By on June 26, 2020

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]

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20 Comments on “Rare Rides: A 1986 Chevrolet Celebrity Eurosport Cabriolet – Ultimate Rarity Assured...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    I like the A-body. but I don’t really like car. Aftermarket conversion stuff almost always scares me.

    • 0 avatar
      eng_alvarado90

      Agreed. I owned a 1984 Nissan 720 4WD with an aftermarket conversion done by FabCo or Custom Fab in CA for about 3 years. The truck looked great but there were obvious compromises by stretching the frame by about 16 inches over a Reg Cab. Not only it taxed the tiny Z24 Carbureted engine (despite having headers and Flowmaster), it also leaked through the rivets used to seal the fiberglass custom-made extended cab to the front cab. It was fun going to the carwash…

  • avatar
    JimC2

    14″ wheels is actually something I miss from the 1980s. Anyone who has ever lived in an area with crappy roads understands…

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Must be more flexible than a Romanian gymnast.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Ultimate rarity assured, indeed.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Enjoyed reading about this Chevrolet. First time I’ve ever seen one. Not surprising with so few built.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    A chop-shop convertible from the 80s, are you crazy?

  • avatar
    mankyman

    I’m pretty sure the Iron Duke also came in the Eurosport Celebrity. (We had a 1986 Blue Celebrity Eurosport and it had a 4 cylinder.) It was a pretty car. Nothing to write home about though performance wise and the seats weren’t that comfy either. Our family’s eventually made it’s way to The Crusher after my mom got T-boned backing out into the driveway.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I used to see a few of the Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera droptops around. I think ASC did the conversions as well.
    The last Celebrity wagon for the 1990 had the execrable door mounted belts which GM kept on the Buick/Oldsmobile through their end in 1996.
    The A-bodies were fairly decent cars, way better than the X-body that it’s was based on. A well equipped Cutlass Ciera International is a nice find but the holy grail Pontiac 6000 SE or STE with awd can’t be beat.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    I appreciate a 6000 in the top trim level. At least GM was trying with that adding things that made it fairly unique from any other domestic vehicle of the era.

    In late 1986 my neighbour and I went new car shopping. I got an Accord sedan, he got a Celebrity Eurosport sedan.

    I made the better choice. He is now a ‘dyed in the wool’ Honda fanboy.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    My God this thing is ugly. My eyes! Ugggh! Ugggghhhh! $&%#@!

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    My middle school principal had a black Eurosport coupe and I always thought it was a sweet ride. We had a plain jane 1982 sedan so that was my frame of reference for the Celebrity. I was also 12, so no accounting for taste.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    This looks like an outsized Cavalier ’vert at first!

    I wouldn’t trust something like this either! This is probably the picture in several dictionaries under the definition of “cowl shake!”

    Go wrong over a set of railroad tracks set diagonally, and one wheel might end up an inch or two off the ground permanently!

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I wouldn’t trust this pile had they left the roof alone and tossed a spare iron duke in the trunk.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        The A-Bodies were the’80s version of a “nice car,” and depending upon the build lottery of your specific specimen, you either swore by them, or swore at them! Rental-lot fodder, and one in every suburban garage!

        Had GM really tried on these, as in “moon shot,” no way the Asian manufacturers would have established a permanent beachhead in this market! Imagine Ford and Fiatsler doing the same thing! The Taurus/Sable, K-Cars, and the Celeb6000CieraCentury all duking it out!

        Of course we know the rest of the story! And in my family’s case, how my Dad’s’86 Century and my ‘84 Sunbird’s ills led my formerly Oldsmobuick family to purchase a total of three Honda Civics, nine Accords, an Acura Integra, and two Odysseys since 1991. (My brother’s B5 Passat was an outlier, as was my Mom’s 2000 Emm-Kay-Four Jetta, with the Jetta in particular exhibit “A” in all bad things MkIV!)

  • avatar
    lwest

    I remember those seats!

    You don’t sit in them; rather you are molested by them.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    As far as conversions go, this one looks pretty good, and it does seem to be in good condition. If someone gave it to me I’d certainly drive it a couple of times before I sold it.

  • avatar
    snakebit

    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”.

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    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.

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