Rare Rides: A 1986 Chevrolet Celebrity Eurosport Cabriolet - Ultimate Rarity Assured
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.
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- SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.
- MRF 95 T-Bird I owned an 87 Thunderbird aka the second generation aero bird. It was a fine driving comfortable and very reliable car. Quite underrated compared to the GM G-body mid sized coupes since unlike them they had rack and pinion steering and struts on all four wheels plus fuel injection which GM was a bit late to the game on their mid and full sized cars. When I sold it I considered a Mark VII LSC which like many had its trouble prone air suspension deleted and replaced with coils and struts. Instead I went for a MN-12 Thunderbird.
- SCE to AUX Somebody got the bill of material mixed up and never caught it.Maybe the stud was for a different version (like the 4xe) which might use a different fuel tank.
- Inside Looking Out Scandinavian design costs only $600? I mean the furniture.
- Akear Lets be honest, Lucid will not be around in five years. It does not matter that it is probably the world's best EV sedan. Lucid's manufacturing and marketing is a complete mess. The truth is most EV companies are going under within the decade.
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".
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.