The 1987 Beretta: a brief overview


Sometime in fall of 1987, GM started a rolling ad campaign for it's latest model, the 1988 Chevy Beretta. These early models were sold to rental agencies. GM was thinking ahead, giving the public a sneak peak at it's latest import fighter and also providing GM with real world testing so as to catch any flaws/glitches (adjustments were made to correct a problem with the secondary hood latch, a slight distortion in the curvature of the lower-left windshield that produced a minor visibility problem, a clutch that is positioned too high for some driving tastes, and buttons that were too close together on the AM/FM stereo console). Some also complained of the location of the power window switches but they remained in the center console. With these "adjustments" the 1988 Beretta was available for sale to the public as early as March 1987. The Beretta was born from more market testing then any other Chevrolet product. GM had a strong seller on it's hands, more Camaro then Cavalier the Beretta was definitely showing some skin.

I'm sure data on the 1987 Beretta is lost somewhere. As far as I can tell, the 1987 Beretta is identical to the 1988 model. The only differences I can find are minor cosmetic changes to interior and exterior.   Example, on all cars produced before 12/1987 (meaning cars manufactured in 1987 but registered as 1988 models), the seatbelts were attached to the pillar, like in this interior pic of a1988 Beretta. Notice the door paneling, here is a second map pocket, also notice the handle on the door swoops downward.

(click pic to enlarge)

All cars manufactured after Jan 1988; seatbelts were now mounted on the door, the door panels were changed, notice their is now an upright handle on the door panel. Once the seat belts were mounted on the doors, the second map pocket was lost. Another change in the interior, early models came with plastic seat backs, at some point in mid/late1988, all models came with cloth seatbacks (see below for pics).
(side by side view)
Before and After shots of Beretta's Interiors, notice change in door panel style and addition of mounted seatbelt in models produced after 12/87 (CL/GT interior shown). This is just the first of many interior changes.

MANY Beretta owners complain of Beretta's week map pockets, and it's justified. Very rarely do you find an 87-90 Beretta without broken map pockets. Often snapping away from the bolts that hold them to the door. Many owners have to settle for crazy glue or duck tape to keep their map pockets from rattling or falling completely off the door panel. Thankfully GM addressed the problem in 1991.

On early base models, the name plate was on the door trim as shown below:

The name plate was moved several times. On most 1988 models the name plate was just behind the door, above the side trim:

For 1989 the badge stayed just behind the front of the door, above the black trim. Look at other pictures in the models section to see the difference.


I found this article on the web. The Beretta GT was not available in 1987 (optional GT package became first became available on 1988 Beretta), however, articles were published as early as October 1986 (click here to read some of these articles on the Main Page of the Models Section Technical Section). If you have every spoken to a reporter and read the article later, you know errors are made. Note, while the Beretta pictured in this article is called a GT, notice the base model steering wheel with the upgraded GT interior.


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