Rare Rides: A 1986 Chevrolet Celebrity Eurosport Cabriolet - Ultimate Rarity Assured

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

Today’s Rare Ride is quite possibly the rarest Chevrolet Celebrity ever made. And it’s also, possibly, one of those cases where rare does not equal desirable.

First things first: the car you see here was a very special aftermarket conversion, and was not produced by General Motors proper. Regular Celebrities were built in coupe, sedan, and wagon varieties, and offered between model year 1982 and 1990. The Celebrity was the Chevrolet offering of the widespread A-body platform, which included other popular vehicles like the Buick Century and the wacky all-wheel-drive Pontiac 6000.

There were a variety of engine and transmissions available on Celebrity, a range that included gasoline and diesel engines. Gas engine options included the Iron Duke inline-four and a selection of V6 engines that ranged between 2.8 and 3.1 liters of displacement. A singular diesel engine, the 4.3-liter, was phased out by 1985. Transmissions contained three speeds if automatic, and four or five speeds as manuals. Naturally, five-speed boxes were reserved for sporty V6 models.

Speaking of sports, the Celebrity’s Eurosport trim was one of the most popular among consumers. Available from 1984 onwards, Eurosport altered standard visuals with black trim, steering wheel, and red emblems outside, and a 2.8-liter H/O V6 under hood. Performance on Eurosport was also enhanced with an F41 code suspension and unique 14-inch Rallye wheels. But the ultimate evolution of Eurosport was the Eurosport VR.

Available in 1987 and ’88 only, these cars took a trip to Autostyle Cars in Oklahoma City for alteration. Extra VR effects included special body decals, ground effects, a noticeably blocked-off grille, plus some aluminum wheels. Inside, a lucky buyer would find multi-shade door panels and unique bucket seats. In ’87 the package was available on sedan and (surprisingly) wagon, with Pontiac extending the VR treatment to the coupe for 1988.

The Celebrity went through several revisions during its product cycle. Manual transmission models were not added until 1984. 1985 was the first time there was a high-output V6 engine with fuel injection, and the modern fuel system spread to all engines by 1987. The most notable styling revision came in 1987, as singular headlamps replaced the quad arrangement of earlier models. The last year for the Celebrity coupe was 1989, as the better selling four-door models soldiered on through 1990. At that time, the very successful lineup was replaced by the more modern W-body based cars — Lumina for Chevrolet.

But back to today’s cabriolet. As mentioned above, there was never a factory cabriolet version of the Celebrity. Nor was there a Eurosport VR version of the coupe until 1988. So what we’ve got here is a conversion plus after-the-fact additions. A door sticker indicates the Canadian-built Eurosport coupe was made into a cabriolet by Car Craft Company in 1986. The conversion took quite a bit of modification, considering the original setup of the coupe. The seller reports that just 33 of these convertibles ever made it to production. Some time later, VR looks were added to the Eurosport, and included the VR’s bumpers, grille, and ground effects. The quad lamps, incorrect wheels, and lack of interior are an easy giveaway that it’s not a real VR, but it’s certainly still a unique look.

Yours for $5,500.

[Images: seller]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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2 of 20 comments
  • Snakebit Snakebit on Jun 28, 2020

    Two problems with this ride - it looks like Car Craft was in competition with the Toyota Solara convertible for who could produce a car with the smallest rear windscreen, and the bumpers look like they came off that GM Safety Car- were these bumper systems the best they could do to comply with standards during that period? To quote Mr Wonderful and Mark Cuban, "I'm Out".

  • Matt Foley Matt Foley on Jun 29, 2020

    This car is puzzling for many reasons. Like why it has the carbureted low-output 2.8 V6 instead of the more powerful and far more reliable MPFI 2.8. I thought by '86, all Eurosport Celebrities would have had MPFI like the Fiero GT and Cavalier Z24. And why anybody cared enough about a Celebrity to "upgrade" it to Eurosport VR status. Maybe a guy who thought an '86 convertible Celebrity would someday be as collectible as a '66 convertible Impala? I think GM put damn near every possible FWD drivetrain they made into the A-body at some point. Iron Duke, Chevy V6 (2.8 and 3.1), Buick V6 (3.0, 3.3, and 3.8), and an oddball 4.3 diesel V6 that was 3/4 of the Olds 350 diesel V8 and made a whopping 85 hp. Oh, and that pushrod 2.2 4-cyl from the Cavalier, after the Iron Duke aged out. What a useless mental library of GM knowledge I've retained.

  • Mister They've got their work cut out for them. I live in a large metropolitan city of 1.2+ million people, the is a single Mitsubishi dealer. It's really more like a used-car dealer that sells Mitsubishi on the side. With the remarkably cheesy name of "Johnny Legends".
  • Kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh WHAT !?
  • Jeff Matt--I think this is a good move for Mitsubishi to expand their presence with satellite dealers. I had a 85 MItsubishi Mighty Max and my sister had a 83 MItsubishi Starion. MItsubishi needs to add a compact pickup to compete with the Maverick and the Santa Cruz but offer it for less. A smaller more affordable truck will sell. I believe MItsubishi should still offer an inexpensive subcompact like the Mirage it will sell in a slowing car market with high msrps. Yes I know the Mirage is probably going to be canceled but I believe in these times it is a mistake and they should reconsider cancelling the Mirage. Toyota is having problems selling the new redesigned Tacomas and Tundras with the turbo 4s and 6s. Most Tacomas have MSRPs of well over 40k. There is room for MItsubishi to grow their market share with more affordable vehicles. I am not saying Mitsubishi is going to overtake Toyota, Honda, or Nissan but they should take advantage of the more affordable market segment that these companies for the most part have abandoned. MItsubishi doesn't have to be the biggest just increase sales and become more profitable.
  • Cprescott More hideous garbage.
  • Jalop1991 Mitsubishi is planning dealer expansion? What, the dealer will be adding a customer-only bathroom?