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Would You Rather: It’s The Battle Of Forgotten Horsepower! Take Your Pick Between The 1976 Dodge Charger Sport And The 1978 Buick LeSabre Turbo Sport Coupe!

Would You Rather: It’s The Battle Of Forgotten Horsepower! Take Your Pick Between The 1976 Dodge Charger Sport And The 1978 Buick LeSabre Turbo Sport Coupe!

It’s been a while since we’ve felt the need to pit you, the readers, into a corner with a one-or-the-other choice, so we went digging through the Internet for two proper cars for a good round of “Would You Rather?”, our take on the game that lets players enjoy watching each other squirm as they work out which of the two options is the lesser of two evils. For this week’s round, we have cars that can perform, if you are patient with them. Both are from popular platforms, neither one would be the first car you think of, and both could be really cool with a little work. Take a moment, think it over, and make your decision!

Charger Sport 2

Charger Sport rear

Option A: 1976 Dodge Charger Sport

For most people, the Dodge Charger ended in 1974 with the end of the Coke-bottle B-body cars. Performance had exited, stage right and cars were going from street stompers to plush, posturing personal coupes stuffed to the tilt with baroque designs and pompous intents. But if you knew where to look, you could find elements of the old-school muscle car guys still hanging in there. Such is the case with this 1975 Charger Sport…the previous-generation B-platform was still there, but the sales of the Cordoba-based Charger SE were horrible; not surprising for a car that was a Cordoba with a new grille. The Charger Sport instead shares the alternate B-body design, which also appeared on Dodge Monaco, Plymouth Fury Sport, and the 1975 Plymouth Road Runner. The look on this Graphic Red example is just about perfect…we’d ditch the white bumblebee stripe out back and the stick-on hoodscoops, and pump the 360 small-block up to a good level of horsepower. The chassis is willing…if you are ready to look past the styling.

Option B: 1978 Buick LeSabre Turbo Sport Coupe

LeSabre Turbo Sport Coupe 2 lesabre turbo coupe 1

You can’t deny that General Motors’ 1977 downsizing of the B-body full-size platform wasn’t a wild success. By chopping out 800 pounds and ten inches off of the big cars while simultaneously tweaking suspensions, the General wound up with one of the most attractive cars sold throughout the 1980s. While the Chevrolet Caprice and Impala get most of the recognition due to their cop-car status, there was plenty of other tasty options in the B-car catalog. This 1978 LeSabre, on it’s own, would be more than enough for most people: the bronze/black paint job is tasteful, the look is spot-on, and most people would be happy with the 307 Oldsmobile or 350 Buick that was readily available. Even the Oldsmobile 403 was still around and kicking, but if you were willing to forego the V8 exhaust note, you could get your hands on one of Buick’s early attempts at a turbocharged V6. 170 horsepower and 265 ft/lbs of torque isn’t going to make anybody’s adrenaline glands work hard, but Buick made the answers for those problems just a few years later. With sway bars at both ends, good brakes, and the ability to be ordered with buckets and a floor shifter, the LeSabre Turbo Sport Coupe had a lot going for it…so long as you remember this is a 1978 vehicle with 1978 performance.

Which does it for you: the all-go Charger, or the all-show Buick? Tell us below!

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16 thoughts on “Would You Rather: It’s The Battle Of Forgotten Horsepower! Take Your Pick Between The 1976 Dodge Charger Sport And The 1978 Buick LeSabre Turbo Sport Coupe!

  1. BeaverMartin

    Got to go for the Buick. I’ve had several B Bodies and they’re a great platform. I’m just not sure if I would drop in a 455 and slather it in a yellow GS Stage 1 style scheme or go basic black with a built to the hilt turbo six.

  2. Matt Cramer

    That Charger would be a looker if you lost those two horizontal bars across the rear windows and the vinyl top. I wouldn’t remove the hood scoops, either – I’d make them functional.

    But the Buick isn’t a bad choice either; nothing wrong with it a swap to a later incarnation of their forced induction V6 couldn’t fix.

    In the end, I’d probably go with the Charger just because I already have a Buick with boost.


    I’d take the Buick. Especially if I have to choose between the two. I had my share of B body cars and loved them. Not a fan of this particular Charger or that body style. If someone gave it to me I would gladly take it but overall….The old Bufford is more my speed.

  4. Mater


    rip out the carbed turbo 3.8 and swap in a turbo 3800 or even a factory L67 and have some good times

    or the obvious choice of a GN 3.8

  5. moparmaniac07

    Am I the only one that actually likes the stripe and scoop? It really dresses up an otherwise boring looking car, IMO.

    1. Matt Cramer

      I’m OK with both of them. It’s just the top and window treatment that isn’t working for me.

  6. tedly

    As they sit, not swapping engines or anything? The Dodge would be more fun.

    If we are open to swapping engines? Buick. All day, every day, and twice on Sunday.

    My friends mom had a blue one when I was a kid and I liked it then, but I still really like the looks of it now. I’ll take mine with a 455, please.

  7. Roger

    Wouldn’t you really rather have a Buick? I know I would… that car is stunning! That Dodge… not so much. At all, in fact. Yuck.

  8. Ian Coenen

    I have to go with the Buick since I actually have one. The 78 was actually rated at 165 hp and 285 tq because of one year only heads.

  9. Ted D

    I had one of those Chargers, swapped in a 440 6 pack (they could be ordered with a 400, so the K frame was available), left in the 2.73 rear and could cruise at 100 easy. Had it radared over 140. I weep over the 69 I got the motor from, just because of rusty trunk and floorboards. What I wouldn’t give now.

  10. mark mishler

    Dodge, Love it, lose the butt stripe, go for the up and over stripe on roof, lose the over fat meats on the rear.

  11. C.M. Bendig

    I’d build the 78 LeSabre. First I would spend the money on a new 12 bolt housing with a 4 series center section. Then I would get a Built TH200R4 done to GNX built motor torque specs. I would fab up my own torque arm like a GNX would have. After that I would get my Turbo buick buddy to help me build a RWD Turbo 6 that would torture the 12 bolt richmond gears worse then a 455.

    Stock a 78 Turbo Buick is not very fast. Yet built up 450-600HP is real world achievable. When you have 600HP 5,500 pounds will move alot better then it would have with 190HP.

  12. Brad Zeidler

    I had a 78 Le Sabre turbo sport coupe. Loved it. Upgraded to the sefi turbo from a totalled 85 T type, 200-4R, and 3.73 Ltd slip. It moved ok and still got 25 mpg.
    The 8.5″ 10 bolt is strong enough and little known to many folks is that the BOP 10 bolt didn’t use c clip axles. They were press on bearings like a 9″ ford.

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