Jump to content

Collectible Buick or Not?


Guest BJM

Recommended Posts

That is actually a really neat car. By 89, the Somerset had been renamed a skylark. But there was not a T Type skylark but there was a gran touring option with wider tires etc. That 3300 engine is a smaller version of the 3800. In that size car that ought to be a nice performance engine, but I have no experience with them directly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That isn't an '89. As was mentioned above, the Somerset wasn't made after '87 and by '89 they had switched over to composite headlamps.

I always liked 'em, thought they were pretty stylish. Though I really liked the '92 redesign too so clearly I'm out of step.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guess what guys! This one's real! Or at least it could be.

Those 14" wheels appear to be 1986 Somerset T-Type wheels. They were optional on plebeian Somesets with Grand Touring suspension, however, but I don't remember seeing too many. Those photos are awful, but everything in them is consistent with a <span style="font-weight: bold">198<span style="text-decoration: underline">6</span></span> Somerset T-Type. This was the only year for a T-Type N-body. If it's titled as 1989 or has a 3.3L tucked into it, then is a mongrel (which is pretty common for a 1980s car that's made it this long).

The 1986 T-Type Somerset came with a 3.0L V6. There was a total production of 3,558 according to <span style="font-style: italic">The Standard Catalog of Buick</span>. That's pretty rare.

BTW, the "dreaded Somersets I talked about" were the Quad-4 dogs that were minted at this time, which I believe were the vast majority. I had a co-worker in the PA-DER who had a 2 year old Somerset in 1988. He had to dump his with 47,000 miles on it when it ate it's second engine. He traded it for whatever he could get after GM put a third engine in it. He was car guy and took good care of it, too. He was upside down on the financing (<span style="font-style: italic">You don't work for a state agency for the money!</span>) so bad he had to buy an older car to replace it until he could pay off the loss.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that pretty much settles it. NOT collectible.

I would think any V6 in this size body would scoot the car along. No doubt it's a 2 door. I can go look at it to find out what's going on. I know a lot of car lots call any hotter then normal Buick a 'T Type' or GN.

Personally, I liked the Somersets. I thought of all these body types (Pontiac Grand Am and whatever Oldsmobile had) the Buick Somerset was the smartest styled with a more classic grille.

20 years from now 99.9% of these will be gone. Gas won't be any cheaper. People will still be wringing their hands over taking a gas guzzline Roadmaster to the BCA National. So I sort of think about these cars from time to time.

I owned a Century GN (GS?) for about two weeks 3 years ago. I bought the car for $150 and received a cash offer for $750 two weeks later. I hemmed and hawed but ultimately sold it. I kind of regret that, since I know they were built in small numbers, had the uber reliable 3.8L V6 that would have delivered 28 mpg, had a nice body style (I always liked it anyway), big trunk and plenty of room.

Oh well

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest my3buicks

I had a chance to buy a really nice Century GN back in 91, and regret to this day not adding that car to the stable. The car was run into the ground after that, today ( well as of about a year ago) it was sitting in the woods looking like trash behind the house where it met it's doom.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And it could be a Somerset Regal as it was known by that ridiculous name for part of its production run. I guess Buick thought by putting the name of a nice, popular Buick on that thing it might improve its sales. Oldsmobile did the same thing with its version, the Calais, when it became the Cutlass Calais and and it didn't help either division.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's right Calais. I didn't really follow up with that used car lot. I think these 3 cars were well styled and perfectly timed for the market. (Ciera/Somerset/Grand Am)

In fact, American cars put on a lot of weight after these cars were done. They were better looking and handled better then the Cimarron/Cavalier cars. Yes they were small. I think you could count on them holding four (2 adults / 2 kids) but most important is they were not de-contented.

You look at a modern Chevy Cobalt and you are sitting in a sea of hard cheap plastic. And because of the numerically high axle ratio (because you know, we have to get there yesterday) the Cobalt doesn't get great mileage, decent - not great.

The Somersets/Cieras/Grand Ams got good gas mileage but were obviously plagued by quality issues. What a shame. I didn't mean to turn this into a comparo, but not everyone should need an SUV or large sedan (I drive a 2004 Bonneville with 3.8L V6 and except for one mile where I take my daughter to the before/after care sitter, I am by myself - we never use the Bonneville for family travel)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Dans 77 Limited

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dave@Moon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

BTW, the "dreaded Somersets I talked about" were the Quad-4 dogs that were minted at this time, which I believe were the vast majority. I had a co-worker in the PA-DER who had a 2 year old Somerset in 1988. He had to dump his with 47,000 miles on it when it ate it's second engine. He traded it for whatever he could get after GM put a third engine in it. He was car guy and took good care of it, too. He was upside down on the financing (<span style="font-style: italic">You don't work for a state agency for the money!</span>) so bad he had to buy an older car to replace it until he could pay off the loss. </div></div>

Oh man a good friends younger sister had one of those bombs. And I was the only one that knew anything about cars..... except her boyfriend (now husband). And the only tool he knew how to use was a hammer, so I got stuck wrenching on that bomb. Calling that Somerset a POS is an insult to every POS that was ever built. Im no fan of the blue oval, but I damn near jumped for joy the day she told me she traded the somerset in on a Cougar.

Yes its a POS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know of 2 accounts of cars with the 3300 being as strong of an engine as was ever made - as long as it has the steel heads. One was a Skylark my brother had - he drove this car hard - and by this I mean once he accelerated and then stopped so quickly that the brake pads caught fire and had to be extinguished. He recieved this car after killing 2 other cars in less than 2 years, and could never kill this Skylark - surpassed 200K with no teardown after daily beatings (note: oil was changed frequently). To this day I have never witnessed such an indestructable engine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...