1985 Pontiac Parisienne Brougham 5.0 OHV from North America


Chrome on the monster, leather intestines..


Starter replaced twice.

Exhaust pipe is starting to sag.

A/C lines need to be replaced.

Short in charging system had to be fixed.

Replaced intake with Edelbrock variant; nothing wrong, just wanted to.

Replaced carburetor with Edelbrock variant; nothing wrong, just wanted to.

Flywheel replaced, probably the reason for the new starters being needed, no starter/charging problems since.

Replaced alternator; nothing wrong, just wanted to.

Replaced engine with a low mileage unit, due to the first engine smoking badly.

Replaced distributor; nothing wrong, just wanted to.

Car is in that holy trinity of high parts availability & interchangeability/cheap parts & labor/abundant aftermarket.

General Comments:

Bought this car from a family member for $500. For the price I paid, this has been the most comfortable, reliable, sporty (for its size), I run out of words for the car.

Everything that has been replaced was done in short order once the first motor started smoking. I planned on a slow restoration from first purchase anyway.

Needs a new paint job, but the interior is immaculate and not a 'for how old it is', it really is clean, exterior is screaming PAINT JOB, while the inside is whispering relax.

Car has character that only few cars exhibit, both new and old.

The handling of this car is mystifying, it'll take a corner and come out screaming. Maybe I'm a fan of body lean, but I love the way older cars wallow and float, especially when pushed, they love it, and can take it. Nothing like V8 RWD architecture.

Hilarious to see newer more expensive cars try to outpace me one the highway where this car dominates, old police tech pretty much, related to the Caprice Lt :) No problems at 80MPH+, don't trust it past where the needle stops at about 95 LOL, plus I'd rather cruise than race. Weird that some people actually get jealous of this car, but at the same time there are people who love this car, gotta take the good with the bad I guess.

Love the radio, aftermarket Pioneer unit with only 2 6x9's plus 2 tweeters added to stock speakers, added by previous owner.

Love the engine that's in it now, bought it from an older guy in Ohio, track nut I take, due to the Fog-Horn-Leg-Horn painted on his old school Chevy van with the Hoosiers :) It was a fun experience though. He added an aftermarket camshaft, which is geared for more low end torque. I prefer torque over horsepower. He also added aftermarket rockers and a new timing chain. This was a lucky find. This on top of the stuff I replaced, has made this car a beast.

All in all, this car is a throwback to when a sedan was sedan, people knew how to drive no matter the drivewheel layout, and a car could actually be a friend, because other than family and friends, who could you depend on more, go through thick and thin with, have fun with, learn from, your car and that's how it's supposed to be, driving is a religion.

A true asphalt tank...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th November, 2010

10th Nov 2010, 16:27

Good review. I love these cars too.

They have character and soul, and make driving a pleasure instead of a chore.

The newer cars just don't compare for comfort, handling, and highway driving.

Not to mention style and luxury, these cars usually have full power options, chrome trim and the full chrome bumpers. A lot nicer than grey plastic.

I'm the proud owner of a 1990 Caprice Brougham, a 1985 Buick LeSabre Limited, and a rare 1981 Pontiac Parisienne Brougham Coupe that I bought as a project. All these cars have a Chevy 305 V-8 RWD, which is a super tough engine, never had any problems at all. Since I have owned a B-Body Chevy, I can't go back to any front wheel drive cars, can't do it! No fun to drive at all...

I'm only 27, but I grew up with many fond memories of these old boxy sedans that were so comfortable to drive in. This was a time when a car was a car, not a plastic compact econobox excuse for one.

Enjoy your classic, I love seeing others on the road!

11th Nov 2010, 11:47

To the man with the 1990 Caprice, the 1985 LeSabre, and the 1981 Parisienne, your '85 Buick LeSabre shouldn't have the Chevrolet 305, but rather the Oldsmobile 307, which is actually a slightly better engine in my book, though I guess more people do prefer the 305. Anyway both are excellent engines.

Kudos on the original review, these are wonderful cars. We'll never see their like again.

11th Nov 2010, 12:20

I 1 million percent understand you man! I'm 21 and I drive a 98' new body style Crown Vic, which I love but I greatly miss all the chrome. Excellent choices above, a Parisienne is rare enough, but you never see a coupe. I'm currently looking for a 1977-1984 Delta 88/98 Royale or Regency in that gorgeous seafoam green color they came in.

1985 Pontiac Parisienne Brougham 5.0 305 4bbl from North America


Formidably tough, luxurious car


Normal replacement parts for a car that is already 25 yrs old. Since I first got the car, so far I had to replace:

Belts (normal wear and tear).

Shocks (normal wear and tear).

Rear differential (broke off mysteriously).

Driver side power windows and lock switches.

Carburetor (it had the original one on it).

Wiper motor (a royal pain to adjust properly).

General Comments:

This car is simply amazing! And extremely tough and powerful. I got this car from my mechanic (a personal friend of mine), who gave it to me as compensation for having me sold a very unreliable Acura. He felt so bad that the Acura could never run trouble free (it would actually turn off while driving at 55 miles! What a nightmare), that he gave me this old Parissienne.

He himself got it from the original owner, so the car now has 160,215 original miles on it. Being that the previous owner was an elderly person who hardly drove it (it turns out the elderly couple had 3 cars), the old Pontiac would just sit there for months at a time without being used, so the weather really beat this car severely, so it needs major body work (lots of rust and worn out pain).

The toughness and reliability of this car is just simply amazing. The rear differential had mysteriously broken and it still manage to get to the mechanics shop in that condition, the car just won't quit no matter what happens to it. Another amazing fact about my Parissiene is the fuel economy. For a car of this size and weight (is quite heavy) it does not consume much gas, I estimate it to be at around 20 miles per gallon. I drove it from Miami to Orlando with one tank of gas!

This car is a definite keeper for me. I am planning to slowly but surely, fully restore this formidable tough car to its original condition.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st July, 2009