1982 Buick Park Avenue Coupe 5.0 V8 (305?)
Cheap and reliable beast from the past, not for sale at any price!
Electronic air conditioner malfunctioned when I first bought the car, and would only put out high heat or max A/C, unless you turned it completely. Whoever rode in my car during the first few months, either roasted or froze unless we could open the windows. I replaced it with the older style with buttons and levers.
Radiator replaced, had a slow leak.
Headliner sags a little.
Re-wired some of the wires in the dash; car was blowing fuses for dash panel lights.
Valve covers, heads, rear and front main, and oil pan all have slow leaks. I will replace them myself someday when I have the time. I still don't have to add any oil between changes.
The original silver paint is faded and cracking.
Check engine light stays on for no good reason.
Transmission also has a very slow leak.
Replaced water pump and fan clutch due to leaking.
Otherwise, just things like brake pads, exhaust pipes, belts, and hoses which need to be replaced sometimes anyway.
I am only 17 and totally in love with this car. I paid $1400 for it when my 1993 Pontiac Grand Am broke down three times in one week. My parents blame it on my driving style, but I treat this Buick the same if not worse and it never even hiccups. The Grand Am has a worthless Quad 4 engine, enough said.
The Park Ave came from Phoenix Arizona where it sat in a garage for 6 years. The original owner brought it up here to Wisconsin and sold it to me. Due to its age alone and years of neglect, I think it has a right to be a little fussy at times. The body is straight and rust free, And I will repaint it when I get some free time. I use the Grand Am when I can, especially in the winter, but usually I find and excuse to drive the Buick.
This Buick is the toughest, most reliable car I've ever seen. I drive the hell out of it, and it fires up quick every morning no matter how hot or cold it is. I swear I could stick a burning rag in the fuel tank and push it off a cliff, and and would start and drive then next morning after I turn the key.
When I go down the interstate, it feels like I'm driving a cloud. This car laughs at potholes and speed bumps. The hood is so long that it's hard to tell the difference between 55 MPH and 75 MPH without looking down.
It's hard to tell this car is actually 26 years old from the inside. The dark blue interior hardly has a scratch, and the seats are so comfortable. Everyone who rides is fascinated by the florescent-looking "Park Avenue" trim ring that still lights up and works on the passenger side of the instrument cluster, as well as the opera lights on the outer door posts.
Another nice feature is the fuel filler behind the rear licence plate, there's no need to worry what side of the fuel pump you pull up to.
Most ignorant people assume that because of this car's size, that it drinks gas at the rate of 8 to 10 miles per gallon. So not true. I usually can get at least 320 miles on a full tank, even with city driving or short trips, and usually add about 20 gallons between fillups with the gas gage on "E" and the low fuel light on steady. Do the math. The few long trips I've taken I went close to 500 miles or more and added about 21 gallons. Once again, do the math. Don't criticize what you don't know. I guarantee you that a Cadillac Escalade or Ford Explorer will never pull this type of fuel economy. I remind you that I drive like a bat out of hell.
This car is pretty slow from a dead stop, but has no problem keeping up with cheap plastic econoboxes at any speed. My friends often make fun of my huge car, but guess who they call when their junk plastic 4-cylinder tin cans break down. I've given more tows and jump starts over the past year than I can count.
I have become sort of an "idiot savant" mechanic with this car. It's very easy to work on, I'm confident now that I can even do a transmission replacement if the time comes. Once upon a time, cars were not so complicated and didn't cost a fortune to fix. I had the entire exhaust in back of the converter replaced for under $120.
If this car lasts even a year longer, I know I got my money's worth. But I have a feeling it will last a lot longer than that.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 1st October, 2007
This car is awesome. I have one myself and I love it to death...
Okay, let's do the maths. 500 miles divided by 21 gallons equals 23.8 mpg. That's not bad, but neither is it spectacular enough to trash talk against other cars. From personal experience, a full size Ford Explorer gets 20-21 mpg highway, and the Explorer Sport gets upwards of 24 mpg. Plus, from personal experience I've seen the v-8 Cadillac full size DTS and STS sedans get 28 mpg. So...
However, I support your decision on buying an older, used car instead of making a car payment. I also agree that a lot of people unfairly look down on a car just because it is "big" and "old" without knowing anything about it.