6. Balance shafts were added to the Tech IV engine for '88. The 4-cylinder engine gained 12 horsepower late in the 1989 model year. Two-doors sold poorly and were dropped for '89.
Celebrity is more spacious than a bigger Malibu, with front-wheel-drive traction and responsive handling. However, gas mileage isn't better. Workmanship has been good, so these cars have bettered the dismal recall record of their X-car parents. There have been some driveability problems with the computerized engine control system in 1982 models, and deterioration of the upper engine-torque strap causes engine/transaxle vibration. Only the station wagon remained for the 1990 model year, with a new optional 3.1 liter V-6 engine.
For the 1990 model year, the Celebrity sedan was discontinued, replaced by the Chevrolet Lumina, with the Chevrolet Lumina APV minivan replacing the station wagon, which ended production after the 1990 model year.
Introduced in January 1982, the Chevrolet Celebrity was offered in two-door and four-door notchback sedan body styles. Chevrolet was the first GM division to transition its mid-size sedans to front-wheel drive, producing the Celebrity alongside its Malibu predecessor for two model years.
The Celebrity is based on the GM A-body platform. Introduced for 1982 as the replacement for the rear-wheel drive G-body platform, the A platform marked the expansion of front-wheel drive from the compact segment into mid-size vehicles. To lower development and production costs, the A platform shares design commonality with the compact-car X platform; the Celebrity shares its 104.9 inch (2,665 mm) wheelbase with the Chevrolet Citation. While derived from the X-body chassis, the A-body platform would not share entirely in its controversial recall issues. 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.
Celebritys were available with 2 different bolt patterns on the wheel hub, either 100mm (JA1 code) or 115mm (JA2 code). Additionally, the transaxles 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 Eurosport models came with the larger bolt pattern,but this was not the case. Most Celebritys equipped with heavy-duty braking systems were base model vehicles intended for fleet and taxi use.
The Celebrity shares its roofline with the 1982-1988 Buick Century and is distinguished from other A-platform vehicles by its coved rear fascia. For 1984, Chevrolet introduced a five-door Celebrity station wagon; for the first time since 1977, a mid-size station wagon was available with a third-row seat.
Throughout its production, the Celebrity saw relatively few updates, with minor exterior revisions in 1984, 1986, and 1987. Distinguished by the addition of composite headlamps in 1987, other revisions included the addition of a CHMSL (acronym for "centre high mount stop lamp" and informally pronounced /ˈtʃɪmzəl/: a central brake lamp mounted higher than the vehicle's left and right stop lamps) in 1986 and the 1990 addition of door-mounted front seatbelts (in place of airbags).
1984 Chevrolet Celebrity 2-door
1984 Chevrolet Celebrity 2-door rear
1986 Chevrolet Celebrity 4-door
Chevrolet Celebrity 4-door rear
1990 Chevrolet Celebrity station wagon
During its nine-year run, the Celebrity was available with various trim/option packages including CS, CL, Estate (which added exterior simulated woodgrain applique on wagons), Eurosport, and Eurosport VR.
One of the most popular versions of the Chevrolet Celebrity is the Celebrity Eurosport. Introduced in 1984 as an option package, the Eurosport is both a cosmetic and performance option package for the Chevrolet Celebrity. Distinguished by its black window trim and red emblems, the Eurosport was offered with the 2.8L HO V6 from the Citation X-11 as an option (along with any Celebrity powertrain). Other parts of the Eurosport package include a heavy-duty F41 suspension, black steering wheel and 14" Sport Rallye wheels (which became an option for all Celebrity sedans/wagons). The interior was given model-specific red emblems on the door panels and dashboard.
Based on the 1986 Chevrolet Eurosport RS concept car, Chevrolet offered the Celebrity Eurosport VR limited edition option package for 1987 and 1988. Converted by Autostyle Cars, near Oklahoma City Assembly, the Eurosport VR was fitted with ground effects, body decals, a blanked-out grille, and aluminum wheels. For 1987, the VR was offered for the four-door sedan and station wagon and are distinguished by their interior, which includes red carpeting, special tri-color door panels, bucket seats with thigh bolsters, and a rear seat cup holder. For 1988, two-door versions were produced as well and were produced with interiors from a standard Celebrity or Celebrity CL. The Eurosport VR was produced in only four colors: red, silver, black, and white.
1984-1985 Chevrolet Celebrity Eurosport
1986 Chevrolet Celebrity Eurosport, rear
1987-1989 Chevrolet Celebrity Eurosport
Following the 1987 model year, General Motors ended regular updates to the Celebrity, concentrating on development of the Chevrolet Lumina. In response to decreasing demand for two-door mid-size sedans, the two-door Celebrity was discontinued after the 1988 model year. The Celebrity sedan was withdrawn following the 1989 model year, with the station wagon dropped during the 1990 model year.
During the 1980s, within Chevrolet, the Celebrity competed with the Cavalier as the highest-selling car of the brand, overtaking the Cavalier in sales for 1986 and 1987. For 1986, the Celebrity was the highest-selling car in the United States; as of 2019, it remains the final time a Chevrolet vehicle (or one from any GM brand) has done so.