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33,000 Miles: 1988 Chevy Beretta

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I’ll admit: there are some pretty subpar cars out there that I still wouldn’t mind owning someday. I’ve always been drawn to the Chevy Beretta, which I feel is a cleanly designed car with mediocre underpinnings. That said, Car And Driver magazine will likely never live down the fact that their test results for the hi-po Beretta GTZ lead to a now-infamous advertisement wherein Chevy compared their domestic two-door to the venerable BMW M3. This one we’re featuring today has only 33,177 original miles and you’ll find it here on eBay with a starting bid of $2,100. 

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I suppose my interest in the Beretta stands from two distinct personal connections: one, a neighbor put up for sale a mint black Beretta GT with the color-matched mesh wheels right about the time I was turning 16. As a teenager, it looked like the single greatest car a young man looking to explore the world could own; as an adult, while I’m sure I didn’t miss anything by not owning it, I can see why it appealed to an adolescent brain. Likewise, the other memory stems from a classmate who owned a GTU and subsequently trashed it.

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Fortunately, this example is unquestionably not trashed, looking like a new car that’s barely broken in. The CL trim designates nothing more than two-tone paint, but this example fortunately has the 2.8 V6, which was an upgrade over the base model’s four-cylinder. Now, I don’t know how much of a difference it will make with that automatic up front, but you take what you can get in a car like this. The seller speculates that the front bumper and fenders may have been repainted at one point in time, which is disappointing for a low mileage survivor like this one.

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It still amazes me that it wasn’t too long ago auto manufacturers were making all of the interior the same shade of color. I would be interested in seeing if there was some sort of focus group study performed that showed consumers of the time preferred one solid color in the interior as opposed to today, where it seems like multiple, complimentary colors are considered the height of sophistication. This Beretta CL may not light your heart on fire, but remember – it was designed by the same studio as the Corvette and the Camaro, so it may been poised for greatness at one point in time.


  1. piper62j

    Could be a great daily driver. Nice condition and well kept for all these years. Great find..

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  2. JW454


    Either drop one of the zeros from the starting bid price in your write up or add another one and put a period in after the first two.
    When I saw the starting bid said 21K I almost had a cardiac arrest. LOL

    Nice car.

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  3. alan

    Definitely drop a zero. Otherwise, a super clean and by now a rare car.

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  4. Stacey Williams

    Had one 1989, not worth the money. I would take the 2.8 and put in another upgrade the 3.1 add new alternator and starter, new ignition, window master switch and keep it out of the sun. Why be a use the back plastic cover will warp! Over all I would have another but with these changes.

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  5. acworthless

    “I would be interested in seeing if there was some sort of focus group study performed that showed consumers of the time preferred one solid color in the interior as opposed to today, where it seems like multiple, complimentary colors are considered the height of sophistication.”

    Most interiors I see are still one solid color – black.

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    • Lance

      I was actually on a focus group for the Beretta in Atlanta a couple of years before it came out.
      We did not like the monochrome interior, especially in the maroon color.
      Some of us would have liked to see it with a V8.
      There were no markings on the car. It was a couple of years before I knew the car I was looking at was the Beretta.

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  6. MathieuB

    Same memories come back to me, a neighbor had a racing red (with matching red mag wheels) GTZ new with the Quad4 engine. It was a blast to ride with him. It was THE car who can beat the others car around like the camaro. While this one had less appeal because being an automatic it is still a clean example.

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  7. RandyS

    Had an ’89 that I bought new off the showroom floor. The ’88 was the only year to have a classic rear swaybar. The later years used the fixed solid bar inside the rear axle beam to stiffen it.

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  8. Nova Scotian

    Nice clean car. I liked the dash layout. Our wedding party had one decorated in the line up to our wedding. Not my car. As the procession was about to leave this white Gt owner realizes the keys were locked inside, with engine running! Panicked, all the guys stand around in tuxes wondering what to do…now we’re running late to meet the (my) bride at the church….not gonna happen I say…leave the car, we’ll proceed without it. Owner smashes out drivers window with a rock at the last minute and four cars decorated with bows and ribbons and paper flowers “fly” up the road at breakneck speeds. Not gonna be late…no we weren’t late, we just made it! But the cars looked like someone toilet papered them in pink! We all had huge laughs over it! What a mess. Otherwise wedding went off without a hitch,…so to speak.

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    • Dairymen

      Without a hitch, but you got hitched right? Lol

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  9. 68custom

    A friend of mine was a new car salesman and was given a GTZ for his driver equipped with quad 4/5speed. I was not impressed with it nearly as much as another friends quad 4/5peed grand-am. but the GTZ was flashy.

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    • Kincer Dave

      I had a 90 Beretta GTZ Quad4/5spd and it was a freak, that thing was quick and it wasn’t just me thinking that, all my friends with a variety of different cars thought it was fast, beat alot of different cars with it, I had a another friend with the same car and it didn’t run nearly as good as mine. Had another friend with a 5.0 Stang LX and we were about even. Now I know early 90’s cars weren’t equal to the old muscle but mine would hold it’s own with alot of cars. I do have to say that I liked the 92 and up dash layout better than mine. They also seemed to tighten up the interior panels on that style too, much less rattles.

      Like 0
  10. Kent

    My brother had one of these, and never have I seen a more poorly put together car. It rattled down the road with literally every corner of the cockpit the sight of some sort of trim, door panel or dash decoration popping out. A cheap plastic mess of a car.

    Like 1
  11. Dairymen

    For all I care this car can go back in the barn and maybe in another 25 years we’ll take a look at it and see if it’s a cool classic by then.

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  12. Alan (Michigan)

    Wife had one when I met her. We had quite a number of interesting experiences with the car, and I can’t say that they were all positive.

    One warning to all potential buyers: There was a recall on the door hinges. We only found out about it AFTER the hinge broke and the driver’s door fell off the car! Fortunately it missed my wife’s foot….

    Lube the hinges weekly, if you have one of these. The Beretta doors are very heavy.

    About this car specifically: I’ve never seen a coolant reservoir that full before.

    Like 1
  13. Dan

    Must be an early 88 since there are no door mounted seltbelts.

    I always loved the burble of the 2.8.

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  14. Ron G

    These, Cavaliers, Sunbirds and Grand Ams were all over the student parking lot when I was in High School in the early ’00s. It’s nice to see one in such nice shape that hasn’t been trashed by a teenager.

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  15. Mike Reese

    Not a bad looking design for GM at the time .. if the engineering and build quality had been matched by the management, the badge might still be a going thing. I thought similarly about the Chrysler / Mitsubishi collaborations, namely, the Plymouth Sapporo and the Dodge Shadow/Plymouth Sundance. I actually owned a Shadow … if only it had been built as good as it looked.

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  16. Roselandpete

    I always liked the styling but was disappointed at how cheap the interior looked.

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  17. Wd62vette

    Our Daughter bought a 91 Base with the iron duke 4 cly. brand new. She wrecked the car twice and we fixed it and then the car was handed down to our son who wrecked the car bad and we put it back together again. I finally got tired of fixing it and keeping the rust at bay. With 160,000 miles we gave the car to another family member who put the car out of its misery. That was a great car.

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  18. grant

    My grandfather got a new car every 5 years. Traded in an exact twin of this car on a 1993 taurus when it had 17k on it. Salesman couldn’t believe it and bought it for his wife.

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  19. dj

    I had an 89 black GTU. Loved the car. This one is an early 88. Some were actually 87 models when I worked for GM.

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  20. Matt St

    I always liked the Cavalier Z-24’s of this vintage. A girl in high school used to drive her mother’s gray one. You just don’t see them anymore here in the Northeast, haven’t for years.

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  21. Jesse B

    Is this available?

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    • DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever


      You can’t tell that this feature was from 3.5 years ago?

      Expect the answer to be no.

      Like 1
  22. Dave

    I bought a brand new 1988 Chevy Barretta in December of 1987 it cost me $8600 I was 20 years old and it was, in my mind, my first new “real” car that I bought on my own, I traded in my 86’ Ford Escort Pony that my dad had co-signed to help me buy. It was a great car that 2.8 MFI had such a nice rumble I thought I was it!!

    Like 1

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