1987-88 Chevrolet Celebrity Eurosport VR
Monochrome to the max
The Eurosport VR package was a limited-supply option available on the Chevrolet Celebrity, for two model years. It was comprised mostly of visual effects–very bold visual effects.
But there is some interesting information surrounding the model.
Why write about a Celebrity?
The Eurosport VR is not too common of a sight on the roads anymore. It never really was. In fact, it’s the lowest production specialty car Chevrolet ever built. Personally, I only remember seeing a couple of them in the wild, ever.
This car may not have high-performance credentials but it does have presence. And for some buyers, that was high on the priority list. Celebrity’s standard models had a very traditional design and, though generally regarded as attractive, sales were threatened by increasingly popular import brands, not to mention Ford’s still-fresh Taurus, that sported slightly less traditional looks.
While maybe not classic car material, the Eurosport VRs are becoming increasingly hard to find.
In any event, I thought it would be interesting to look a little deeper at this flashy mid-sizer.
Humble roots for a flamboyant model
Before jumping into specifics, lets back up and take a look at the car that the Eurosport VR package is based upon: the Celebrity.
By the early 1980s, Chevrolet was in the process of slowly converting many of its products to front-wheel-drive. In 1982, Chevy’s Vega-based Monza subcompact was replaced with the J-body Cavalier (1982 Cavalier sedan shown, to the right, in up-level CL trim).
In 1980, just two years prior to Cavalier’s arrival, the X-body Citation had replaced the Nova as Chevrolet’s compact offering. (1982 Citation four-door hatchback shown, left.) The X-body was being used not only for the Citation but also Buick’s Skylark, Oldsmobile’s Omega, and Pontiac’s Phoenix models.
It’s actually with the X-body where Celebrity’s story begins.
Not many people are aware that General Motors’ A-body quadruplets (made up of the Buick Century, Chevrolet Celebrity, Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, and Pontiac 6000) are sort of midsize X-body variants.
GM determined their X-body underpinnings provided a worthy platform to place longer- and wider-bodied, more traditionally-shaped, models onto. As always, this was done in order to squeeze some extra financial return out of the prior investment. So, to start, the A-bodies are built upon the X-body’s chassis and used identical 104.9-inch wheelbases. However, they were longer and wider. For example, the Celebrity measured roughly eleven inches longer than Citation.
In addition, the A-bodies made use of the X-body’s suspension design, and even its range of four-cylinder and V-6 engine options (however, offered a 4.3-liter diesel V-6 option, not available on X-bodies).
Beyond that, however, the A-bodies shared little with the increasingly unpopular X.
The Celebrity was launched by January of 1982 (legally qualifying it to have been labeled a 1983). Unlike the two prior Chevrolet front-drivers, the midsize Celebrity did not immediately replace its rear-wheel-drive counterpart, the Malibu. Instead that model soldiered on, with diminishing sales numbers, through 1983. (1982 Celebrity coupe, shown right, in CS trim.)
For those that make sport of identifying the model years of cars, the 1982 and 1983 models had the same half-grill up front while 1982 models made use of amber turn signals in the six-block tail light design. That was the only year Celebrity would feature the foreign-inspired trait. (1982 Celebrity CS shown, above left.)