Bad X-body: 1981 Chevrolet Citation X11 4-Speed – SOLD!

by | May 2021 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Malaise Monday

June 6, 2021 Update – we confirmed the seller of this Chevy Citation X11 “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

If you want to point to one car line that started General Motor’s slow decline from selling 44% of all cars in the U.S. in 1980 to having less than half that market share when the company filed for bankruptcy in 2009, it would have to be GM’s launch of their X-body front-wheel-drive, transverse-engine, car line for the 1980 model year.  Doubling-down on trying to fight higher-quality imports, GM relied on numerous variations of the original X-Body platform to develop just about every car the automaker produced for the next two decades.

There is a reason you don’t see many 1981 Citation X-11s such as this pristine example originally listed on Craigslist in May 2021 in Auburn, New Hampshire; they were simply bad cars that did not hold up well, especially anywhere rust could be a problem.  This red over black X11 is a rare exception that spending most of its life in the dry parts of Texas prevented the tin worm from rearing its ugly head.  Currently offered at $7,100, Comparing that price against the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool confirms the seller’s asking price falls between this guide’s #2 “Very Good” estimate of $6,325 and its #1 ‘Excellent appraisal of $8,900.

Chevrolet’s “Hero” TV Campaign was just as disastrous as the cars they were trying to pitch.  Here’s an example of one for the X11 version:

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Looking to sell my 1981 Chevrolet Citation X 11. original Rust free Texas car. This car is all factory original with one repaint that is perfect. 2.8 V6 60° with a four-speed manual transmission all factory original. X11’s are impossible to find especially being this clean and being red is even harder to find. The Interior is flawless and it has a factory removable moonroof complete with the original leather case. I have all paperwork with his car including the original bill of sale. Only emails with good contact numbers will be answered. If the ad is up it’s still for sale. Call for more information.

Show or go: what would you do with this Citation X11?  Comment below and let us know!

1 Comment
  1. Mike g

    I began working at a Pontiac store in August 1980. By then the fixes were plentiful for the early 80 models but by 82 it was vastly improved and not a bad platform by 84.


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