With some money saved up from odd jobs, and payment help from mom, I purchased this 1985 Chevy Citation in early 1986. This car had the standard electronically fuel injected 4 cylinder engine, 3-speed automatic transaxle, and 13″ wheels. The engine still had a distributor cap, wires and spark plugs that required replacing, but with the electronic controls and fuel injection adjustments were no longer necessary or possible. The interior was rather plain, but for a small car it remained surprisingly comfortable for 8 years and over 130,000 miles. It was mechanically trouble-free, and the body remained rust-free. The only major parts I replaced were the muffler, radiator, water pump, and fuel pump – the radiator I actually replaced by myself! I had to part with this car in 1993 when it was declared a total loss due to the cost of repair after I was hit from behind, crumpling the rear floor.
This was the final model year for GM’s famous “X-Car” line that included the Pontiac Phoenix, Olds Omega, and Buick Skylark. The Chevy Citation was a true innovation for General Motors because the chassis style with front wheel drive that was developed for its debut in 1980 became a staple at GM well into the mid 90’s. The Citation model received a lot of bad publicity in the early 80s due to brake problems in 1980, so GM re-named it the “Citation II” in 1984 as a way to distinguish it from the earlier models. Coincidentally, when I learned to drive in the summer of 1981 the instructor had us using the Citation’s sister car – the Buick Skylark. Maybe it was just meant to be that I ended up actually owning one of these cars.
Here are a few photos of this car: