Junkyard Find: 1992 Chevrolet Beretta GT

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

The Chevrolet Division hit one of its all-too-common low points in the early 1990s; the early-80s-design Camaro and Corvette looked more dated by the minute, the Cavalier was a laughingstock, the Lumina might as well have had gigantic “RENTAL CAR” badging on the decklid, and minivan shoppers ignored the confusingly-named Lumina APV in their mad rush to the nearest Chrysler dealership.

And then there was the Beretta GT. While not as quick as the Quad 4-equipped Beretta GTZ, the GT came with a 135-horsepower, 3.1 liter pushrod V6 that moved its 2,700 pounds pretty briskly.

Berettas mostly ended up being treated as throwaway cars, but this one soldiered on for a very impressive 260,000 miles.

The turquoise-and-pink “Flashdance”-style GT decals would have looked dated in 1986. In 1992, they may have passed as retro-nostalgic. The decade-nostalgia cycle really speeded up starting with the 1990s, and the 80s were already big by ’92.

Few remember the Beretta just 20 years later. Does it deserve to be forgotten?

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Jun 01, 2012

    A friend of ours had a silver Beretta for years and years, it had some pretty bad rust but it was bulletproof mechanically. It had about 240K on it when some drunk smashed into it just after my friend and his GF (now wife) got out of it. It wasn't worth fixing and went to the scrapyard. He replaced it with a 2007? Camry, and it wasn't nearly as good mechanically as the old Beretta was. The Camry just got traded in on a Grand Cherokee.

  • Patrick McCall Patrick McCall on Jun 02, 2012

    Is that GT really supposed to be the only emblem on that door panel? The "flashdance" writing takes me back to GT versions of everything, particularly the early 90's full size trucks (think Sierra GT and Yukon GT), but mainly the GMC Syclone, Typhoon, and Sonoma GT trucks with their totally 90's plastic body cladding, a point of contention on the Junkyard Finds forum. By no means an appropriate comparison, seeing the window lines of the Beretta always made me long for seeing the Buick LeSabre and/or Oldsmobile Eighty Eight coupes instead.

    • NormSV650 NormSV650 on Jun 02, 2012

      GT on the Beretta was bigger sway bars, different shocks, bigger wheels ans tires. GTZ was even bigger suspension stuff. So it actually was Grand Touring at it's best as it was comparable to sports car level in it's results. The Beretta GTZ ad showing a GTZ as a $20,000 discounted M3 at the time was the real deal. A few tweaks like 1", rear sway bar and Cavalier convertible upper and lower sway bar put the sub 2700 lbs V6 in the fight.

  • ToolGuy Friendly reminder of two indisputable facts: A) Winners buy new vehicles (only losers buy used), and B) New vehicle buyers are geniuses (their vehicle choices prove it):
  • Groza George Stellantis live off the back of cheap V8 cars with old technology and suffers from lack of new product development. Now that regulations killed this market, they have to ditch the outdated overhead.They are not ready to face the tsunami of cheap Chinese EVs or ready to even go hybrid and will be left in the dust. I expect most of their US offerings to be made in Mexico in the future for good tariff protection and lower costs of labor instead of overpriced and inflexible union labor.
  • MaintenanceCosts This is delaying an oil change for my Highlander by a couple of weeks, as it prevented me from getting an appointment before a business trip out of town. Oh well, much worse things have happened.I also just got a dealership oil change for my BMW (thanks, loss-leader prepaid plans!) and this didn't seem to affect them at all.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Gonna need more EV fuel.
  • Lou_BC There's a company in BC that has kits for logging trucks and pickups. They have "turn key" logging trucks too. What they market is similar to what Ram wants to sell. The rig runs on batteries and a generator kicks in when depleted. On the West Coast logging in the mountains they found that the trucks run mostly on regen braking. The generator doesn't kick in much. Going up mountain, the truck is empty.