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Turbo Coupe: 1986 Chrysler LeBaron

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Nostalgia is a powerful drug. This is something automotive manufacturers know well, what with the arrival of the retro-inspired Mustang and Challenger in recent years. So, I’m blaming nostalgia for why I am beginning to find the K-Car generation and its siblings more appealing after years of revulsion. This turbocharged 1986 Chrysler LeBaron here on eBay has under 30,000 original miles and is available for a reasonable $1,800 Buy-It-Now.

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The black-on-red pairing is an attractive color combination and looks to be in great shape. The factory air conditioning still blows cold, a good indication as to an ownership history that paid attention to maintenance requirements. When paired with the K-Car platform, the LeBaron became a front-wheel drive, low-cost model for Chrysler, unless you stepped up to the faux wood-trim and drop-top variant known as the Town & Country.

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In the 80’s, Chrysler had a love affair with turbocharging. The familiar 2.2 Turbo mill is present in this example, and to be perfectly fair, many Mopar enthusiasts have extracted prodigious amounts of performance from these boost-enhanced four cylinders. 146 b.h.p was on tap, along with 160 lb. ft. of torque, a healthy increase over the naturally-aspirated models.

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Overall, this LeBaron presents as a well-loved example in an attractive color combo with the right engine equipment. The seller notes that a box of OEM Mopar parts will be included, another positive sign that the previous owner took care of his investment. The Buy-It-Now price seems downright reasonable, but a best offer option still exists. The car is located in Illinois with just over five days left on the auction. Would you consider a LeBaron project-worthy?


  1. Capt Doug

    My Mother had a K-car model, 1986 Lebaron convertible, turbo, white with a white top and red leather interior and wire wheel hubcaps, we kept it 30 years in absolutely beautiful condition – as the time went by it became a much better looking and elegant ride in comparison to the modern evolution of design. We finally sold it when practically every day someone stopped by asking to buy it.

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  2. Off2hcky

    Talk about nostalgia! My mom had one that was identical! Bought it new. Black, maroon interior and the turbo. I kinda remember it being a dog though despite a turbo. Was a decent car. Although I did have a little fender bender with it falling asleep at the wheel coming home from prom! Whoops!

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  3. Gary Gary

    Gone! $1800

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  4. Cody

    Near my house, there is a local auto parts store that has a small fleet of k-cars that they use for delivering parts. I think they have six of them. Various models from different years. They are all sun faded and beat up. Surprisingly, they are not rusty considering they’re in Nebraska. All of them continue to run and seemingly well. The store is on a street light corner, and they are always having to bolt out of there to catch the lights, and the cars are always up to the task. I can’t imagine there are many cars from that generation that would stand up to the same day to day punishment as these do 30 years later.

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    • Dave Wright

      i used to own and operate a fleet of them too…….simplest cheepest car ro keep going I ever owned. We had a few rules about whitch ones we bought, fuel injected only, 5 lug wheels, 2.2 or 2.5 engine and air conditioning. We used them all over the southwest, 90 MPH with the A/C blairing. We probably put a million miles on them cummlitively. We bought Government cars with usually less than 50k on them and ran them for another 100k miles with few problems and the problems we had were cheep and easy to repair. Usually sold them for more than we paid for them after driving them a year or two.

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  5. Chebby

    These cars are cheap and ugly, but they made millions of them and the guys on the Turbo Dodge forums seem to be having a blast. You can turn the wick up high on these motors pretty easily, and if you grenade it, there are plenty more around for peanuts.

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  6. Schwag

    You know, Jon Voight drove an ’89 LeBaron convertible.

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  7. Vernon Ricks

    I loved these Kcars fun to drive my wife got an 84 after he past away he had bought it cause i guess he liked me and my choice of cars too. anyway i was also a mecanic and they were easy to work unlike other FWD mostly timing belts cyl headgasket long as they were serviced they run like a scowlded dog without turbo

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  8. Steve B

    Yep, these were a staple of government motor pool fleets in that era. We racked up hundreds of thousands of miles on them in Nevada. They were the only motor pool cars where the inside mirror would not melt off when left baking in the sun for days in the 125 degree plus summer days in Laughlin.

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  9. charlie Member

    The bean shaped LeBaron convertibles of the late 80’s and early 90’s with a V6 are the current bargain basement future collectable that you can drive and get parts for. I think the early ones in red with the covered headlights, and the later ones in green with tan leather are primo!

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    • Roger

      Funny you should say that, I had a 94 GTC triple black convertible for a summer that I loved and had many many great times in – but everyone used to make fun of it lol.

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  10. grenade

    I was going to complain about the car until I saw that I was realistically priced. 18 s fair for that and with stories of how well they ran and how cheap they were to fix? Good on Ya mate!

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  11. MikeK

    A million years ago I did a short stint as a repo man for a buy here / pay here lot. They specialized in the K car. Bought them at GSA auctions for 200 or so bucks a pop, then took 500 down on them the next week. They sold hundreds of them.

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  12. Terry

    Had an 85 Mark Cross edition turbo convert. Black with gray leather. Never have seen another. Don’t miss that car.

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  13. Tirefriar

    Must be an “acquired taste” thing….

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