Chevrolet advertised it as the most thoroughly tested new car in the division's history. By the time it was dropped from the Chevy line at the end of the 1985 model year, the Citation turned out to be one of the most recalled cars in modern automotive history. The number of problems became so great that Chevrolet changed the name to Citation II for the 1984 model year in an effort to assure buyers that it was a different car and the problems had been fixed. Citation production dropped from 811,500 in its first year to 62,722 in its last. Its design, which was shared with all GM divisions but Cadillac, was a direct result of the impact of the Arab oil embargo of the early 1970s, which sent gasoline prices soaring. The Citation was 20 inches shorter and 800 pounds lighter than the compact Nova that it replaced.

THE SPECS

Price $5,153

Engine 151-cubic-inch four-cylinder

Horsepower 90 at 4,000 rpm

Wheelbase 104.9 inches

Overall length 177.7 inches

Seating capacity 5

HISTORICAL FACTS

Year 1980

President Jimmy Carter

Median family income $21,023

Dow Jones industrial average (year-end) 963.98

Academy Award movie "Ordinary People"

Milestone 30 percent of U.S. auto sales are imports.