Put On Blocks: 10,000 Mile Citation X-11

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Though the 80’s were a dark spot for much of GM’s lineup, there were a few experiments with performance-oriented models that gave enthusiasts some hope the glory days of the General’s hi-po prowess would return. This 1982 Chevrolet Citation X-11 here on eBay may not have been the Corvette Z06 of the modern era, but it was at least a glimmer that showed GM hadn’t forgotten its roots as a builder of cars that could co-exist on the daily commute and the autocross course. This example has only 10,458 original miles!

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The X-11 featured a host of legitimate performance upgrades. Unlike some of “window dressing” models that would follow it, the X-11 benefited from a high-output 2.8L V6, which in the later cars like this one pumped out 135 b.h.p. Although this one is paired to the 3-speed automatic, both the manual and automatic transmissions received unique gearing in X-11 trim. Chevy wanted to demonstrate its front-wheel drive vehicles were appealing alternatives to the Corvette and Camaro in more ways than just fuel economy – they could compete on the track as well.

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The X-11 enjoyed decent levels of success and exposure in SCCA road racing, but abhorrent build quality offset any gains made in the reputation department. In addition to the larger motor, the X-11 also received sway bars front and rear, unique wheels and tires, performance suspension and a free flowing exhaust. As a 1982 model, this X-11 also saw its steering rack moved from the firewall to the front subframe to prevent movement from the subframe affecting steering quality. Pre-’85 models had functional cowl induction, too.

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Of course, above its impressive spec sheet is the fact that this particular X-11 has survived in such fine shape. These are difficult cars to find in any condition, so a near-showroom grade example is quite unrepeatable. Supposedly, this one was bought, driven for a year and then put up on blocks in the original owner’s collection. The seller is only the second owner and claims it drives and feels like a brand-new Citation (whether that’s a good thing or not is up for discussion). The automatic may sap some of the fun, but where are you going to find another one this nice?

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Comments

  1. Kincer Dave Member

    I know I’m gonna get a bunch of flack but I like it! I think it’s a good looking car and would get a lot of looks going to a car cruise for sure.

    Like 2
    • Pope Paul II

      No flak. I think most of us agree with you 100%. That looks like a fun car to drive

      Like 1
    • Rob L

      No flack at all!! My first car was an ’82 Citation (not an X-11 though). I LOVED that car!! Hated like heck to have to put it down but it served it’s time for me and never did me wrong. I want one so badly!! LOL

  2. Howard A Member

    Now here’s a car with 10K original miles. Can you see the difference from other “claimed” low mileage cars? Reason these are so rare, is nobody bought them. FWD was in it’s infancy and many people, like my old man, never trusted them. “The rear wheels are suppose to drive the car”, he’d say. ( although, he did succumb to FWD in his later years) It wasn’t until people actually experienced how FWD cars handled in the snow, that they began to catch on. Besides, everything became FWD except pickup trucks. While not a fan of the 2.8, I think they made a decent car motor. Great find, just not for me.

    • AMCSTEVE

      Where i worked in. 1980. Long Chevrolet they sold thousands of these cars. That and the Chevette were number 1 sellers. I remember clearing the surrounding businesses parking lots at closing time from all if the test drives. The salesmen ran out if room in our giant lot and just got them as close as they could. Being part of a small army of car porters it would take us a couple hours to track downn and find parking spaces for them.
      This happened 7 days a week abd we had the largest chevy dealer in the world at that time. People bought the hell out if these cars.

  3. Steve

    When i was in high school back in the eighties, i was Friends with a girl had one of these. It had a manual trans, four speed IIRC. Pretty decent performer but i remember opening the hood and thinking it would be a nightmare to have to work on it. I drove a 71 el camino at the time. You could work on it with about four tools and everything was easy to get to. Got about half the fuel economy as the x11 though.

    I friends wirh a guy on fb locally that still has one! Not the original owner, as far as i know.

  4. grant

    True story; at one point the Military Police on Fort Gordon, GA used these as patrol cars. Then they upgraded to the Plymouth Acclaim. I’ve no interest in this one, though it is neat to see one unused.

  5. Reno Rick

    Nifty find! This is a trip through GM decline
    Style is ok, performance is nil
    Not worth more than 4K
    You want an odd anemic two door… Buy a Gremiln

  6. 68 custom

    That one looks great and I always thought the X-11 trim package made these Citations look great. recently on Craigslist a guy was selling one that he had managed to shoehorn a 4.5 liter caddy V8 into, looked like a very nice swap.

  7. D. King

    We ordered the Pontiac Phoenix version of the X-body, based on all the car magazines’ BS of the day. Actually ordered it, and got all the options we wanted. It took about 6 weeks to get it, as I recall. It was dead in about 60,000 miles, and I can tell you it was NEVER abused. We were so disgusted that it was the last American sedan we purchased, new or used, although we did have one new Pontiac minivan after that, also a POS. It’s been BMW, Porsche, and MINI ever since, new and used, none of which had problems.

  8. Alan (Michigan)

    Great find.
    But the automatic transmission kills the desirability for me.
    I rode in one at an autocross when they were new. A shocking performance upgrade from my Phoenix company car, that is for sure.
    Great to see all of the relevant paperwork. An almost $12K car in 1982, pretty pricey!
    Personally, I think that the design team got it quite right, as far as proportions and styling go. Look critically at the side view. Nice shape for a hatch back when it was built, I say.

  9. BillB

    My parents had a 1980 X11 with the 2.5 iron duke, a real POS. The owner of this car traded a 1980 Citation in on this one! I agree that a $7K car with over $4K worth of options is off the hook. I think you could bought a decently equipped Impala for that!

  10. Chuck

    Had one of these in high school (my first car) same year and color exterior but the tan interior and a 4spd. My dad had gotten the car new. No one else around had one. What a snappy little car. Another kid I knew had a 79 Camaro with a V6. He thought it was quite a car until i raced him on several occasions. I was able to just walk away from him every time. What a great little car!

  11. Axtel Lambright

    l special ordered a loaded1982 X-11 Citation from the factory, took 3 month for delivery, high output V6 with 4 speed stick, drove it 300000+ miles on the LA Freeway system, it was a blast to drive (a go-cart on steroids) only X-11 with stick shift and cruise control ever ordered. l now own an ’85 X-11 with 62,000 original miles that l have rebuilt from the ground up inclouding a 3.1 liter modified engine with carburetor & distributor plus 12.25:1 compression ratio, 0-60 is under 5 seconds, due to its scarcity ( only 11 are left in the US ) it is being readied as a show car only, it is noisy with dual exhausts but l love to show it off as it is so unique.

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