Can You Identify These Chevy Cars From the '80s?

By: Robin Tyler

The El Camino was produced by Chevrolet between 1964 and 1987. It was available in a number of body options including as a utility vehicle and a coupe. The 80’s were served by the fifth generation of the brand with parts shared with the Chevrolet Malibu. Over 200,000 were sold in the ‘80s.

The third generation of the Corvette saw the brand into the 1980s and was made until 1982. It is certainly one of the prettier Corvettes ever made.

Introduced in 1983, the S-10 Blazer was only available as 2-door model without a removable hardtop. Entry models has a 2.0-liter GMC engine.

After the Astro failed to gain any significant foothold into Chrysler's domination of the minivan market in the late '80s, Chevrolet turned to the Lumina APV. Built between 1989 and 1996, Chevrolet marketed the Lumina as an 'All Purpose Vehicle'. Initially, the Lumina was severely underpowered but improvements were made in that regard. The Lumina had moderate sales success.

Designed by Jerry Palmer, the Beretta, a front-wheel-drive two-door coupe based on the Chevrolet L body platform was manufactured between 1987 and 1996. It offered seven engine options, with the most powerful a 3.1-liter V6.

Competing in the compact segment, the Citation was produced by Chevrolet between 1980 and 1985.

First introduced in 1985, the Astro was 3-door cargo or passenger van. The top of the range version in the first generation was powered by a 4.3-liter V6 capable of 200 brake horsepower.

Introduced by Chevrolet in 1970, early models of the Monte Carlo are considered to be luxury muscle cars. The 1980s were served by the fourth generation Monte Carlo, produced between 1981 and 1988. It was only available as a 2-door coupe.

The Cavalier was first introduced by Chevrolet in 1981 with the first generation produced until 1987. It had a number of body and engine options with the top of the range model powered by a 2.8-liter V6 engine.

This concept car from Chevrolet included a gas turbine engine that would propel it to 150 mph. Access to the car was through the roof. It actually featured in the movie ‘Back to the Future II’ but never saw the light of day.

The Chevrolet Monza was produced between 1974 and 1981. A four-passenger sub-compact segment car, the Monza was powered by a range of engine options including a 5.7-liter V8.

A Chevy stalwart, the 1980s saw the fifth generation of the Malibu marketed by the company. Incidentally, 25,000 of the sedan version were sent to Iraq to act as taxies on the busy streets of Baghdad and other cities.

With sales of 2.8 million over a 12-year period, the Chevette served Chevrolet well in the subcompact class. In fact, in 1979 and 1980, it was the best-selling small car in the United States.

A compact car, the Corsica was first marketed in 1987 as a 4-door sedan or 5-door hatchback. Interestingly, it was first sold as a fleet car to rental companies.

The second generation was essentially a ‘70s car, but spent two years in the 1980s before the third generation came in. The 1980 and ’81 models were different in the fact that they included a hood scoop and intake door. The door only opened at full throttle.

Essentially an Isuzu pickup, the LUV was marketed in North America by Chevrolet.

The Cavalier was first introduced by Chevrolet in 1981. The second generation was produced between 1988 and 1994. It was available as a 2-door coupe, 2-door convertible, 4-door sedan and 5-door station wagon.

The Chevrolet Monza was first introduced in 1975 and marketed until 1981. It was based on the Vega and shared many of the same parts. Marketed in the subcompact division, the Monza included a 2+2 hatchback model. Top of the range Monzas had some power thanks to a 5.7-liter V8 engine.

Produced between 1960 and 2000, the C/K pickup’s third generation served the 1980s. A range of powerplants were available both gasoline and diesel powered. The biggest of these was the 7.4-liter gasoline 454 V8 which produced 230 brake horsepower.

This mini SUV was sold in both the United States and Canada. It was marketed for the first time in 1988. It was the product of a joint venture between General Motors Canada and Suzuki and was also marketed at the Geo Tracker.

A pickup truck, the S-10 was a Chevrolet model for over 20 years. Introduced in 1981, this compact pickup’s base engine was actually an Isuzu powerplant, a 1.9-liter 4-cylinder. The vehicle was also sold by GMC.

The Celebrity was first introduced by Chevrolet in 1981 as a replacement for the Malibu in the mid-sized range. It was offered as a model until 1990 and could be purchased as a 4-door station wagon, 4-door sedan or 2-door coupe.

Another rebadged Chevrolet, the Spectrum was actually an Isuzu Gemini. This compact car was first marketed in 1985.

Built between 1988 and 1991, the V3500 Crew Cab 4x4 featured a heavy-duty Dana 60 solid front axle as well as an overdrive automatic gearbox which made it a favorite of those lovers of bigger-bodied off-roaders.

The Chevrolet Sprint was first marketed in the United States in 1985. It was essentially a rebadged Suzuki Cultus. Early models were 3-door hatchbacks.

Essentially a trim option upgrade on the regular Chevrolet Celebrity, the Eurosport introduced some red markings, black trimmed windows, black steering wheel, 14’ wheels and a 2.8-liter V6 engine.

A large part of the '80s, from 1982 in fact, was served by the third generation of the Camaro. In 1987, the company released the 20th Anniversary Commemorative Edition of the brand.

The mid-1980s saw the introduction of the fifth generation of the Chevrolet Nova. It was available as a 5-door notchback or 4-door hatchback and was based on the Toyota AE82 Platform believe it or not!

The Caprice name had served Chevrolet since the mid-1960s. By the 1980s, the brand was on its third generation which saw two upgrades over the course of the decade. The Caprice was available as a two-door, four-door or station wagon, shown here.

Marketed from 1989 to 1997, the Calibra was an Opel product marketed in Europe although they were badged as Chevrolets and sold in South America. A sports coupe, over 239,000 were sold worldwide. The top of the range models of the Calibra was powered by a 2.5 L C25XE V6.

Produced between 1980 and 2009, the Kodiak was Chevrolet's truck model in the medium-duty truck segement. During its production run, three generations were produced. The first generation was powered by a 10.4-liter V8 turbodiesel engine.

The legendary Chevrolet El Camino received the SS treatment from 1983 to 1987 thanks to Choo-Choo Customs Inc. based in Tennessee. This package was offered to owners to convert their El Camino into the Super Sport version before delivery.

Produced between 1988 and 1991, the Chevrolet K5 Blazer was a capable off-road vehicle. Blazers offered four wheel drive with either a 5.7 liter or 6.2 small block Chevrolet engine. Suspension came in the form of leaf springs both front and back which helped the Blazer’s frame-on-body design, adding much stability.

The Impala was one of Chevrolet’s longest running brands. The '80s were served by the sixth generation Impala, which was released in 1977 and marketed till 1985. It was available in three configurations – a 2-door coupe, 4-door sedan and 5-door station wagon.

After playing it safe for a number of years, Chevrolet introduced the GMT 400 in 1988. This truck featured a sleek new body, designed with the help of a wind tunnel. The ride was also significantly improved thanks to an independent front suspension with torsion bars.

The fourth-generation Corvette, the C4 was marketed by Chevrolet from 1984 to 1996. It was available as a 2-door coupe, convertible or targa top. The C4 was powered by a range of 5.7-liter V8 engines.

The second trim packaged offered for the Celebrity during the 1980s, the Eurosport VR had a number of cosmetic changes including body decals, a black grille and wheels made of aluminum.

The Monte Carlo brand of the 1980s got the SS treatment in 1983, this after Chevy not offering the performance model for over a decade. And of course, it came with a customary V8 engine.

The Chevrolet Indy was a concept car first seen in 1986. It had four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering and a mid-mounted V8 engine. It was the basis for the Corporate Engineering Research Vehicle III from Chevy.

The Chevrolet Corvette ZR2 was a concept car based on the fourth generation Corvette. Named "Big Dog," it had a 7.4-liter V8 engine and a six-speed manual gearbox.

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About This Quiz

Thanks to William Durant and Louis Chevrolet, one of the world's favorite motoring brands was started in 1911. And to Americans, Chevrolet is just about as important as apple pie, hot dogs and baseball!

But how well do you really know Chevrolet? 

Especially models from the 1980s. That decade was a time for not only new generations of established models but also a whole new range of Chevy products. Not only that, but Chevrolet lent its badge to a number of other vehicles that were rebadged into Chevrolet models and made on foreign shores.

These models can certainly be very tricky to identify. But that's what you going to have to do in this quiz. Let's see if you know the range of pickup trucks, sport cars, sedans, SUVs and a host of other vehicles to wear the famous bowtie badge!

Some are particularly easy, thanks to their rich history having been Chevy models for years and years before the '80s rolled along. Others might prove to be a little tougher, but it's the foreign Chevys that might have you stumped for sure.

The only way to find out is to take this test. So buckle up, kid!

And good luck! 


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