Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

Low Mileage and Pristine: 1989 Beretta GTU

In the late eighties, Chevy was producing more than a few really attractive cars.  Obviously, the Corvette and Camaro were stunningly well designed, but these good looks trickled down to more pedestrian models.  That translated into what GM loves the most: sales.  If you are a fan of sleek lines and big taillights, then take a look at this 1989 Chevrolet Beretta GTU for sale on craigslist in beautiful Bluff City, Tennessee.  This 55,000-mile beauty is currently selling for $11,500.  Is that price, in the words of Marshall Lucky, “too dang high?”  Thanks to Pat L. for the tip!

Everyone has heard of the two most powerful design chiefs in GM history: Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell.  Not far behind in influence were Chuck Jordan and Jerry Palmer.  From the late fifties to the early nineties, these two designers made their mark on popular designs of this period.  Jordan was responsible for the 1959-1960 Cadillac, various Opels, and the 1992-1997 Cadillac Seville STS.  Palmer ran Chevrolet Studio III.  It was there that three of the most memorable Chevrolet designs of the modern period were penned.

Palmer is best known for being the chief designer of the groundbreaking 1984 Corvette.  He was also responsible for the third generation Camaro and the Chevrolet Beretta.  The Beretta was a radical change in regard to how the average midsize car looked at Chevrolet.  The Beretta’s lines were absolutely racy compared to previous entries in this market.  The low hood height, expansive greenhouse, and large rear panel made the car stand out.

Sadly, coupes were falling out of fashion with the American public.  Sales fell every year of production.  Chevrolet, ever quick to make a special edition version of a car during this era, produced a base version, a GT, a GTU, and a GTZ.  The GTZ was a replacement for the GTU in 1990.  Another limited edition was produced when the Beretta was “selected” to be the Indy 500 pace car in 1990.  The car you see here is a GTU version.  These were sent to aftermarket custom house Cars and Concepts for a body kit, wheels, a rear spoiler, and the mandatory for the time decal package.

This Beretta is described in the ad to be in “awesome condition.”  Looking at the pictures proves this to be the case.  It is powered by a 2.8-liter V-6, and power is transmitted to the front wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission.  Another interesting fact is that the seller purchased this 55,000-mile car from the original owner last month.  No other information is given, so we have to go by the impressive pictures for any unsupplied information.  Or maybe make a phone call.

Overall, this is a neat car and one of the few representatives left of a once popular car.  It is rare to see a Beretta today in the wild, and only occasionally do they appear at car shows.  Whoever purchases this one should seriously consider showing it.  Eighties and nineties cars are becoming more popular.  It would make a lot of us happy if more cars like this were displayed at shows.  They bring back a lot of memories.

Did you own a Beretta?  Are you a fan of its styling?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


  1. JR

    Wow, I was just thinking about the Beretta. They all of a sudden disappeared with all the Cutlasses of that era. They were everywhere…

    Like 10
    • Keith Mathis

      Where is this car located?

      Like 0
      • Big Bear 🇺🇸

        Keith it’s east of Kingsport TN near NC state line. 🐻

        Like 0
  2. MoparDoug

    Thanks for the Marshall Lucky comment from Used Cars, though I think his words were a little different. Love that movie and got a good laugh. Always thought these Berettas looked good and had good lines, so much more so than it’s 4-door cousin, the Corsica.

    Like 9
    • Glenn Schwass Member

      My Dad had a Corsica, the 4 door version of this. It was quick. I was used to my truck and went to drive it out of a parking lot. I got on it and sent it flying, causing my step mom to scream. It was a good car except for a battery issue which turned out to be a dome light or something that was figgered out.

      Like 2
  3. Alex L.

    My wife had one of these in teal when she was 16 and I have been looking for one like it for years. It’s amazing the speed at which these cars disappeared from American roads.

    Like 12
  4. JE Vizzusi

    This heap could be showroom fresh and it wouldn’t be worth 11k. Another fishing expedition. Not everything is a classic car. I blame these lowlife auctions, fake lighting, screaming auctioneers and overpriced junk. This car was built during an post oil embargo when economy outweighed everything. jv – smash palace

    Like 6
    • Brian C

      I respectfully disagree. A car is worth what a seller and buyer agree upon. Not you, not Kelly Blue Book, Edmunds or anyone else. In case you hadn’t noticed, these cars were discontinued after the 1996 model year. The vast majority were scrapped, making even garden variety models as scarce as hair on a frog. This one is a limited production model in better than average condition for its 33 years. Worth $11k? Easily for those who truly understand its value.

      Like 16
  5. CCFisher

    Check the driver’s footwell for signs of water damage. The steering racks on these cars were mounted to the firewall, which had a tendency to crack under the stress, even on cars with low mileage.

    Like 2
    • Bick Banter

      I would say the price is very optimistic. 55k is not that low mileage, and Berettas have not brought big bucks historically. 5 years ago this is 5-6k tops. But people are so crazy with money now, who knows?

      Despite its sporting pretensions, I suspect it would be relatively boring to drive. I had a 1985 Celebrity Eurosport with the 2.8 EFI and it was a pretty regular family sedan experience, i.e. a snooze fest. This is really just a regular V-6 Beretta/Corsica with some tart.

      But as people are saying, you just don’t see these anymore. So i’m sure somebody will pay significant money to have it. I personally would hold out for a 1990-93 GTZ with the Quad Four H.O. and 5-speed if I really wanted a Beretta. But this is definitely rare.

      Like 6
      • Brian C

        On the contrary. 55k is extremely low miles by any measurement and certainly for a 33 year old car.

        Like 4
      • Richard Jones

        I bought my xwife a brand new GT ,black with red interior. It looked great with mags i put on and theres a reason why you don’t see them anymore lol. It was the worst car i ever was part of owning, just fell apart even the plastics was crap. I cant think of one good thing to say about it. Should have made in china stamped on roof in big white letters.

        Like 1
      • Bick Banter

        Nah, this is low miles…


        It had a BIN of $7,900 and the consensus was that was too high. Of course, 2017 is a lifetime ago in terms of car prices.

        Like 0
  6. Big C

    Typical GM junk. These were garbage right out of the gate. Lots of folks wondering where they all went? They were turned into soup cans and ammo ’round about 1996.

    Like 8
    • Dave, Australia

      Be interesting with a bigger V6.

      Like 2
      • Brian C

        “Bigger V6” option nonexistent. These cars would later get a 3.1 but even that was based on the 2.8.

        Like 0
    • Lothar... of the Hill People

      Big C-

      My Dad had a ’88 Beretta GT and it was a good, reliable car in which, I think, he logged about 140K miles then traded in on a Saturn. The Beretta didn’t require many repairs and it survived a scary accident on the freeway from which my Dad walked away without a scratch and the car was rebuilt, not totaled. I loved driving it and I remember hitting 120 mph, indicated speed, without trying too hard with the 2.8L & 5-speed.

      I later owned a Corsica with a 3.1 L V-6 & automatic. That car was good to me as well. Its fuel injectors eventually getting clogged were the only problems I recall over many miles.

      I don’t think these Berettas or Corsicas were junk based on my family’s personal experience.

      GM made some mistakes but I don’t think these cars were examples.

      Like 18
      • Big C

        Ah, memories! What mountain top did you drive that Beretta off of, to hit 120 mph?

        Like 1
    • Bradley Robinson

      I had one it was a damn good car that’s one of the best v6 made

      Like 3
  7. Maggy

    The 2.8 multi port 60°v6 was a good little engine along with the th 125 trans which was durable too.A salesman next door to our shop had one of these but not the gtu and I’d service it regularly basically brakes and fluid changes for the most part .He really never had a problem with it and at 200k gave it to his daughter for her first car. He was very maintenance orientated.This one is nice but not my cup o tea.glwts.

    Like 8
    • Richard Isenberg

      Geeze a lot of negative comments on here. We owned two of them with the same drivetrain and you could kill these cars. Excellent in the snow and enough power for normal driving. Is 11 g high for a price that’s a matter of opinion. We had 245 thousand in the blue one and my son wrecked it and it was no where near dead.

      Like 6
  8. Cooter Cooter

    You guys bash this car all you want. What were you all saying in 78 when you couldn’t give away a 68 or 69 Dodge Charger? Yeah—you remember! Those are going for $20k as rolling rust buckets now.

    There’s a new generation that rode to school in these just as we did in those.

    Like 28
    • Bick Banter

      Well to be fair, 1968-69 Chargers, along with other muscle cars from that era, declined in value during the 1970s, correct. However, starting maybe around 1984 or so, they took off in value and have not looked back since.

      This car is now 34 years old. There is zero evidence it is going to take off in value like that. I think the seller may get good money for it now due to the peculiar economic situation, but I think this is probably the peak. He should take his top offer and run.

      Like 1
      • Brian C

        A 1968 to 1969 Charger may look sexy, but it was also heavy, thirsty, filthy in terms of emissions, was as wind friendly as a flying brick, was a rolling deathtrap to ride in and was a rust magnet. The Berettas were attractive, decent on gas, had moderately good power if you got the V6, and while they weren’t Volvos, were much safer than the late 1960s Challengers with better build quality.

        Like 3
  9. Len

    I had a 91′ GTZ in that red with a 5 speed manual. It had the hopped up Quad-4 in it. My first new car purchase of my own at a young age.Loved that car to death and it was a ton of fun to drive. I miss it dearly. It is on my list of cars that I want to re-own again. One day I will find one that I just wont say no to.

    Like 10
  10. Mike Hawke

    I had one with the V6 in the 90s. No problems, lively performance for the times, and nice cold A/C for the hot southern sun. All of the cars from this era and price range largely disappeared, culminating in the Cash for Clunkers program of 2009.

    Like 6
  11. Todd Zuercher

    I always thought the Berettas were nicely styled cars for their time, particularly the GTs and higher trims.

    Like 6
  12. Patrick S

    I bought a white over red 89 GT with a 5 speed brand new on June 30, 1989. it was fully loaded including sunroof, digital dash, pw, pl and fancy Delco stereo with the equalizer. The sticker was $12,500.00 and with low low GM financing (!) rates, I was really happy with my purchase. In the first week of ownership, it crapped out on me on Park Ave in Worcester, MA. If you know the road, you can imagine how much fun that was. Bad fuel pump. Next week, dead battery. I noticed a weird knocking from the motor in the first month. There was a huge dent in the oil pan, they said it was transportation damage. The bulbs in the digital dash needed yearly replacements. Despite the rocky start, I did love that car and I owned it for over 11 years and 110k miles. The 2.8 overheated one day and it was game over. I still get excited when I see these here and every so often, on the road. Thanks for the memories!

    Like 5
  13. Allen L

    GTU as a model was in reference to the IMSA GTU series, for engines under 2.5 litres. Chev did campaign the Beretta in the series.
    GTZ? Well, I guess GM didn’t want to pay to use GTU anymore, and since the 2.8 was optioned on the model, the U didn’t really apply.
    I was interested in buying a Beretta back then, ended up with a Pontiac Grand Am SE, one of the first with 16 inch wheels on the market, about the same time the GTU debuted. The Quad4 would really sing, until winter, when it liked blowing head gaskets…and their reliability is another reason, besides rust, and cash for clunkers, that few are around.

    Like 1
  14. DGMinGA

    I was in college during this time. The designs coming out were sleeker, but under the thinner steel and plastic noses and bumpers there was a whole lot of undesirable to me. Front wheel drive, smaller engines, plastic interiors, mostly automatics. I understand and appreciate the concepts of smaller, more efficient engines powering lighter cars – FWD transmissions are (generally) smaller and lighter than RWD – lighter car, better power to weight ratio, etc. And maybe one of these would be quicker 0-60 or through curves than a 60’s-70’s muscle car, but they still just aren’t as desirable to me. Maybe there will be higher demand for some of these FWD pseudo-performance cars of the late 80s and early 90s. I might would actually buy a 5 speed Shelby Charger or Daytona – really liked those back then, except for the FWD. I got to drive a turbo Laser – quick with the turbo boost, but FWD steering through curves took some getting used to. In my opinion, Dodge did the FWD 4 banger performance thing better than GM and Ford (at least in the US – I know Ford had some special models in Europe that were truly hi-po.)

    Like 2
    • Allen L

      Torque steer, Yee-Hah!
      Yep, that made those high powered FWD cars an adventure.
      And Ford had nothing in North America to compete with Quad 4 GMs, and Turbo 2.2 Chrysler products. The Escort, Lynx, 2 Dr sport models, EXP and LN7 had low hp engines, even the later, rare, turbo model only had 120 hp.

      Like 5
  15. SWells679

    “8 – 8 – 88!!!” Remember those commercials? My first brand new car was an ’88 Beretta. The model I had said “ST” on the side which must’ve stood for “STripped” cuz she had ZERO options…2.0L, M/T, no A/C, manual windows, I think the radio did have FM, no sure. At the time, it got a little ragged on (like here), but I loved that little thing. I thought the styling was cool.
    BTW, a black one of these with 19k miles just went for $16k on Bring A Trailer a couple weeks ago.

    Like 4
    • David B Wengernuk

      Correction, $26,000 Blackbw 19,000 miles. These were and still are great cars!

      Like 0
  16. Jeffro

    needs more plastic in the interior

    Like 7
    • steve

      As opposed to??? all carbon fibre, burlap, titanium, or crushed diamonds? Every car is plastic.

      Like 3
  17. Guardstang

    Might seem a little high but the experts say to buy the car in the best condition you can find because it will save money later.

    Like 2
  18. Vin_in_NJ

    I dated a girl that had a white GTU. It was a fun car with lots of pep, when you mashed your foot to the floor. While it wasn’t the fastest on the roads, it turned heads wherever it went.

    Like 1
  19. chris lawrence

    Man oh man! Love this car. I graduated in 89 and these and Escort GT’s were everywhere.

    Like 5
  20. N Lapp

    My brother bought a brand new black GTU in 89 when our dad wouldn’t co-sign on the new Mustang LX 5.0 he really wanted. Spun a rod bearing before 30k miles and got a new short block under warranty. Traded in a few months later on a low mileage 87 Olds 442 with T tops.

    Like 1
    • steve

      Your brother had good taste in cars, all 3 very cool.

      Like 0
  21. Oldschool Muscle

    Ahh!1 I had a1990 teal green and grey interior pace car 5 speed! Car was awesome!!
    My dad bought it site unseen and when he went to get it hes like what that’s my car green and splash of pink!! LOL.. He had it a year then i took it over really enjoyed the car it was a looker back then. …

    Like 0
  22. Bakes

    I bought an ’89 Beretta GT new, bright red with a gray interior, 2.8 V6 and a 5-speed, loaded. Car was absolutely great to me until the engine computer crapped. Digital dashboard lights would flash like the Ginza in Tokyo and it would run rough for about two or three miles and then be totally normal. Took it to a dealership on Long Island that shall not be named who said that it needed to have a carbon clean out and this cleaned out and that cleaned out and it would cost about $1,800. So I drove it back up to Gault Chevy in Endicott – where I bought it and where my dad was the former body shop manager – hoping that the engine computer didn’t give out completely and it didn’t. They said yep it’s the engine computer, replace under warranty, needs a new alternator, out the door for 160 bucks. Never went back to that dealership on Long Island.

    Outside of that the car ran perfectly for almost 11 years until the hole in the transmission case where the shift mechanism enters broke off. Ended up donating it to the local BOCES Auto program and let them play around with a newer car for a change. Overall it was a very enjoyable car, seats could have been better as there was zero lumbar support, and those doors weighed as much as the entirety of my sister’s Datsun 210.

    Are they asking a lot for this car? Relatively. But where are you going to find another one? GLWTS!

    Like 2
  23. B ob

    My father had a 1988 Beretta!! Red with Grey guts. I loved that car. I was 18 when he gave it to me.

    Like 2
  24. Bradley Robinson

    I had a red one just like that but 5 speed and it was a good car fast and handled really well for what it was

    Like 1
  25. RacinRob4

    I owned 2 Beretta GT’s one an 89 2.8 Automatic and the 2nd one a 90 3.1 5-speed. They were both deep Burgundy with a red stripe all the way around and both had dark red interior. Both cars had the 15″ laced wheels but the 2.8 Auto stayed mostly stock except the stereo and the 3.1 5-speed car got headlight covers, tinted windows, even bought rear window louvers for it. Redid the exhaust in the rear where it had a pair of chrome mufflers with twin tips on each one and the 5-speed car had the digital dash as well. Sure wish I had either one of them today. Don’t know what ya got til it’s gone

    Like 0
  26. Dusty

    I bought a new GTU in 1988 it was black with red interior and the digital dash option. I loved that car never had any problems with it and everywhere I went people would look and ask questions.I wish I still had it

    Like 0
  27. David

    I remember when I went car shopping in 1993, and this was number 1 on my list of cars to look at, having driven a friend’s GT. Went to the local Chevy dealer, browsed the lot, and found one I really liked. When the salesman came over to me, I indicated which one I liked and wanted to buy. He kept trying to steer me to something else, until I finally asked him why he was trying to lose my business. He admitted he wanted to buy that very car and was hoping he could put me in a different one so he could buy it instead. I spoke to the sales manager and told him his salesman was resorting to shill to try to get the customer disinterested in the car they wanted and put them into something they didn’t. I said if that was the way they did business, I would take mine elsewhere. Never bought one but ended up buying a Camaro instead.

    Like 0
    • DGMinGA

      Honestly, that salesman may have done you a favor. Kinda like a buddy steering you away from a pretty girl at the bar, only to find out the next day that he hooked up with her. Pick your own punch line – she turned out to be a psycho, gave him a STD, etc. If I almost had a Beretta, but ended up with a Camaro of any variety, I’d consider myself lucky.

      Like 2
    • Len

      A 94’ Z28 was what I traded the beretta in on. It was an upgrade but still loved that beretta!

      Like 0
  28. Big C

    Man, lots of folks waxing nostalgic over a Chevy Beretta! And I thought I had it bad, coming of age in the late 70’s! I guess you don’t miss what you don’t have.

    Like 1
  29. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    I always like the design of these Berettas my favorite was GTZ I would imagine if these where RWD with manual transmission. And really strong V6. It always looked it should of been RWD. Or AWD would have been really nice. But I seen these race out with RWD and big V8 at English town drag strip. Good luck to the next owner. 🐻🇺🇸

    Like 1
  30. Scott Stewart

    My biggest memory of these was replacing the pot metal door handles that broke off. Mounted up high where you could really yank em when the door was frozen shut.

    Like 0
  31. jwzg

    Style-wise, certainly one of the best looking cars on the road. GM beancounters skimped on every aspect of the car they could because, well, GM.

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.