The interior-space-increasing, weight-saving advantages of front-wheel-drive had become impossible to ignore by the car-building world by the middle 1970s, and somade the decision to replace with a roomy, economical family car using a brand-new chassis. This ended up being the (and its , , and siblings), introduced to the world in 1979 as a 1980 model. While better than 1.6 million Citations were sold, you’ll have a hard time finding one today; today’s is the only (non- ) I’ve ever seen with both the optional V6 engine and the base four-on-the-floor manual transmission.
On paper,looked like just the car to put back on top of the world, giving and a beating about the kidneys with a tire iron while repelling those pesky Japanese and European invaders. It offered , interior space, and ride comfort far superior to that of the 1960s-vintage Nova it replaced, while looking like a genuine slab of Detroit iron. On top of that, the ’80 Citation cost just a few hundred more dollars than and far less than cramped import front-drivers such as and . This car should have been the biggest General Motors hit since .
Unfortunately, all that great engineering and marketing work got undermined by a series of
I happen to know a bit about this. It was one of more than (including ) off near Denver last fall, and quite a few winning bids were placed by LKQ Pick Your Part. , and this Citation got the auctioneer’s hammer at an even 500 bucks.
It’s pretty rusty (by Front Range Colorado standards) in the usual spots, so it was unlikely that any Citation restorers would have wanted to rescue it. They seekand , anyway.
The base engine in the Citation was, essentially one cylinder bank of the
Nearly every Citation buyer who opted for the big engine also paid the additional $349 ($1,140 now) for the three-speed automatic, but this one has the base four-speed manual. Americans couldwith four-on-the-floor stick shifts and … but this was still considered a fairly outdated transmission by the dawn of the 1980s. No five-speed manual was ever offered from the factory on a Citation.
Even most buyers of late-1970s Novas got the automatic with a split-bench seat, but this car’s cabin was old-school by 1981 standards.
It lacks air conditioning, but it does sport the nice Delco AM/FM stereo radio with its unusual vertical orientation. This was a $100 option, which comes to about $325 after inflation.
It was a nightmare to get anradio in that vertical dash slot, plus . That’s why this car’s owner installed an Audiovox cassette deck in the glovebox. I did the same with , but the radio still got ripped off.
The upholstery appears to be. This stuff is scratchy but long-wearing.
This rear seat would have been right at home in.
Excitation, yeah! Transportation, uh-huh! Recreation, yeah!
Citation’s Working Woman was a superhero in thick glasses who dropped everything to flirt with her suave office manager.