21st Jul 2015, 18:59
It's a 40 year old relic!!! Carburetor, distributor, push rods, fixed valve timing, no ABS, no traction control, no stability control, no telematics!!!
21st Jul 2015, 19:21
That's precisely why it's so good! Drive a well preserved example and you'll see - old tech is better, and the automotive world, like everything else, is in decline, not progressing.
23rd Jul 2015, 11:33
Find a 72 or earlier GM like a Caprice or Impala. No smog or anti pollution devices. They run better and gave more power without these restrictive add ons. Parts are easy to find and cheap. Piece of cake to work on. A 2 door would be far more desirable. But there are 4 doors likely garaged with low mileage to be found. I would steer clear of ones that have hard to find body and interior parts, like a Phoenix for example. Find a loaded earlier clean Impala and you will have parts right away. It may take a bit of searching, but I have found a couple cream puffs lately. Check with the senior crowd that may have one they even bought new sitting in their carport. I bought one from an elderly man that could no longer drive. Flawless and runs like new.
23rd Jul 2015, 12:32
I love the "less things to break down" argument against modern conveniences.
If things breaking down is such a concern, why have a car at all? Use a bicycle to go everywhere.
Or your two feet. Not much to break down there, eh?
23rd Jul 2015, 20:58
Try owning a Mercedes. Always wanted one, then reality hit on the crazy parts prices alone. It's better to buy a high end road bike for 6k or 7k.
24th Jul 2015, 04:52
Yeah maybe you're right, I guess on a new V8 it would be less costly to replace all 8 direct ignition coils at around $50-$75 each, where a set of 8 non "modern" plug wires cost less than ONE coil. Or if a computer or 4 O2 sensors fail and multiple check engine codes pop up here and there.
Cars from'76 never had any of that, so therefore a lot less problems could occur, "eh"?
24th Jul 2015, 10:58
I love getting into my 1970 Chevrolet. Turn the key and go. Nice cool air. Cars are so complex today. And you can barely get to anything to fix. Even with YouTube etc it's tough. And usually very expensive.
24th Jul 2015, 14:23
Ah yes, another example of "older is better" obtusity.
Let's see how you respond to these FACTS:
1. Back in 1976, most cars were typically considered ready for the junkyard by the time they hit 100K miles... if they made it that far. Odometers only went up to 99,999 because an odometer rolling over that figure rarely happened. The average age of a car on the road in 1977? 5.5 years.
2. Now? Even the cheapest economy car is expected to go at least 150K miles and most go well beyond that, even if maintenance is not kept up. Hence the six-digit odometer. Now a used car with "only" 80K-90K miles is called "low mileage". The average age of a car on the road now? 11.4 years (www.rita.dot.gov)
So, cars now last on average more than twice as long AND for twice or more as many miles, but somehow they are still not as good as the old models?
(Oh, and please don't repeat that tired argument that cars are last longer now because people can't afford to replace them as often, the standard of living has declined, blah blah blah.)
25th Jul 2015, 12:48
I had dozens of these full sized 70s and 80s cars - they normally would drive 200-300,000 miles. I usually sold them off at around 200,000, but I would see them driving round town for years and years afterwards. Obviously they were overbuilt and much more durable than modern cars. However their carburetor technology did necessitate somewhat greater tinkering over the years, but still, very easy to keep running for hundreds and hundreds of thousands of miles.
The reason people tended to keep cars less long back then was not because of anything wrong with the cars - it was just that the standard of living was much higher back then.
25th Jul 2015, 14:28
I can easily drop an engine in mine. Plentiful, cheap and easy to rebuild. If you have a garage and a mint full frame car in the garage, it's a good thing. Unibody front wheel drives are a pain to work on. I consider them more disposable. My comments are 72 and older. Plus I pass inspection and am exempt from emission tests. Pesky sensor lights and even TPMs going off with as little as 3 PSI deviation are not fun. Plus there's the nostalgia factor. I personally am not nostalgic and don't like any mid 70s domestics Mainly over the severe HP drop, ugly bumpers, and anti pollution smog mess on them.
By the way, most that have an old car have new as well. I just consider my newest as an appliance. Wear it out, buy another. Not do any drivetrain replacements. It goes to the pile.
25th Jul 2015, 15:19
In the 70's cars were purchased every "5.5" (or whatever you say years) because they were indeed cheaper, and styling changed almost every 4-5 years giving people reason for wanting to buy something new. Today's plastic all looks the same, with restyles occurring almost every 10 years. The Camry has looked the same since 2007.
The worn out comment of odometers only reaching 99k means nothing. I remember many cars that we owned that flipped more than once.
25th Jul 2015, 15:54
Funny thing is I have owned the Pontiac Grand Prix from three different eras. 1977, 1984 and 1998.
Let's start with the '77 when American cars were supposedly bad. This car was 30 years old when I bought it. Yes it was a low mileage classic, but the point is it NEVER gave me an ounce of trouble. Drove it everywhere as opposed to where some don't drive their classics at all. Plus the looks of the car were sassy compared to anything back then, let alone today.
Next the '84 GP (bought as my first car when it was 11 years old) with 89,000 miles (which you would consider "high mileage" for the time)? The 5 digit odometer rolled over twice. 210,000 miles that is. Sure there were repairs I made here and there, but nothing major on the underpowered but strong Buick V6.
And last came the '98 Widetrack GP. Junk at 70,000 miles and 7 years of age. The things that broke? Everything that you would NOT find on a '70's - early '80's car. I sold that P.O.S. at an auction.
26th Jul 2015, 03:18
Solid vehicle :)
Just keep an eye on the engine.
Buick V-8s of this era can fall prey to a couple of congenital defects.
1. Timing chain failure, which can bend valves. Have a mechanic check the slack.
2. Oil pump wear, with attendant low oil pressure. It starts with the oil pressure light coming on on hot days at idle. If ignored, it can lead to spun connecting rod bearings. Watch the light.
3. Head gasket failure. More rare than the above, but can take out the engine nonetheless. Oil does not lubricate well when mixed with coolant.
Having said the above, enjoy your car. These are an excellent example of General Motor's know how :)
21st Jul 2015, 00:31
A 76 Buick LeSabre does not have a "CV drive shaft", just a plain old driveshaft with u-joints.
And who "can't afford to buy" a 76 LeSabre? Maybe they can't afford to buy gas for it?