Quad 4 Equipped: 1990 Chevy Beretta GTZ

There was a time when high school parking lots were littered with GM products equipped with the venerable Quad 4 motors. Unfortunately, because they were often found in the hands of high schoolers, not many are left in decent shape today. This 1990 Beretta GTZ is an exception to the rule and equipped with the desirable 5-speed manual. Find it here on eBay where bidding is low and the reserve remains unmet. 

One of my favorite design features of the Beretta was that huge taillight panel, blacked out in the case of the GTZ. The integrated rear spoiler always looked slick, and I like these cars in white the most due to the color-matched alloy wheels. The black-on-black Berettas always looked a big haggard to me, but the white ones showed the Beretta’s lines off nicely. This car hasn’t seen much road-use in the last ten years and has been stored in a pole barn.

That helps to explain the condition, which is quite nice considering how old the Beretta now is. The thickly-bolstered sport seats still present nicely, and although the interior on these cars reeks of bargain basement materials, it’s at least holding up well in this example. The seller notes that mileage is fairly low for the model year at 140,000, but this car isn’t a time capsule – which makes its clean cosmetic condition even more impressive.

In addition to going well, I always felt the Quad 4 mills sounded pretty good, too. The exhaust note was always the right side of raspy, but the seller notes in this case a new muffler is needed. Tires will also need replacement, but otherwise the GTZ “…starts and runs great.” The only other issues disclosed are some warped interior plastics, and unless the reserve is set freakishly high, this looks like a great potential project to sort out over the winter months.


  1. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    The first spanking new car I ever bought! Mine was the black with black wheels and the dealer even went so far as to tint the glass all around. I did “dog” it, as has been written, and the Quad 4 gave out at around 77k miles. First car I ever took to over 100 mph for any length of time. At 100 mph the only issue was a little wind noise from the seal around the moon roof. I agree about the cheap materials on the interior. I recall the parking brake handle broke off in my hand after a few thousand miles.

    Like 1
    • Kincer Dave Member

      I lost the rear window louvers on mine over 100 mph lol, I had the head gasket replaced under warranty and never any engine trouble, sold it to a buddy of mine and he put 150k on it before he traded it in.

      Like 2
    • Billy

      “Dog?”, oh yeah. One of these is the reason I will never buy a used rental car. I watched my kid brother really abuse one of these he rented out in Boston . Car took a lot of abuse, but I wonder if everyone treats rentals like he did? I know, I do not. I recall renting a Corolla out of Logan airport back in the early 90s and treating it with kid gloves.

  2. irocrobb

    I always kinda liked the look of them but not the quad 4. Interesting mention of the cassette deck. Around 1990 I believe GM was changing over to cd players. My 1988 Iroc has a factory cassette but I had a 1991 z28 that had a Delco cd player. Didnt take a bad bump to make it skip if I remember !

    Like 1
  3. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    Even more interesting tidbit: In 1990 mine came with AM stereo (Not just FM). At the time I was selling ad spots at a tiny radio station and they used me to test this latest technology while out on sales calls. In the end, the format of the station went from oldies music requiring the best sound to a talk format. And the AM stereo idea faded quickly as far as I know.

    Like 1
  4. Superdessucke

    Everyone bashes the Quad 4 now but it was a pretty good engine for its time. It was one of the first small displacement engines to generate real power outside of Honda. And even Honda engines back then were not putting up the numbers that these things were.

    My mom had a W32 Grand Am SE with the LD2 150 horse version and an automatic back in the day. I don’t recall it being rough or unpleasant. In fact I remember it being quite fun to drive because when it kicked in it was really fast.

    Of course, that’s before I was introduced to BMW, haha. So it might feel unrefined to me now but it sure didn’t back then.

    Like 1
  5. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    I loved that car, pampered it for the first year or so before the engine blew. One great feature for me were those Recaro knockoff seats which made for a pleasant ride to the Space Coast from Nashville for my long-distance GF. The upholstery, along with the messed up plastic bits on this car, may be hard to source and replace. After my Beretta experience I went a little crazy and had to get a Sonoma Cyclone pickup.

    Like 2
    • Jay M

      Excellent choice.
      Syclone is my answer to every automotive question ever asked.

      Like 2
  6. Kincer Dave Member

    This is mine around 1991, 180hp with a 5spd, Really fun car for the times, it ran really good and amazed alot of people including 5.0 mustang owners! I kind of miss it the Quad 4 got a really bad rap. Please excuse my bad photography skills these were taken a long time ago with a 110 pocket camera lol

    Like 2
  7. Sean Johnson

    I had a 1992 grand am GT that had the H.O. Version of the quad 4 and a getrag 5 speed transmission. It was a hell of a car for early 90s and not a bad looker in bright red paint. Wish I still had it.

    Like 2
  8. Nova Scotian

    Had one just like this in my wedding procession. Dude locked the keys in it while engine was running, just as we were about to go to the Church. And we were already running late. After a few attempts at unlocking it…Dude panicked and smashed out his side window! We flew up the road to the Church, a bit late. All the ribbbons and car decorations were in tatters upon arriving. Well, were still married. But the Beretta..paint peel and rust finished it off long ago.

    Like 1
  9. Gunner

    I purchased a 1990 Pontiac Grand Am brand new equipped with the Quad 4 H. O. & 5-Speed. It was a lot of fun. My ex eventually mashed in the front of it some, and it was repaired, and sent on to a new owner. It was my first brand new car, and I will remember it fondly. I was not a fan of the over the top buttons that Pontiac was known for during this time. This is a nice GTZ, and white as a bonus for my own taste.

    Like 1
  10. Rustytech Member

    My older brother had a 1990 Old’s Calis in red with the quad 4. I agree that for a 4 cyl. it was fast, and the car handled well. But I always thought the engine was noisy and rough, especially under heavy load or high RPM’s. It blew the head gasket at about 55k but was not difficult to fix. He put just over 100k on it before rust took it. Though not valuable, this looks like it could be a fun driver if the reserve is reasonable.

    Like 1
  11. grant

    Am I the only one wondering why 90’s GM crapcans are featured here? Bring back the Chevettes….

  12. Chris

    Was the barn in Ohio? This looks like one that my family had at one time. Good little car that could go. Not bad for a grocery getter.

  13. Lynn Dockey Member

    My GTZ was black. Traded it on a 92 olds achieva SCX. 180hp for the Chevy and 190 for the olds. Insurance was 10% premium cause of hp to weight ratio.

    Like 1
  14. Casey Bearden

    My first car as well, chevy mechanic owned it since new and had everything done you could do to it at that time probably, k&N airfilter charger, Dynomax Exhaust, splitfire sparkplugs, it topped out at 140-150mph on a very long country road. I remember the pull out moon roof was a mirror when light was on inside at night and had a leather sleave in trunk for the moonroof to slide into. I put a nice alpine cd player and nice 6×9 speakers but cut the carpet out of the back window around the speakers so i could put the nice speaker grill that came with speakers, moat people thought it had subwoofers it sounded so good. Fun first car!!

    Like 1
  15. Lynn Dockey Member

    not that what you tell about the GTZ is wrong, but when I read the comment I got thinking I was more interested in how the car ran and I liked to listen to the motor rev. Probably never turned on the radio unless my future wife was riding with me

    Like 2
  16. Amy

    my 90 GTZ was on of my favorite cars, they still look great, style ahead of it’s day with matching wheels, almost no labels! I wish I wouldn’t have sold it and just stored it for myself later in life or to give to my niece or nephew! The quad 4 had some issues, mostly the head gasket, but was quick and fun! I drove it from the midwest to both the Atlantic and Pacific ocean in the mid 90’s. I’m hoping to find one to fix up and give to them!

    Like 1

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