27th Mar 2015, 02:56
All in all, the Buick 231 V6 was a pretty strong runner and used in the carburated form in many GM cars dating back to 1975. The legendary bulletproof 3800 (series 1) was also built on the same platform.
Back in '95, my first car was an '84 Grand Prix with the 231 that I bought with 100,000 miles and drove it to 210,000. Sure, I did a few repairs with one trans. rebuild in that mileage frame. For sure not every 9 months. Something doesn't sound right about that one.
Weak points on that motor were oil pumps, which can be replaced with quality aftermarkets, and it wasn't a smooth idler.
27th Mar 2015, 03:11
You don't have to jump in a time machine; the '85 Delta 88 is a good car. There are a lot of them still on the road.
27th Mar 2015, 03:59
"First year of ownership 1985"
The car was brand new when the reviewer acquired it, hardly a 30 year old clunker.
29th Mar 2015, 03:28
Be glad the oil pump didn't tank. Many of the VIN "A" (231 V-6 with a 2-barrel DualJet carb) Buick V-6s spun rod bearings after their oil pumps wore out. Less common (but still prevalent) was oil consumption that emptied the oil pan, and wiped out the motor. Timing chain failure was also a "frequent flier".
Buick started getting serious in the mid-80s with the fuel injected V-6s. Reliability got WAY better :)
29th Mar 2015, 11:40
Look for a used one. Sure, they're classics now, and not commonplace, but you can still find them once in a while for under $5,000.
30th Mar 2015, 03:24
I agree, $5,000 for a nice condition with a V8 is a fair price. Get them now though; they are only going up in value. I would love to find an '84 with the lightning rod Hurst package, but a lot are already in the $15,000 price range.
I love the G-bodys and miss my '84 GP. I may some day consider an early '80s Cutlass (V8 only) at the right price and have some fun with it.
30th Mar 2015, 03:27
All GM "V" engines from this era had chain failures due to plastic-nylon gears. Replacements were made from steel.
1st Apr 2015, 02:12
The term "classic" is now, due to overuse, pretty much meaningless.
Even the vehicle manufacturers are guilty. Chevrolet, for example, adding the term to the name of the older version of an existing model (Malibu, Silverado) just before it is superseded by the newer version.
2nd Apr 2015, 13:10
Of course it is - a 1985 car is 30 years old now. It's very difficult to find one in good condition with low mileage - classic.
2nd Apr 2015, 23:25
So, your definition of a "classic" is a car that is 30 years old, that is now hard to find in good condition with low mileage?
Like a Yugo GV, for example?
3rd Apr 2015, 13:55
A Yugo is hard to find because they fell apart at 10,000 miles. Any GM G-body with low miles is hard to find because most did their job as daily drivers, and were driven into the ground with high mileage.
3rd Apr 2015, 18:07
Well technically yes, though the distinction between a Yugo and a Cutlass is that the Yugo is the same as 'modern cars' - unibody, front wheel drive, while the Cutlass has the added distinction of being a full frame, rear-wheel drive car, which is a huge plus towards being a classic, since this type of car is no longer made at all.
5th Apr 2015, 05:17
Thanks for the reply :)
The Buick 90-degree V-6 cam drive/AKA timing chain system got MUCH better as time went on :)
21st Sep 2015, 17:03
Great comparison! Seeing how the Yugo was a total fluke, and the Cutlass was the best selling car in America at the time.
22nd Sep 2015, 21:38
I can name 3 Buick models from 1985 that are becoming desirable classics; for starters the Regal Grand National is already there.
2-door variants of the LeSabre Collector's Edition equipped with a V8. 2-doors of that car were rare back then, let alone now, and it was the last year of a body on frame rear drive V8 LeSabre.
Also the Riviera from 1985 is worth a look, convertible or hardtop; also the last Riv with a V8 and big body style.
23rd Sep 2015, 23:46
I lucked out and found a 1985 Cutlass Supreme 231 V6 with 24000 original miles. Immaculate inside and out. First thing I did was headers with straight pipes and Flowmasters. Sounds like a huge V8. Next I got rid of the smog control crap. After that, I installed an aluminum 4 barrel, high rise manifold with a 4 barrel Holley carb. And a hot distributor. I can smoke tires til the sun comes down.