Thursday, July 17, 2014

R is for Ridonkulous: 1993 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon

Baby Got Back. That's all I can think of whenever I see the last big Buick wagon, the final version built from 1992 to 1996 (and its Chevy Caprice cousin). Is it a coincidence that Sir Mix-a-Lot released his immortal hit the same year the GM dropped this big-booty bomb on the world? It would seem unlikely. If you want the automotive equivalent of the most evolved Brachiosaur, the final rear-drive GM wagon, look no further than the RM itself. Our own graphic design savant Kaibeezy has great stories to tell about his own, and there's room enough for the whole crew inside to listen up. Find this 1993 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon for sale in Addison, IL being offerd for $8995 by Midwest Auto Collection on their own website.

That isn't a distorted view in the photo below. This car is literally over 6.5 feet wide at the back...this editor could lie down with his head even with the left side, and not even reach the right taillight with my tippie-toes. And I'm not a small guy. And this Estate Wagon wasn't meant for some small-waisted European pansy - NO - this is for the Great American Family eating their Super-Sized Value Meals whilst yachting across suburbia at Mach 0.1.

That's right - park your fat ass in the king sized comfy sofa chairs and revel in the acres of everything-room in which you and your brood can wallow about. The dashboard looks like Lt. Cmdr. Worf's tactical command center from the Enterprise-D; the curving expanse of woodgrained smoothness arcing gracefully downward from either side of center must have been some kind of early '90s design staple for car nerds and space drama nerds alike. Comfort reigned supreme in the Roadmaster Estate Wagon, and if National Lampoon's Vacation had been filmed in 1993 instead of 1983, they would've used this as the basis for the Wagon Queen Family Truckster - no question.

Clark and crew had an anemic Ford V8 motorboating them across the country to Wally World, but the Roadmaster had the benefit of GM's 5.7L LT1. This was a Gen-II small block V8 engine that made enough power and torque for the job at hand, but was saddled with a simple MAP-based EFI system that batch-fired all 8 injectors at once. Simple, effective, massive, the Roadmaster itself.

I'm hooked and I can't stop that first picture...but hey, she has a face too! And a not-unattractive one at that. On her sides, the genuine simu-wood paneling evokes feelings of rich mahogany, and many leather-bound books. This Roadmaster's kind of a big deal.

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This post is part of Daily Turismo's 2nd Birthday Celebration -- DT's ABCs.
Previous: Q is for Quintessential: 2001 Audi A4 1.8T quattro...
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  1. I didn't like the re-styling of these last generation of full size GM wagons that wreaked, "fat cigar-smoking, fedora wearing, compass-on-the-dash old man," but they are sweet riding, comfortable, reliable RWD body-on-frame cars of a now lost generation.

  2. some of the best taillights ever - perfect intersection of lens, body panel, pillar and chrome - compare to the contorted mess on any recent-ish volvo or the random shapes on so many cars - you have to see one of these with the "wood" delete, especially in light blue metallic, to really appreciate the coherence and restraint in the overall design - future classic for sure, if i do say so myself

  3. Well, I'm not fat, don't smoke,no fedoras and no unruly brood, but I do have a '96 RMW wood delete in mahvalus Grampa Gold! With the LT1 motor and a heavy foot, I have surprised many a whippersnapper off the line. Not quite as quick as my buddies twin turbo AWD '91 Mercedes wagon (proof a fool and his money), but that big butt baby gets up and moves. And 26mpg at 70mph all day and night. Drops to an abysmal 16 in town, but life isn't all roses!

  4. I had a '92 Roadmaster for a few years. Adding Impala SS suspension and wheels transformed the handling but made the pre-LT1 motor feel that much more anemic. Even so it got 22MPG at 80 on my 1000 mile drives. Not bad for an early '90s car and the same EPA fuel economy as a '92 Merc 190e 2.6.
    But seeing the writing on the wall for fuel prices I dumped it in favor of a new 2006 Jetta TDI. Unlike the Buick I can make the 1000 mile trips without stopping for the night to give my back a rest and only stop once for fuel. I still look at the 1996s with envy though.


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