GM's X-bodies fought the law and for once the law didn't win. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe X-11 was built the same year the NHTSA filed a civil suit against the company over the models' craptacular brakes. Hopefully for the seller this one's price will have buyers screeching to a halt as well.
There was no stopping yesterday's fiberglass chalet on wheels, the 1978 Chinook Newport, from garnering a cool 78% Nice Price win. That was even in the face of numerous opinions that it likely smelled like a school gym locker, and that it probably had a desiccated human head stuffed into each commodious cabinet. To those who expressed such reservations I say, where's your sense of adventure and love of scalp jerky?
When Mary Barra went before Congress to explain why it's taken GM more than a decade to fix an issue with faulty and potentially dangerous ignition switches affecting thousands of GM cars on the road, her excuse was that this failure to act was a symptom of the old GM and that under her guidance it wouldn't happen again. Yeah I know, weak sauce at its finest.
Hopefully Barra coulda' make a difference because this isn't GM's first rodeo when it comes to selling cars with so significant and endemic a flaw that the Federal Government had to step in and go a few rounds with the giant automaker. Fortunately for GM, our government is completely helpless when it comes to fighting things like big industry or Nevada cattle ranchers- he's got a cow pie, what'll we do?!
Today's candidate is a 1983 Chevy Citation X-11, which is not only a representative of GM's first foray into the world of mass-produced transverse-engine front drivers here in the States, but is also the marque's attempt at an XL hot hatch.
First introduced in 1980, the Citation was a member of GM's '80s FWD X-body team, a cross-make platform that also included the Pontiac Phoenix, Olds Omega, and Buick Skylark. These usurped both the internal code (X) and lineup position from the N.O.V.A. cars of the '60s/'70s.
Unfortunately for GM, the new front-drivers didn't have the same reliability as their predecessors, and in fact were the target of a lawsuit by the NHTSA over their brakes. GM was forced to recall the cars multiple times for that and various other issues which ruined the government's case against the company, a decision that was upheld on ever higher appeals. It also tainted the X-cars for life. Or perhaps, only until today.
This 1983 Citation X-11 represents the brand's hot model and as such it rocks the LH7 HO V6. The X-platform cars debuted GM's 60° V6 engines, here in 2.8-litre guise, a line that continues to this day. In the X-11 that engine is spec'd at 135-bhp and 145 lb-ft of torque. That was good enough to propel the ton and a half car to sixty in under 10 seconds. That run is helped in this instance by the standard 4-speed stick.
Handling of this X-11 should be pretty good by '80s standards too as the updates made to the X-11 - known as the F41 suspension package - were tuned by racer John Heinricy. That all looks to be still in place on this silver over burgundy three-door although there are a number of parts that are said to have been replaced along the line. Those include the gas tank and exhaust system, which as you would guess are pretty big ticket items. The car still hasn't hit triple digits on the odo, and seems to have been maintained with the kind of obsessive care usually given exclusively to members of royalty or Westminster Kennel Club contestants.
The ad also notes that the plastic bits behind the bumper, parts that are usually the X-body's first to go, have all been recreated in steel. Paint and trim appear to be in excellent condition, as does the velour and plastic-heavy interior. Oh, and the car's best feature has got to be its vertically-oriented radio.
For a car that's had such a negative history this one seems not only to have been well-loved but is also still a damn-fine looking car. Additionally, it's a slice of GM history that's likely to be a crowd gatherer at any Bow Tie event. The question for you is, does that all make it worth $6,500?
What do you think about that price for this now rare and baggage-carrying X, does that feel like the right verdict? Or, does that much seem like a miscarriage of justice?
H/T to JQJ213 for the hookup!
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