Last post on Feb 02, 2002 at 7:29 AM
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Jan 29, 2002 (1:53 pm)
The first car I bought was a new 1981 Citation sedan. I kept it for twelve years;it was a good car for me. I was racing bicycles for most of those years-that HUGE hatch was beyond handy.
Jan 29, 2002 (5:54 pm)
Jan 31, 2002 (2:33 pm)
Any British Leyland product of the '70s, and all Rovers (including Range Rovers).
#137 of 143 Citation.....just yesterday
Jan 31, 2002 (4:33 pm)
I saw one, running and everything. I a nice surface rusting white. Had an exhaust leak for that wonderful airy sound.
I had actually forgotten haw offensive they were to the eye. Very long stretched looking doors for their size. I am glad they are gone.
Jan 31, 2002 (4:58 pm)
I'd read that they improved them considerably after a few years. By 1983, I think Consumer Reports actually rated the Citation 4-cyl as "average". Getting an average rating from CR back then for anything domestic was actually quite a compliment! However, even though they continued to improve them, the damage had already been done. The Phoenix and Omega in particular fell fast in sales, and were cut after 1984. Then again, Pontiac and Olds were fairly weak with their compact offerings in the '70's, so this was nothing really new.
The big surprise was the Buick Skylark. For some reason, the X-car stigma didn't seem to hurt its sales much, and even for 1985, it sold about 100,000 units. There was a couple of years that the Pontiac Phoenix offered a sporty coupe, I think it was called the SJ, that actually looked kinda sharp. Well, in my twisted reality, that is
And the X-body was with us, in spirit, up through 1996. The Celebrity/6000/Ciera/Century A-bodies were heavily based on the X-bodies. Basically just an X-body with more formal sheetmetal and a larger, longer trunk. The Celebrity and 6000 retired around 1989-90, but the Century/Ciera lasted right up through '96, and were still among Buick and Olds' best sellers.
Jan 31, 2002 (6:07 pm)
I think the Skylark was more visually different from the other X-cars, so perhaps people didn't associate it with the Citation. For one, I don't think the Skylark was ever offered as a hatchback. There seem to be a fair amount of '80-85 Skylarks still on the road, mostly driven by old people.
Jan 31, 2002 (6:12 pm)
The Olds Omega and Skylark were both only offered as 2- or 4-door notchbacks. The Phoenix was offered as a 4-door hatchback and a 2-door notchback coupe. The Citation was offered as a 2- and 4-door hatchback and as something called a "club coupe", that wasn't a hatchback, but wasn't as formal as the 2-door B-O-P moels.
I think the key here may be the "driven by older people" part. The Skylarks probably just didn't get ragged out as badly as the other cars! In fact, they used to market it as "the Little Limousine", not exactly appealing to the younger set!
#141 of 143 Speaking of the X-body:
Jan 31, 2002 (6:16 pm)
The original 2.8-liter OHV V-6 is still with us in spirit today, right? The current 3.1 and 3.4 V-6 engines are derived from that 1979-era motor.
Jan 31, 2002 (6:23 pm)
...pretty much the same engine. They enlarged it to 3.1, and then again to 3.4. Don't know which way they went though...bore, stroke, or both? There was also a DOHC version of the 3.4 available for a few years in cars like the Monte Z-34 and some Grand Prix models. It was pretty quick, but I think it was somewhat problematic. I guess GM learned two things about engines...don't try converting gasoline engines to Diesel, and don't try converting a pushrod to OHC!
#143 of 143 I had an 84 Citation
Feb 02, 2002 (7:29 am)
2 door notch back coupe, and loved it though it had been thrashed before I got it.That body styled came and went several times in the line; 82: gone 83/84 back....I think it was the "value leader", but does anyone know WHY base version was called a 2 door sedan and the more expensive one a "club coupe"???? What was the difference? I have all the years of the brochures and CANNOT figure it.
I loved that car: roomy, nice flat floor, no idiotic console,comfortable buckets, loads of room in the back seat [35.4 inches leg room], perfect size [176.7 inches]and the lines were nice.It had just been too abused to keep so I traded it for an 8 year old Calais with 21,000 miles [verifiable]with the same engine /trans combo.
It didn't ride as well, and wasn't nearly as quiet, but then the Calais was based on the J car and wasn't built with a sub frame/ engine cradle isolated from the body as the X and A cars did.
That Citation was a great combination of room, ride, economy, size and the quiet inside was eerie.It was one of the compelling reasons behind the Olds purchase and the subsequent purchase of my first new car: a 99 Cavalier 2 door: same size, weight, similar room as the Citation, even the shape is vaguely similar.
The X was a real shame execution-wise, but the concepts the industry learned from downsizing[efficient layout, small size, light weight plenty of head and leg room] seem to have been forgotten.Each generation of vehicle is larger than the next, heavier, wider. With the trend to Sedans and SUVs as regards to practical and versatile vehicles, you'd think that efficient packaging would be tops on the list rather than size. Compare: Malibu/Corsica, the first Mopar Mini-vans to the current non-mini vans, the 85 Cadillac DeVille and the current version.That they had to send to Germany for an entry level Cadillac the same size as the 85 Eldorado/Seville shows a little of the schizo personality of the industry.
The Fairmont in it's first year had an abysmal record. They sold approx.450,000 units in the first year and were recalled an outrageous nimber of times. Strange when it was so straight forward: Pinto 4, Falcon/Maverick 200 inch six,rear wheel drive, WHA Hoppen????Got to be right up there among the worst, at least for the first year.