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Buick advertisement featuring Regal Sport Coupe (foreground) and LeSabre Sport Coupe.

About the 1978-1983 Turbo V6 Buicks

Buick's V6 story dates back to the early sixties when it debuted the engine in 1962. In the time of cheap gas and big V8's, the V6 wasn't very popular, so in 1966, Buick sold the tooling to Kaiser Jeep (later part of American Motors Corp.) where it found its way into many Jeep vehicles. But by 1974, small displacement and fuel economy were the direction of the future and Buick bought back the little V6 from AMC.

With the success of the '76 Pace Car, Buick began work to adapt the Turbo V6 to production vehicles. The idea was performance and economy. Buick wasn't trying to make a "musclecar", but rather a compromise between the V-8 power and V-6 fuel economy. In 1978, Buick added the Turbo 3.8 (231 cid) V6 to newly designed Regal and LeSabre. Both cars were given the model designation "Sport Coupe." Each subsequent year, engineers refined the little Turbo V6. It found its way into several models, including the FWD Riviera and Chevrolet's Monte Carlo,but the most popular model, by far, was the Regal. In 1982, the power and economy focus was shifted to just performance and in 1984, the most significant change occurred; Sequential Fuel Injection (SFI). This and the introduction of the all black "Grand National" package, helped give the Turbo Regal "Beauty and Brawn." In 1986, intercooling was added and horsepower was up 235. The Turbo Regal had become a true "MuscleCar."

In 1987, with the sales and popularity of the Turbo Regal at an all time high, GM pulled the plug. They dropped the RWD Regal, Cutlass, Monte Carlo, El Camino, and Grand Prix (G-body line-up). Buick however, went out with a bang and produced the GNX (reminiscent of the '70's Skylark GSX). At an estimated 300 HP, the GNX became an instant legend.

Much coverage is given to the very popular 1984-87 SFI Turbo Regals. However, the earlier 1978-83 Turbo Buicks are also of interest to many restorers. Hopefully this Website will be helpful in understanding and restoring the the pre-SFI Turbo Buicks.


1978 Sport Coupe Sport Coupe - - - -
1979 Sport Coupe Sport Coupe Turbo Coupe S Type - -
1980 Sport Coupe Sport Coupe Turbo Coupe S Type Coupe -
1981 Sport Coupe - - T Type Coupe -
1982 Sport Coupe - - T Type - -
1983 T Type - - T Type - -
1984 T Type, GN - - T Type - -
1985 T Type, GN - - T Type - -
1986 T Type, GN - - - - -
1987 Base, Limited, WE4, GN, GNX - - - - -
1989 - - - - - Pace Car

* The Turbo V6 was available in any Century model, except wagons.
** Some years, The turbo V6 was optional on the standard Riviera and could be substituted on the Sport model.
***The Turbo V6 was an optional engine on the Chevrolet Monte Carlo Coupe.

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