1982 Buick Park Avenue Coupe from North America - Comments

27th Jan 2011, 11:22

"Oh, and those sealed ungreaseable suspension components you rave about? Give them a good 7 years or 100,000 miles (being optimistic here) and they will eventually get dirty, wear out, rattle and break."

How about more like 300,000 miles and still going? That's how many miles my Brother's 98 Avalon has on it - with the original engine, transmission, and yes - suspension components. My 96' Tacoma has 245,000 miles. Again - all original components. No problems with any of the sealed bearings, or the engine or transmission for that matter. Oh - and my Dad's 2002 Tundra? 230,000 so far. Same thing. On the other hand, the bearings on my '55 Ford are totally worn out. The suspension system has an extreme amount of wear. The car only has about 200,000 miles. I grease all of the zerks on it religiously.

"Well obviously if you are comparing a 1955 car to a modern car, it won't fare so well. The height of automobile technology was from the late 1960s to the early 1980s."

More like the height of the worst era in Detroit, when they were basically spewing out cars as quickly, cheaply, and haphazardly. You may recall the mid 70's when the Big 3 recalled more cars than they actually produced. This was an era when the Big 3 made disposable crap - particularly in the late 70's and early 80's. We had a number of these "gems" when I was a kid. We had a '81 Oldsmobile Delta 88, an '84 Buick Regal, and a '78 Chevy Malibu. ALL awful cars that were problematic and unreliable.

"The fact still stands that fuel efficiency and reliability have gone virtually nowhere since the 1980's."

Not true in the least. In the 80's there was no such thing as a gas hybrid. The absolute best economy you could expect out of a gas powered car in the 80's was maybe 30-35 MPG. Hybrids get between 45-55 MPG. I recently test drove a Chevy Cruze. It had a turbocharged 4 cylinder engine. It uses direct injection, which is far more efficient. The car got close to 40MPG. On top of that, the car was actually fast. Remember 4 bangers in the 80's? They were SLOW. The technology in today's cars give you more horsepower and better efficiency. The result is that just about any V6 today will smoke the vast majority of V8's from the 70's and 80's.

30th Jan 2011, 02:02

I'm afraid you are sadly mistaken. Those are far from even the most extreme cases I've ever heard of. I work in a alignment shop, and about every "newer" (post 1990) car I see with sealed grease or no zerks has suspension problems, especially after about 120,000 miles. This is especially the age and mileage (6 years and 100,000+ miles) when most under maintained cars begin falling apart at the seams. It usually becomes clear at this point who never washes their car, never changes their oil, and generally pounds and beats on their car on a daily basis. For some reason, Chrysler products seem to be especially bad, but since foreign and domestic makes went to this "no grease" garbage, it allowed them to use lightweight, flimsy junk that can't take the abuse that older, beefier suspensions could dish out. Put some of those vehicles you mentioned through 20 years of work on the farm or in a midwestern winter, and then come talk to me if they last even half the time or mileage that you are falsely claiming.

On an icy road one night a few years back, I skidded through an intersection and jumped a curb and grass island at about 25 MPH with my 1984 Chevy Caprice. Old Steel Rims and full coil suspension. NO DAMAGE (except my pride). A 1997 or so Acura Vigor with ABS did the same thing, at a slower speed, and had to be TOWED because some of the suspension components were destroyed, most were damaged, the rims got bent, and the alignment was so badly towed out that the car wouldn't drive down the road straight at 20 MPH. There's your "modern technology and design" that is so greatly improved.

"On the other hand, the bearings on my '55 Ford are totally worn out. The suspension system has an extreme amount of wear. The car only has about 200,000 miles. I grease all of the zerks on it religiously."

ONLY about 200,000 miles on a 1955 Ford? A 1955 ANYTHING that makes it to 200,000 miles deserves a round of applause. Most cars from that era never saw 100,000 miles. People simply didn't drive as much back then as they do today. Never mind the fact that the car is 56 years old. Oil and grease itself has improved by leaps and bounds in 55 years, as well as the rubber in those suspension components. By that logic you might as well compare a Roman Chariot to Air Force One.

"More like the height of the worst era in Detroit, when they were basically spewing out cars as quickly, cheaply, and haphazardly. You may recall the mid 70's when the Big 3 recalled more cars than they actually produced. This was an era when the Big 3 made disposable crap - particularly in the late 70's and early 80's. We had a number of these "gems" when I was a kid. We had a '81 Oldsmobile Delta 88, an '84 Buick Regal, and a '78 Chevy Malibu. ALL awful cars that were problematic and unreliable."

Again, you couldn't be more wrong. As a matter of fact, most of the GM/Ford/Chrysler cars that are still on the road from the late 1970's to mid 1980's are in fact the mid size and full size rear wheel drive models. The only rotten aspect of these cars was GM's 350 Diesel, and the fact that some came standard with anemic gas V6's that weren't strong enough to last hauling 2 tons of steel around. None of the cars from this era were fast or powerful, but the V8 powered full size ones were very reliable.

Most of the compacts and subcompacts, foreign and domestic, were pretty bad during this time period with a few exceptions. The reviews on this website speak for themselves. My 1984 Caprice STILL runs and drives great with 316,000 miles on the original motor and transmission.

"Not true in the least. In the 80's there was no such thing as a gas hybrid."

It has been proven time and time again that hybrids are not truly cost effective unless the price of gas soars to over $7.00 per gallon. The toxic chemicals used to make those batteries come from three different continents. Get into a crash with one of those gimmicky junkers, have the batteries break, and let me know just how "environmentally friendly" it is.

"The absolute best economy you could expect out of a gas powered car in the 80's was maybe 30-35 MPG."

Then why did every full-size front wheel drive car powered by GM's Fuel Injected 3800 V6 get over 30 MPG highway, from 1985 until they finally dropped this motor a few years back? This is one of the engines that usually exceeded its advertised fuel economy ratings. It took Honda, Toyota and Nissan nearly a decade and a half to match the performance, fuel efficiency, and reliability of this ancient pushrod motor, which was, believe it or not, essentially an old Buick 350 V8 with 2 cylinders chopped off.

"Hybrids get between 45-55 MPG. I recently test drove a Chevy Cruze. It had a turbocharged 4 cylinder engine. It uses direct injection, which is far more efficient. The car got close to 40MPG. On top of that, the car was actually fast."

I'm sorry, but the Chevy Cruze is not fast, even by 1990's standards. The US versions of the 2011 Chevy Cruze DO NOT have direct injection. 0-60 in 9.0 or even 8.5 at best is anemic in the here and now. The reason the Cruze has a turbo is to make up for the small 1.4 liter motor's lack of torque. It even states this in so many words in the sales brochure and on Chevy's website, that the turbo supplements low-end torque and does not really do anything for high end performance. One of the mechanics at the Chevy dealer told me the turbo is very weak, and hardly puts out any boost to begin with. This motor is slightly more efficient than most of the 4-cylinders of the past, but not by much. And the tiny Cruze engine coupled to a 6-speed automatic the car constantly searches for the right gear, but never finds it. That's what I noticed WHEN I TEST DROVE IT.

Twenty years ago, I owned a 1983 Oldsmobile Omega with a 2.5 Liter pushrod 4-cylinder, Electronic Fuel injection, and a 3-speed automatic. Yes, it WAS slow, and noisy, but it still got close to 35 MPG highway. When you get down to it, even in 2011, there is still no replacement for displacement. What were you saying was so special about the Cruze again?

I own a new Hyundai Sonata with a 2.4 liter 4-cylinder with direct injection. It is advertised as 200 HP. While it is noticeably quicker than most 4-cylinders of the past, it is still no V6 or V8. It has never gotten its advertised 35 MPG highway since I've owned it. Even with as much hype as Hyundai has put into this new motor, a 2.0 liter turbo non direct injection version is available as an option. Even in 2011 4-cylinders still don't have the oomph of a V-block. stick a blower on a 4-cylinder and you cut into the cars fuel economy, defeating the purpose of a 4-cylinder in the first place. FYI, most automakers are having trouble designing and fitting the components for direct injection into 4-cylinders that are 2.0 liters or smaller, or V6 and V8 engines with smaller piston bores.

"Remember 4 bangers in the 80's? They were SLOW."

Just like the CHEVY CRUZE.

"The technology in today's cars give you more horsepower and better efficiency. The result is that just about any V6 today will smoke the vast majority of V8's from the 70's and 80's."

More horsepower? Yes. Better Fuel efficiency? No. My 1984 Caprice gets 22-24 MPG at 70 MPH. As stated on here earlier, the Dodge Hemi 5.7 liter V8 in the Chrysler 300 and Charger R/T struggled to hit 24 MPG highway, with cylinder deactivation.

And reliability of today's motors versus late 1970's to late 1980's GM V8's? For their simplicity and reliability, the old V8's can't be matched. My '84 Caprice is still rockin after 27 years. With the way modern cars are designed and built, I'll be happy if this new Hyundai I bought lasts half that long.

The days of reliability and piece of mind in any new car, foreign or domestic, are gone.