This 41K Mile 1983 Buick Electra Park Avenue is one of the Last Great Full-Frame Cars from GM

This 41K Mile 1983 Buick Electra Park Avenue is one of the Last Great Full-Frame Cars from GM

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00:00
good morning this is bill from Adi rope at Naples on a lovely Florida Friday morning there's not a bird on the wire it's free and clear they're not up there waiting to peck my eyes out there's no overhead airplanes the temperatures and the very low sixties you got a little bit of mist on the cars but you know given how nice it is I can't even cry about that I'm just very very chipper today I'm also chipper because I have the second of our to be body Buicks this is
00:31
a 1983 Buick Park Avenue which actually is not a very age-old name the Park Avenue Buick of course is but Park Avenue really only became its own model in 1990 it was an Electra option package for quite a while but even then it only appeared first in like 1977 so it really hasn't been around that long Buick of course is a different story that was founded by a guy named David Buick you know that seems pretty straight and
01:03
narrow he came over from Scotland with his family when he was two seemed to be a fairly nice guy but not very lucky guy at least not later in life but anyway in the beginning he got into the plumbing business he was pretty you know technical cat definitely knew his way around a set of wrenches and did quite well he made a lawn sprinkler he you know ended up making you know what I have to do this is very important and I've got to work on this I've come under
01:33
a mite of flack locally and and some of the comments for saying you know 12,000 times in a video so I am going to work on that I'm going to make every effort to cut that down I didn't cut or sorry I didn't count them asked video how many times I said it but if it wasn't a hundred and seven i I just don't believe it so that's something I have to work on I hate that stuff I got it from Little Richard he says it all the time and picking up his terrible habits hopefully I don't get into you know
02:04
Asian massages and whiskey and whatnot but Wow too late for the whiskey anyway yeah and let me carry on David Buick so he starts this plumbing business he ends up making a process to coat cast-iron bathtubs with porcelain which went very very well and in fact that process is still used today so they found some tremendous success with that him and his partner but then he became absolutely infatuated with the idea of an internal combustion engine and started spending all this time on that so his partner
02:36
became very unhappy you know why there I did it again damn it anyway his partner became very unhappy why are you working on this engine all the time yet you really have to get back to making plumbing stuff but anyway they disagreed Buick wouldn't stop working on the engine so they split ways in 1899 he formed the Buick vim and Power Company and essentially became one of the oldest if not the oldest now car maker in the
03:08
United States I think you know Studebaker was from the 1860s but they weren't making wagons they didn't make a car until after 1900 Buick did build a car earlier than most other existing companies today and did quite well in fact he made an overhead valve engine which nobody else did at the time it was a Boxster motor whose horizontally-opposed but it was overhead valve and that's really significant for this main reason the overhead valve engine is essentially the basis for
03:39
every modern engine used in every car so we can look to David Buick and thank him for that even even an overhead cam design is essentially an overhead valve engine and he was the first and that motor saw a great success Buick however did not find great success he spent all his time in the shop all his time and development didn't really bother building anything so he couldn't really sell anything so he didn't make money so he had to get a loan from a buddy to keep the company going it became the Buick Motor Company
04:11
in 1903 still didn't really have any great success other than in technological advancement finally the thing was bought out by William Durant the guy who started General Motors he had made his fortune in the carriage business and Durant bought Buick and turned it into the cornerstone of the General Motors lineup he bought out interested stuff so he gives Buick one share of the company worth I don't know what it was worth maybe a hundred grand or something which is like two lilian bucks he bought that share often then so
04:44
Buick goes his happy way without his company any more than two million dollars in his pocket he gets into some oil deals Florida real estate god help him ends up losing just about everything and dies in misery and bitterness in 1929 without a penny to his name watching his company become one of the most successful you know models in the old you know divisions and the GM lineup for years so many way poor Buick he did finally get
05:15
inducted into the automotive Hall of Fame in 1974 but you know he wasn't around to see it poor guy but anyway Durant takes Buick and makes it part of his new GM approach to having a giant conglomerate and instead of having all these car companies compete against each other what he does is make them sort of a tear so you've got Chevy you've got Oldsmobile you've got Buick you've got Cadillac and they form on lineup of success so you know entry
05:45
level people they start out with Chevy's they're driving those things around they start making a few more bucks they're young still so maybe they go into Pontiac because they want something sporty then they make a few more dollars they get a little bit more gray they buy an Oldsmobile they keep going they worked their way up to a Buick and then finally a cat and this was a very successful setup for General Motors for many many years of course that sort of long gone by the wayside just like Pontiac and Oldsmobile which
06:16
are of course vanished off the face of the earth kind of a shame but Buick remains and one of the reasons Buick remains is that it's a wildly successful international company in terms of branding they saw 80% of their cars currently in China right now Buicks 80% of them are running around China and that's not a new thing historically Buick sold a bunch of cars to China Sun yat-sen drove one and you know all the sort of the Chinese elite
06:48
from you know the 1920s onward there's a couple more you knows for the love of God it's gonna be hard to do that they also sold cars to New Zealand they actually had a plant over there they South Africa a few here and there Israel bought a bunch of Buick still does and they have become a pretty successful brand internationally in America they have always been a car for you know successful people who either can't
07:19
afford a Cadillac which is probably rare or just find Cadillacs too ostentatious so they needed something a little bit more conservative the Park Avenue became known as a doctor's car which I think fits the bill very nicely for what a Buick is you can't be too showy but you want all the luxury that you get in a in a fine product interestingly enough here's a design cue okay you have a couple of them you see these four little trim e things on the side this is an historic
07:49
Buick design philosophy called the venti port that was made by a guy named Ned Nichols first in 1949 who just cut holes in the side of his Buick ran some wires and amber lights to the distributor and when he would start the car the amber lights would flash in sequence with the motor like a fighter jet with a big powerful radial engine and that the head of Buick absolutely loved it so he insisted that all the ventiports be put of the 49 Buicks but then it became a little bit too expensive do so they became fake and
08:21
non-functional a lot of people call these portholes the Buick portholes but correctly they are the venti ports and even to this day Buick has kept those and uses them as a design cue it's supposed to be the number of venti port signifies how many cylinders the engine has except that wasn't true for many many years and finally it did recently become true so a six cylinder has three Veni ports and eight has four on each side and that's the way that's supposed to work but that is anyway the venti
08:52
port which you'll see in a bunch of Buicks they had something cook like a Dahmer grin grill in the beginning that was sort of a classic Buick grill that Werft into what they call the waterfall grill which this car has a lot of Buicks in the 80s did including that Grand National and it's very attractive-looking grill design my god do I like this car I do I haven't seen a Buick Park Avenue an 80s Buick Park Avenue in 20 years you know we got very
09:22
lucky take it in that wagon recently and look at that thing what an absolute beauty but I had bought this car first I found this at a collector car auction up in Sarasota all these Mustangs and Camaros and Corvettes around me and I make a beeline for this big ridiculous Buick because I just simply can't help myself GM b-body full frame incredible overhangs and the front and back v8 it is awesome I mean it's absolutely and I know I'll get flack for that I don't
09:54
care I mean it's the antithesis of a performance car that is the last thing that this car is about and I don't care it goes down the highway like the qe2 it's smooth it's got a v8 that gurgles under the hood it's got get it just absolutely ridiculous steering that you can move with your pinky a tiny little steering wheel this one is finished in the color it's a it's basically beige but we used to call that Naples yellow because all the caddies and Buicks that drove around were essentially this color
10:25
but I love these things for a variety of reason that the judicious and plenty use of Chrome on the bumpers the trim on the bottom this has those Riviera Buicks sport wheels that I absolutely love the four headlamps up front I left the bug guard on I couldn't help myself it absolutely harsh it's to the 1980s and I think it belongs there I'm gonna leave it you buy this thing you can take it off but I think that's great the chrome around the windshield these
10:55
ridiculous sort of 80s aftermarket window rain guards that you could put on at more Chrome it's got opera lights that's a Park Avenue very very cool this does have a vinyl roof and fantastic condition all around you just don't see them like this thing anymore I mean this is a garage kept forty one thousand mile eighty-three Park Avenue it's as rare as a politician keeping this promise it's just not something you're gonna find oh lordy anyway let's get into this thing
11:28
so we're gonna start inside the trunk it uses this classic two key GM design one oval one square so you know which one is which why bother using one key for both and here you have this enormous trunk I absolutely enormous I mean that's a full size spare tire and it's dwarfed inside the room that this thing has and again that's why a lot of people love dumb old guys they know what's going on you know they can go to Home Depot and put them out of crap in here bags of cement you know whatever you need you
11:59
can put in this thing it's fantastic in here this sort of cheap GM gray you know I'll do deserve a you knows oh my god I got to work on that anyway that cheap sort of heavy duty carpet which works great you've still got all the jack instructions and it Jack's stowage stuff on the bottom of the trunk very very cool rare that it doesn't have a trunk sucked down but I guess that's the difference between Buick and Cadillac [Music] nice seven look under the hood
12:31
I'm Tony it is so hard for me to part with the scarf I so hard for me if I didn't have a mine on a 96 Buick Roadmaster wagon I wouldn't even be thinking about it I ought to get under here if I can do it one-handed it's not easy to do one-handed this is a big heavy hood okay this was the engine that Buicks were using at the time it's a 307 oldsmobile you can tell that by this oil filler neck here in the front the Chevy's didn't have that and it's a
13:02
very very good engine I mean obviously the horsepower ratings gonna be crap because the time eighty-three rolled around it was all mad missions but it has doodles of smooth torque and that is still enough to keep this thing motivated down the road in a very lovely way just looking under here any kind of car guy is gonna see how this thing was maintained you see somebody added a coolant flush system there very nice it's got a very fresh looking AC compressor somebody put some love into there and you can also see it's never
13:32
owned at 7:19 battery god was I happy to see that but you can see under the hood that this thing's been looked after cared for and is very proper also didn't spend any time even if it was up north they definitely didn't drive this in the salty roads because it's perfect I was expecting to see a massive rust under here you have to be careful with Florida cars because a lot of them start up north and come down here and you know you think you're getting something that's perfect from underneath and instead it looks like it came up from
14:03
the wreck of the Titanic the hood sponge the fiberglass underneath still intact still original nice to see and everything just lovely under there I was very surprised to see that this used hood struts in 1983 I don't remember that that's something I would have thought they were still using Springs but I guess modern GM was making its way into these cars by the time this one came out anyway everything lovely under there proper good ol reliables and BL engine and
14:32
to see the condition of that vinyl top it's just awesome okay here in the back yeah I mean if that is not a Belgian Bravo I don't know what is I mean these pleaded the lure seats spongy cushiony I mean you could sit back there and giggle yourself senseless it's so comfortable you're Canadians are gonna be thrilled the only downside is if you're wearing the wrong kind of shorts or pants it
15:04
kind of sticks to this thing like velcro so sliding around isn't something you're gonna do you know if the car cornered well that might be a good thing but it doesn't so it really doesn't matter you've got this ridiculous sort of big more armrest here that you can put down hilariously you know typical 1980s and I kept this as well it's not original the center brake light when 86 rolled around in all cars had a get a center brake light this became the hot cheap advanced
15:34
auto part accessory of the year everybody raced out to make their 85 and older cars look like 86 is by installing that brake light just absolutely nutty thing I did it myself on my parents 84 Saab it was you know a joy then but I find it ridiculous now up top I don't know if I can get up there or it lights up but it's hard to see right here those are that fiber optic system that tell you if the brake lights are working
16:04
I love these grab handles they could be very useful in sexual trysts which you could still do in an 83 Buick like this the door pan on my Kart wagon over there is you know again Donald Trump's guest bathroom I even like that salty I don't know if that's a rate no it's not because that's the speaker there so this is just a gratuitous bit of faulty cushion on the side of the car maybe made to make your your elbow more comfortable when it's there you got these big giant marker
16:36
lights you've got a real ashtray with a lighter your power windows switch you know the fact that all that you know again for the mother god anyway the fact that a home of this is stole together and looks the way it does is something akin to a miracle if you look at a junker from this year go to a junkyard where most of these cars are I mean all of this is gone this is all cracked exploded popping off falling the carpets white from fade this little cover is long gone
17:08
the weather strip looks nasty instead of soft supple and lovely it's incredible how well-preserved this example is and that's why I find it so miserable to give up I just I don't want to do it promotes with the Park Avenue stuff all right up front same story French whorehouse you know if this was red velvet or god help us would it be ridiculous thank God the brown is a little bit conservative but you can see again you dose of fake wood trim
17:39
everywhere lovely little pull handles you got a little bit of wear on the top of that what he called the wood paneling there were an elbow would go nice patina kind of adds to the car in my opinion you've got your row of big chrome ridiculous power controls of course again this Park Avenue is very much a luxury model meant to give you very close to Cadillac style without the price tag or without the ostentatious quality you got your power seats which were good they tilt they do everything
18:10
they're supposed to you got your left and right power mirrors very very cool of course your windows these classic GM switches that I love there the switches of my youth and everything looking great there you've also got power heated mirrors which are neat you know when the mist is on they can hit a button and they'll defrost maybe they just say power in there maybe they're not heated yeah they're just power control and used to seeing when somebody's writing stuff on the mirrors I think they're heated at a minimum but of course this is 1983 and this
18:41
incredibly little cool analog temperature gauge which is 465 and it's reading correctly so very very neat stuff and of course your body by Fisher logo down here company that built bodies for GM's it's happened fired up okay that big old speed not that big but you know still classic fires right up gives you a
19:13
very healthy Rumble I feel like the exhaust might be a little tired the baffles in the muffler or something which is just fantastic because it has the greatest guy wouldn't change a thing it's got the muddiest Rumble to it nice v8 growl very simple instrument cluster surrounded by expanses of ridiculous wood paneling you've got your 85 mile an hour speed Oh with the 55 highlighted because that was of course the law at the time you've got your traditional GM pull handle light
19:45
control you've got your automatic overdrive PR and DL indicator this does have a four-speed automatic in it which is great you got your a giant gauge over there just for fuel you know this was obviously part of like a GM option package you could have different gauges may be in sporty or cars that use the same cluster and they would make it you know I have two or three in that space but when you had a Park Avenue you didn't need to know your tack or your oil pressure anything so it just became
20:16
a giant fuel gauge this is a fantastic tilt wheel you can go way way down though it's hitting your knees or way way up till you feel like a bus driver this beautiful tiny skinny thin steering wheel that you can steer with your pinky the wood inlay in there that's a long gone and most of these cars you know unless you find a real garage Queen like this one you're not gonna see it you've got horn works good got your cruise control and wipers it's just fantastic
20:48
up on top of the dash in better shape than most these things can get all warped and nasty over the years from Sun very standard traditional rearview mirror with no fanciness to it you got a couple of what do you guys this emit up let's see if it works I have found something that I can get the lights to come on and then maybe if you turn your lights on come over here now all right there you go no light and the vanity moves of your
21:20
girl's powdering her nose it's not gonna be that easy for at night here is a love to see this factory radio with except tech still works you got old people jazz on right now which is great adult goujian electronic you can see the power antenna is still working look at that god that's another thing i miss i pop-up headlights or power antennas tuning and volume nice
21:49
you've got this classic at GM air conditioning control it was identical at my 79 Firebird and of course a row of idiot lights there you also get a very luxury feature there the rear defrost here you can see it I kept the original 83 Buick of God I'll never be able to reach that action switch hands and there you got a Chilton manual and the original Electra Park Avenue owners manual so there it is oh my god I love
22:23
it look at the width of the hood up there and the of course those little fiber-optic light indicators are just fantastic never neutral there we go there's Drive and the bug guard the bug guard thing of beauty yeah I know look I'm sure you guys would rather him doing a 997 Turbo or something and I'll get to that but let me relive my youth for the mother God have a bit of fun the sound there's just
22:56
nothing like this generation of American car it's gone we've must something it's gone away this was the most incredible highway Cruiser Boulevard cruiser the zero effort to drive zero fuel from anything you're just detached from it all you've got v8 under the hood it'd be nice if it still at the 455 from the 70s but yet you know emissions came along whatever long gone but it's good enough and you don't really need to hotrod this
23:27
thing anyway it's just a fantastic driver at freezing air coming from the power brakes and the car just nosedives absolutely nosedives [Music] even with good shocks isn't that v8 not something I get smooth shifting lovely you're just lying back in this big comfortable fan lure a lazy boy unit aching and everything around you it's
23:59
absolutely a fantastic way to go down the road if you're not in a hurry and you know like a cruise ship you just sort of point it in the direction that you want to go hit the gas and navigate and instead of driving and steering you just aim for a point down the road like you would with a boat and hear that grumble coming from the v8 I'm not gonna bother hammering it there's absolutely no point there really isn't that's not at all the point of this thing this is
24:31
transport sort of elegant lovely white-haired people to the country-club an incredible comfort without you know running into any irritating issues like performance or driving feel they're just gonna get their be happy have their chicken Florentine and come home I won't torch you at the big test drive around everywhere this is a 1983 Buick Park Avenue GM b-body made by one of the oldest manufacturers I think still the
25:03
oldest currently producing manufacturer in the United States and an incredible cornerstone of GM for more than a century and the biggest seller in China in terms of American cars eighty percent again that just amazes me automotive Chinese guys running around in Buicks over there it's incredible this one is gonna be for salmon are not much to my chagrin if you have an interest you can see it at WWWE neighbors calm and don't
25:34
ya Marty's gonna sell it he's not gonna tell me about it I'm gonna hide it in the back when it's delivered I don't want to know because it has been years since I've seen anything like this and I think it'll be years since I do again if that Roadmaster wagon doesn't pan out I'm gonna be miserable thank you very much for having and look really appreciate it hope I was able to cut down on the you knows a little bit today I'll keep working on that and we'll see you very soon with the next one take care you

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