What's Better Than A Classic Chevrolet Celebrity Sedan? Nothing, Says Chevrolet

Welcome to Sunday Matinee, where we highlight classic car reviews or other longer videos I find on YouTube. Kick back and enjoy this blast from the past.

Here's a fun game — see if you can name all the great luxury sedans of the 1980s. BMW E30 and E28? Of course. Audi 5000? Definitely. Volvo 200 series? Most certainly. Mercedes-Benz 190E? Absolutely. Saab 900? Totes McGotes.

But if that's all you could come up with, kick yourself in the face for being dead wrong. You're forgetting the greatest luxury sedan a conservative, successful businessman could buy in the Reagan/Bush era: the Chevrolet Celebrity!

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What's that, you say? You've never heard of the Celebrity? Then you need to check out this Chevrolet dealer training video from 1988.

Rather than simply list the features of this swanky front-wheel-drive luxury machine, the video tells us the story of ultra-successful businessman and proud Celebrity owner J.B., who tries to convince his young protégé Eddie to invest in one as well.

See, young Eddie's concerned the Celebrity is too conservative, for which he gets a stern admonishment from J.B. The Celebrity's as modern as they come! Just look at all the fabulous styling cues, like the, um… hood… and grille… and tires. Also, it has headlights.

But it's built for the long haul! Just listen to that hollow "ka-thunk" when J.B. opens the trunk. That's the sound of 1980s General Motors quality!

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When J.B. and Eddie meet up with Jim on the links, he too tries to convince Eddie to trade in his beater-ass '76 Plymouth Fury for a Celebrity. It has color-coordinated cloth interiors! What more could you want in a car?

Then Eddie has the gall to suggest he's been looking at a Mazda 929 as well, which practically sends J.B. into a fit of rage. "MAZDA? Not in MY parking lot!" he says. We all know what he really means by that:

"Dammit, Eddie, have you forgotten what those jokers did to Pearl Harbor? I didn't carpet bomb half their cities and then parachute in with my buddies to bayonet all the survivors so I could come home and watch you buy a goddamn Mazda!"

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Classy move, Old GM. If you can't beat ‘em on build quality, beat ‘em with jingoism.

Of course, there's a whimsical surprise at the end — Eddie already bought a car, and it's a Celebrity Eurosport! Now Eddie and that PYT wife of his can tear it up on the back roads and leave the Saabs and BMWs in their dust. Does it have awesome performance? Uh, it's called Eurosport. Duh.

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What do you think of the video, and GM's wares from the end of the 80s?

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DISCUSSION

ranwhenparked
ranwhenparked

Most corporate training films are badly acted, poorly written, and overly contrived, and all that went double for ones produced in the 1980s. That said, it is pretty amazing that GM couldn't think of a more realistic scenario for someone buying a Celebrity than a couple of successful businessmen on a golf course - the only place you'd find a Celebrity at a country club would be in the employee parking lot, and maybe not even then.

The funny thing is that they went through all this fuss for the absolute worst member of the A-cars, the one version that nobody would buy intentionally if they could afford something else. Now, the Pontiac 6000STE was a halfway decent car, and even the Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera still had SOME redeeming features, but a freakin Celebrity? Who looked at one of those, then looked at the Taurus, then decided, yeah, I really want the Chevy?