I picked it up for 3995 last year, and since I'm only 20 I put 500 down and financed the rest. It was fully serviced and had low one owner miles. Well worth the money too. I plan on doing the same thing once this is paid off, finding an 04 or 05 hopefully. If that's the case I may part with old Bertha.
But as for the V8 swap. I've seen a 350 in a Cavalier so I'm sure I can fit one in a friggin Buick.
I'm a 21 year old Buick owner. Got my 95 Buick Park Avenue when I was 18. I even wrote a review on this website. I love this car. I have 154k miles on it now with few problems mostly age related. Still get compliments on how good my car rides and how nice it looks. Would like to get a 2005 Park Avenue if I could afford it. The new Buicks just don't really appeal to me, but they're excellent cars as their sister the LeSabre is like a dime a dozen in my area when it comes to used cars.
I purchased my second 1997 Buick Park Avenue, the first one's floor rotted out and so did the trunk. I never had any issues with it other than the rust. I never took care of it, that's why it rusted out.
I bought another Park Avenue. This one was never winter driven and has no rust on it at all. I promised myself to take good care of this gem. I had it undercoated right away. The person I bought it from bought a Lucerne, he doesn't like the ride. He says the Park Avenue rides way better. I have had to change the gas tank gauge and now the low coolant gauge.
I just love this Park Avenue.
I have owned two Park Avenues (a '99 and currently an '05 with about 36,000 miles) and have enjoyed both of them.
My current car has the Dynaride independent suspension, which I much prefer over the Gran Touring suspension that my previous car had. My Buick rides smoother than my grandparents Town Car!
As far as ride quality, I think my Park Avenue is about the closest you can come in a modern car to matching the ride quality of the '70's dream boats.
It is no surprise to me that the Lucerne was never a sales success for Buick. It will be discontinued next year. It really did not appeal to the traditional Buick fans, and it was not sporty enough to attract many younger fans either. If Buick replaces it, I hope they can come closer to the car that the Park Avenue was, but I really doubt they will.
My next vehicle will probably be an Enclave; what a beautiful vehicle!
I've got a 97 Park Avenue Ultra as well, has every option except for the heads up display and the rain sensor for the windshield wipers (looking at adding both). I tinted the front windows to 35% and back to 2.5%, and I must say it looks sharp. I've driven Buicks since I was 16 (now 21), and must say I love them.
I found a set of chrome 7 spoke rims from a 2002 Buick Rendezvous and put them on my Parkie; needless to say, it looks sharp.