Garage Queen 1994 Chevrolet Beretta Z26 Turbo

As far as svelte, well-proportioned, decently-priced coupes go, there’s not much available today. It’s a segment far gone from American roads, but at one point in time, coupes were somewhat popular. Popular enough for companies to produce cars only as coupes, rather than producing a two-door version of a four-door sedan. The Beretta was one such car. Still today, whenever I see one on the road, the thought process is always the same: “dang. That’s a good looking car.” This one has been cared for since it rolled off the assembly line, and you can find it here on craigslist.

The three-speed automatic was actually the standard transmission for the Beretta, though a manual was offered on a few models sporadically. On the Z26, though, a four-speed automatic was the only option. Under the hood is a turbocharged 3100 V-6 engine, and I can’t find much information on a factory turbo 3100 produced in 1994. There was a turbocharged model available on the second-generation engine…but that ceased production in 1993. Regardless, this comes with a turbo, and it sounds like it works…and works well.

The thing’s mint. Inside and out. Under and over. Everywhere is clean. You can see that best in the interior; having owned several nineties-era General Motors cars, the interiors don’t hold up well to the quarter of a million miles that they typically travel, but this looks like it just came from the showroom. The plush velour seats are free from stains and tears, the plastics are free from cracks, and all the trim is present. You’re missing the factory radio, but that’s a small price to pay for everything else being in such good shape.

I feel like we’re at the tipping point in car culture where nineties-era cars are moving from being just an “old car” to being considered a “classic car.” Think about it: how many Berettas do you see on a daily basis? Probably a lot less than you saw in 1994. Of those, how many are as clean as this one? Probably one or two, if any at all. Cars like these were so cheap for so long that most of them have been beat into the ground until there’s nothing left of them but a vaguely car-shaped pile of rust. Now’s your opportunity to own something that is already hard to find on the roads, and will only become more special with time.

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Comments

  1. Matt H. Member

    Nice write-up Ben. Enjoyed the read.

    Like 7
  2. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    Fairly nice condition, but with 63K – 65K?? miles, it certainly is no garage queen. BTW, he would have to pay ME $5000.00 just to come look at it! The arrogance of some sellers just amazed me. At the end of the day, it is just an old, half worn out Chevy Beretta worth less than half of his ask.

    Like 15
    • MrBZ

      Arrogant for sure, but stupidly sounds like he/she is setting buyers up to be robbed.

      Like 3
  3. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    That 3100 had balls in my 91 Z24. For the day anyway…nice car.

    Like 6
    • Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

      $5k cash in hand to come test drive a Beretta? I understand not wanting tire kickers, but what a turn off.

      Like 9
  4. Jim

    Pretty sure there was no factory turbo 3100, despite what the ad says.

    Like 16
    • nycbjr Member

      Agreed, I was (sadly?) Into gm cars of this era and had every brochure.. no turbo on a 3100 that I can recall!

      Like 6
    • CCFisher

      1989-1990 Grand Prix Turbo coupe and 1990 Grand Prix STE sedan used a 3.1 turbo, but this is not that engine.

      Like 5
    • David

      I am a professional auto technician and know that engine VERY well. That is a naturally aspirated intake manifold and looks like an aftermarket turbo setup. I can find no reference in any of my repair information services (drawn directly from OEM manuals) regarding any turbo. So I am going to say that you are correct.

      Like 2
  5. Gary Rhodes

    Looks like a aftermarket boost Guage on the a pillar. Decent car for 5k, the ask is high though.

    Like 4
  6. Ike Onick

    “Think about it: how many Berettas do you see on a daily basis? Probably a lot less than you saw in 1994.”

    Didn’t have to think about it too long. I would guess 1999 would have been about the last time you saw a 1994 Beretta running. Pure GM garbage.

    Like 8
    • Jimmy

      I had two 95 Berettas, one a 4 cylinder and one a V6. I owned them both at the same time. Sold one in 2007, the other in 2009. I still see two in frequent use here in Tucson.

      Like 1
      • Ike Onick

        Living in Tucson is the only reason you see them. They didn’t last too long in the aptly-named Rust Belt.

      • Jimmy

        At the time I owned my 95’s, I lived in Ohio, and with the exception of some rust bubbles forming in the door jam forward sections on one of them, no rust through when I sold them in 07 and 09.

  7. Len

    I would have to agree with Jim on the turbo claim. Looks like an after market add on to me. The 3100 was a solid V6, but I don’t think GM threw a turbo on them at that time. I had a red 91′ GTZ with the Quad-4 engine and a 5 speed manual. It was the top performer in the model and was quick as hell, especially if you were good with the clutch release. After the GTZ came the Z26 and they never met the same status. Nice ride but I’d love to have that GTZ back, hands down.

    Like 2
    • Bob-O

      I would love to find a clean GTZ today – that Quad-4 was a great engine. I had looked at a new one way back in the day but didn’t pull the trigger on it at the time. Even when they were new they were tough to find on a dealer lot.

      • David

        I am sorry to disagree with you but the Quad4 was more of a CRAP4. As a professional auto technician, I did many cylinder head gaskets and a ton of coil packs. Not a case of if they would blow, but more of when they would blow. Not every car, but a good many. Great engines when they ran though. Loads of power.

        Like 3
  8. SirRaoulDuke

    It absolutely is not a stock turbo. And the ad is full of BS with zero description of the modifications, reading like the owner’s wife has told him to sell it and by God he is “trying” to.

    Like 4
  9. GTiDave Member

    Nope, not stock turbo…

    Like 3
  10. Shawn

    As others have said, the turbo on here isn’t stock. The tell tale signs are the aftermarket gauge pod on the A pilar that isn’t quite the same plastic as the rest of the interior. Plus he’s had to move the battery to the trunk so that the turbo could live where the battery was. It’s a nice car even with the mods, but the seller sounds like a real fun guy to be around.

    You’re correct in the write up that there wasn’t a sedan version of the Beretta, but Chevy did make one, they just called it the Corsica instead.

    Like 8
    • David

      I was going to say the same thing. Just because they changed the name does NOT mean that it isn’t just a 2 door coupe version of a sedan.

  11. Rbig18

    Ok, so you have to promise to show up with $5k cash on you just to take a look but he won’t sell it for that. Others have said this is insulting. My Spidey sense tells me this is a way to make sure he gets a nice wad of cash when he and his crew rob you. No way I would agree to this.

    Like 5
  12. Ignatius J. Reilly

    Seller forgot to put in ad “Just testing the waters” and “I know what I got”.

    Like 3
  13. stumpwi

    perhaps one of you can answer my question. I am not a expert on these subjects.
    If were talking about mid nineties 3.1 liter motors. I had a 95Pontiac Grand Prix and I loved the design of it. It had the 3.1 and I had nothing but problems with that motor. Mainly head gaskets. It would seem to me that it would be the same motor that’s in this car?
    Grand Prix did offer a turbo but that was fitted to the 3.4

    I would think the 3.4 would be much more reliable then the 3.1 but again I’m no expert

    Like 1
  14. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    I’ve heard good and bad about the 3.4. I’ve never owned one, but I had two cars with the 3.1 and they were good motors but both engines ate intake gaskets before 60k. The 91 used regular green antifreeze and the 98 used the infamous orange Dexcool.

  15. stumpwi

    That may be the problem. Not the motor but the new gm anti-freeze.

    Like 1
    • David

      It absolutely was the problem. GM switched to what they called a “low clamp” design where it was a plastic frame with rubber sealing veins running through it. Through the heat up/cool down, pressure/vacuum cycles coupled with the plasticizer (softens plastic) in the Dexcool, it was a recipe for disaster. FelPro came out with an enhanced gasket that was a metal wafer with rubber embossed on each side so it didn’t suffer the collapse that the OE style gaskets did. When I did them in my shop (the V-8’s too) I would always push these gaskets and never did intake gaskets on the same engine again. The OE style I would sometimes do the intake gaskets 14-18 months later (out of warranty of course). The 3100 & 3400 versions were very good engines with decent power and fuel economy. There was a DOHC 3.4 L which was a powerhouse but sucked gas horribly.

      Like 1
  16. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Boy, this seller is proud of this car – should probably just keep it because no buyer is ever going to measure up to the high standards they are setting.

    These were early-90’s cools. I remember seeing a pre-release Beretta in the parking lot of a Winston Cup race in NH. The group of us went and looked it over and thought it was a good looking car. It hasn’t aged well, though, IMO.

    Like 1
  17. Araknid78

    Located in Blaine, MN

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