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1988 Buick Electra Estate Wagon *SOLD*

Matt Harwood

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*SOLD* I know some people will scratch their heads wondering why I like this car, but those of you looking at this ad carefully will probably understand. It's the end of an era, the end of the line, and the last of the angular full-sized Buick wagons. There was one more generation after this, the rounded Roadmaster wagon, but it didn't quite have the same traditional good looks. This 1988 Electra shows just over 71,000 original miles and is an ultra-clean survivor in fantastic condition. It hails from Iowa but I don't think it has ever seen a seriously harsh winter because it's very solid in all the areas that matter. You can see underneath that it hasn't been used in salt and the white paint appears to be original 1988 GM enamel. I suspect that the wood decals have been replaced at some point, but I have no evidence to support that, merely a gut feeling that they're just too bright and crisp to be 32 years old. No matter because it looks good and remains in excellent condition with the only notable issue being a bubble in the decal on the left rear quarter where the fender flares out--my detailer, Michael, is on duty in the military and he was going to fix it with a syringe and some glue, so it's no big deal. Chrome and stainless are good, although it appears that the front bumper has been dinged a bit at low speed and the right parking light housing is incorrect--looks OK but doesn't fit like it should and I'm looking for a replacement.


Interior is beautiful maroon velour, pure '80s luxury, GM-style. It's funny because it's dated, but it's in really nice condition. This car is obviously loaded, including power windows, locks, and seats, including a power recliner for the passenger, automatic climate control, fiber-optic headlight monitors, and a power rear window--and it all works! The seats are plush and not crushed down, and my son, Riley, is waiting for a nice day to take a ride so he can sit in the third row, which faces backwards. There's a newer Pioneer AM/FM/CD stereo in the dash, but it wasn't badly chopped up to install it and it sounds pretty good. The original tools and space-saver spare are tucked into their wells in the way back and even the headliner is still securely fastened to the roof.


We still hadn't figure out how to make horsepower again in 1988, but there's plenty of smooth torque from the 305 cubic inch V8. It's the last GM car to use a 4-barrel carburetor and I suppose if you want more power, it's easy enough to find. It starts easily, idles smoothly, kicks down quickly, and it's really nice to drive. The 200-4R 4-speed automatic transmission has an overdrive gear so it's a superlative highway cruiser that just floats along in near silence. If there's a better road trip car, I don't know what it might be. The engine bay is super tidy, everything is stock, and there's plenty of evidence of conscientious maintenance over the years. Likewise underneath where you'll find a fresh exhaust system with high-flow catalytic converter, new shocks, recent front-end components, and a set of new 225/75/15 blackwalls that are a good choice. I even like the wire wheelcovers, although a set of Buick Road Wheels would obviously be the preferred choice if this were mine. 


I like wagons and these cars were in everyone's garage when I was growing up. They're not valuable and may never be, but if you want a bit of nostalgia that's welcome at any BCA or AACA meet, that's comfortable and capable in the modern world, and which can haul all your stuff and all your people, well, this one's a winner. Price is $14,900, which gives you the kind of ride that everyone remembers fondly. Thanks for looking!


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Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Cool car...brings back lots of memories.............glad to see some people still like the strange and obscure. Hard to believe that can go on the AACA field soon!

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