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buzzflood

Looking for info re Lesabre Limited Collector's Edition

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Hi,

Yesterday morning, I came across a 1985 Buick Lesabre Limited Collector's Edition. This surprised me, because I had never heard of this version of the Lesabre. I've been searching the web for info about the Collector's Edition, but haven't come up with any details. All I could find was that it was issued to commemorate the end of the RWD Lesabre coupes and sedans.

I'm hoping someone can provide some details about this Lesabre. What differentiated the Collector's Edition from other Lesabres? Was it merely cosmetic or were there performance enhancements? How many were produced? Is there a unique code in the VIN that IDs the Collector's Edtion? I appreciate any help you can give me. Thank you!

Buzz Flood

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Guest BJM

Buzz,

It was cosmetic. Hood ornament and maybe another label somewhere. the most important aspect of the Collectors Edition was a leather-like portfolio that inlcuded some nice art/heavy stock photos and other items. I believe the key chain was special but don't quote me on that.

I have thrown away a few fo these commemorative leather packets. These 1985 Collectors Edition Buick LeSabres are nothing special. I would "collect" them only if you like the 1985 LeSabre styling and features. There will be no additional value because of this label.

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Hi Jake,

Thanks very much for the super-quick reply. Not that I'm very familiar with the details of the Lesabre, but I didn't see anything that made the car special. I only knew it was a 'Collector's Edition' because of the insignia on the dashboard. It's hard to believe that Buick would throw the CE label on a car with such insignificant distinctions. Thanks again!

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Guest my3buicks
Hi Jake,

Thanks very much for the super-quick reply. Not that I'm very familiar with the details of the Lesabre, but I didn't see anything that made the car special. I only knew it was a 'Collector's Edition' because of the insignia on the dashboard. It's hard to believe that Buick would throw the CE label on a car with such insignificant distinctions. Thanks again!

Keep in mind that the probable reason for the "collector edition" nomenclature was that it was the end of an era being the last of the full size rear drive Buick's(at that time, not yet having the Roadmaster rebirth in sight) - While the collector potential never really materialized these cars are still wonderful road cars, ultra plush, in some cases more Electra like.

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Hi Keith,

Thanks very much for the reply. I agree that Lesabres can be great road cars. But, the road days for this particular one are over. It's already retired to the salvage yard.

Buzz

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Guest BJM

buzzflood,

In that case you might pull everything "Collectors Edition" off the car and sell them. Look also in the glove box for that Leather Look folder, they are pretty neat - or might be under the seat.

Keith makes a very good point. About the desirability of this era of Lesabres. He knows I am a fan, so my comments aren't about the collectability or desirability of the 85 LeSabres. I've owned an 85 four door, nicknamed by my family BOB for Big Old Buick. And I would take an 85 2 door sport coupe with road wheels any day of the week - but i don't look for the Collectors Edition badging to make my final decision.

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In the middle 1980s, it was a time of change from rear wheel drive vehicles to front wheel drive vehicles of the same model and name. For some, it was "the end of the line" of their favored vehicles, which many manufacturers tried to capitalize on with "Collector Editions" of many vehicles. In the case of the 1985 LeSabres, ALL of them had "Collector Edition" status and ornamentation . . . plus the really neat Owner's Manual Portfolios. So, it was much more than just a decal/stripe/ornamentation package conjured-up by a dealership to justify charging more money for the vehicle.

Whether or not you might have bought into the "Collector Edition" hype of the time, that generation of rwd LeSabres were incredibly nice vehicles (just a little underpowered with the Olds 307 V-8 in them!). GM also had other "Collector Edition" vehicles in that era, including some Corvettes and also later-model rwd Roadmasters (of a particular model year).

These "Collector Edition" LeSabres might not have any additional value than a prior model year's LeSabre, but it does give them a little added status of sorts as "the last year" of rwd LeSabre. The "Collector Edition" ornamentation has been long gone from GM's parts bins for many years, so finding some in good condition CAN be valuable for correct restorations of these vehicles . . . or maintaining their "archival" status in the future.

Regards,

NTX5467

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I happen to have an '85 2dr Collector Edition and am looking for some parts. Moldings, etc. Too nice a car to give up on. Any still out there for parts? Not much luck in the salvage yards.

Thanks

Rod

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GM copied the Collectors Series from Lincoln in 1979. Those were special edition cars that sold for a premium over the regular Lincolns. They had special interiors, badging, gold plating, etc. They were quite successful and ended up selling much better than the 1980 Lincolns that replaced them.

I remember a neighbor purchased a new 1985 Collectors Edition LeSabre. It had a special hood ornament, dash plaque, and portfolio. A far cry from the Lincolns extra plush interior, accessories, and options. However, while the LeSabre might not look that exciting in retrospect, I remember GM axing all the rwd drive models and replacing them with tacky little fwd boxes. I still think it was an incredibly stupid move to get rid of all the rwd models. GM ended up with everything looking like a Pontiac 6000. I think that is what started the downfall of GM. I still like the Lincoln Town Car commercial that capitalized on it where the valets cannot tell apart any of the GM cars or divisions, but the Town Car is unmistakeable.

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Guest my3buicks

It's nice hearing Lincoln guys comparing Lincolns to LeSabres. They never did make a Lincoln that could compare to an Electra/Park Avenue - the Park Ave's far outplushed the Lincolns so it was a good fair comparison between the middle of the line Buick and the Lincoln. "Special Edition" & "Collector Edition" cars where around long before 79 Lincolns or 85 LeSabres so I doubt that Buick stole that idea from Lincoln. As far as the tacky fwd Luxury cars from GM, I guess the fact that Lincoln didn't do the same is why Lincoln is still the leading luxury car of the world:rolleyes:

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While special edition models were nothing new, I am unaware of any company using Collectors Series badging before Lincoln in 1979.

Buick "outplushed" Lincoln?? In whose opinion besides yours? Those vinyl interiors Buick had were just so plush and prestigious. So were the foam dashes that cracked on every car.

Oldsmobile is gone, Pontiac is gone, Buick has a whole 3 models. How much longer before Buick is gone? Ford and Lincoln were the ones that didn't need bailout money. Seems like those tacky fwd GM's weren't such a good idea.

Edited by LINC400 (see edit history)

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I'd like to say thanks for all your responses to my request for info re the Collector's Edition Lesabre. I didn't mean to spark this GM vs Ford/Lincoln debate. I guess I'll remain neutral. I have a 1956 Lincoln Premiere in my garage. It and its GM stablemate are waiting until my 2010 retirement, when they will get the attention they deserve.

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I happen to have an '85 2dr Collector Edition and am looking for some parts. Moldings, etc. Too nice a car to give up on. Any still out there for parts? Not much luck in the salvage yards.

Thanks

Rod

Hi Rod,

I brought a number of those '85 Collector's Edition parts home from the U-Pull-It yard. I've listed some on eBay; others are not yet listed. Let me know if you have specific needs. I expect to be back in that yard in the near future.

Buzz

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Guest BJM
While special edition models were nothing new, I am unaware of any company using Collectors Series badging before Lincoln in 1979.

Buick "outplushed" Lincoln?? In whose opinion besides yours? Those vinyl interiors Buick had were just so plush and prestigious. So were the foam dashes that cracked on every car.

Oldsmobile is gone, Pontiac is gone, Buick has a whole 3 models. How much longer before Buick is gone? Ford and Lincoln were the ones that didn't need bailout money. Seems like those tacky fwd GM's weren't such a good idea.

LINC400,

You and I have commented on the Packard forum in a respectful disagreement. I certainly appreciate Lincoln and have several Lincoln posts. Even if I disagreed with an over the top loyalty based statement by a Lincoln poster, I would not denegrate a Lincoln.

...and it could easily be done. All manufacturers have had their high points and low points. Few auto design pundits (not that I rely heavily on their opins) have lauded the Lincoln passenger car styling of late, while the new LaCrosse is getting rave reviews.

If a poster said some untoward comments about your favorite car line, the best response is a positive rebuttal not a slam on the Buick forum - of Buicks.

I've recently been looking to purchase a 57 Lincoln, Kaisers and more Chryslers.

But in terms of the modern cars, Lincoln has a line up of 3-4 cars I think, and Buick has three. If I am not mistaken, Lincoln has an MKZ, a Navigator, another Ford based SUV and does it still make the Town Car? Buick has a similar line up of premium cars.

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Guest my3buicks

That all being said, I could easily be very happy with a Lincoln MKT or MKX sitting in my garage - I think they are both great looking vehicles that hit an excellent market segment both of whcih would perfectly suit my needs.

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Ok the bailout comment was mean. But that was in response to the Lincoln bashing. As far as new vehicles, I am not impressed by any 2010 Buick or Lincoln. In my opinion, the only one of interest is the Town Car which is an aging design on an even older platform that looks much more like a Marquis than a Lincoln. If I were going to buy something new it would be a Camaro, Challenger, or Mustang. And I do not even like muscle cars. They are simply the only new cars that have any personality and have 2 doors.

I still stand by my original comments though. Like I said, while special editions were nothing new, I am not aware of any company using Collectors Series/Edition badging before Lincoln in 1979. The Collectors Series Mark V had a completely unique interior with special velour, console, thicker carpeting, special wood and metal trim (although plastic), leather wrapped dash, most options standard, special gold plated grill, roof treatment, color keyed wheels, tool kit, umbrella, leather wrapped owners manual, gold plated badging, limited colors, padded Continental hump, plush color-keyed carpeted trunk, special hood ornament, and probably a few more things I've forgotten. This was to commemorate the last true full size Lincolns.

To commemorate the last rwd Buick in 1985, Buick offered the Collectors Edition with special hood ornament, dash plaque, and portfolio. How is that not a cheap copy with nowhere near the effort Lincoln put into it?

The Collectors Series Lincolns do command a premium over the standard 1979's now. I do not think anyone will be paying a premium because of a hood ornament on a LeSabre. The hood ornament itself and portfolio may command a premium on Ebay, but I do not see anyone paying more for the Collectors Edition LeSabre over a regular one.

I actually like the 1984-5 Park Avenue and LeSabre. I cannot see how anyone thought that the 1985-6 models were an improvement. I really can't see how anyone would pay more for a 1985 Park Ave instead of paying less for the much nicer 1985 LeSabre. I am not a fan of downsizing. But it can be done well. The 1979 downsized Riviera was a huge improvement over the previous years bland looking can't really tell it apart from the LeSabre model. The smaller size and curvaceous lines with verticle roof gave it a sporty yet formal look. A great design. The 1985-6 Park Ave and LeSabre were just extremely bland boxes that looked like they had the front and rear chopped off. They didn't look much different than the much cheaper Pontiac 6000. I thought they were a bad idea then, and still think so now.

The buyer of a 1975 LeSabre or Electra would never look at a Honda or Toyota. However, by the late 1980's when a LeSabre was the same size, price, had the same equipment, and the media was hyping how wonderful foreign cars were, why not look at a Honda or Toyota instead of a Buick? If the Toyota or Honda was a little less expensive, even better. GM was stupid by making everything a fwd little box and abandoning their traditional buyers. There was no reason they could not have made both. I like GM's, but chopping and downsizing everything is something I will never forgive them for. The first round in 1977-8 was perhaps needed, but the second round in 1985-6 was not, and it was not well done either.

Lincolns are not the most fabulous cars ever. They have their flaws. My biggest complaint is the armrests and wood on the steering wheel on the Mark Series. They crack on every car. There is actually very little interchangeable between a Mark IV and V interior. However, in an incredibly stupid move, when the armrests and steering wheels were already going back to Lincoln for replacements under warranty on the Mark IV, those were the 2 items they carried over to the Mark V.

However the comments that a LeSabre/Park Ave are plusher than a Lincoln are ridiculous. How is vinyl plusher than leather or velour? The standard engine on most Buicks was a 350 (and I was NOT impressed by the one in my 1975) as opposed to a 460 or later 400 standard in a Lincoln. My 1975 Buick did not have power windows, locks, seats, rear window defroster ( great fun in Chicago), FM radio, etc. because those were all optional on a Buick, but standard on a Lincoln. In fact the only things my Buick had that my friend's much cheaper 1972 Nova did not were a/c, a clock, and a cigarette lighter. Not very prestigious. But then Buicks were not made to compete with Lincolns. Cadillacs were.

And I have to say that I thought the vinyl interiors were indeed tacky. From leather and brocades in the 1950's and 1960's, how did Buick ever think that vinyl was a suitable material for an upper middle class car in the 1970's? Olds 98's were less expensive and had much nicer interiors. So did Chryslers and Mercurys.

By the way, I own both a Buick and a Lincoln.

Edited by LINC400 (see edit history)

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Guest my3buicks

[quote name=

However the comments that a LeSabre/Park Ave are plusher than a Lincoln are ridiculous. How is vinyl plusher than leather or velour? The standard engine on most Buicks was a 350 (and I was NOT impressed by the one in my 1975) as opposed to a 460 or later 400 standard in a Lincoln. My 1975 Buick did not have power windows' date=' locks, seats, rear window defroster ( great fun in Chicago), FM radio, etc. because those were all optional on a Buick, but standard on a Lincoln. In fact the only things my Buick had that my friend's much cheaper 1972 Nova did not were a/c, a clock, and a cigarette lighter. Not very prestigious. But then Buicks were not made to compete with Lincolns. Cadillacs were.

And I have to say that I thought the vinyl interiors were indeed tacky. From leather and brocades in the 1950's and 1960's, how did Buick ever think that vinyl was a suitable material for an upper middle class car in the 1970's? Olds 98's were less expensive and had much nicer interiors. So did Chryslers and Mercurys.

By the way, I own both a Buick and a Lincoln.

First I think you need to climb into a Park Ave or LeSabre Limited of that vintage, and take a real look at it. Every bit as plush as a Lincoln - and YES LEATHER was an option in them, not vinyl(80's). I would have to say many Lincoln buyers have shopped Buick when they went car shopping and I am sure Buick over the years has stolen many Cadillac, Lincoln and Chrysler buyers. Had trouble finding a pic, but this interior is every bit as plush as a Town Cars

post-30591-143138131781_thumb.jpg

Edited by my3buicks (see edit history)

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You are showing me a 1980-84 Park Ave. Yes, those cars have nice interiors. However, I have never driven one. I used to own a 1988 Town Car. My friend has several 1980-91 rwd Cadillac DeVille/Boughams. While the interior looks as plush as a Lincoln, they are not as nice. They are very trucky to drive in comparison, and the seats might look comfortable, but they are not for long trips. The Buick being based on the same body might or might not be more comfortable. But I already said that GM's mistake was dropping the 1980-84/5 rwds, not making them.

Of course Lincoln also screwed up the steering for the 1990's Town Cars and added the problem prone air suspension.

I was at a Buick grand invitational a couple years ago in my friend's 1973 Centurion convertible. It has just about every option I think, and it is nowhere near as plush as a '70's Lincoln. And it has, drum roll, vinyl seats. In fact just about every 1970's Buick there had vinyl seats including Electras and Rivieras, the top of the line models. Buick should have been putting in the 1980 type interiors all along, not cheap vinyl. They got the interiors right for a few years in the early '80's, and then dropped the ball with the fwd replacements. And if they were going to do a commemorative edition for the last of the rwds, they deserved something better than just a hood ornament and portfolio.

Edited by LINC400 (see edit history)

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Guest my3buicks

Vinyl seats in a convertible are the norm, and hold up much better than any other fabric in an open air car. Not a lover of Vinyl but that was a time when that seemed to be in vogue. The vinyl that was used in teh Centurion was a mixture of expanded and regular, the expanded you are hard pressed to tell it's not leather. I would say, at least Buick and GM had a convertible in the 70's, oh, that's right, Lincoln didn't. They left the luxury big convertible market to the true luxury cars, Cadillac and Buick.

post-30591-143138131798_thumb.jpg

Edited by my3buicks (see edit history)

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The Lincoln convertibles had leather seats, not vinyl. And that still does not explain cheap vinyl in the Riviera, Electra, and non-convertible LeSabre and Centurion. It is also quite easy to tell the difference between Buick vinyl and leather. Simply leave the top down for a few hours in the hot sun and then have a seat in your Buick. Even better if you are wearing shorts.

The Lincoln Mark series outsold the Eldorado coupe, convertible, and LeSabre/Centurion convertibles combined. So it does not seem like they lost out on much by not offering a convert in the '70's.

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Not to throw water on to a grease fire but I feel that both or you guys are right. both companies dropped the ball at one time or another. But to say that all the mid 80 interiors were bad or uncomfortable is in my mind wrong.

I drove my T-type from Albany NY to Flint MI and was fine the whole way.

DougsTtypeFeb2005006.jpg

You get lost in those seats. Also The interior is more then big enough to fit four grown people in it and still have room, and that a two door. my 94 GS was big enough to fit four grown people as well. I'm sorry to say that in my dads gs and in a ford conv that I have ridden in the back seat is so small and uncomfortable its not funny at all. So I'll take my 80's interiors any day.

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Guest BJM

I was at a Buick grand invitational a couple years ago in my friend's 1973 Centurion convertible. It has just about every option I think, and it is nowhere near as plush as a '70's Lincoln. And it has, drum roll, vinyl seats.

The Centurion is not an apples to apples comparison to any period Lincoln. They were meant to be fast with a degree of luxury as they had the big block 455 from 71-72 and the 455 was optional in 1973.

An apples to apples comparison is the Electra Limited from this period. I have owned 2 1972 Limiteds. Both had cloth interiors. Leather was not an option that I am aware of but in terms of style, all other measures of luxury - they were the equal of Lincoln.

And Buick had the Riviera. If the entire argument is based on vinyl versus leather then I guess Lincoln wins.

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Guest BJM

To commemorate the last rwd Buick in 1985, Buick offered the Collectors Edition with special hood ornament, dash plaque, and portfolio. How is that not a cheap copy with nowhere near the effort Lincoln put into it?

LINC, If you go all the way back to my original advice to this poster, I said as much. The 85 "Collectors Edition" Lesabre was nothing. It is certainly no reason to purchase one.

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Guest my3buicks

Here would be a more typical interior in an early 70's Buick than a vinyl one - kinda baron and basic - NOT

post-30591-143138131845_thumb.jpg

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Guest my3buicks

And of course there are these spartan offerings, I even tossed in a vinyl one for your pleasure

As you can see, the Buick interiors where really subpar to that of the Lincolns - ROFLMAO:rolleyes:

post-30591-143138131849_thumb.jpg

post-30591-143138131854_thumb.jpg

post-30591-143138131857_thumb.jpg

post-30591-143138131861_thumb.jpg

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