Monday, March 4, 2013

5k: Last of the Bigguns; 1996 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon

1996 was the last of Buick's storied breed of Estate Wagons.  Highly sought after by those recognizing that they are a much more comfortable option than relying on full sized pickup or full sized SUV.... for towing your car to the track!  This 1996 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon one is being offered on ebay at no reserve, by a dealer in Huntingdon Valley, PA - currently bidding at $6,001 with 3 days to go.

This particular car is a super rare find because it has only 56,000 original miles on its clock.  If you're even thinking about bidding on this car, bid all you think its worth; because these low mileage examples are highly coveted by a small, loyal, almost cult-like group of fans, who tend to use sniping as their favorite means of snagging a deal.  Look for the bidding to escalate in the final minutes.

 As can bee seen from the pictures below, the venerable 5.7 LT1 lies hardly used under the hood, where it seems to have been reasonably sheltered from harsh snow removal chemicals used in the Northeast.

The interior shows that the car has been well maintained, with all the goodies that were available in 1996.  Power door locks and an almost 5000 lb curb weight clearly put this car in the Zombie Proof category.

Seating is for 8, which makes it a great option for the standard full sized SUV, but the ride quality is definitely the legendary Buick-boulevard-float! The Vista Roof has its quintessential sunshades in place, but beware, the use of these vista roofs can conjure up frequent flashbacks of traveling by a Scenicruiser bus!

 The 3rd seat is easily accessed by the dual action tailgate that operates like a door, when the rear window is lifted.  This sea is best occupied by recalcitrant mid-teens who want nothing to do with their parents anyway!

The only sign of unusual wear that we spotted in this ad was the front tires which showed heavier wear on their outside tread bars which might have indicated that they used to live on the back of the car and that the occasional 'demonstration of excessive acceleration potential' might have been employed a time or two.

It's big and it's a boat, but if you can find a better, modern,  haulin' wagon with an LT1
email us here:


  1. In a normal car the backseat driver says stuff like "Watch out for that opossum!" this car he/she says "Hard to port! full reverse! battle stations! sound collision alarm!" etc

  2. Or it is in need of a front end alignment!

  3. or, as its outside wear, it might have been used for lots of towing and was riding nose-high.

  4. I think we called this one pretty accurately, the bidding stalled as of Feb 28 at 6001.00, four early bidders on the last day of the auction pushed it up to $6,701. In the closing hour of the sale it took in 51 bids to close at $16,115 or a smooth $10K more than it was at 9am the closing day of the sale. The last 1/2 hour of bidding the car jumpted from $9,380 to $16,115.

  5. ~ that's a hell of a bid history! you're absolutely right about the cult. had a friend with a Roadmaster Estate Wagon with the LT1. it was a very nice ride. i would not guess this would skyrocket so hard in the final minutes of the auction.

  6. Scot- You know I was raised on Buicks and these are basically just a passenger car version of a huge SUV, but man they've got a cult following because most that are left are super high mileage. When low mileage ones hit, they're $12K+ and its always in the last minutes. I'm still trying to reconcile myself to a 1972 280 4.5 Benz only attracting half the viewers and approximately 1/3rd the price!!

    1. ~ lost count of all the Buicks i've owned. but my '71 GS350 ragtop was the prettiest. their wagons are the coolest.
      my buddy, Greg, teased me endlessly about being queer for Buicks. told him i wear it like a badge.

  7. Rode in one of these when it was new-ish and was surprised how creaky and shoddy it felt. The running gear is solid but these are cheesy awful cars, just look at the instrument panel and the mismatched gross squirmy brown vinyl third seat that GM gave you with your premium leather seating. The price this sold for is amazing to me, and I like big American cars, especially Pre-74 General Motors. But not these pigs.

    1. I grew up with Buicks in our family and took my driver's license test in a '71 Estate Wagon (Clamshell) with a 455, I know what you mean about the differences, but with so few vehicles of that type available, these 'substitutes' have developed a loyal following. As stated Low mileage is a huge lever on price with these. Try finding a clamshell wagon that hasn't become a demo-derby car.


Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.
VI. To embed images: use [image src="" width="400px"/]. Limit images to no wider than 400 pixels in width. No more than one image per comment please.