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Ending Soon: No Reserve Buick Roadmaster

This honest-but-used Buick Roadmaster wagon packs the General’s desirable LT1 engine, a 5.7L V8 that did duty in police cars and passenger sedans as well as wagons like this one. The auction here on eBay is ending soon – 10 p.m. tonight – so catch up quickly if you wish to join the legions of low bidders trying to bring this sleeper wagon home. 

Sleeper may not be the right word for the Roadmaster, as the LT1 was used widely throughout GM’s lineup at the time. More unusual is the thought of a modern-day automaker shoving a muscular V8 into a wood-paneled family wagon, complete with the third-row jump seat. The seller says the LT1 runs smoothly but without any indication as to prior maintenance history.

That’s not the end of the world considering the LT1 has a decent track record for reliability. From what I’ve seen, ignition and running issues are the biggest concerns, due to spark plugs or a sticking EGR valve. Other issues can stem from a malfunctioning Optispark, all of which are straightforward fixes. The interior presents nicely, with some wear noted on the driver’s side of the reclining bench.

There are some cosmetic blemishes, most of which amount to dents, dings and belt-line trim that’s been busted off. Although it doesn’t have the desirable panoramic roof and the rear-facing seat is missing the bench portion, this Roadmaster is currently only bid to $1,575. It could be worth a look if you’re in need of a cheap summer cruiser with LT1 power on board.

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Comments

  1. Matt G

    I am on my second one of these and love em- both were previously owned by funeral homes, as they were a popular choice in that line of business. By today’s standards they are not particularly quick, especially with the 2.56 rear gears that came standard. There is some decent aftermarket performance stuff available as they share most mechanical parts with the Impala SS of the era. the “white woody” was the most common configuration for these cars, and for a while there were a lot of low mile rust free ones coming from Florida, for obvious reasons. All the interior plastic is junk but they are fairly reliable in my experience, although they do love to rust if given the chance.

    The 95 is by many considered to be the most desirable year among the LT1 years- there were some minor improvements over the 94, and in 96 it went over to obdii.

    10+
  2. Al

    I think it looks like a bloated AMC Pacer.

    4+
  3. Dave Wright

    I owned 2 of these…….the best American cars I ever owned.

    8+
  4. Trickie Dickie

    s o l d $1725.00

    2+
    • John T

      According to Edmunds, the Curb Weight of this Dinosaur was 4572 pounds so this went for less than 38 cents a pound … Such a Deal!

      3+
  5. ccrvtt

    For those like Matt G who get these cars they are extremely desirable. This was my mother’s last car which she drove into her 90’s. They have become difficult to find but occasionally one will show up with relatively low miles. They get snapped up almost immediately, usually for less than $4k – a steal for those who know. They will rust and the LT1 sometimes needs attention but the fixes are fairly straightforward. $1,725 is a bargain.

    3+
  6. Andre

    Had a pre-LT1 (1992, I believe) Caprice wagon. Total dog but could tow and was very comfortable.

    Does anyone know why the windshield on the Roadmasters always seemed to have a purple tone windshield? If memory serves some of the same era GM wedge vans were like that too…

    0
    • Matt G

      I believe the purple comes from a special solar absorbing layer they put in there- designed to block the sun’s harmful rays but not impede vision from inside.

      1+
      • Jeffro

        The purple tint could also prohibit your radar/laser detector from working as it should. Ask me how I know!

        4+
      • Matt G

        EZ Pass doesn’t work too well through it either…

        1+
  7. L. Correll

    I own 2 wagons and a sedan. Best. Cars. Ever. No gas mileage to speak of, but absolutely dependable, and parts are cheap on Amazon. The idiotic cash for clunkers really hurt the parts market, but there’s still some out there, plus there’s very little that is Buick specific.

    1+
  8. Howard A Member

    I am relatively uninterested in these cars, so I couldn’t even tell you what year it was,( Jeff doesn’t say, but it was a ’94) but I think these were some of the last “big” wagons you could get. I read, ’96 was the last year for these. Probably the best road car for a family you could get in the 90’s, but times they were a’ changin’, and big SUV’s spelled doom for the big wagons. It would also be the end of the mighty “Roadmaster” name.( we called them “RoadMASHERs) They didn’t call it Roadmaster for nothing. Very nice car, regardless.

    3+
  9. Mark Lebrun

    I’m on my 2nd roadmaster sold my first one with 330 thousand on it and never cracked the motor open just put like 3 or 4 optisparks in it was a great car and if my new one goes I will definitely buy another cheap and quick enough it certainly surprises the dumb punk kids with their stupid fart can Honda’s when they try to get in front of me of a light also with studded tires it a beast in the snow

    3+
  10. Nova Scotian

    That mammoth engine is there to move this beast around. Otherwise, it’s a slug 🐌 on the road, rather than a yacht 🛳 On dry land. Good luck with fuel consumption…though there are worse. Nice highway cruiser!

    0
    • Dave Wright

      Both mine were 96’s and got the same fuel economy as my Mercedes 300D, 26 mpg. They liked 90 MPH and were quite spry with the overdrive transmission. I wouldn’t call a 5.7 a mamouth engine……..

      2+
  11. Larry

    Say what ya want but I’m proud to say I own a 94. If I can’t post a pic it’s a twin to this but I put a set of smoothies on it. It runs like a raped ape. Don’t know how fast a raped ape will run but the Buick takes out those pesti little wannabe street racer’s. And as Al said a blotted AMC Pacer I’m not seeing it. I see a great big ol one that got away catfish. And in Texas that’s not a bad thing. I truly enjoy my car has everything this 60 year old needs. I love to see there faces when I give a nice smoking burn out. Guess I won’t when I get a ticket for it. Sorry my phone was stolen day before Easter and have no pics of my wagon but this is a neat car. Met this guy outside a store in Merkel TX. Hope he doesn’t mind me showing the pic.

    2+
  12. John

    A friend has a 95 with 40,000 KM or 25,000 miles stashed in her garage, she occasionally starts it but does not drive it. Tried convincing her to sell it to someone who would appreciate it but she will not sell, really to bad perhaps it will come up as a barn find at an estate sale in about 40 or 50 years.

    1+
  13. rando

    There used to be a seller on e bay that dealt exclusively in these and the car variants. I’d LOVE to have one.

    0
    • BMW4RunninTundra Member

      I’ve got a 91 Chevy Caprice Classic Wagon, 5.0, rear facing rear seat, A/C (works) seats that feel like my recliner, air ride suspension, 80/85k on it!!! Two tone, blue over silver, no rust. We call her the “Blue Goose”!!!!!!!!!! Feels like you are floating on a cloud when driving down the road. We use it for a beater car up in the mountains. (unfortunately I don’t have any pics, never would have thought to)

      1+
  14. Matt G

    The more rare versions of these Buick’s are the ones with the “wood delete” option, which came special order only. The Caprice wagon was essentially the same car (but without the moonroof over the back seat and an overall plainer interior), and the rarest of those were the “1A2” optioned ones, which was basically the police package on a wagon.

    1+
    • Dave Wright

      My second one was a nice maroon color with no wood grain. The first one was exactly like the one here. They share most mechanical components with a 1500 pickup.

      0
  15. Natman

    I’ve got a 92 right now and love it to death. From 94-96 these wagons had the LT1 engine, with 96 sporting OBD-ll, I believe. Prior to that, they had a TBI 5.7 that had quite a bit less horsepower, but still decent torque to get all that weight up and going. They were also a bit more reliable and cheaper to run, but had far less modding potential than an LT1. I agree about the plasticy interior, and sadly it doesn’t age well. The dash and door panals will creak on bumps, but the seats are incredibly plush and comfortable. What’s amazing about them is that you can legally seat 8 people in it, then simply drop down the back seats and you have basically a truck bed. The rear suspension is also air controlled, so it will self level under load or towing. The ride is superb too. You don’t really drive these things; you sail them.

    1+
  16. ObviousLunatic

    I have a 95, wood delete, 110k miles. Grandpa Gold with the tan leather interior. First PO ordered it in New Mexico with trans cooler and had it pinstriped with subtle orange and brown. Second owner took it to Oregon. Third owner was a Danish guy wanting something to haul his family of 8 on a long vacation along the coast to Los Angeles. I got it 4 years ago with 92k miles. Will be selling in the next month or so as it now has to sit outside with a car cover.

    0
  17. Bman

    I have a 93, paid $920 for it but it needed a radiator and some accessories repaired. The R12 air conditioning works great! I’m gathering parts to make it a true sleeper wagon. The small block in there leaves a bit to be desired but I love driving it even in stock form

    0
  18. Bob Gressard

    I own two. They are a 1994 and a 1996. At one time they were both parked next to each other at the Country Club. The 94 belonged to a doctors wife and the 96 was my aunt Bettys’. I bought the 94 at the local Chevy dealer who knew I wanted one when one came in on trade. The 96 was a present from my uncle when they retired to the west coast. If I drove them to the airport for their last time I could have the car. Fast nice ride and a presence on the road. You can load 4×8 sheets of drywall in the back or eight people for a Indians game road trip. The last great full frame station wagon ever. The last Roadmaster.

    0
  19. Tracy

    We have one. Our daily driver. ’94 220k miles, leaks a little oil, 20+mpg, I have no plans to get rid of it. Plenty of power for the size, power everything. Seats like a barcolounger so I can’t use cruise control without risking falling asleep. I would like to get another to modify into a post apocalyptic beast.

    1+
  20. funfunfer Member

    I picked up a ’93 in blue off of e-bay a couple of years ago. Now 374k miles,
    head appears to have never been off. 5.7 motor is strong. All new HD suspension from various specialty vendors. Stiff front springs, sway bars as thick as your wrist, and an alignment to set things right.
    Cruises at 85-90, no sway.
    5.7 just need newer vortec heads to fix power, then contemplate 6 speed to cruise.

    1+
    • John T

      A 6-Speed Stick in a great big old bad ass full size RWD V8 Buick station wagon … What a brilliant and workable concept! Would just LOVE to see that happen.

      2+
  21. JRATT1956

    I owned a 1994 Roadmaster sedan that I bought in 2001 for $4,000. It had 99,000 miles and always got 23 to 25 mpg on the highway. It was the best V8 car I have ever owned. It went to the junkyard in 2008 with 219,000 miles, because of bearing noise at start up.

    0
  22. ACZ

    One of the finest road cars there ever was. I’ve had a couple and wish I still had one.

    1+
  23. Big Mike

    I had a 95 Buick Roadmaster wagon for a few years, it was when my Family was getting bigger and we needed more room when traveling, I pulled a big pop-up with mine all over the states and never really had any problems with it. I bought it used from one of Dad customers, after Dad’s shop had done some repairs to it. I remember applying the “wood grain” on the drivers side, that was a trick, especially if you did not get it started correctly. I remember mine liked brakes pads for some reason, never did know why, but I had to put brakes on it about every 30,000 miles. Other than that it was a good running car, I put about 200K on it after I bought it with a little of 50K.

    0

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