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For Sale – 1992 Chevrolet Beretta GTZ

Antti Kautonen April 18, 2012 Finnish Line, For Sale 28 Comments

Shuffling through classified ads for cars I do not dislike because I do not know better – Saratoga, LeBaron, Lumina all say hello – I found this 1992 Beretta being advertised. Now, we do have a number of Berettas in the country, as they were officially imported here back in the day, but the GTZ isn’t one that is particularly numerous as most seem to be 3.1 granddadmobiles instead.

It’s black, it’s mean and at a little bit under 2000 EUR it’s almost cheap. Let’s take a look.

You have to admit, it looks really damned good. It seems to be completely stock down to the wheels if I’m not mistaken, and it’s completely black down to the wheels as well. The inset headlights give it a mean look and the tinted tail lights echo that impeccably. I think it looks exactly like the kind of sports coupe I would’ve been drawing in 1992. Yeah, I was a weird kid.

The seller claims there’s some patina around the 20-year-old car, but I’m not seeing much.

Of course, there’s wear inside what with 232 advertised 000 on the clock (I really hope those are in kilometres) and the seats look fairly tired. They also look less supportive than anyone’s significant other after a suggestion of “Hey, let’s get a 1992 Beretta.”

The steering wheel and the rubber-gaitered shifter look somewhat terrible too. I’m usually against extensive interior modifications, but to be honest I’d junk pretty much everything inside the cabin – in the name of weight savings, of course. Those plastics have nothing to do with it..

How much help in the name of improved power-to-weight ratio would that Quad-4 need? There’s a claimed 184 horses from the 2.3-litre engine, which for a sleek coupe like the Beretta isn’t too bad. I’m interested in knowing how the Beretta would handle, stock or somewhat modified; I’ve never driven one.

“This is a great car for entering the wild world of American cars”, says the seller. For 1950 euro and with a recent inspection pass, is it?

[Source: Nettiauto (ad partially in Finnish)]

  • That is most definitely a Nice Price! A co-worker had one of these (not the GTZ version). I've never ridden in one but it definitely looked like it was more on the comfortable side (rather than the sporty side).

    But a manual transmission and a Quad-4!!! Someone more knowledgeable about the little-GM-engine-that-could should definitely do a write-up about it.

  • PotbellyJoe

    The GTZ is a different beast than the regular Beretta. The FE7 suspension was a cherry and the Getrag 5-speed was equally solid.

    I know in GTU trim (the GTZ's predecessor) it was amazingly agile.

    The Quad-4 was also used in the Olds 442 W41 and eventually the Achieva SCX, both were set to run the SCCA stock class (with the FE3 suspension and a finned oil pan) so the motor is happy to take abuse.

    I know of two complaints for the Quad-4, 1. It is hyper-actively noisy. 2. It is in a Beretta.

    If you can overcome either, it is definitely a fun car.

    • You forgot the third complaint about the Quad-4: A voracious appetite for head gaskets.

      But yes, definitely nice price. Ironic that this has recessed headlights rather than the domestic version's composite units, since so many import cars sold in the U.S. prior to 1986 had to be fitted with sealed-beam headlights to comply with federal law.

      <img src="http://www.auto-types.com/images/chevrolet/Chevrolet_Beretta_1_2fc.jpg&quot; width="500" />

      • PotbellyJoe

        There's always that. But what 20+ year old car isn't chewing ans spitting gaskets at this point?

        If someone buys it, they'll become a better mechanic. Haha.

  • JayP2112

    Looking back, these were slick little cars. A college pal had a 2-tone silver/grey V6 and it was sharp.
    I guess this is the 180hp engine. Pretty impressive back then- made the same hp as the 944S.

  • Stu_Rock

    The underhood picture shows some weird stuff. I love the two-chamber coolant overflow/washer fluid reservoir. I guess that's a low-cost path to heated washer fluid. I was pretty sure that was a crazy cold-climate export option, but some searching shows that US models had it too. Then there's a second cap for washer fluid ahead of the radiator. What's that for–headlights? That, I think, is a crazy export option.

    • Yup, it's the headlight washers.

  • Marcal

    The interior in these cars were garbage, but dang that's a good looking car. I think the price is a little high, though. I'd probably give $2,000 for it.

  • Ol' Shel'

    If it's like the other GM products at the time, the steering will be one-finger light with no feedback and it'll have lots of torque-steer.

    My father had a Citation x-11…

  • Van_Sarockin

    I have a great deal of trouble believing that this car has actually seen 129,000 miles. It looks to be in exceptional shape. Beretta's aren't my favorite, but this looks to be a very nice price. I'd expect the interior to be hanging in shreds and everything bent, banged or fallen off on the exterior. So check out the mechanicals and underpinnings exceedingly carefully. And remember, no matter how well the design has aged or the condition of the car, you're still driving a cynically beancounted GM shitbox.

  • Devin

    It's not the worst interior I've seen in a Beretta! That one was the property of a heavy smoker, and was coated in a yellow film of gross.

    • PotbellyJoe

      When I worked in the business, I was always amazed at how many smokers go for the light gray interiors. At least the beigy, oak colored interior would minimize the yellowing. If it was the tan we could Ozone bomb the thing and do alright. If it was the light gray, nothing short of ammonia could get that yellow sheen out of it.


      • Devin

        That particular Beretta was the best argument for being a non-smoker I have ever seen. God, the yellow and the smell which just didn't go away.

  • salguod

    I loved the Beretta and GTZ in particular. I seem to remember that they got some praise in the auto mags for solid handling.

    Oh, and this is the upgraded interior of the later models. The earlier ones looked like this (minus the blue-painted bits, which I think should be black):

    <img src="http://memimage.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/845/4721/2112360006_large.jpg"&gt;

    Oh yeah – those sealed beams are odd. It almost looks like there are doors that rise up in front, is that the case?

    • julkinen

      No, those are just set up like an '80s Camaro's units.

    • Jessica

      the blue pieces are supposed to be black and grey. i have a 1990 chevy beretta indy. with the black leather wrapped steering wheel. and gtz/ indy seats and digital gauges. also has the 3.1 multi port.and 103,000 miles.


    Why is every bolt under the hood covered in rust? These cars also had another trait: ridiculous amounts of water leaked into the trunk. A friend had one and there was always 6 inches of water in the trunk. The seals were gooey and soft and looked to be sealing. We finally traced it to the back glass; after tearing it out and cleaning the channel, it did not look like the "pinchweld" was actually welded at all. We finally drilled 8 holes in floor and used rubber plugs; then just yank them out after every rain and let the water run out.

  • I've mentioned here before that I'm an automotive lighting nerd, and I always find American cars modified to meet Euro/Japanese/Aussie lighting rules interesting.

    Yeah, you've got the ugly sealed beams plus signal repeaters on the fenders, but I bet you'll also find the top portion of the tail lights are actually amber turn signals. On US-spec cars, both the upper and lower halves were the tail/brake lights, but you can see here that only the lowers are illuminated.

    • Perc

      I've seen several Berettas with the "proper" flush headlights here in Finland, including a 3.1GT that was older than the one in this article. No idea how or why or even if i is legal, but apparently it's possible.

      This picture might be of interest to you, btw. A rather shoddy retrofit job using standard Hella ECE units commonly found on buses, caravans and other coachbuilt vehicles. Hole saw + bathroom sealant. The lamp is ECE approved for use as a brake light (21W) or a normal tail light (5W) but someone had mcgyvered a combined 21/5W bulb in there. I'm guessing that was the reason why the entire thing had melted and warped inside.

      • Perc

        The words "This picture" above is a link, btw. I should've made it bold or something.

  • LostOnJalopnik

    <img src="http://epguides.com/Baretta/cast.jpg"&gt;

    I've always thought they had a cool name. And you can take that to the bank!

    • dukeisduke

      Actually, the show was Baretta. And the gunmaker Beretta wasn't happy about Chevrolet's choice of the model name Beretta. From the Wiki article:

      "General Motors was sued by Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta for trademark infringement over the naming of the Beretta. The suit was settled out of court in 1989; GM and Beretta exchanged symbolic gifts: a Beretta GTU coupe and a pair of Beretta shotguns. GM donated US$500,000 to a Beretta-sponsored charity which was also affiliated with the GM Cancer Research Foundation."

      The TV show Baretta was a re-work of the series Toma, which was based on the exploits of real-life detective David Toma.

      • LostOnJalopnik

        That's some crazy low down 80's trivia right thar, Brother!

        I just liked the birdie in the pic.

        Please excuse my detatchment from normalcy, I'm currently homeless on the internet, and while I squat (force my way in) here things may get a little wierd.

  • Dean Bigglesworth

    I really like the look of that, as far as 90s coupes go. Looks infinitely better than the related maroon/rust-coloured Corsica hatchback a colleague used to drive.

    I shot this -90 Grand Prix LE coupe today and it looked so similar i thought it must be related, but according to the pedia of wiki it's a W-body while the Beretta is an L-body.. Too close to the other cars and the fence to get a better photo.

    <img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7051/6947706832_0ab2e0602e_b.jpg&quot; width="600" img>

  • WickDukington

    I loved those cars when I was a precocious youngster. I too recall them getting good press in GTZ trim for their power and handling. I'm sure there is a Car & Driver magazine from 1992 in a box in my parents' basement that would confirm that.

    A friend of mine in high school had a Beretta Indy Pace Car replica. It was a shocking teal color with pink door graphics like the one in this photo…
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/19/1990_Chevy_Beretta_Indy_Pace_Car_Replica.jpg&quot; width="600">

    IIRC, it had the 3.1 V6 and an automatic. We gave him a lot of crap for his teal and pink car. I'm not going to lie, the thing went like a raped ape and had a great, raspy exhaust note. It torque-steered like crazy though…violently tried to rip the wheel from your hands during WOT launches.

    • randomusername

      That colour combo is horribly cheesy, yet so insanely awesome at the same time. It just needs some Mighty Wings.
      [youtube 2KGR68WfFlI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KGR68WfFlI youtube]

    • michael

      i had the same one and would like to own it again is it for sale

  • michael

    i had the same one and would like to own it again