Stunning Survivor: 1988 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24

This particular vehicle might be an underestimated, under-appreciated time capsule. Up for sale is this stunning, all original 1988 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24. It has a BIN price of $14,999 with the ability to make an offer. This impressive vehicle is located in Parlin, New Jersey. The listing does note a VIN, there are 19,000 claimed miles, and the title is said to be clean. You can view more here on eBay.

1988 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24

This car has a 2.8-liter V6 engine that, when new, produced 125 horsepower. The listing is quite comical in regards to how quickly the car can get to 60 miles per hour. If you’re curious, it is a stated 8.5 seconds. This car is equipped with a 3-speed automatic transmission, which would have been optional rather than standard. It is always interesting to look back at engine and transmission combinations from that time and think just how… small they all seem.

1988 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24

Inside, the car could have an optional digital dashboard, but one of the photos shows a standard gauge dashboard. It is completely up to you whether or not that is a good or bad thing. All dashboards could go bad, but is fixing a digital or analog less fun? You don’t have to worry though because all the gauges work currently. The rest of the interior is in really good condition. The carpets and seats appear to be rip and tear-free.

1988 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24

This car was purchased new by the seller. It was their first car. They have taken very good care of it including storing it in a climate-controlled garage. The real question is, will these cars become popular? Will they command a higher price in the future? In the automotive hobby, cars can gain and lose popularity almost overnight. While you probably shouldn’t approach it with an investment mindset, the person who buys it because they enjoy it might be pleasantly surprised one day.


  1. nycbjr Member

    Wow brings back memories! Always liked the z24.. that said 15k? Are they insane? Lol

    Like 17
  2. LARRY

    I remember these had an actual cold air intake…and it did absolutely no good for performance. Sssllloooooowwww!
    Mash the gas and…………………well you get it. Way too much money for this even though it looks great.

    Like 6
  3. Miguel

    He is asking almost as much than the car sold for new.

    Like 7
    • Superdessucke

      Not if we adjust for inflation but yeah, I see your point. The car obviously has a lot of sentimental value to this seller, as it should. But it’s going to take the “right buyer” to get anywhere near this ask.As nice as it is, it’s a 1988 Cavalier.

      Otherwise great car. I always liked these. Wanted one new but they weren’t particularly cheap. I recall them being comparably priced to the Mustang LX 5.0.

      Like 1
  4. grant

    Not really sure why you would preserve this car or want to “collect” it now. For a reliable work car it wouldn’t be bad, I’ve had 3 that served duty but this is essentially a brand new 88 Cavalier, and for less than this you could buy a base model Nissan that would be safer and quicker. The seller should have enjoyed their new car more, though their story makes little sense. What teenager buys a brand new automatic Cavalier? He must love it, he won’t take “anywhere near book” for it.

    Like 2
    • Superdessucke

      I can relate to the seller’s position. I’m kind of in the same boat with my E36 M3. I bought it in 2001 and enjoy driving it in summers. If it was worth a lot, I might sell it, but the paltry sum it would fetch wouldn’t outweigh my personal value on the car. I wouldn’t expect a magic buyer to appear and put the same value on it that I do. They just don’t have the history with it. So I keep it. And probably will keep it for the foreseeable future!

      I don’t know what this guy’s situation is but it would definitely make sense to consider holding on to it at this point. I can’t see it fetching anything near the ask and he’s owned it for nearly 30 years and is not that old if he was 17 in ’88. So why not keep it around and use it time to time, and talk to people about the cool history?

  5. Jwinters
    • Doc

      One would think looking through your own archives would be a pre requisite prior to posting or at the very least mention prior listing.
      Also, for $$$$$$ asking, replace the tires so they match

      Like 3
  6. Frank Sumatra

    A reference point- A buddy just bought a spotless, two-owner, fully documented, NCRS Top Flight, 47,000 mile 1995 Corvette coupe, 300hp, with six-speed for $12,000. Each to his/her own.

    Like 4
  7. Ian C

    I always thought these were one of the better looking and sounding cars of the late 80’s-early 90’s. For a stock car, the 2.8 and 3.1 had a very nice growl to them. The ground effects, spoiler, and cowl induction hood were the epitome of “rad” back in the day.

    The Chevy/Olds/Subaru/Geo dealership I was working at in 93-94 had a black Z24 with red trim that I wanted so badly. But being a senior in high school working as an oil change boy part-time, I couldn’t come close to being able to afford it. Now, if I stumbled across one with the same equipment, I may put it in my fleet.

    Like 2
  8. irocrobb

    I kind of like these now and can not think of the last time I saw one on the road. But,I think he is asking about triple the cars worth.

    Like 2
  9. Grandpa Lou

    This car was recently offered (with in the past year or so?) on this or a similar site by the seller, must not have sold. As I recall, the kid was from a wealthy family and Daddy bought it for him in high school. My guess as to the low miles is because in high end suburbs, kids who get new Chevys at 16 are looked down upon. The high school lots are full of BMWs and the like, and he was ashamed. I have no idea if this was the case or not, but I have witnessed the sense of entitlement in more then one wealthy area. (funny how wealthy people use that word, entitlement, they frown upon it and use it to describe social programs, yet they forget to use it when describing the things they think they need in their lives) If my Dad gave me a car, I would keep it for respect and memories sake, plus, how many of us wish we had our first car today? Just goes to reinforce my theory.

    Like 1
    • Miguel

      I still have my first car after almost 40 years and she ain’t going anywhere.

      Like 4
  10. Keith Keith

    Very nice car but the seller is too proud of it hence the 15k asking price. Being that this was his first car he should keep it. Even though this car is in great condition it is still an eighties GM throw away car, they did not hold up well when driven as daily transportation. The CV joints did not last and the 2.8 V6 was prone to rear main oil leaks. Also eighties GM interiors did not hold up well for daily use. So with this all said it looks like the current owner loved this car and took very good care of it. But whoever purchase this car and decides to drive it daily it will not last. Notice that you hardly see these cars on the road anymore, why is that?

    Like 1
    • Miguel

      Keith, you forgot about the rack and pinion steering that went out all the time on these Cavaliers.

      Like 2
      • bone

        Oh my yes- and they were a real pain to change out !!!!

    • bone

      because these cars were throwaway cars and they haven’t made them in years

  11. Tripp

    It’s nice that it survived, but Cavaliers are dreadful cars. Cramped, noisy, and slow with antediluvian mechanicals and LEGO interior plastics. A spiteful dart aimed at Americans who wanted an inexpensive and economical car. I’d argue that this car, rather than the Civic itself, is what made Honda and Toyota so successful in the 80s because it was such an offensively cheap car, rather than an economical car.

    Like 2
  12. Lynn Dockey Member

    Had a 3.1 with a 5 speed. The worst thing was a leaking sunroof. Other wise good car. Better than the cavaliers when they downsized

    Like 3
  13. JC

    I just bought a loaded 2016 Jeep Renegade Limited w/27k miles for my daughters first car for a couple thousand more than what he’s asking for this Cavalier…lol. Seriously though, a friend I worked with had one of these and it was in the shop every other week it seemed… nothing but junk. Also, what 16yr old do you know would apparently never drive their brand new car. We’ve had the Jeep a month and already put 1k on it… and I drove the wheels of my Camaro when I was 16.

  14. EJB

    I had a black 88′ Z-24 in the early 90s. I remember it fondly. Delivered pizza in it. I enjoyed it but it ate water pumps. I think I replaced 3 of them.

    Like 1
    • Ike Onick

      So they really were “Pizza Ships”? I always thought so.

      Like 1
      • EJB

        It’s the “pizza pirates” that you have to look out for.

  15. Jack

    Had an 84 Type-10 with a 4 speed. Ran it to the ground… Wish I would have bought a scirocco vw instead. Chevy’s 4 cylinder 4 speed really wasn’t made for a testosterone laden young 20 something and they really weren’t good at designing 4-cylinders at the time. Burned through 4 clutches.

  16. CS

    The car I learned to drive in was a ’90 Z24 with the upgraded 3.1L. Great car. Tiny windshield and crappy plastics. And sagging headliner, of course. But a great car. It snapped the frame in a field at about 305K miles, doing hick things. Then it drove itself to the junkyard.

    Allegedly, it could do 125mph (indicated) on the PA Turnpike in 1999, but I will neither confirm nor deny.

    Like 3
    • Lynn Dockey Member

      They were the 💩

      Like 2
  17. Brian K

    I always digged the ground effects on this car. Those wheels bring me back. It’s too bad it was a slug though. Good looking car. Id swap out the engine if I owned this

    Like 1
    • Ike Onick

      Unless the “ground effects” kicked in at 35mph , I’m guessing they are ground effects in name only.

      Like 1
  18. Brian Scott

    125 hp with the Z24 V6! Wow. Mom had an RS and she asked me one time what the RS stood for. “Really slow,” I told her. That car didn’t have enough power to pull out a sneeze from someone burdened with COPD. In all seriousness, while it still had temporary tags I drove it, and it bucked and surged like an untamed mule. My girlfriend and I each had Rabbits, hers an L, mine a GTI, and right there we swore off American cars (yeah, ours were PA-built) until she and I each got jobs with American car companies (we’re married, still working there too). The good ol’ days. That Cavalier outlived Mom by 30 years, and in fact is being driven today by my step-brother. Saw it 96 hours ago even.

  19. Moit Member

    10k too much

    Like 2
  20. Michael

    A few weeks back I saw a 1988 Sunbird GT convertable. White with white top, and interior, in as good of shape. 20 grand on the odometer. Asking price was $8000.00 or offer. When I went back, it has been sold.

  21. JoeNYWF64

    How many current cars have all those gages! Or an all BLUE interior! None.
    How many affordable entry level 2 door cars have a non hatchback trunk these days? None.
    How many sporty entry level domestic 2 door affordable cars are there now? None. (4 door is not sporty!!)
    How many sedans today have visibilty that good from the sides & back? None.
    Those headlites may be glass – some older cavaliers have styled headlites that do not fog or yellow! Why!!??

    Like 1
  22. Lynn Dockey Member

    GM has a habit of changing for the sake of change. These cavaliers were certainly better than the ones that came after them.

  23. Stevieg Member

    I graduated high school the year this car was made. I was 17. I went to a school with a LOT of kids that came from money. I didn’t lol.
    To a 17 year old back then, showing up @ that school with a new Chevy would be horrific. If you came from money, you showed up in a European car, period.
    I would either walk to school or get dropped off in Mom’s Nissan Sentra, sometimes Grampa’s Cordoba. Later I would drive myself in my $75.00 ’73 Riviera or my $150.00 Chevette. But to a kid with money, this car would have been hideous, even if it were brand new. I would have driven it with pride back then lol.

    Like 1
  24. Bear

    Nice car. …back in 1988.
    Now it is just an old, outdated 80’s commuter mid-range car.
    $15K? Ummm… Yeah, that’s NOT gonna happen.
    I can buy a much newer/better used vehicle for $2K to $3K, any day of the week.
    (The only way this is ever gonna sell for over $7500 is IF they find a potential buyer who used to own/drive one of these back in the late 80’s & also conceived their 1st offspring in it!) :-P

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