The Autos of Interest X-Car Trilogy

Design Notes: 1980 Chevrolet CitationI seem to remember, maybe it was the 1990s, when the words “Part 2” or worse “Part 3” followed a movie title. Often times it meant super-hyped previews of a meandering story line with half-engaged actors repeating corny one-liners sourced from Part 1. Then, other times, follow-ups actually enriched the original story.

I think you’ll agree this post, which provides a new visual component to the design story behind the 1980 Chevrolet Citation, is a case of the latter.

Are 45 picture’s worth 45,000 words?
Early this year, I had the honor of publishing Dick Ruzzin’s writings on the design process of the 1980 X-cars. In his first-hand recollection he reveals some interesting facts that only car nuts can fully appreciate. We broke it into two parts that can be viewed at the following links (which are set to open in new windows when clicked):

By the way, you may have noticed that since this is a Design Notes post it isn’t technically Part 3 to the story. (If you think that ruins my movie analogy, think of it as a prequel. So there.)

Since the guest posts are so thorough in detail, there isn’t much to add in that regard. So, this post is mostly pictures with personal observation and opinion. However, after showing Mr. Ruzzin these pictures, he did give me some extra information to share that I’ve worked throughout the following presentation.


[For this post, there is no gallery section; each of the following photos can be clicked to see a larger version. Special thanks to JohnnyD for contributing the following material.]

These first two sketches are undated but Mr. Ruzzin said they are very early and were from “International Studio.” They demonstrate the new design philosophy’s space efficiency.
1980 Chevrolet Citation early profile sketch1980 Chevrolet Citation early profile sketch

1980 Chevrolet Citation early seating buckMr. Ruzzin said this model to the left was the first seating buck. Seating bucks are less complete models that, in part, help designers to get a hands-on sense of interior size and proportion.

An interesting nugget he shared is that this seating buck was made so that “the rear seat and rear wheels could be slid back 100 millimeters to simulate the coming A car program (Celebrity).”

At the time the above picture was taken, Mr. Ruzzin said that the car was called the SFC, for Small Family Car. That title can be seen in this and other pictures.

Here are a couple different angles of a “very early” full-size model, also from International Studio.

1980 Chevrolet Citation full scale model1980 Chevrolet Citation full scale model

These next several models are described as early and come from both Mr. Ruzzin’s studio as well as International Studio.

The model shown in these next three pictures is described by Mr. Ruzzin as the first out of his studio for show.
1980 Chevrolet Citation full scale model1980 Chevrolet Citation full scale model1980 Chevrolet Citation full scale model

Notice the aero-slanted front end and four headlamps being considered at the time.

Continue to page 2, below.

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