'80s Chevy Celebrity Wagons: Did They Come with Manual Transmission?

Hi there :) I'm a big fan of cars with lots of room for people and cargo, and the Chevy Celebrity is definitely one of these cars. I am wondering, however, if the wagons ever came with a manual transmission?
I prefer to shift my own gears, and it would be fantastic if I could have an '80s-styled Chevy Celebrity wagon with a stickshift. No better way to take around myself and 5-7 other friends!
=Brendan
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I suspect most 80's Celebrities wouldn't be worth a tinker's damn today. Not in terms of value, but in terms of drivability.
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-Mike-
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What would be wrong with them, driveability-wise? There is one for sale locally (2.8 L, auto) in pristine condition for $975 (KBB rates an excellent conditioned vehicle at $710 private party). Any major problems to look for?
=Brendan
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I owned a 1985 Celebrity and it was a great car right up to the day it was totalled in an accident. I don't think the wagon came with a standard transmission but you could try googling it to check. I had the 2.5L (iron duke) in my Celebrity and after 155,000 miles, it didn't use oil and regularly gave me 34+ mpg on the highway. It was a very reliable car that was both cheap and easy to maintain. If you can get a good deal on one, go for it.
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% "So why do I drive a big SUV? It's because I have to haul numerous people and things to places." ~ R. Lee Baxton ~
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Just that it's an old car. They weren't the best cars ever built in the first place and although one can certainly run for a long time, a car in this class from the 80's is more likely to be a dog than a good car. The first problem I would look at is the price. It's over $200 more than Kelly is suggesting for one in excellent condition. A grand can buy a lot newer car than that in most places around the country.
The 2.8L engine was a pretty good engine. Not a real powerhouse, but a good enough, reliable motor. I had two vehicles with the 2.8 in them and they were fine. One was a standard and one was an automatic. The automatic suffered a bit of loss to the torque converter that was noticeable. The standard was a much better match for that motor.
The 2.8L has a history of leaking rear main seals so a very close inspection for signs of leakage is a must.
A well cared for 2.8L is good for over 200,000 miles - but you really would have no way of knowing how it was cared for. Let the buyer beware.
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-Mike-
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On 2/24/06 5:53 PM, in article a3bd4$43ff8f37$471fb984$ snipped-for-privacy@ALLTEL.NET,

I ended up with a good one.. 87 Eurosport sedan with 34k 2 years ago.. Bought it for $900 and put 40,000 hard CNY winter miles on it before the tranny burned up..
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That's a seriously good find Mike - especially in our neck of the woods. Salt here does a number on bodies and one that old with a still useable body is a really good find. I'm in CNY too, BTW.
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-Mike-
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Aahh! ROAD SALT- - The most cruel tax of all! Come down to Texas, New Mexico and Arizona to find pristine bodies that have had many rebuilds on the running gear.
-- Jarhead
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Argh! You don't know the half of it.
Texas I liked. New Mexico just never did a lot for me. Arizona might be fine, except that it's about the biggest migration point for folks from CA these days, isn't it? I like the country in Arizona, and I've spent a fair amount of time all over the state. I just wouldn't want to be where everything is suddenly turning on its ear with a mass influx of people. It was a shame to watch what happened to the Denver/Boulder/Longmont area when the world discovered the High Plains. Guess I'll just stay right here, or I'd just be one more of that influx thing.
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-Mike-
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| | We influxed from Indiana to New Mexico over 30 years ago. Taught school on the Jicarilla (Hic-ar-eeyah) Apache reservation before coming to Texas. When I was in the Marney Corps I was stationed in Yuma Arizona.
All three states are a major illegal alien destination. Notice the word alien as they can't be an immigrant when they aren't legal.
People from the republic of Kalifornia bother me as much or more than the illegals from Mexico and points south.
They run up the price of real estate and want to change things to the way they were before escaping Kalifornia. When we left Indiana we wanted to join the natives- - not conquer or change them.
I worked part time for a couple in Yuma that HOMESTEADED a place on the Colorado river in 1906 before Arizona was a state. She plowed the field behind two mules as a newly wed. They were in their late 60's in 1959, and were in as good of shape as I was. She could drink any Marine under the table too. ;=)}
-- Jarhead
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tranny) for 5 years in the late 90s for 5 years .. It was easily getting 35 mpg on the highway..I loved the fuel economy, reliability and roominess but acceleration was a joke! too heavy car and only 98 or 100 hp engine! It killed me on the ramps..Also, lots of carbon built up occurred..One other thing I did not like was the damn bench seat.. It was so uncomfortable that I used to think twice before going to a long drive. Get one with bucket seats if possible.
I know that very few sedans had stick shift on some years but wagon with stick shift version never existed to my knowledge. If you want a wagon with stick shift, you should look at late 80s or early 90s Volvo wagons (240 or 740)
ahmet
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passenger's (next to driver) legs to be fondled with during gear-changing. s
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Thanks for the input, everyone :) One of the things I really like about this car is that it does have a bench seat. They seem to be very rare to find, and I would really like having one in a car.
I don't understand how a 2.8 liter six-cylinder could be getting such fantastic mileage, even with a 3-speed transmission! The ratios just must be very far apart, I guess. Does it have overdrive?
Acceleration for me isn't really a problem; I don't step out very often, if at all. True, the gearshift would be in the way a bit of the other passengers, but no worse off than a floor shift in a pickup, I'd presume. There is ample leg room in both the front and rear, what a fantastically-laid-out car!
What other cars had this engine, the 2.8L V6, which were manual shift? Who knows, maybe if I purchase this one, then down the line I might be able to convert it to stickshift ... hmm ...
=Brendan
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

The stick conversion is not going to happen. You can't even find one of these on the road. Where will you find the parts to convert? "Imagination is more important than knowledge." A. Einstein You seem to have buying fever for this car. Try to bargain down the price on the one you found. But don't let KBB prices rule your desires for a mere couple hundred bucks.
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Yeah, you're right about the buying fever and donor car for a manual tranny; if the cars aren't around, neither are the parts. I always seem to develop a love affair for a new type of car every now and then, and while last time it was for a VW bus, this time it comes around to an '80s wagon. The thing with the buses is that they are all over, in various conditions, but they are all over the place. Not so much can be said for a Celebrity wagon, but I suppose that's because it's not really a big deal of a car ... all I know is that I really do like this roomy car. I should be able to talk this guy down in price if I do in fact decide to go for it.
=Brendan
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Brendan, I own a 1984 Celebrity Wagon with a 2.8L in it. A couple things you need to be aware of:
1) The Chevy 2.8L had oiling problems. I don't know what the years were that they fixed this, but the problem was the engines in the bad years had too small oiling holes drilled in the crank and rods, as a result the bearing failed early. Any competent engine rebuilder knows about this and redrills the oiling holes, just find one and ask him what years to avoid.
2) These are midsized sedans converted into wagons. They are not as large inside as you think. They are basically most useful if you have a need for a standard sedan for most of the time with the ability to carry a few extra boxes around from time to time.
3) The air conditioning system is junk on these. The compressor is the DA-6 and this is a really crappy design, fails all the time. And the original A/C system was R12. The condensor on the front of the car does not have enough cooling efficiency for a R-134a conversion to produce really cold air.
Ted
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Good points on engine troubles there, thank you much everyone. I currently drive a Saturn wagon, and have gotten stiffed a few times because I can't fit things like a bureau in there because the rear strut towers just up to just below the window level. The Celebrity has a different suspension set up, and the interior room is a big box, more than the curves of the Saturn which can be tough. This is an '88, so the oil lubing problem shouldn't be there, I believe. It was an old man's car (I called the seller), and was very well taken-care of. A/C I can do without, I don't use it anyway.
And, yes, leg-fondling can be a plus ;)
=Brendan
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That could be a good thing... depending on who's next to the driver
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-Mike-
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