The Chevy Citation (and X-body Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Buick siblings) was built in large quantities during its 1980-1985 run, but disappeared from American streets fairly quickly; by the middle 1990s, an X-body in running condition was a rare sight. Still, I run across them in junkyards now and then. In this series, we’ve seen this ’80 Skylark, this ’81 Citation, this ’82 Citation, and this ’83 Citation, and I’ve declined to photograph many more. I spotted today’s find in a Northern California wrecking yard back in March, and it’s a loaded hatchback with V6, automatic, and refrigerator-white paint.
The Citation’s real and perceived quality issues did plenty of damage to GM’s reputation, helping to push ever more car shoppers into the nearest Toyota or Datsun showroom.
The replacement for the Nova had to be a light front-wheel-drive car, due to CAFE standards coupled with the need to compete with the spacious-inside Accord, and at first the Citation seemed to get the job done.
This one has the created-for-the-X-body 60-degree V6 engine instead of the base Iron Duke. The descendents of this engine family are still with us today, now making over 300 horsepower.
The Citation’s interior was roomier than the rear-wheel-drive Nova, and the car got much better fuel economy. Unfortunately, it held together more like a Fiat than like the kind of car Chevy shoppers had come to expect.
Ever heard of the superhero Single Person?
The weird superhero theme continued with Perfect Couple.
The first Chevy of the 80s!