Sunday, July 26, 2015

Little Red Wagon: 1965 Buick Sport Wagon

The midsized Buick Sport Wagon was the sister car to Oldsmobile's Vista Cruiser and offered the same wacky raised roof/skylight over the cargo area.  It offers a great combination of vintage style and usability that is difficult to beat.  Haul a load of firewood on the weekend, haul some ashes at the drag strip, or head down to your local car show -- your choice.  But first, you gotta buy this 1965 Buick Sport Wagon found here on eBay bidding for $8,700 reserve-not-met with $15,500 buy-it-now, with 1 day to go, located in Waymart, PA.

The Buick Sportwagon and Olds Vista Cruiser were definitely the higher end offerings in the mid-sized wagon segment at the time and were usually adorned with far more electronic gadgets than the Chevy Malibu and Pontiac Tempest wagons.  While the Buick was the more heavily optioned, higher performing car in 1965, the Chevy versions far outsold it new and has a greater following in the used market -- so the Buick is a bit of a sleeper if you ask this classic car market prognosticator. 

Under the hood is a 300 cubic inch Buick V8, which is a cast-iron block and aluminum head equipped piece of vintage metal that puts out 210 horsepower (and 355 ft-lbs of torque as proudly proclaimed on the air cleaner) when equipped with the Rochester 2-bbl carburetor.  (An optional version featured 11;1 compression and a 4-bbl carb for 250 horsepower.)

This Sport Wagon features a red interior to match the red paint on the outside.  Of course it is equipped with all sorts of power options, but you'll need to add AC if you live in a warm weather climate.

See a cooler classic wagon?


  1. Do people really pay $15k for this kind of stuff? That's decent e39 M5 money. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love wagons, but if I'm going to get 10 mpg, i want more hp or something. Maybe I'm just not old enough to understand the allure yet....

  2. No, young padawan. The allure of the Longroof is fickle and fleeting in an enthusiast's earlier years, sated by exotic pseudo sleepers in DTM garb and one-off concepts built at the behest of corporate chairmen, stuffed to the gills with supercar equipment and unobtanium credentials.

    For this elder geek, my pocket money came from hawking my pop's collection of ancient R&T mags to 12y/o classmates, with top dollar (actually $1 each) earned from issues adorned with Italianate cover cars or depictions of American iron where everything posterior to the door handles was obscured by billowing tire smoke. Such was the single minded fixation of neonatal enthusiasm, as it should be. Fast forward 30 years and the machinations of 21st century adulthood have cooled my lascivious leanings toward those evermore unreachable products but in their place has grown the lustful desire for that uber cool example of those in the know: the Daily Turismo. And the featured example herein fits that ineffable descriptor nearly perfectly inasmuch as it embodies some combination of power, performance, exclusivity (of a sort) and accessibility. This vague calculus is why my Volvo 1800es gets the front spot at Sailfish on Singer Island while the Gallardo gets backed into a perpendicular spot by the valet. It's also why this Buick's next owner will likely enjoy the same treatment.

    We are in the halcyon days of cheap performance, where 3.8 second 0-60 warrants a yawn for anyone who follows the spec sheets. I forget who wrote it recently, but the Veyron (and, to a lesser extent, the Enzo, GT-R, 458, etc) have given much of us older car nuts a case of Number Numbness, where nothing short of instantaneous transport impresses. So, I have recall rates my own personal "damn, that's cool" barometer, turning the importance of the absolute performance-o-gram down from 11 to about...oh...7 or so, and simultaneously turning up the sleeper/unusual/well-executed/rarely seen amalgam to 9.5, 9.6.

    But that's just me.

    1. The Volvo sounds much more interesting than this thing. But I was born in the early 80's so all the old american metal wasnt quite vintage yet and all the not-quite-new stuff was malaise era (*barf*)

  3. Replies
    1. Full agreement. Blistering performance that sounds great on paper is rarely accessable on too often congested public roads without endangering yourself, your passengers, your fellow motorists, and the scenery.
      Better to have a good-performing, cool car that can be enjoyed in all circumstances, than an overdog whose performance will be soon eclipsed by the next big thing.

  4. Is that a dual circuit brake system I see ?
    I don't know if power disks were available on 1965 Buicks but I have never seen a dual circuit setup an a 1955 American car.

    Funny how there is no mention of that in the ad. I've had wheels fall off at speed 5 times, once on a motorcycle, and once taking everything past the front cv joint with it. I have had the tie rod fall off of a pickup on a expressway in the Bronx, I've had cars catch fire for no reason other than undercoating will burn, and brakes fail just because they can.

    I would switch this to dual circuit brakes if someone else hadn't. I'm surprised the seller doesn't mention it.

  5. Calling Hunsbloger..........Vere ist du?

    Personally I think this is very expensive but for personal reasons goi back to my practical(read cheap) father, our '65 Buick wagon was the stripper stripper Black over tan. The very definition of stripper. But I learned to drive in it so what the hey. Its a wagon so for me I would ditch the exhaust tips...

    1. Agree on ditching the exhaust tips. I would further re-route the exhaust exit to be behind the rear wheels pointing away from the body to reduce C02 getting sucked into the back window.

    2. Hunsblogers' are on vacation in one of their longroofs! Just saw this. Looks decent, but agree, someone installed a dual-circuit brake booster to upgrade it. I'd like to do the same with mine as I've experienced brake loss in two cars with single master cylinders and it does provide lots of exitement! These are definitely not for everyone, but if you're into a retro Americana road trip experience, they're tough to beat. They do draw lots of attention at car shows, mainly by parents who try to explain to their kids what it was like riding in a wagon, without seatbelts in the back. Also agree that those exhaust tips are just asking for fumes into the car... really need one of those deflectors if the car is being driven with the tailgate window down.

  6. Waymart, PA...that's in the middle of nowhere and conveniently located near the Canaan Penitentiary. It's a tiny town, over an hour away from lovely Scranton, PA (the "Office"!) where they say hawdawgs instead of hot dogs and wooder instead of water. Every person I've ever met from that neck of the woods has an unhealthy fascination with Jon Bon Jovi.

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