1988 Chevrolet Celebrity Reviews

1988 Chevrolet Celebrity Eurosport CL 2.8 V6 from North America

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 2.8 V6 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired110000 miles
Most recent distance125000 miles
Previous carMitsubishi Eclipse

Summary:

Impossible to kill the 2.8 V6!

Faults:

I revved the engine super hard multiple times (like an idiot) and this caused the sensor for the oil dummy light to leak, causing a massive oil leak!

Alternator.. (not me but previous owner, you can tell it has a new alternator on it). These cars tend to go through alternators, but sometimes that can just be because of who built the alternator.

General Comments:

The 2.8 liter is almost impossible to kill! One of the most reliable cars you can get. And you can get them anywhere from $350-$1500 on craigslist. I paid $1,000 for this one, and that was from a dealer. Not bad though for a car that never needs work (except when I do stupid stunts, as always).

Today is August 2009, and this is a 1988 car. I burnt up a valve in my Mitsubishi Eclipse (Eagle Talon), and I needed a cheap car to drive while I repair the other one. I owned one of these Celebrities before when I was younger. I found it IMPOSSIBLE TO KILL!

The last one I had before, I used to never maintain it, I drove it in the snow and snow got packed into the cooling fan blades and made it so it burnt up the fan. Well I never changed it. I drove that thing and even over-heated it in rush hour traffic in the summer to where the engine stopped. Let it cool off about 3 minutes, started right back up! And I mean I was pushing it that time, let me tell you! Still ran for years after that, and I sold it still running for $500! I had driven it off the road delivering pizza, and someone once backed into me at a parking lot at burger king (small dent totaled it out and I got a check for $1400! And I bought the car back from the insurance company for $150! LOL).

It's the only car that PAYS you to own it! Still gets you to work ON TIME (because you can go fast in it if you need to).

So yeah, these cars are a very tough car, you get a lot of bang for your buck. I am talking about the 2.8 liter V6, NOT the 4 cylinder version, which is not quite as reliable (plastic timing gears on the 4 banger).

The car has enough pickup to get up to 100 MPH if you want it to. It's not super fast, but it IS fast enough. If you are low on cash, or just not wanting to spend much money because you have other priorities for your money, this is the car to own! A/C is blowing nice and cold, heater works, everything works! Even the cruise control, rear defroster, intermittent wiper, etc!

Here's the deal; on the 2nd one of this I own (right now), I revved the heck out of the engine multiple times in traffic out of frustration (Bellevue, WA commute is awful). Well that cause an oil leak (which I fixed, it was that sensor for the oil light), well I ran it low on oil SEVERAL TIMES. Fixed the leak, changed my oil to the factory spec of 5w30, and it just keeps going! There is a slight groan/vibration sound that you can only hear intermittently at idle, with the radio off. When I changed the oil, there was some metal particles in the bottom of the pan. You'd think I'd need a new car. Nope, this thing really doesn't care what you do to it! Overheat it, run it out of oil, it don't matter (as long as you get some in there reasonably soon LOL).

I love this Chevy Celebrity!

PS I love that on the back of the cat, it says Celebrity on the left, and on the right it says CL, for Craigslist which is where I bought it! Classic!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th August, 2009

15th May 2010, 03:00

I've owned 3 of these cars and find everything you say to be true. I live in Bellevue also (small world!!) and almost wondered if you talking about MY Celeb, but mine was an '89. The Celeb kinda stands out here since its not a BMW or a Lexus, does it not? Anyway I've been thru the same with mine, overheating on my '89 Eurosport, and I too found bearing material down when changing the oil, but you're right, you can't kill em.

I crash-tested my first one on I-5. Wasn't paying attention & steered it right into a concrete barrier (OOPS) and didn't even get hurt! The dang thing even drove me home, no fluid leaking and the alignment was still spot on, even with the front end wiped out! Sold it for $300.. that thing was a tank.

Anyone who needs a ghetto reliable car that you don't wanna have to worry about parking in a bad part of town, the Celebrity is for you.

1988 Chevrolet Celebrity Wagon 2.5L 4 cylinder. from North America

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 2.5L 4 cylinder. Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired110000 miles
Most recent distance159000 miles

Summary:

It's a reliable, inexpensive, nimble but roomy daily driver that I hope will run for a long time

Faults:

Bought in 2004 for $1000.00. Engine had been rebuilt and body had been repainted so I thought it was a good value. Overall in good shape. Matching seat covers had been installed. Station wagons are a nostalgic throwback to my childhood, especially ones with the third seat, which this has. So I couldn't resist.

Replaced interior door handles, headliner came off so I just painted it with a matching latex paint. Looks OK. Needed some minor other parts.

A/C cycles between defrost and front panel, but I live with it.

Radio has finally died, but easily replaced.

Heater isn't hot enough but could use a backflush.

Hatchback needs new struts.

A 2011 Update:

The car is still going strong. Replaced hatch back supports and had brakes redone, and now they don't grab in wet weather. Took off matching seat covers and found original upholstery was in original condition! Replaced radio with cheap aftermarket. Working on a little body work now, nothing serious.

Just love driving it! It's light, quick and nimble. Wish I had the 3.1 six that was available in later years. I'd be driving in and out of everyone!

General Comments:

A reliable workhorse that has good visibility and easy to handle and good in snow. I like driving it better than my 03 Taurus, which seems heavy and stodgy compared to my nimble 88 Celebrity. I also like the body style and always have since they came out in the 80's.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd November, 2008

22nd Aug 2011, 22:19

I am finally getting rid of my Celebrity 1989! What a car. Pulled a trailer 1400 miles from Ohio to Colorado. 160K miles. Dang old car. The best! Used it when I was laid off for my construction car. Pulled another trailer with tools and everything. This car was a blessing. Changed alternator once in 6 years, 1 battery, 1 cam sensor, transmission filter, brakes and general maintenance. She still runs great, but body too bad for the Mrs. to put up with. Always threw a canoe on top of her as well. 4 years ago in a blizzard, she was the only one on the road too! Ahhh, what a car!

4th Aug 2012, 22:32

You ain't kidding about the blizzard thing. I used to drive my 85 like that when there would be Cadillacs etc stuck in the snow... me whizzing by with my Celebrity.

Average review marks: 8.0 / 10, based on 26 reviews