1981 Buick LeSabre Review

1981 Buick LeSabre Custom Coupe 5.0 Liter V8 (307) from North America

Model year1981
Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership1986
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 5.0 Liter V8 (307) Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired62000 miles
Most recent distance348598 miles

Summary:

Rest In Peace

Faults:

Aside from routine maintenance:

Headliner sagged after 23 years.

Engine leaked oil from about every gasket there is after 300,000 miles.

Transmission leaked from speedometer cable and eventually pan.

Radiator leaked/oil cooler leaked after 320,000 miles.

Carburetor was a bit out of whack during cold starts.

Rear bumper begin rusting out a few years back.

Check engine light stayed on steady since 1994.

Transmission mount bolts broke one winter for some odd reason.

A/C compressor recharged one last time in 2004.

General Comments:

This car was purchased new by my Grandparents in 1981, and given to my oldest brother in 1986 when he started driving. I'm the youngest of four kids, and all of us had possession of this car at one point and time. Needless to say, None of us were very nice to it either. One of my sisters drove it 200 miles with a blown upper radiator hose 12 years ago, warning light blinking at her and everything. The fact that it was about 10 degrees outside may have saved the car that day. The Car has put my older brother, two older sisters, and myself through both high school and college.

Its been through 3 car accidents and 4 deer collisions. Its Literally hit something or been hit on all 4 corners during its somewhat "younger" years. I remember skidding off the road one icy winter night and hitting a tree dead on. I barely bent the bumper, and I know I had to be going at least 25 yet when I hit it. I'm glad I had a seatbelt on that night. The insurance Company still fixed part of it about 10 years ago, and newer paint and sheetmetal has kept the car looking not as bad as you might expect, but after over 300,000 miles time takes its toll.

The interior held up well to this day, I've never ridden in a more comfortable car. All the electronics worked too, even the massive power windows.

It never broke down to the point of stranding anyone. A month ago I noticed coolant in the oil and turns out it has a cracked head and manifold. Now that I make real money it was time to say goodbye to the old boat. I tried to take it to a push/pull/drag dealer special, and they gave me cash credit instead and told me to junk the car, it would cost them more time and money to get rid of it. On the drive to the junkyard, even with the Check Engine, Low Oil Pressure and Water Temp warning Lights on, The car still ran like a dream.

LONG LIVE THE LE SABRE!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th March, 2007

29th Jul 2009, 17:51

Wow. I have a 1981 Buick LeSabre Limited 2 door with just over 118,000 miles. I bought it five years ago from a neighbor who got it from California (I live in Michigan.) It had 80,000 miles on it at the time. I LOVE riding and driving this car! My first car was a 1978 Buick Regal. I like old Buicks. I thought it was funny when you said the roof liner sagged. Ours has been propped up with wood strips since we bought it. The check engine light has been on for two years now and it still runs great. The cold starts are a bear... this car just doesn't do well in the winter weather. My hubby rebuilt the carb a year after we got it, but he thinks it should have a new one. So far, so good. It's a solid car and we hope to fix it up real nice someday soon. Enjoyed your review!

Lisa McBrian

Grand Rapids, MI.

Average review marks: 7.8 / 10, based on 1 review