1980 Buick Park Avenue 5.7L V8 350 from North America

Summary:

One of the most comfortable, attractive, plush available

Faults:

Brakes.

Engine.

Carburetor.

Power window motor.

Air conditioning.

Exhaust.

Water pump.

Radio antenna.

Alternator.

General Comments:

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

Good review.

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.

25th Feb 2017, 23:09

Yes modern cars ride much too firm. The old classics were a lot more comfortable and better looking to boot!

26th Feb 2017, 15:16

My one big car that really stuck out in my case was an old 88 Town Car. My thoughts are on long highway stretches they are fine. But since driving new models, my thoughts have definitely changed. The power steering had dead spots or delayed action. The cars definitely wallow into turns. And it only increases with age. Visibility limitations within the lane. Hard to park and city driving limitations. I like more defined steering response today. And changing ride modes. And a host of modern options. Outstanding sound systems, hands free phone and a myriad of other amenities. I won't even buy a new car anymore without built in NAV and touch screen.

Lastly the seats are far better on many new ones. Better lumbar support and numerous personal driving settings. Why buy primitive and go through a restoration and mechanical process, and still be with dated old school technology.

26th Feb 2017, 18:03

I hear ya there. Unfortunately there was a similar debate over this on a recent Cadillac Brougham thread.

1980 Buick Park Avenue 5.7 liter V8 no injection from Lebanon

Summary:

Wow, outstanding, great, reliable, best muscle car ever

Faults:

None to be mentioned.

General Comments:

Amazing car, unforgettable ride, powerful engine; all but few words to give it the respect it deserves.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd April, 2010

22nd Apr 2010, 14:12

A 5.7 Liter V8 with no injection!? No way! I've always wanted one of those, but I always got stuck with a 5.7 Liter V8 with a CARBURETOR.

1980 Buick Park Avenue 350 cui. V8 from North America

Summary:

A fun to drive, cheap and reliable car

Faults:

Wipers don't always work properly.

Power antenna not working.

Throttle got stuck when I first bought it at 60 km/h, on a small road. (scary)

Leaking oil onto spark plugs and driveway.

Hood no longer pops open.

General Comments:

I love this car. It is the perfect first car for anybody, as long as they have enough money for gas.

It's really powerful and the 350 V8 has a lot of torque, but for the first 5 or 10 minutes after start-up there is a lot of hesitation... but that has to be expected with the mileage it has.

Sitting in the car is just like sitting on a sofa at home, and it looks great with all the wood trim.

The biggest problem is the fact that the stereo is an 8-track.

The car also runs pretty hot, but hasn't over-heated yet.

I bought it for $750, and in my opinion it's worth 2 or 3 times that much. I have a feeling I'll own this car for a long time.

The trunk probably has enough space for at least 30-40 bags of groceries!!!

The car is easy to work on as well, which is good for someone that doesn't know much about cars, but wants to learn.

I am only the 3rd owner in 23 years, and the car basically runs perfect.

It handles a bit like a boat, but it's not too bad for a car this size. It has sharp steering and is surprisingly maneuverable around tight and twisty roads.

It gets 14.3 mpg right now (16.5L/100km)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd September, 2003