Pace Car of The K-Carpocalypse: 1990 Chrysler LeBaron Turbo GTC Convertible
The Chrysler LeBaron was by 1987 a K-car pile of parts that was using the legendary Chrysler badge as an attempt to trick people into thinking it was a personal luxury car. But not even a VNT (variable nozzle turbine) equipped turbocharger attached to a Chrysler Turbo II 4-banger could make a K-car (okay, technically this is a J-body) anything other than…oh boy, I don’t want to upset the K-car-community again, so I’ll be nice. Find this 1990 Chrysler LeBaron Turbo GTC Convertible offered for $4,200 in Scottsdale, AZ via craigslist. Tip from Tyler.
From the seller:
1990 Turbo Convertible
title status: clean
1990 Chrysler LeBaron GTC Convertible VNT Turbo 5-Speed
Rare Car ~ 1 of Only 132 GTC Convertibles Produced
2.2 Liter Intercooled Turbocharged Engine
5-Speed Manual Transmission
Gray Leather Interior
Power Steering – Power Brakes – Air Conditioning – Cruise Control
Power Windows – Power Seats
Power Convertible Top w/ Matching Boot Cover
Bucket Seats with Center Console
16″ Wheels & Tires
$4200 – Private Owner – No Sales Tax
Call or Text with questions
This vehicle’s performance compares to the Mopar Dodge Shelby Daytona & Charger turbos of this era!
See a better way to drive K? firstname.lastname@example.org
I had a turbo coupe in the late 90’s. It was comfortable and reasonably fast. I managed to blow the engine trying to go around an overpass loop too fast and starved the engine of oil and bang…fin. That was a looooong walk home that night.
For context as far as my comfort/speed comment go I was previously driving a 73 Nova hatchback that wasn’t comfortable or fast really but it made lots of noise with the cherry bombs, where the LeBaron was quiet, smooth and once the turbo hit it went pretty quick.
On the LeBaron I also managed to snap the front sway bar. It was about an inch thick. I was driving down an old asphalt back road at about 80mph+ which was way too fast and came to a T in the road. Luckily I mashed the brakes spun out and ended up on the side of the road. Limped it back home and removed the sway bar….and shortly there after blew the motor. I kinda feel bad about how I treated that car.
Mine had cloth seats – they were comfortable even if you were spending all day on the road. I’d still rank the seats in the top 10% of cars I’ve owned for ergonomics.
Chrysler tried out a lot of technology on the turbo K cars that was either ahead of its time or finicky enough its time may never come. The VNT setup is one; another is the fiberglass wheels on some of the CSXs. And the covered headlight LeBarons are a great styling exercise for the Radwood era. I used to have a ’89 LeBaron coupe for a while, and it was a good beater. Not sure how one would do at a $4200 car, but luckily for my family I do not have a ready source of $4200 to find out or I’d be tempted to try it.
I had an ‘85 le baron gts (I think same body as dodge lancer) with the turbo & a 5 speed. Was fun until the timing belt slipped. I wanted one of these when they came out, but never did buy one. Then there was the turbo, manual minivan I test drove but passed on. The ‘80s were interesting from Chrysler…