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Junkyard Gem: 1990 Chevrolet Beretta with 5-Speed

Murilee Martin

The Chevy Beretta was produced for a decade and sold in respectable numbers, but is largely forgotten now. This one, in a Denver wrecking yard, has some pricey-at-the-time options plus the incredibly rare 5-speed manual transmission option.

This one came fairly close to turning 200,000 miles, a rarity for the rapidly-depeciating GM L-Body.

While a handful of Cavaliers of this era were purchased with manual transmissions, almost zero Berettas (and Corsicas, the four-door Beretta siblings) were non-slushboxed (except for the Quad-4 cars, of course). That makes this one of the rarest of all Junkyard Gems, up there with the Ford Tempo All-Wheel-Drive and Volvo 760 Diesel.

The fierce Colorado sun has not been kind to the interior of this car. The dash pad looks like the surface of Death Valley in August.

This Chevrolet started its career in Osage City, Kansas, about 500 miles to the east of its final parking space. The lack of rust suggests that it moved to Colorado early in its life.

Not only air conditioning, but the coveted auto-reverse cassette deck! Just the thing for grooving to the latest MC Hammer songs in 1990.

Power came from a throttle-body-injected 2.2-liter pushrod engine, developed in the early 1980s for use in the Cavalier. Output was 95 horsepower, a bit stingy for a 2,540 car that was supposed to be sporty. If MC Hammer ever bought one of these new, he would have selected the optional Quad-4 engine, which boasted close to twice the horsepower of the 2.2.

Here we see an automotive journalist, complete with open-face helmet and chin microphone, raving about the high-performance Beretta in her review. That word-processor application was some seriously futuristic stuff in 1988.

Junkyard Gem: 1990 Chevrolet Beretta with 5-Speed originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 20 Oct 2017 15:12:00 EDT.