I found out today that I've inherited my aunt's 1985 Buick Lesabre Collectors Edition. It's mint with only 21,000 miles, garage kept. It has all the maintenance records. I personally helped her pick it out new in the dealer show room in 1985. I'm semi-retired and not in need of another car or the money if I sell it. If I put classic plates on it, is it worth showing off at classic car shows?
To 12:39: KEEP THIS CAR. Any mint condition, numbers-matching (i.e. all original) car with this mileage will only appreciate. Some tips, however:
1) If the paint is starting to oxidize (get dull) go over the entire car with a VERY MILD, NON ABRASIVE rubbing compound followed by two coats of very high-quality carnauba wax. Afterward, apply two coats of wax in early spring and late autumn regularly.
2) IMMEDIATELY pour a can of seal softener into the crankcase with the oil. Seals dry out on cars based on age, not just mileage. If they are not already leaking, this will help soften and seal them and prevent future leaks. I'm frankly surprised they are not already leaking.
3) Likewise, pour a can of transmission seal softener in the transmission fluid for the same reason cited above.
4) If you have the original window sticker, bill of sale or other such documentation, have it mounted in a frame to protect it, and if you show the car, prop it up inside the trunk for people to view.
Although this is not yet a really unique classic car, each year it will become more valuable since it is (I assume) 100% original. That is a key factor in an older car's value. I attend many car shows and I've seen all sorts of wonderful older cars. I'm a senior citizen and car enthusiast, and sometimes show my mildly modified Ford Mustang. This is a great hobby and I wish you well. The car sounds well worth keeping. We sold a 1977 Buick LeSabre last year that had 277,000 totally trouble-free miles on it. Buicks are awesome cars.
Mooresville, NC Just bought a 1985 Buick LeSabre Collectors Edition, has a 307 V8. Has 98000 original miles. This car is solid has no rust damage must have been garage kept at one time. This car is basically in mint condition, I paid 1800.00 for it from a elderly couple. Best money I ever spent; this car floats like a butterfly.
My plans are to do a little work on it, because the headliner needs replacing. I am going to keep this car forever and pass it on to my kid when I'm gone!
I posted some time ago about my California-found '85 Buick LeSabre Collector's Edition. After owning it for a over a year, a deer ran in front of me. To its credit, the big car didn't even slow down... but the entire nose and grill were crushed. Parts proved impossible to find in my area, and shipped in would cost more than buying an entire new car. So, sadly, I sold it since it still ran 100%, to a college girl for $500. I bought a '98 Olds LSS and tried to be happy.
Newer cars just aren't the same. Finally I broke down and started searching for a replacement online. Some of the prices are ridiculous- anywhere from $3,500 to $8,500 for excellent condition ones! And those weren't even the color I wanted. Just when I'd given up, I found the perfect keeper. Sure, it was 1,530 miles away, but it was in amazing shape. Long story (and trip) short, it's now parked outside!
Mine's deep burgundy inside and out, and just plain looks new. It was kept in a heated garage and never saw a winter before I drove it home this past weekend. It was built in the latter part of 1985, so has all the features like automatic lights, rear defrost, cruise, and power everything (antenna, windows, locks, BOTH mirrors, BOTH front seats). It even has the rear-facing blinker/headlight indicators and "limo style" side-lights. It's the exact car I wanted, in the exact condition... it couldn't be more perfect!
I got mine for $2500 and consider that a good deal, considering the shape. I got offers on it even at gas stations while driving it home, but of course I won't sell. I have two sets of the uncut collector's edition engraved keys, leather-bound books, even the original dealer Collector's Edition promo license plate. The only additions I'm making to the car is a chromed solid steel license plate frame that says "BUICK" and a custom Idaho plate that says "LESABRE." Maybe I can't bring it to car shows just yet, but it's already a quarter of a century old. If I keep it this nice, maybe you'll see me there in five or ten years.
For those that are talking about power- the V8 307 has a little bit of get up and go. No, it's not winning any races, but it was never meant to. This is a reliable cruising car, and the Collector's Edition especially has more comfort than a caddy. They're incredibly hard to kill, and as someone else said, will probably outlast the owner. They do 85 mph as smooth as 25 mph. Plus I think they just look classy. To heck with aerodynamics, the GM box-style body and big grill make my car unique in most parking lots these days!
So if you've got one of these, cherish it. Take care of it, and it'll take care of you. If you want one, now is the time to grab one while you can- it's been 25 years since the last big-bodied RWD LeSabre rolled off the line, and good condition ones are starting to get snapped up... or are priced surprisingly high. There's certainly worse cars to invest in.
"Some of the prices are ridiculous- anywhere from $3,500 to $8,500 for excellent condition ones!
It's been 25 years since the last big-bodied RWD LeSabre rolled off the line, and good condition ones are starting to get snapped up... or are priced surprisingly high."
You answer your own surprise there - of course prices are going up for these as they get rarer, especially because nothing like them will ever be made again. I think in a few years, if the economy gets better, these will all creep up to near ten grand if in excellent shape.
I just recently inherited my grandfather's 1985 Buick LeSabre custom 2 door. Yes, I said two door, I have yet to see that on the Internet!
It has 20468 original miles, and small amounts of rust on the rear bumper. The car has lived in the garage, and has had every oil change and has been maintained according to the recommendations.
Now the question is changing this custom coupe into a real custom coupe. I have been reading all of these comments, and have a few ideas, which I appreciate. There are some companies that make turn key crate engines that can drop right in. The transmission is the next problem, as well as tires and rims. I want to make it look like a coupe hot rod. I know what you're saying, but if it wasn't for the sentimental value, it wouldn't even be thought of. Give me your suggestions!