God and guns keep us strong. That's what this country was founded on. - Lynyrd Skynyrd
I had an 80 Citation for five years. Didn't experience rust, braking issues, or pieces falling off. Only problem was the carburetor. If fuel injection had been introduced a couple of years earlier, I would have kept it longer.
The X cars were the SUVs of the day in terms of carrying capacity. My golfing buddies got one too to carry the four of us, our luggage, clubs, and hand carts. I brought home a small sofa and another time a washing machine with the rear seat folded.
'04 Nocturne Blue Saab 9-3 2.0T, 1997 Catera (11/96 - 6/13)
'13 Black Diamond / Black Regal T
My wife and I bought a new 1981 Chevrolet Citation 4-door hatchback with the 2.5 L “Iron Duke” engine and automatic transmission. It was our first front-wheel drive vehicle and first 4-door vehicle. It replaced a 1975 Chevrolet Nova Custom with the 350 CID engine with a 4-barrel carburetor (also purchased new).
The design of the body, with the hatchback, provided significant room for a young family with children. The front-wheel drive drove very well in the snow, which was a significant improvement over the rear-wheel drive vehicles (no traction control or ABS then....). The hatchback provided easy access and plenty of storage room.
At idle or at slow speeds, the dash board would shake violently if the a/c was switched on. The a/c caused the engine to surge at idle or slow speeds. The medium blue metallic paint began to peel off the front, rounded edge of the hood within a year. The vehicle was delivered with two out-of-round steel wheels, which caused severe vibration when driving at moderate speeds (full factory wheel-covers). The two black rubber straps (which lifted the cargo removable cargo shelf when the hatchback was opened) broke repeatedly. I kept spares in the trunk.
The quality and reliability of the new Citation was the worst of any vehicle I have ever purchased new. I have been driving for 49 years and have bought many new cars. The transmission (valve body) failed repeatedly while under warranty (then 2-year or 24,000 miles). The brakes were terrible, especially at slow speeds when there seemed to be low vacuum. The braking in reverse at slow speeds was scary. Numerous items failed quickly and the rear hatch window leaked water the day we brought it home.
We replaced the vehicle with a new 1984 Chevrolet Celebrity 4-door Eurosport with the 2.8 L V-6 engine. The quality and reliability was very good, and we enjoyed that car very much.
I put 35K miles in one year on a Pontiac Phoenix company car working my GMC Truck dealer district in 1981. Never had a problem, very reliable car.
I remember them well and while they were not popular there was still a good number of them on the road in the mid-1980's. They were on par with much of the domestic competition at that time. I know I know, that's not saying much.
I had friends who had Citations and Skylarks and while they were decent enough cars for US brands, now comparison to Toyota or Honda was a whole 'nother thing. I even had a 1980 Omega 4dr sedan for a while. Thing I remember the most about it and also the '86 Cavalier later on were that they always felt like a bigger car than they were when driving them.
Yes, especially impact protection, and really the lack of value - given what the Yen Subsidy was worth back then.
Yeah, I said that.
X cars and the Cimarron properly optioned etc as a sorted out and at least acceptable product were more than ok in their last year or two or three depending.
'Course by then, the A cars got all the light.....
"From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression — and they're about to do it again."
"The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money."
"If America is circling the drain, Goldman Sachs has found a way to be that drain — " Matt Taibbi
Anyway, I remember the radio and HVAC went vertical instead of horizontal.
The "Cimarron Example" is one of those epic blunders GM made, as a result it lives on............ Just because someone didn't see one, doesn't mean it didn't happen........
Last edited by Ed753; 05-22-2019 at 11:03 PM.
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Past: '17 Cruze; '15 F150; '14 Volt; '13 MKX; '13 Silverado; '13 Fusion; '11 Ram; '10 Commander; '08 Sierra; '07 Rendezvous; '05 Ram; '04 Grand Cherokee; '03 F150; '01 Silverado; '00 Jimmy; '99 Sierra; '97 Ram; '96 Mustang GT; '96 Jimmy; '90 Escort GT; '89 Ranger; '84 Omni; '76 Malibu; '78 LeMans; '85 Escort; '82 Lynx; '75 Sierra
My father leased an '81 Phoenix SJ two-door notchback. The only problem he reported with it was the ancillary gauges fell out of the dash after he traversed a rough railroad crossing. He traded the Phoenix for an '82 Firebird S/E.
I wanted a '82 Citation X-11 for my first car buy by the time I turned 16, the Citation was out of production.
Neighbors two houses away were a true one-car family (the father was part of a four-man rotating carpool). He traded his '74 Impala for an '82 Citation four-door hatch, which they had for two years before an '84 Celebrity sedan replaced it.
I used to be a GM fanboy, never got severly burned by a GM, am still fond of the pre corporate products when I believe they were truly rhe best, and love a few post corporate products that had enough redeeming value to allow me to excuse the shortcomings. But long ago they quit making stuff that were enough of a ‘total package’ to have any compelling value proposition. Its like there aren’t enough left in GM that love cars, let alone hve any idea of what the remaining brands could and should be.
Its too bad really.
But at least those cars you mention had some American-ness to them. Other than the trucks I no longer perceive that with whats in the showroom (heck even GM leadership is said to have not considered itself American for the last 20 yrs. if they don’t why should I?). Can that change? Sure. But will it? I’m not holding my breath.
2019 Ford F-150 XLT Supercrew 3.3L 4WD
2007 Volvo XC90 V8
2005 Volvo V70R M66
2006 BMW 750Li
LOL I try to forget those rolling examples of poor engineering and low quality workmanship from GM, and this thread shows an article that practice necromancy digging up GM's post 1973 past.
I find it sad that some people wish for GM to fail and can't comprehend any good news. A plausible explanation for this kind of behavior is that you have a miserable life so you wish the same to others. Cory Pham, Autoblog Poster
GM must return its divisions to being interdependent entities within the corporation. Decentralize and free the different divisions talents to foster brand differentiation and customer loyalty.
Many cars back then had problems. It didn't matter who built them. I know Consumers Report really picked on the domestic cars and Toyota got a free pass. Consumers Report undeservedly helped Toyota get a foothold in the USA and many other people will tell you that.
My first car was a 4door hatchback Citation, I loved that thing. I inherited my sister's 2door notchback stick later on. Always wanted an X-11. To this day, I smile when I see a Malibu Maxx, takes me back to those days. Actively searching for both, an X-11 and a Maxx SS!!!!
Another reason why GM is now one of the most hated companies in America. It was another under engineered, rushed to market vehicle, a great follow up to the Vega. It kept their lawyers and PR department quite busy. Hindsight is 20-20 but just imagine if they would of taken say an extra 2 years to develop these properly. I always thought they were ugly cars, so square and boxy. My friend's parents had an 85 with the 2.8. I remember the HP rating was 112. That little bugger good go though compared to most of the econoboxes of the day and it was quicker than Malibus and Cutlasses of the day with 267 and 305. It had the letters PJ under the citation name on both sides, we said that stood for Piece of Junk. Still to this day I don't know if that PJ was an actual Chevy designation. It probably was, it's definitely something a marketing exec would think up. My parents knew a lady from church that drove an X11. I saw her 2-3 years ago and I went up to her and said I remember you used to drive a cool looking Chevy Citation. Ha Ha.
I wish they all could be California squirrels!
Past Rides: 2003 Grand Am GT1 (saved me), 1995 Bonneville SLE (RIP), 1986 635 CSi, 1984 Estate Wagon, 1978 Malibu Classic, 1978 Corvette, 1975 Vega Kammback (Miss ya'), 1971 Dodge Dart Swinger (STFU...it got me there!)
"Nothing happens until something happens then everything happens!"
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