Partial Patina: 1982 Chevrolet Citation X-11 4-Speed – SOLD!

by | Sep 2023 | Classifinds, Malaise Monday

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September 6, 2023 Update – The seller deleted their Craigslist ad three days after posting a listing for their very clean ’82 Citation X-11. With no replacement ad found, we can now call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Many bad cars defined General Motors during the Malaise Era between 1972 and 1984. Perhaps the worst was the Generals’ massive launch of the front-wheel-drive, transverse-engine, compact X-Bodies launched in the fall of 1979 as 1980 models. Well received by the motoring press at the time, Chevrolet’s version, the Citation, received Motor Trend Magazine’s coveted Car of the Year® award for 1980. Unfortunately, it later came out that GM’s press cars were actually X-body vehicles in which heavy torque steer had been engineered out (torque steer was a handling trait common to X-platform vehicles). Patrick Bedard of Car and Driver said that they were completely surprised by this when they drove a production version sometime later.

That was only the beginning. Like the other X-body cars, the Citation was plagued by numerous reports of a tendency to lock the rear wheels upon braking, causing a loss of control and a crash.  The early cars suffered numerous recalls and technical service bulletins, quickly ruining the X-Body’s reputation.  There’s a reason you don’t see many X-Body cars on the roads anymore: they were bad cars that did not last.

One notable exception is this 1982 Chevrolet Citation X-11 hatchback for sale, last spotted in September 2023 on Craigslist in Spokane, Washington. If you’re going to add a Citation to your car collection, then this sporty X-11 model with the “High Output” 2.8L V6 mated to a four-speed manual is a likely candidate.  At first glance, we thought this example might be a low-mileage survivor, when in fact it features 147K miles on the clock.

Last offered for $7,500,, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask aligns with the guide’s limited five-year rolling results trend for all Citations sold  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable examples sold for recently:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 Very Good” estimate of $7,650 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $10,400.

The 1982 Chevrolet Citation X-11 Hatchback was a compact car produced by General Motors under the Chevrolet brand. It was part of the Citation series, which was introduced in 1980 as GM’s answer to the growing demand for smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. The X-11 variant was a sportier and performance-oriented version of the Citation, designed to appeal to enthusiasts who wanted a bit more excitement from their compact car.

Produced as a separate trim level, the Citation X-11 was a variant featuring cosmetic, chassis, and powertrain upgrades over the standard Citation. While less powerful than the Camaro Z28 (and later Monte Carlo SS), the Citation X-11 would also take over the role of the similarly sized Chevrolet Monza. The X-11 was offered throughout the production run of the Citation/Citation II on the 3-door hatchback and 2-door “club coupe”

The Citation X-11 featured a distinctive and sporty appearance. It was available in a range of exterior colors, including various two-tone options.  The front end of the car had a unique grille design with a blacked-out center section and integrated rectangular headlights.  It had a sleek and aerodynamic profile with a sloping roofline that flowed into a rear hatchback design. The X-11 was distinguished by specific badging, including “X-11” decals on the fenders and rear hatch.  It rode on a set of stylish alloy wheels, which added to its sporty look.

Inside, the X-11 featured a driver-focused cockpit with comfortable and supportive bucket seats.  The dashboard had a clean and functional design with analog gauges for monitoring various vehicle parameters. The sport steering wheel and gear shift knob were designed to enhance the driving experience. Depending on the trim level and options, the interior could be customized with features like air conditioning, power windows, power locks, and a premium audio system. Rear passengers enjoyed reasonable legroom and access to the cargo area through the rear hatch.

The 1982 Chevrolet Citation X-11 was known for its sporty performance attributes. It featured a 135 horsepower 2.8-liter V6 “High Output” engine. This engine was mated to either a 4-speed manual or a 3-speed automatic transmission.  The X-11 featured a sport-tuned suspension that included stiffer springs, performance shocks, and larger sway bars. This setup improved handling and cornering capabilities.  It also had power-assisted front disc brakes for enhanced stopping power.  With its performance-oriented upgrades, the X-11 offered a more engaging driving experience compared to the standard Citation models.

Despite its sporty styling and performance intentions, the Chevrolet Citation X-11 Hatchback is often remembered as a car that struggled with some of the challenges faced by American automakers in the early 1980s. However, it remains a notable part of automotive history and a symbol of the era’s attempts to adapt to changing consumer preferences for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

The ewjxn YouTube Channel provides this weird 1982 Chevrolet Citation X-11 commercial that tried to target single people to buy the car:

Given the poor reliability reputation General Motors X Bodies earned soon after launch, with 147K miles, this 1982 Chevrolet Citation X-11 hatchback for sale belies that with its 147K original miles.  Even more impressive is how well-preserved this example is. While far from perfect, with minor cosmetic flaws inside and out, this Citation X-11 was clearly loved by a fastidious owner for many years.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1982 Chevrolet Citation X-11 Rare $7,500 Firm It’s all original, never been painted or wrecked. Runs and drives.”

Show or go: what would you do with this 1982 Chevrolet Citation X-11 for sale? Please comment below and let us know!


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