When you think of turbocharged Buicks, the Grand National instantly comes to mind — but a lot of people don’t realize that’s not the only Buick with a 3.8L turbo engine. Before it was used for ultra-performance applications, the turbo V6 was used to skirt around problems of gas guzzlers, without giving up power — sound like a familiar strategy? Evidence of this practice comes in the form of certain Buick LeSabre Turbo Sport Coupes, like this one currently for sale on eBay.
This rare 3.8L turbocharged V6, 3-speed automatic 1979 Buick LeSabre is a perfect example of Buick relying on turbocharging, outside of the GN. The 1979 turbo V6 equipped model found in many Buicks, including the Regal, Centry and this LeSabre, had a factory power rating of 170 horsepower and 265 lbs.-ft. of torque, so it wasn’t exactly a powerhouse at this point.
Keep in mind this isn’t exactly the same engine used in the Grand National. There are many differences between the one in this car, and the famous one used in the mid-80s Regals. They share basically the same architecture, but by the time the turbo 3.8L became the engine we commonly think about, it was completely changed with the help of an updated bottom-end, revised heads and intake manifold, electronic fuel-injection, distributor-less ignition and ultimately, intercooling.
This particular car is one-of-only 3,582 built in 1979, and it’s been very well maintained by it’s one and only owner to date. It’s got 99k miles on the clock, and looks very clean and intact overall. It’s listed with a Buy It Now price of $15,500, so we’d be pretty surprised if it lasted on eBay for too much longer.
You can’t even get a good used ‘modern’ car for that price with those few miles now, so if you’re looking for a cool older car to drive, this one might interest you. It’s not a high end collectible, but it’s unique and you could use it as a guilt-free daily driver and have the coolest commuter car around! Check it out here.
Elizabeth is hardcore horsepower enthusiast with unmatched intensity for making things faster and louder. She wakes up for power and performance and only sleeps to charge up for the next project that’s heading to the track. From autocross to drag racing, Elizabeth is there with you, so stay tuned for her unique perspective on horsepower news, builds, tech info, and installs — with her, it’ll never be boring!