I do not recommend buying any Turbo Regal not running or that is in poor condition inside and out. A engine rebuilt will run 3k to 4k and you will also have to replace the turbo for safety reasons. One piece of metal in the turbo is all it takes to ruin it. A rebuilt 200 R-4 tranny runs around 2K. Buying a cheap car thats not running is a very bad idea and will become a money pit in a instant. If your looking at purchasing a t-top car expect rust and corrosion in the mounting area's. Most owners don't take care of the weatherstrips and or drains. Dirt/dust also builds up in these areas and holds moisture when wet which feeds rust. I would have the owner remove the front plates if any rust is seen in that area to see just how bad it is. I would also pull back the carpet and inspect the floor pans if they were leaking. G-Body parts sell complete stainless steel t-top rebuild kits for under a grand. New weatherstrips and drains are around $500. The door bottoms are also very prone to rust and corrosion even on hard top cars. Don't let the owner fool you into thinking that rusted doors are a easy fix since doors off a base Regal can be used but they will also have to be sanded, painted, mounted, and new door seals alone are $500 for both upper/lower seals per door. Not to mention the outside door handles and locks will need to be transferred if you have the black trim option. I would also stay away from highly modified cars unless if that is what you are looking for. You just wont find out what all has been changed and this can be a real nightmare when you go to get it inspected to find out it wont pass emissions. Gutted or missing converters are common along with changed mass air flow sensors. Some owners do keep all the parts they removed and have receipts/log of all changes, this is a good thing! I would also stay away from cars that spent most of their life up north. Road salts will rust floor pans, door bottoms, rocker panels, quarter panels and so on. Get a good look underneath the car first!
Up next are the 1986 Turbo Regals and we start off with 5800 GN's being produced. HP was rated at 235 across all Turbo Regals in 1986. This is also the first year that the intercooler was included on Turbo Regals. The GN is a little scarce due to alot of them were turned into race cars, so a bone stock one is a good find here. Expect to pay a little less for a GN for this year. Big variety of 7900 T-Type cars issued and the most desirable is by far the rare WH-1 designers series. Only 400 produced and the final year for this option. Two toned paint and bucket seats with console shifter is the norm here. Expect to pay a premium for this one if you can find one. T-Type Regals are around a $1000 less than 87 Turbo-T's. Alot of them had the awful digital display dash and the neat touch climate controls which was the last year for this option. A slight production of 1986 Le Sabre Grand National non-turbo cars are produced. Very few survive and had GN emblems on the front fenders with a solid red 6 instead of the normal yellow/orange. Another strange prototype appears from ASC in 86 and its labeled as GNX 001. Changes in 86 were the exhaust exiting behind the rear wheels instead of the rear bumper, T-Type badges on the fenders drop the small turbo 6 logo, the much better looking chrome/black wheels on the GN, 84-85 GN style rims issued on T-Types, and the turbo moves to the front of the engine with a redesigned manifold/intake single belt system. The electronics, ecm, sensors, and cooling fans are also improved.
Now up the 1985 so called hot air Turbo Regals. 2000 85 GN's are produced this year with some big changes. First year the awful Powermaster brake systems go into service with recall's right after new cars were sold new up into 1988. First year of the famous GN momo-chromatic black/grey cloth interior. All Turbo Regals rated at 200 hp non-intercooled. Expect to pay not even half of what 86/87 GN's cost with daily drivers selling for 5k and I have yet to see one break 10k price mark. T-Type production was at it's lowest with same being made as the GN. Don't see to many 85 GN's or T-Types for sale nowdays. Many of them are scrap due to wrecks/rust and not worth restoring since the selling price is so low. These cars perform quite well with upgrades but few companies produce performance parts since the entire 84/85 Turbo Regal production is around 10,000. There is only one turbo upgrade being the TA-33 costing $900 and will work with cars up to 500hp levels. A 3" stainless down pipe will put you back $700. Headers are almost impossible now that Poston is gone. G-Body parts now has a Champion ported and polished manifold for the 84/85 for $795. Intercoolers are available but will put you back a grand and spool up is slowed. You are better off with an alcohol injection since it cools down the inlet charge and is cheaper than a intercooler. Caspers makes 87 style ecm and coil adapters for these cars now and its a must for 84/85 cars. I would also replace the engine fan with electric dual fans and plug the hot coolant at the throttle body. The key here is to lower the hot inlet charge at the turbo.
Finally the 1984 model year. First all black GN is produced with the state of the art 3.8 SFI Turbo V-6 engine. GM puts out 2000 GN's on a very limited budget for dealerships and to buy one you had to win a lottery at the dealership! The 84 GN featured a Lier Siegler tan/slate grey leather interior unlike the later 85-87 GN's. The digital dash cluster also appears and the analog cluster adds RPM and boost led type gauges at the bottom. The dash cluster never improves until the GNX and is a big dislike for owners. No temp, voltage, water, or oil gauges instead using idiot lights when there is a problem. The digital dash only has fuel, trip, and mph with analog odometer. 3,204 T-Types were produced along with the new option WH-1 designer series. The quarter mile times are very close to the Corvette at the time, and the 87 GNX would become king of the muscle cars of the era. Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope it sheds some light on your purchase of an american legend!