Morgan Pritchett
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Forgotten Vehicles of the 80s: The Chevrolet Celebrity

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1985 Chevrolet Celebrity
Check out that beige and brown 1985 Chevy Celebrity
Photo: Greg Gjerdingen via CC

During my time as an automotive journalist, I’ve come across so many strange vehicle names that I’ve started to lose track. But more recently, I came across quite a unique model: the Chevrolet Celebrity. It was created in 1981 and, unlike many things of that decade, has not benefitted from the resurgence of growing millennial nostalgia. But this boxy sedan had quite a long run and was, at one point, the highest-selling car from Chevrolet.


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A brief history

The Chevy Celebrity wasn’t introduced to the world officially until January 1982 and was available as a two-door, four-door, or five-door station wagon. Its boxy, notchback body style was a signature of the decade, competing with models like the Toyota Camry and Volkswagen Quantum. Throughout its run until its demise in 1990, the Celebrity underwent six powertrain updates, starting with a 92-horsepower 2.5-liter and ending with a larger 140-hp 3.1-liter.

1987 Chevrolet Celebrity Station Wagon
This 1987 Celebrity station wagon was available with a third row
Photo: Aaron Kuhn via CC

Random facts

  • The Celebrity was created to replace the outgoing Malibu, which was revived in 1997.
  • It was the last mid-size station wagon ever offered by Chevrolet in the U.S.
  • In true GM fashion, its comparable cousins were the Buick Century, the Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, and the Pontiac 6000.
  • The Celebrity measured 188.3 inches in length, which is more than 20 inches longer than the 2021 Chevy Trax crossover.
  • It was assembled in many locations, including Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, and four U.S. states (Massachusetts, Georgia, California, and Oklahoma).

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Sadly, the Celebrity eventually saw declining sales as it approached the 90s and was discontinued. The end of its run made way for the all-new Chevy Lumina, which was impressively produced until 2013. But if you want to revel in the Celebrity and its legacy, check out the video below that just goes to show that not much has changed with how automakers market their cars.