How many 81 Monte Carlo V-6 turbos were built. Just got 1,needs restored, want 2 know how rare it is


Asked by Jan 13, 2009 at 01:51 PM about the 1981 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

Question type: General

I just aquired an 81 Monte Carlo T-Top that was a turbo. The car is loaded with pwr steering, brakes, windows, seats, and locks. It has tilt wheel, cruise, and auto rear view mirror. The car has badging that indicates it was a 3.8 turbo. The turbo badges are on the dash above the glove box, on the trunk lid, and on the fake hood scoop. The hood scoop apears to be the same as what I have seen on Buick Regal turbos. I got the car from my son in law and got it sight unseen. The car is rough, but the frame has no rust and most of the rust is contained to the fenders, hood, doors, and some along the dash under the windshield and in the door jam near the windshield post. This is a Florida car that I think spent some time on the coast as the rust is on the lower side of the hood and around the scoop, the bottoms of the doors, and lower front corner of the fenders around the cornering lights. The motor is also apart, no heads, no turbo. When my son in law told me he had an old 81 Monte Carlo T-Top he was going to get rid of, I wanted it to build a Super Sport clone but I think this car is too rare to do that to. I am just trying to confirm that. As indicated from my user name I'm a Mopar guy,that aquired an interesting Chevy. Thanks for the input.

20 Answers


that car is very rare


I have decoded the VIN and it indicates the car is a turbo car as I indicated above. The car no longer has its turbo motor, just a regular 3.8 L. Does anyone know how many turbo Monte Carlos were built in 1981 or of a site I can go to to get production figures on Chevrolets. Thanks.

2 people found this helpful.

According to what I can find, Chevrolet only offered the turbo v6 in the 1980 and 1981 Monte Carlos. In 1980 they produced 13,839 turbo MC's and in 1981 the number was 3,027. That gives a total of roughly 16,900 turbo Monte Carlos total. Since yours is a 1981, it is one of 3,027 for that year. I is probably more valuable restored to original condition. PLEASE do not make an SS clone out of it!


Well I guess I got my answer. I have since found the same answer one other place, a Buick turbo website. Thanks for the responce. I will not make an SS clone out of it. Now I guess the hunt is on to find parts to restore it. Being a Mopar guy, I have never had to source Chevy parts. I am in the need of all the bolt on body parts and all the turbo parts. I have an old Hollander interchange manual and it tells me all the body parts are 1981 to 1988 and most of the turbo parts are 1981 only. Also it appears that the trunklid had a spoiler and it also appears the holes in the lid are factory drilled. Did this thing have the same spoiler as the later Monte Carlo SS? Also any help in locating parts and shows in the Central Florida area would be very helpful. I am located in Lakeland, Fl. and work at Disney in Orlando.


I am not sure about the spoiler question. I don't believe that the spoiler came from the factory, but I could be wrong. As for rust-repair parts, any 81-88 Monte Carlo repair panels will work. Make sure that they are NOT for an SS or LS car. The SS and LS cars have unique body panels that do not directly interchange with the base/landau trim packages. Your turbo car should have the landau trim package. there are a few pretty good sources on the net for repair and restoration parts. Try They specialize in Monte Carlo and El Camino parts. OPG (original parts group) also has a good selection of parts for these cars. I beleive that they are at, but don't hold me to that one. You can easily find them with a google search. Another good source is They have a section of links to several suppliers of repair parts, along with customer reviews of the suppliers to let you know which are the good and the bad ones. The engine part I am a little less familiar with. I believe that the turbo MC used the same engine as the Buick Regal Sport Turbo. If I am not mistaken, since yours is an '81, it should have the fuel injected 3.8 liter Buick Turbo engine. this should be the same as the Buick T-Type and the first generation Grand National (NOT the GNX). I would have to do some more research to verify this, but if it is the case, then engine parts are readily available also. There are TONS of vendors for Buick V6 Turbo parts. As you may know, the Monte Carlo, Regal, Grand Prix, Grand National, T-Type, and Cutlass from 1981 to 1988 all share a common platform. The General Motors code for this platform is "G-Body". If you search the web for G-Body parts, and Buick Turbo parts, you should be well on your way to finding everything that you need. Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.

2 people found this helpful.

Thanks Seth for the info. I've found some parts on Ebay and a local salvage yard. I can't believe how few Monte Carlo's are left in salvage yards. I have found one tag on the cowl on the left side but no other production sheets in the car. How do I determine how this car left the factory?


look for the build sheet behind the plastic panel under the left rear window. its where mine was in my 81 turbo, also 81 turbos didnt come with the spoiler

2 people found this helpful.

wow, thats pritty cool. i had no idea they had a turbo monte lol... anyone know how good they competed with the gnx? i know thos were quick. learn somthin every day.


i just acquired an 81 monte carlo my mother passed and left me this car i looked it up and chevrolet .com has a poster of car and it looks just like the poster same wheels and everything this tells me that my mother knew what she had when she bought car lol needs minor work ac for sure.


i cant find anyone to help me this 81 monte carlo the turbo patches not a listing black book blue book would like to sell this car and im not a blessed person gas is killing me would like to know how to get build sheet help me



I have an 1981 Monte Carlo Turbo fully loaded car. Original paint. There were only 3027 of these made. Fully loaded about 900 were made. These cars are extremely fast I have raced this car on a few occasions and love to pull up beside some guy in a ricer. Get the turbo spolled up and this thing flys.

I have an 1981 Monte Carlo turbo I just want to know how rare they are I'll never sell it I love it too much

I own a 1980 Turbo Monte Carlo 3.8 liter. I went with my Mom after work one morning and picked it out, I haven't driven it since 1997. It has a landau top. I've heard that not many were made like that. Not much info on this car to be had???? Can you share what you know?


wow great feedback with this post. ill just add my 2 cents although i may be repeating what has been said. the turbo engine in the 80 and 81 MC is straight out of the Buick Regal Sportcoupe. its has a turbo 3.8 liter V6 that draws through a 4 barrel carburetor. any specs you want to know about the engine you will find looking up the buick. unfortunately this setup was not at the peak of its performance engines at that time. This engine went fuel injected and coil ignition beginning in 1984. then reached its pinnacle in 1986 and 87 when they added an intercooler and then became a Corvette and Mustang eater. Your Monte is very rare but not sought after like the 86 & 87 buick T types and Grand Nationals. I would definately keep it and restore to original condition but dont expect to get your money back if you sell. Not in todays market atleast

I had a 1980 turbo Monte Carlo v6 very fast car...should have kept it... rare car...mine had a rare moon roof....leaked I must admit but nice car...good memories

i own a 1980 monte carlo turbo 3.8 jet black all orginal numbers matching. i heard only 1,000 were made

i have a 1981 monte carlo turbo we are fixing to restore looking for parts everything original including motor but will need emblems a driver door, need the turbo emblem for hood scoop!

i just found a very decent bodied 80 monte carlo with 3.8 turbo engine intack in a junkayard known as Hollands in Billerica mass. they say 'parts sales only'..prob don't have a clean title..either them for parts..interior is gone except for front seats..doors are good, relatively solid door bottoms for new england..all trim good, panels good...shame to part..but maybe someone can figure a way to restore this beauty..brown metalic paint in exc shape...

my contact is

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