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Seen Better Days: 1987 Chevrolet Sprint Turbo

While nameplates such as Volkswagen’s GTI and Honda’s Civic Si usually come to mind during the conversations surrounding hot hatchbacks, I’ve always been quite a fan of the Chevrolet Sprint Turbo, a neat little compact built by Suzuki for General Motors. Barn Finds reader Roger found this white 1987 Chevrolet Sprint Turbo here on Craigslist, but from the looks of it, this example will need a good bit of TLC.

This Sprint Turbo is available in Bend, Oregon, where it supposedly has been under the same ownership for a long time. While the seller does provide a handful of pictures, the advertisement lacks a variety of crucial details.

The most obvious issue with this Sprint Turbo is the left rear quarter panel. Even though the vehicle has a clean title, it’s clear that it was once involved in an incident, and a repair was (poorly) attempted, as seen by the rust poking through a cracking surface. I’m not a betting man, but I think it’s safe to say there’s some Bondo hiding out in this hot hatch.

Here’s another photo of the damage, which extends to the rear bumper and under the left taillight.

Additionally, the front grille is also cracked and various exterior decals are no longer present, which makes me question if this particular Sprint received an exterior respray.

The seller does not specify the vehicle’s mileage or mechanical condition of the turbocharged 1.0-liter engine. However, they do mention that it has a new ignition coil, while the spark plugs and wires are not very old. A 5-speed manual transmission drives the front wheels, while this powerplant makes around 70 horsepower and delivers a fuel economy rating of about 40 miles per gallon.

This example does not include a radio, so by default, your soundtrack will be the turbocharged 3-cylinder engine that’s under the hood. Personally, I wonder if the seller will include the adorable dog ornament with the vehicle’s sale.

I’ve always enjoyed the gradient upholstery pattern on the seats of the Sprint Turbo.

The asking price for this Sprint Turbo is $3,500 or best cash offer. Though I’ve always been a big fan of this model, I think the damage to the body and lack of general detail would make me pass it up, especially at this price. What do you think of this neat hatchback?


  1. mark

    Worth a 1000 bucks………….maybe.

    Like 7
  2. mallthus

    NADA says $850-1375 for this (assuming it has AC…I see the button, but who knows if it’s actually still installed).

    For $900, I’d seriously consider this one. They’re easy to work on, I know. I helped a friend swap an engine on one (albeit not a turbo) years ago and it took 3 hours and the mileage is near hybrid level, especially on the highway.

    But, seriously, this car will be in a junk yard in a year or three, best case scenario. No way will they get $3500.

    Like 4
  3. CapNemo

    Might make a decent wheel chock.

    Like 3
  4. 8banger David Mika Member

    $3,500? ha ha ha ha!!!

    Like 1
  5. nycbjr Member

    Crack pipe lol

    Like 1
  6. Brian Scott

    I remember as a young man- when I had hair even- selling door-to-door in repair shops, one day walking into a facility and seeing two guys pull out one of these 1.0L engines by hand and setting it on a workbench. Wow. You’re not doing that with a Hellcat 6.2!

    Like 1
  7. Bryan W Cohn

    I test drove one when these were new as a possible replacement race car for our aged out Peugeot 505 Turbo. We looked at Civic Si’s, MR2’s and other cars of the era as well, finally settling on a Eclipse Turbo.

    Back to the story….the Sprint Turbo was interesting. Super light weight, bordering on fragile. The transmission could not be shifted quickly without zinging the synchros on every shift in every gear. I think the gearbox was made from glass. It handled well and the engine was a little screamer. It wasn’t up for what we needed obviously and I cannot imagine what one would be like today 35 years of wear on…..

    Like 0
    • Miguel

      I worked at a Chevy dealer when this car was new and what stood out to me was the torque steer this car had.

      It was a fun new car, but as you say, I don’t think it would wear very well, unless it was well cared for all of its life, which this one was not.

      Like 0

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