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Buicks Rule

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  1. Pete, Putting Me and My Buick back in the BCA forum is a wise thing. Starting a Me and My Old Car heading for AACA is a good thing for AACA. Like others interested in Buicks, wading through stories about cars I have no interest in to find the Buick ones holds little appeal. Unfortunately, not every one uses a subject line that would identify the vehicle so it putting everything together does lead to confusion.
  2. BJ--holds your title for a considerable time after the auction and the seller is bound to pay the appropriate commissions IF the car is sold within a specified period of time after the auction.
  3. Matt--this generation of designers contribution to design-that would be the Aztek. The original Challenger also didn't get to the party until 70-just as the insurance companies and pollution issues made performance very expensive. If they do like the Magnum and other cars, there will be more economical engines available than the Hemi so fuel mileage might not be a problem.
  4. To elaborate on my friend's Toyota minivan. When she was in college in the late 60's/early 70's, her parents helped her buy the cheapest NEW Toyota they could find figuring it would last long enough to get her a year or so into a job after school. It lasted 10-15 years with nothing other that routine maintenance-like oil changes, impressing her with it's reliabilty, durability and get the job done personality ( sort of like a certain Buick I know ). When they bought the Chrysler minivan's, Toyota really didn't have a competitor but when she got fed up with being randomly stranded with a sick minivan, she chose to buy a first year Siena because of her positive experience with her old Toyota..... It has not let her down, so when she trades, now that the kids are grown, it might not be a minivan ( or an SUV ) but it WILL be a Toyota..... GM used to build cars that caused that kind of owner loyalty. Many of us own them now as collector cars..... How many Vega owners would today purchase a GM vehicle of any kind based on their Vega experience. Now that GM has a handle on new car quality, they need to get the after the warranty runs out quality and reliability up. Being thousand dollared to death by a 5--8 year old car is NOT going to inspire the owner to purchase that brand again. In the past, many new car buyers were trading every 2 or 3 years so the long term issue wasn't quite as important. With people keeping their cars longer, a 5 to 7 year quality benchmark might be the next goal to shoot for. While a repair prone car might cause it's owner to trade it in, it's unlikely that the owner will purchase from the same corporation the next time.
  5. Nice to see that CHRYSLER has been listening the the Car nuts on this and other forums. To see what I mean, go to the AACA General Forum and see the 2008 Dodge Challenger debuting at the DAS. WOW and again WOW whatacar. Now, if they just do a drop top version, I won't have to drive a Solara!!!!! And-Chrysler makes a home run again! The thing is Chrysler will bring the Challenger to production and remain true the concept. Come on GM--Buick needs something exciting like the 2008 Challenger. Something to make people who might not normally stop in the dealership and put their names on the order blanks.
  6. Derek, The Ranier is a vehicle that makes sense for you based on the size of your family, and the snow level in Canada as I assume it's 4 wheel drive. As a number of us have said, the people who need the size or 4 wheel capability of an SUV will still buy them but they are no longer trendy. The trendy set has moved on to the Chrysler 300's, Magnums and other well styled cars. When gas prices and other issues cause the SUV market to shrink back to it's normal size of only those who NEED one, many manufacturers-not just GM-will be regretting ignoring other market segments. By the way, if everyone is driving an SUV-where's the advantage of sitting up high-you're now level with the rest of the traffic. Another anecdote--a friend of mine lived through the ownership of a Chrysler minivan. It worked for her and her family and especially transporting the kids teams around. When she finally got fed up with the repair bills, she looked at minivans and SUV's and decided that if she was going to drive a large vehicle, she wanted maximum interior room which meant the minivan. So, she bought a Toyota Siena? and is extremely happy with the improved reliability over the Chrysler. Speaking for myself, I'm ambivalent about Buick having an SUV. If it brings in new customers, fine. BUT, it's time to spend some $$ on bringing some cool cars, world class stying and engineering, into the car line.
  7. So RV--you think your Mom would give up the 95 Riv for a Lucerne Convert like the one above. Huh? So, since you have access to 'the pipeline' get some friends, get the fire hoses and get 'the pipeline' unplugged by flushing out all the boring 'me too' stuff and letting something exciting for Buick like the Lucerne Convertible Break Through and get into production. Exciting cars draw people into the dealership--they might leave in a regular sedan or even an SUV or CUV but if the exciting car hadn't brought them in to look, they wouldn't have purchased anything.
  8. Now-if THAT was available at the Lucerne preview party, I would have attended WITH CHECKBOOK. Especially if the interior had choices beyond Gray, GRAY and Cow Plop.
  9. Keith, Take a couple of deep breaths. You are not under attack--neither is Buick from most on this forum. I even agree with you that Buick could introduce a car designed by Harley Earl, Bill Mitchell and Chuck Jordan, engineered by Fred Duesenberg and Charlie Chayne with 50 mpg fuel mileage from a Buick exclusive 3.8 forced induction v-6 producing HP to make a Northstar cry, with build quality that would make Lexus a junkyard dog and an interior that would make Rolls Royce owners jealous and the automotive press would pan it--just because. It really irritates me when I watch Motorweek and hear John Davis pan the styling of the Lucerne as being for the mature, conservative, elderly customer but IN THE SAME EPISODE praises the style of the new VW Passat? as being muscular, stylish and powerful. Those are NOT his exact words but the sense is there. Unfortunately, they used a rear 3/4 view of the two cars. Notice something? THEY LOOK VIRTUALLY THE SAME FROM THAT ANGLE. But the VW is cool, it's sporty, it's muscular and the Buick is stodgy and boring......Really irritates me too. That's why I have very little interest in what the MT, CD, Motorweek folks have to say. They simply do NOT provide a level playing field. I'll do my own research, my own test drives and purchase what impresses me--just like you will do. Quite a few of my friends/relatives have purchased LeSabres, PA, LaCrosses often times on my recommendations about 3.8 performance and gas mileage. They are excellent cars for people looking for 4 doors--possibly the best on the market or at least darned good when power, fuel economy, reliability are factored in. Wasn't GM the company that managed to bring out brand new cars in at least three platform sizes and 6 body styles EVERY SEPTEMBER, when people used to stand in line to get into the dealership door to see what the new car looked like? And, they NOW need 16 YEARS to respond to competitor's creation of a new market. They have been promising something special for BUICK at least since 99 when they killed the Riv--that's seven years without an exciting car in the line. I do agree with you that everything Buick introduces needs to be WORLD CLASS but Buick desperately needs something FUN in their show rooms to bring in new blood. My hope was that the new Buick Electra would be coming soon with an array of body styles and either a hybrid or fuel cell power that would make Toyota jealous. I MIGHT be willing to have a Buick with a non-3.8 powerplant but had hoped that when the 3.8 finally was retired, it would be in favor of a WORLD CLASS fuel cell or hybrid drive rather than the 10 year old ( 15 year old ) Northstar. I was not one of the people on this forum that begged for a Northstar in a Buick. Sorry, I'd rather have an SC 3.8. Better fuel economy and better torque. Plus, it's a real Buick engine instead of the Crappylac Northstar. I like the Lucerne. It's a decent looking car. It has a nice interior but can someone at GM PULEEEZE find a color chart that is NOT printed in black and white. Light gray, dark gray and the color I lovingly call cow plop as interior choices? How about red or burgundy, Blue, or even yucky green. Crimson Pearl with a white leather interior--cool Ming Blue with white leather interior--again cool Arctic White Ice with a GOOD LOOKING BLUE or RED interior--cool. Look in your January Bugle at the Lucerne ad. Think about that color Blue as an interior color on a white or silver car.... That's what I'm talking about. Striking, stands out from the gray interior crowd and looks good, attracts positive comments from friends who ride in it-makes the ride memorable and provides something distinctive so that someone who decided they like that interior ( and who has the $ to buy a car on a whim ) will go to BUICK to buy it. To someone that's not a car person, one gray interior looks just about like any other so it's easy to find it OK but not memorable enough to select over another OK gray interior. But, something that makes an impression will either cause a sale or cost one but at least the customer will REMEMBER looking at the Buick. Reality is--it won't matter what we say. GM will introduce a version of the Enclave to replace the Rendezvous and the Fugly. That was decided long before the DAS. Let's hope that what they actually produce will attract buyers and not be Fuglied up on the way to production. At least Buick was given a vehicle to display at DAS. Now-let's get that Buick Image car into the dealerships at a price point where it's affordable.
  10. So it will be built on GM's LAMDA architecture which will provide the chassis for a COUPLE OF OTHER GM SUV's. With minimal distinctiveness from the Saturn, or Pontiac, or Chevy or GMC clones of the same SUV. That's kind of the point-badge engineering doesn't work. Now, it does give the Aztek and Rendezvous owner something to trade in for, but will it be outstanding enough in a now exceptionally crowded SUV market to grab new, non Buick Customers. Probably not. I am not a particular fan of Toyota and would prefer to buy a Buick but none of the GM vehicles ( not just Buick ) offer the whole line selection that is currently available at Toyota or Lexus. They don't. That's sad and it's a major factor in GM's loss of market share. And for some reason, the need to offer high quality sedans, and coupes, and station wagons and convertibles, and SUV's which Toyota and Lexus seem to be able to accomplish, seems difficult for the power brokers at GM to understand. If GM does NOT build that body style, then customers interested in that body style MUST look elsewhere, which increasingly is Toyota. When GM had 50% of the marketplace, they blanketed the price points, platform sizes and body styles so that regardless of the trend of the moment, each division had at least one vehicle in that same general size, price and body style for consideration. Those vehicles often had divisional power plants so the releative durabilility, power or economy of the power train also weighed into the purchaser's choice. I realize that some of this is due to the dedicated plant issues where building 20 different models/body styles in one plant just isn't done anymore but that's part of GM's inflexibility. When sales go through the roof, GM can't necessarily take advantage of that because once their plant capacity is maxed out, they're maxed out. Then, when a model's popularity crashes, it's plan closure time..... It has been 11 years since Buick has been given an exciting, distinctive, fun to drive car that NO ONE ELSE HAD--the 95 Riv. While all the other cars introduced since then have been good cars, THE LINE NEEDS SOMETHING EXCITING, UNIQUE and INTERESTING. After all, Pontiac has sold out the 2006 Solstice production. TOO BAD the corporate planners didn't provide for a higher quality, better finished, slightly higher priced 4 passenger version for BUICK to be introduced about the same time as Solstice. Maybe they could have sold out another year's production to those folks who like the idea but need a more practical car than the Solstice. Or, possibly those that didn't want to wait another year for a Solstice. When the Cutlass was popular, if the waiting list was too long, the Regal, LeMans or Chevelle became the car of choice by default. GM used to create a market and be the first to have a product in a new market share while every one else played catch up. The Solstice arrived 16 years after the Miata re-created that market..... Those who need an SUV for their work will continue to buy them. But, having fed an SUV through a couple of gas crises, I'm glad I no longer NEED to drive, or FEED, such a vehicle. The late Rivs provided an excellent balance of performance economy, and haul 5 people quite nicely although car seats would be a huge PIA. As gas prices go up, and the "wants" an SUV set deals with $150--$300 per week gas bills, on top of home heating prices, etc, the SUV market will start collapsing. Oh well, people will buy what they will. And will buy from the manufacturer that builds what they want. Let's hope there's some more cars in the pipeline for Buick. I'm not saying Buick shouldn't have an SUV just that it needs additional body style selections in the car line TOO. Across the board, I wish GM had displayed more CARS at the DAS and was relying less on the SUV market to pay the bills. If I'm going to deal with 10-12 mpg, there are lots of cars that I'd rather drive than a soccer mom SUV-some of em are even Buicks. The 25-30 mpg Riv does the work so the gas $ are available for the other cars to do the fun stuff. Keith-Buick saboteurs How silly!
  11. Actually guys, I think they were going for a 68/69 Skylark and GS look. The slope backward hides it a bit but there's a strong resemblance between the 68/9 Skylark front them and the grille/headlights on the Lucerne. If you take a 68/69 Skylark and sweep it back in a similar manner, I think you'll get a face much like a Lucerne.
  12. Keith, It's not about the Prius. GM has banked the whole company on a badge engineered truck chassis. That's a bad thing. It leads to the same thing that ALL of US have griped about--no coupes, no convertibles, no station wagons, no interior selections, etc..... We're not talking Civic clones here-but nicely appointed, HIGH QUALITY, EXCELLENTLY CRAFTED BUICK's in these body styles. As you well know, 60's Skylarks were NOT cheap appearing or CHEAP feeling cars. They had Wildcat/Electra trim levels in many cases but were built on a smaller chassis. Nothing against LeSabres but in many years high line Skylark had more of a luxury look inside than many LeSabres. I've logged a bunch of miles in a Suburban, but I no longer need it and was glad to see it move to a new home. When I need a truck, I have one. For an Tahoe clone to replace the current Ranier--the Enclave is OK. Not great, won't look like the concept but OK. Will I buy one--nope. Will I rent one---not likely. Does it make me want to go to a dealer to see it in person--nope. It DOES NOT meet my needs. Now-a good looking coupe, convertible or station wagon and I might just drop by the dealership for a test drive. I did go look at the Lucerne.
  13. Guys, Dave's point is EXTREMELY valid. GM is doing 1973 all over again. They have placed ALL their current and future eggs in one FUEL INEFFICIENT package with no fall back. If the market changes and shifts toward either large car platforms that are more fuel efficient or small HIGH QUALITY cars, or hybrids, they have nothing to offer. That's Bad. Been done before. GM's historic strength and market share had to do with it's coverage of the entire vehicle market from low to high and with multiple choices at each price point. Remember when Chev, Pont, Olds, Buick each had a small car LINE, or at least a mid-size CAR LINE including all body styles AND a full sized car LINE including all body styles, where interdivisional competition allowed divisions products to stand out and stand alone so that one year Olds Cutlass might be hot, the next LeMans, but whichever one pirating sales from whichever-it was all a GM profit... The tall, tippy SUV crowd does view them as safer. Wonder how they feel after turning turtle through driver error. Now that the soccer mom set has contaminated the minivan AND the SUV with soccermom cooties, the kids and young folks will start refusing to be caught dead in one. That's a good sign for car based alternate body styles--decent styled, practical coupes, convertibles, station wagons. Can you say MAGNUM? Continually re-skinning the same old truck underpinnings is putting new clothes over old underwear. Sorry, I'm disappointed. I have no need for a 1940's station wagon (modern SUV ). I have a truck for what trucks do--not daily driven. When I finally tire of my 99 Riv, guess I'll be looking at Mustang, Magnum, Crossfire, or Solara. Maybe even Charger if I'm desperate for a 4 door--NOT....
  14. T-3's are being reproduced by Lectric Limited. So, other than having 'the originals,' if you were going to show it, you're probably better off with the repops for show. Then they won't have nicks in the lenses, dullness in the reflector, yellowing or other silliness that some judges use to justify taking off points Just Dashes is expensive but will completely redo the dashpad--I'm sure they have a web site. Glad the car worked out for you. You might want to join the Riviera Owners Association as well. Their HQ is in Nebraska.
  15. Lamar--they'll be a car more to your liking in your future. Since you always pick 54's, maybe Rita should choose the convertible and find something that SHE likes to drive while you ride shotgun and wave to the people as you pass by. It's auction season. Don't be shocked if this same car shows up at one of the name auctions later this month or sometime between now and Auburn. Wouldn't be the first time someone tried to make a quick, fast buck on a red convertible. Another thought--if you're really interested in a car, use the BCA Roster to find a member close to the car and ask them if they'll go see it and shoot a roll of film ( or digital if posssible ). I've done that for friends in the past.
  16. BTW the wrap around windshield may do a very good job of wind protection at freeway speeds. When I mentioned the lack of vent windows making a less pleasant ride I was speaking of my experience with 60's and up models that had no vent window and a regular slanted a post. Seriously Lamar-if it's a car you're serious about, go see it in person. A little MN snow will melt when you get back to GA.
  17. For what it's worth Lamar, we've had at least one convertible for all of my 40+years on the planet. Much more useful than a station wagon as everything fits when the top is down. My biggest gripe about modern Buicks ( and other cars ) is the lack of a practical, 4-6 passenger convertible at a reasonable price. Drawbacks--top up, they are noisy, provide virtually no crash or roll over protection. There is just a thin piece of canvas between you and the sky so.... They can leak, they can rattle, body adjustments can be a nightmare after restoration as the body, especially on 50's cars relying on the frame for strength. Same drawbacks as 2 and 4 door hardtops but more so due to lack of roof structure tying the basic body together. However-there is no better car to come out to after a hard day at work-drop the top, hit the freeway and all your cares are blown away. With the wrap around windshield, you may find that the wind noise and wind buffeting that happens on new convertibles does not happen. And then of course we have the judges that haven't a clue about tops that actually have to work and maybe get rained on occasionally. Too tight and they don't work--or when they shrink ( and they ALL shrink a bit--and sometimes stretch out in the heat ), so we play the point deduction game for "top fit." Or even better, the tops will show wrinkles if they ever go down so that can be a deduction too. For this reason a lot of people with convertibles do not ever lower the top which is really dumb. If you don't like riding with the top down, stick with hardtops and leave the convertibles to those who will use them as they were built to be used. If you're really interested in that car, hop on a plane and go look at it before you do your final bid. The plane ticket isn't that expensive compared to the price of the car. Only you can really make the decision as to what the car is worth. However, you and the wife might want to rent a modern convertible for a week or so at some point before you spend big $ on one just to see how you like driving around in an open car and more importantly, how SHE likes it. Just remember that most modern convertibles are pretty awful on the freeway-lack of wind wings and other compromises in modern design really ups the wind buffeting.
  18. What to save? That's a hard one. 4-door big series cars are a lot more common than 2 doors, so 4 door only parts are easier for folks who need them to find. Many Super parts fit Roadmaster 75 and Limited but some brightwork and stuff does NOT so that can be a problem. The SUPER side chrome airplane wing parts are unique to super so if they are in good shape you might find a buyer. Really-if it's pot metal or stainless and in really good shape--few to no pits, no dings in stainless, it might be worth your time to take off and sell in the future. If it's rough--lots of dents or badly pitted, it may not be worth it. Headlight doors and unbroken front eyebrows might be worth keeping as well. Other things that might find a buyer. Wonderbar radio and/or foot switch? Autotronic Eye headlight dimmer and associated modules and foot switches Power seat switch if it has that and the switch is on the door. If it has or had A/C the Generator is special and that system and associated interior ductwork and controls might find a buyer as well. The flite pitch tranny, and linkage and mounting parts for same might find a buyer as well. It has a one piece aluminum case and a PRNDG on the tranny selector. Yeah-the bottom half of the rear license plate frame must have been a part owners threw away as a lot are missing. If I were you, I'd try to keep the entire rear bumper and sell it as a unit, since it's a Super, Roadmaster, Limited part.
  19. All of the cars are on the auction field for their auction day if not for the entire weekend. If you really don't intend to buy anything, you may be more comfortable examining the cars somewhat at your leisure walking around the consignment grounds. While some no-sales disappear, others end up spending the remaining time on the field. It's been a number of years since I've been there, but when I went, especially on the weekdays when the general public wasn't quite so numerous, it was possible to look at the cars without getting involved in the crush in the tents.
  20. Paul, There is a service bulletin from BMD advising against putting wire wheels on the aluminum drums. I think it was that bulletin that led the BCA to the ruling about the correctness of wire wheels on 57 and newer Buicks. I don't have a copy of it. Mac or Rick might. You probably should try to find a copy and take a look at it to see if you feel the comments are relevant to how you are using the car. I seem to recall the concern was that the wire wheel flex could cause the aluminim drums to fail without warning. With respect to color of backing plates, since different series sometimes used different sized brakes ( and possibly different backing plates ), color may have been used to help make sure the guy on the line put the right backing plate on the right car. It could have also been a way of designating a running change due to a re-design so that dealers would recognize that the car they were looking at either had the modified part or did not.
  21. Why are most painted It's cheaper It's easier In the rust belt most people either couldn't tell or didn't look carefully enough before they painted the backing plate. Like every other subassembly that was cad plated, some years silver some years gold. Possible plant variations as well so the only way to truly know which is correct would be to find someone that started with a guaranteed original car who was able to determine the plating. By now, 55's are getting old enough that many survivors have had some level of 'restoration' done in prior years. So there is always the chance of a factory replacement part or someone's earlier attempt at restoration slipping through.
  22. Backing plates are usually cadmium plated. Since the brake shoe rubs against the backing plate as it pivots back and forth, I don't think aluminum would have been chosen. More likely someone is seeing the silver cad and mistaking it for aluminum. I believe the aluminum drums were first introduced on the Roadmaster 75 which was a special luxury model of the regular 70 series Roadmaster in 1957 only. Once the Roadmaster 75 was available it may have been possible to order them on a regular series 70 Roadmaster but someone would need to check a 1957 order blank ( late model year ) or service bulletins for that year to provide a definite answer.
  23. Brad, A wise man would save the front and rear bumpers, especially the rear. The rear one disassembles into about 15 pieces. You might find that sometime in the future there will be a buyer for them, if they are in good shape.
  24. According to Parade GM is about to release a PONTIAC G6 4 passenger Retractable Hardtop sometime in 2006. A PONTIAC. Is there anyone at GM other than Roberta who knows that BUICK used to be number 2 in Convertible production-right behind FORD, and probably number 1 in percentage of total production that were convertibles. I agree on the late model Rivs. I looked for about 3 years to find mine. Yes-when something breaks, it's expensive. Luckily the extended warrantee took care of the supercharger when it died at 75000 miles. If the SC 3800 reappears in something made by Buick, it'll probably be mine. If not, the Chrysler Convertibles, the Mustang Convertible, the Magnum and even the Toyota Solara are starting to look really good!!! Pontiac getting a convertible while BUICK sits with 4 doors and trucks.... How about a hole in one for BUICK for a change.....
  25. Sid, I hope you find the car will meet your needs and that the issues that have been brought up turn out to be minor.
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