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19k Mile Cream Puff! 1985 Buick LeSabre Limited

The fifth generation Buick LeSabre spanned model years 1977 to 1985, nearly the entire malaise era, a low point during which American auto makers struggled, sacrificing horsepower and smooth operation to meet emissions requirements and market demands for higher fuel economy. In context, this LeSabre Limited Collectors Edition in Rancho Mirage, California represents one of the best luxury sedans tempered in that bleak automotive crucible. The plush Limited shows a mere 18,732 miles on the dash. Unlike many Barnfinds feature cars, you’ll find few cynics suggesting a carefully curated 100,000 miles slipped through the sands of time on this specimen. Before you dismiss this final year fifth-gen LeSabre, check out the gorgeous pictures here on eBay, where at least 13 bidders have set the market value at $11,000, five days before the auction bell. Thanks to reader Larry D. for spotting this blinding white Buick.

Perfectly preserved and luxurious, the top-line Limited Collectors Edition celebrated the end of an era with rich-looking simulated wood across the dash and other special touches. LeSabre for ’86 rolled on a significantly down-sized FWD platform. I owned a ’78 LeSabre Custom of this body style in the early ’90s, harboring a smoldering ember of jealousy for drivers of the decked-out Limited. Those loose pillow velour seats beg long, relaxed journeys, perfect for an east cost snowbird. Suddenly it’s easy to picture this chariot rounding out the collection of a Buick lover who wouldn’t have given this LeSabre a second look before this swimsuit model hit the Internet. Thanks to Wikipedia for some details.

Trust me when I say you can put a six foot Christmas tree in the trunk of this LeSabre, only slightly flexing the trunk, and close the lid. My ’78 was purchased new by my buddy Kevin’s parents during high school, and once we decided to see how many skinny punks could fit in the trunk. The answer was three. Four might have been possible if a looming fear of body parts in awkward juxtaposition hadn’t curtailed the experiment.

The 307 cid (5.0L) V8 gained roller rockers for ’85, making, well, 140 HP and 240 lb-ft of torque, but how about that squeaky clean engine compartment? My ’78 had a three speed slush box with a 1:1 top gear, but by 1985 LeSabres like this one gained an automatic overdrive transmission – fancy! Seriously, folks, no one is buying a 19,000 miles LeSabre Limited to smoke the tires every time a light turns green. The mid-’80s were different times, and when it comes to getting the family from place to place in quiet comfort, this Buick hits the mark. Does this 19k cream-puff have you thinking mid-’80s cars weren’t all bad?


  1. Todd Fitch Staff

    My ’78 LeSabre Custom, the “Blue Goose” in 1989. A friend scored these truck tires from a guy who got new tires every Fall whether he needed them or not. They made the car even slower but I could get 17 MPG on a good day. I paid $250 for it, drove it six years, and sold it for… $250. I drove it mostly in the winter to spare my ’89 Mustang LX 5.0 from the salt. Good times.

    Like 26
    • Boatman Member

      “Here come the cops!”

      Like 2
  2. Jake Thesnake

    Again with the red bordello velvet interior. Did everybody in the malaise era hang out at the Mustang ranch??

    Like 16
    • jwzg

      Post of the day.

      Like 9
    • Sam61

      I”ll para phrase one of Kojaks best lines…that interior has seen more “action” than a brass 4 post bed!

      Like 13
  3. Bob C.

    These weren’t bad cars at all. Not quick by all means, but they rode nice and were comfortable road cars for the time.

    Like 23
  4. Jonathan A. Green

    While I prefer the Oldsmobile 88, I’ll go out on a limb and say that the B body cars of this era were amongst the best cars GM made in terms of quality and comfort, and equal to anything available at the time. Discuss.

    Like 27
  5. Todd J. Member

    Nice car. As a GM “luxury” car, I’d rather have this than one of the FWD Cadillacs of 1985. Leather interior would have taken this up a notch.

    Like 7
  6. msheiner Maxwell

    It looks so much like a Chevrolet Caprice am I wrong?

    Like 6
    • Bob S

      No, Maxwell, you’re not, from 79-85, these were all pretty much cookie cutter cars, but have owning 3 of them, they were very nice cookie cutters.

      Like 7
  7. Robert Reed

    Thanks for writing this up! I’m the owner/seller of this car. Funny you mentioned 78 LeSabre Custom. I have one of those as well.

    Like 15
    • David Zornig

      Do you have the Collectors Edition Leatherette Booklet with the Commemorative key blanks, fob & LeSabres of the past prints?
      Every Limited came with one.
      Would be a nice addition to your eBay ad.
      Didn’t see it when I scrolled through your pics.
      I ordered hundreds of these for our dealership.
      Fanning Cadillac-Buick in Chicago.
      Best of luck in your sale!

      Like 8
      • Robert Reed

        I have all of that except the LeSabres of the past prints.. I should have mentioned that in my auction.

        Like 9
    • Todd Fitch Staff

      Hi Robert Reed – always a pleasure to have the seller chime in. Beautiful car. Good luck!

      Like 13
  8. Boatman Member

    “Slightly flexing the trunk”?!

    Like 1
    • Todd Fitch Staff

      Hey Boatman – Yeah; I could have explained that better since both the tree and the car have a trunk. I jammed the top of the tree up into the left corner of the car’s trunk and it flexed a little until I got the base of the (tree) trunk into the car trunk and closed the lid. Bazinga!

      Like 6
  9. Steve Widlund Member

    Had a 85 Park Avenue.
    What a boat, with the dual tone horns, people got out of the way!
    Horrible MPG, but I loved it.

    Like 7
  10. Grog

    All I can think of is “Honey, let’s go out tonight for dinner across the country! ”
    Exquisite Buick!

    Like 9
  11. S

    I have always really liked these cars. Super luxurious, comfortable, and tastefully done. It’s CAFE that killed cars like this, unfortunately.

    Like 7
  12. Larry D

    I always seek out offerings from this seller because he has such superb examples of higher-end GM luxury cars from the ’80s mostly. They’re always low mileage, original paint and totally original.

    They are the templates for cars of that era.

    Like 7
  13. Steve Clinton

    Whenever I hear a car’s description being a ‘creampuff’, I think of a salesman wearing a plaid polyester leisure suit, smoking a big stogie.

    Like 3
  14. Claudio

    Whenever i see this old man in the mirror , i realize that i have aged but i haven’t grown up , i stll drive like i stole it and driving this boat would drive me to an early grave …

    Like 3
  15. trav66

    Well, if I had $25-30k to plop down on a new (or used) car, I would throw my hat in the ring for this instead! This thing will last another 10 years easily with no headaches. Nice Buick!

    Like 7
  16. Matt in Flint

    That plush red interior 😍

    Like 4
  17. Roseland Pete

    I’d rather have one of these than what they’re selling nowadays.

    Like 9
  18. Bamapoppy

    My Mom & Dad were dedicated GM owners, moving from a ‘62 Impala to a ‘66 to a ‘72 Electra 225 to a ‘79 Cadillac to an ‘85 Cad. I could see Mom driving this and Dad would have kept it just as clean as this one. What a beauty!

    Like 4
  19. Cristiana

    The auto industry has since pretty much forsaken the rear-seat occupants, as far as space is concerned – but look at all the roomy luxury in the back of this LeSabre! Someone looking to buy a new car with truly comfortable accommodations for 4 adults, at a sane price, should seriously consider this pristine beauty!

    Like 5
  20. Rick

    Don’t let Sammy Hagar see that speedometer. ;)

    Like 1
  21. Utes

    Had my OWN police package ’80 LeSabre. Finest-handling, most nimble feeling vehicle I’ve owned in my almost 75 years! 2nd-to-last year for Buick police vehicles. Quality & prestige all the way!

    Like 2
  22. Jimmy Boy

    I had a gray one with the leather interior. Car wasn’t fast, but it wasn’t meant to be. It was perfect for what it was meant for: cruising. Felt like you were floating down the road. Great car!

  23. Utes

    My personal ’80 BT1 Lawman (Buick’s name for the package) was certified @ 112. I couldn’t coax any more than 107no matter how far or long I tried! Damn disappointing!

    Like 1
  24. Stan

    Apparantly There was no factory police car for Buick lesabre in 1980 utes
    How did you manage can you post pics or window sticker. Love to see it.

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