1980 Buick Park Avenue 5.7L V8 350 from North America
One of the most comfortable, attractive, plush available
Power window motor.
The most beautiful, reliable, luxurious car I've ever owned. I bought this car in December 1988 from my aunt for $2500 and kept it until January 1998. Best money I ever spent. It was creme beige, almost white, with a dark brown vinyl roof, gold/caramel colored velour interior with draped upholstery on the seats, woodgrain, chrome and whitewall tires. It was a plush as could be and fully loaded.
I put over 116,000 mostly trouble-free miles on it over a decade's time having driven it from Maine to Florida and New York to California. It already had well over 100,000 on it when I bought it, so I couldn't believe I was able to get so many more miles out of it. It got me through college, to my first job, and through many milestones in prestige and comfort. There was never a car made like this and never will be again.
In retrospect I wish I'd have just kept it, but at the time I traded it in the engine needed a complete rebuild. Despite my best efforts to maintain it, the 350 V8 had some burned valves and needed pistons, rings, a new camshaft and the number 7 cylinder wasn't firing anymore causing massive power loss. This all started about a month prior to trading it. I was pretty shocked because I never had any major problems. Just the usual stuff that one would replace over an 18 year period -- A/C, carb, battery, brakes, some emissions issues, power window motor, power antenna, etc. Nothing outrageous.
When the engine was running well, it had plenty of muscle, at least for the time period. It wasn't a race car, but had so much torque and enough horsepower to peel tires and keep neck and neck with Camaros and Firebirds from a dead stop.
Driving in the snow? Not possible without studded snow tires or chains, since it was rear drive and all the weight was in the front.
Gas mileage, non-existent, but it honestly didn't matter since gas rarely ever broke a dollar a gallon in those days. I think I might have gotten 16 MPG combined average.
The ride? Floaty, cushioned, sloppy, and I loved every bit of it. No car rides like that today and that's not a good thing so far as I'm concerned.
Steering? Could be done with my pinky.
A/C blew ice cold and it had (new for 1980) touch pad climate control.
Radio was the upgraded cassette player with electronic tuner and Concert Sound speakers. Sounded like nothing else back then.
Front fenders had lamp monitors, as I recall, which was a cool feature to have. I don't think many other cars necessarily had this.
The car did have occasional fits where it wouldn't start, usually in very hot weather, but that had more to do with carburetor settings.
Good times. Sorry I traded it, but it made more sense to just buy another car instead. On that note, I went with a practically brand new (at the time) 1997 Park Avenue. Certainly not the same, but was another good car that lasted for 10 years and roughly the same number of miles.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th December, 2016
2nd Jan 2017, 03:42
At least you didn't run into bottom end/oil pressure problems that eventually take out the engine.
Buicks have a history of these.
3rd Jan 2017, 23:08
Just replace the original equipment oil pump with a aftermarket manufactured by Melling. These pumps give off higher pressure and are a good remedy for any Buick V6 or V8 with an external oil pump.