1995 Buick Roadmaster Limited 5.7 LT1

Summary:

The Impala SS and the Roadmaster are the last of their kind

Faults:

Rear air ride/auto level.. I think this is far for a 15 year old car that the old owner used for towing. It had to be replaced at 240,000; bought gas shocks and easily replaced.

One of the rear power windows went at 220,000; just stays up, I never use it anyways, so I don't really care.

One thing I have to say is tune ups are not nice on this car. Anyone who has ever done plugs and wires on a LT-1 in a B-body, will know what I am talking about.

No other issues, and I'm pretty hard on my car.

General Comments:

I love this car. It's too bad GM didn't make anything like this today, I'm not saying I think GM builds bad cars (JD power still rates Buick the most reliable car on the road); I'm just saying they don't make them like this: full frame, RWD, Posi, and a Chevy 350.

I have to say the engine in this car is unreal. I have never had a single problem with it, and it still runs so smooth. You wouldn't even know it's running if it wasn't from the sound of the exhaust (after market). I really wish there was still a production GM with a cast iron block. I'm looking for a truck now with the 5.3, and I just don't know if it will live up to the 5.7. And for such a big car, the 0-60 is really good a lot of fun as well. Anyone who has owned a Chevy 350 I think should agree that they don’t build them like this any more. Those 50 year old designed blocks are just unstoppable.

Oh, and the ride! The ride in this car is amazing. It's hard to drive anything else after this. I hate the handling of FWD, and I hate the ride of unibodies, and yes I have been in Cadillacs and BMWs. So now I'm stuck with trucks LOL, which isn't a bad thing.

One thing this car makes me wonder about is the gas I use. I mean it's not great, but it's not bad. I get about 17/ 100kms city, but about 9.5-10.5/highway. It just makes me think if they could make a 50 year old engine block put out 260hp and 335 ft-lbs, and use that little, I feel if any of the companies really wanted to make more fuel efficiency, they could. With the truck I'm looking at, it will be worse on gas and have about the same power output, and just over the Roadmaster's towing.

Well in closing, I feel bad for anyone who hasn't driven a car of this style, or a full frame RWD. With gas prices going up, there will be a lot of people out there who will put down these cars and never understand what they had been like to own. Being in one of these makes me think of the 60's and 70's. The Roadmaster and the Impala SS are the end of the line for this type of car, and there are a lot of people out there who will miss this.

R.I.P. RWD B-body platform 1959–1996.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th December, 2010

17th Dec 2010, 19:59

I agree with you wholeheartedly that the state the US Auto industry is in is pretty sad. I was once an auto aficionado, but don't really bother anymore, since I haven't seen anything introduced by the big three in a good 5 years worth any enthusiasm.

I have a 2005 Buick Park Avenue, and I have to disagree that rear-wheel drive with body on frame construction is always superior. I once test drove a '95 Roadmaster, and while it rode slightly softer than my car (from what I can remember), it wandered a lot more in turns, which I could do without. I do love that floating ride though. My Park Avenue does however ride smoother than my grandparent's '99 Town Car in my opinion. Front wheel drive plus 4,000 lbs is also nice here in Indiana during this time of year.

19th Dec 2010, 19:58

I absolutely love the b-body GMs myself, and have owned quite a few. Currently have a 1990 Caprice Classic.

These cars are tanks and last forever! Pretty much the best value for buying a used car, apart from fuel economy.

The ride quality of RWD is unbeatable on the highway! I could never go back to front wheel drive...

1995 Buick Roadmaster 5.7 LT1

Summary:

Burgundy

Faults:

Posi rear made grinding noise around tight corners. Changed fluid and added the additive... no noise since... repaired about 10k miles ago. This is the only legitimate problem since ownership.

I have had other problems with the car, but that is attributed to its life. I picked this car up in Philly in November 09. The body was a 7-8 on a scale of 1-10; it was rough. My best guess was that it was an older gentleman's car, because there was not a spot on it without a dent; it had the G80 posi rear option and a theft deterrent system that used a chip to complete the ignition circuit. The car sat outside quite a bit, because the rear deck had turned white from excessive UV exposure.

When I got the car, the thermostat gasket had dried, developed a slight leak, and ended up killing the bearings inside the alternator. To say the least, "That $%#@ squealed". That was repair (1). $150.

Next came the front rotors and calipers. Calipers were dry and sticking from sitting, so I replaced both. That was repair (2). $600.

A few months after that the belt tensioner joined the alternator club and started squealing. I replaced the belt and tensioner. $50.

Some months later, the car developed an oil leak where the oil filter housing screws to the pump. This gasket can dry when not used. Here we have repair (4). $200.

Next came the rear-end fluid change.

Most recent repair attributed to age was the coolant overflow. For months, my low coolant light would go on and then off as the pump pulled fluid. I would fill the overflow, run the car up to operating temp, park, and come back to find a puddle of coolant under the car. Lo and behold, the car's overflow tank had developed a crack right at the "FULL COLD" line. Went to the junkyard and that became repair (6) $20, which quickly led to repair (7) when the coolant caused the belt tensioner to fail again. This part still had 1 year warranty, so this became a freebie (my labor only).

General Comments:

It was and still is a rich Dark Burgundy with Burgundy cloth interior (very sharp). Someone had broken the hood ornament off in the past, so I took a metal file to what was left of the stub, and now the hood has a simple chrome accent (ornament base plate) that totally intensifies the car's attitude when paired with the Impala SS rims that I put on the car.

The car gets compliments to this day, and remember we're talking about a 15 year old Buick at this point. There is a certain presence that goes along with this type of car. Metaphorically speaking, "The Boss is here" tends to come to mind.

Now for comparison, I owned a 95 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham with similar mileage. The Buick has more throttle response, better acceleration, shift points, etc. The Roadmaster is a better vehicle, mechanically speaking; it is perfectly engineered. You will never drive a car like this again.

Since November 09, I have put 30,000 miles on this car: one year later to be exact. Above have been my repairs. I paid $3300 for the car.

With the stock alum wheels from the factory (15"), this car would pull 26mpg no problem on open highway. Since I have added the Impala SS wheels (17"), highway mileage has been a consistent 23mpg. 50% highway mixed with 50% city leaves you with a 19-20mpg average.

In my opinion, this is the best for the price. 260hp accompanied with 330lb/ft for only 87 octane. Can't beat it.

Now one thing I will mention is that I have replaced the EGR valve in both the Cadillac and this car. I consider this routine maintenance for these LT1 cars. 87 octane tends to gunk these up over time, and causes the car to stutter at very low RPM (i.e. slow stop and go traffic).

Despite the repairs (I know some of you will consider these excessive), I have to say that this is the best vehicle I have ever owned. You cannot beat this. You cannot beat the style, the presence, the performance, comfort, reliability or color; cannot.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st November, 2010