1978 Buick Regal 3.8 liter 231cc V6 from North America


Good old car


Aside from routine stuff like muffler and brake shoes:

Broken motor mount- probably due to accident that happened before I bought it.

Fuel pump (leaked into oil and overflowed out dipstick hole- yuck!)

Choke pull

Last 3 problems cost $190 together- don't recall individual cost.

Valve cover gasket (cheap)

Brake master cylinder- half rebuild $80.

Alternator $40.

Oil pump $160- I am told this is a common problem. It started with the engine light flickering on idle.

Brake line.

Minor wiring problem with tail lights.

Ends of frame holding rear bumper up have rusted away- $500 repair, instead I wired bumper on with cables thru holes drilled in trunk.

Leaks oil- 1 qt every 300 miles. on highway, less in town. Doesn't seem to burn (no smoke)

General Comments:

Hasn't been a bad car, and pretty good even now considering its usually the oldest car in the parking lot.

Very old fashioned design- carburetor, electronic ignition, rear-wheel drive.

It's been fairly reliable for an older car, and those repairs that I've had haven't broken the bank. The parts seem cheaper, and the repairs easier, than on newer cars. No computer parts to my knowledge. Some stuff even I can do myself. Of course it helps that I go to redneck mechanics that depend on word-of-mouth, rather than dealerships and such.

It's a very comfortable car, with big seats, plenty of leg room, and a very smooth ride. It has decent power and is unfazed by hills, although initial acceleration is nothing special. Although it's mid-size, the handling has a rather boatlike feel to it. The rear-wheel drive=lousy traction on snow or ice. On the whole though I enjoy driving it.

Gas mileage is a bit of a drawback, these days. It gets about 21 mpg hwy if you're lucky- this falls if you drive over 60-65. And over 65, you have to use premium or it pings. Leaking oil is another cost.

The car has unusually nice, curvy 70's styling. By now it's an antique. Unfortunately, damage from a rollover from before I got it somewhat diminishes its value in this regard.

It's still a good car and I take it on long trips without great concern (except about gas argh). I'm told that it can last up to 200k if well maintained.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th April, 2006

10th Apr 2006, 12:01

These are nice cars. Every regal I used to ride in, especially this model year, was very smooth, at least to my recollection.