76K Mile Luxury Wagon: 1987 Buick Electra Estate Wagon

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Once again, the Hot Rod Power Tour is close at hand.  If you are like me, you always promise that you will attend only to perennially let lack of proper planning and the financially destructive tag team of food and electricity foil your plans.  However, if you have the means, or you can talk seven of your friends into combining your fiscal forces to attend one of the most amazing road trips of the year, then our great friend Rocco B. has located a ride for you and your pals.  This 1987 Buick Electra Estate Wagon for sale on Craigslist in Richmond, Virginia could be just the ticket for such a road trip.  With seating for eight including the driver, a V-8 engine, a luxurious and quite spacious interior, and just 76,000 miles, this wood-grained luxury wagon is just waiting for someone to show up with $6,700 to drive it south to the first stop in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  Is this the perfect plan for fun and hijinks or what?

For those who are not in the know, the 30th annual Hot Rod Power Tour is a driving tour organized by Hot Rod Magazine.  You can take your hot rod, old car, camper, truck, or oddball vehicle and drive it to different cities with thousands of your closest friends.  While I have never participated, I have seen the tour when it stopped in nearby cities.  When it passed by our little town a few years ago, I was able to park myself in a lawn chair with a cooler at my side and watched the vehicles go by.  Among the highlights I have seen are a Chrysler Slant Six powered T-bucket with no weather protection that has completed numerous Power Tour Long Hauls (this is when every stop was made on the tour), a Shelby Cobra replica with two very large fellows sticking out of the car above the windshield like circus bears, and numerous cars that looked like they were either pulled out of the Grand National Roadster Show or from someone’s uncle’s back yard.  Everyone who I have spoken to says that it is a fantastic way to spend a week and the burnout parties in the hotel parking lots are stuff of legends.

This year the tour starts on June 10 in Bowling Green, Kentucky, winds its way through Tennessee, Kentucky again, Ohio, and stops in Indianapolis, Indiana on June 14.  The website mentions 6,000 cars at the stops, but that number is hard to estimate.  Sometimes folks who have not registered join the tour for the day.  This incredible amount of extra traffic can sometimes lead to huge traffic jams and disappointed tourers if the venue the tour stops at for the day cannot handle the massive influx of cars and spectators.  You could argue that the Power Tour is a victim of its own success.  However, great efforts are made to select suitably sized venues for event stops each day and those who have a good attitude will leave with lifelong memories.

So, let’s say I have convinced you to attend the tour and you only have roughly a week to find a Power Tour-approved vehicle.  While many people do the tour in late-model cars, that is not really in the spirit of the event unless your intended ride breaks down or you have no other way to attend.  Mainly you see American cars with V-8 engines and rear wheel drive.  There are some outliers, but most people want a hint of old school when they set off to complete the tour.  One of the more popular vehicles seen in the last decade has been station wagons.  Part of it is the general nostalgia that surrounds these land barges, but a lot of folks enjoy the extra room and the carrying capacity that a station wagon offers.  Most of them also came with air conditioning.  This feature becomes very important if you are stuck in a traffic jam in June.

So, this wagon seems to check a lot of the boxes.  While the ad is limited in detail, the pictures tell the story of a station wagon with 76,126 miles that is in used but presentable condition.  The seller tells us that the only thing that has been changed on this car is the headliner.  The rest of the car, from the digital climate system to the large number of ashtrays that are installed from the front to the back, is exactly as it rolled off the assembly line.  The interior is in very good condition minus some flattening of the driver’s seat foam.  It even has that rearward-facing seat that folds down to carry groceries.  These are always a favorite place to plant the kids.  They have the option of either using the ashtrays provided or making unkind gestures at the car following you.  We had some fun times back in the day.

That fun from back then can make a second appearance this month.  If you can just call a short list of your best pals and coerce them into splitting up the cost of this station wagon, the Hot Rod Power Tour entry fee for a Long Hauler, and the outlay for lodging, then you might be able to make memories in this Buick.  No, it isn’t a true hot rod in the traditional sense.  It is, however, the perfect quirky but cool vehicle for a group effort at running the Power Tour.  The start date is June 10.  Your time starts now.

Would you like to go on the Power Tour?  Would the station wagon plan outlined above be good for you, or would you attack this tour differently?  Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. Stan

    Love that bucket/bench armrest combo up front. Rear facing jump seat💺 in the back. V8 rumble. Super Cool 😎 Buick.

    Like 4
  2. Matt

    I am a lover of these 77-1990 big body Buicks. We had an 84 Electra with the 307 and 4 speed OD. Rated for 150hp in the Buick and 140 in our 85 and 86 Custom Cruiser, it still had enough torque and the best passing gear downshift imaginable to make a teenage kid feel like a hero if you flipped the air cleaner cover. We kept that 84 Electra for 7 yrs and they werent easy, yet it answered the call without fail, despite 2 teenage drivers learning behind its wheel. We sold it at 117K miles and saw it yrs later still serving its purpose. What a tank

    Like 7
    • Matt

      Edit:best part was its 25.9 gal gas tank. With overdrive and a light foot you could make it to Dallas TX from KC on one tank and make it bavk to McCalester Tx on the trip home

      Like 2
  3. Zen

    Really nice car at a very reasonable price!!! Love those comfortable, pillow-top interiors, what a luxury car used to be! I wish I could buy it!

    Like 5
  4. Jeff Fitzgerald

    I have always loved the 1987 Buick Station Wagons. This one looks just like the one they used in the movie Adventures in Babysitting. I would love to own this one!

    Like 4
  5. K. R. V.

    Talk about growing up in a family with a Beach Wagon? Yea ours was a beautiful 68 Chrysler Town &Country Beach Wagon, my wonderful Dad special ordered after Mom told us we were expecting another sibling to the 4 we already had. So Dad was forced to trade in his beloved 64 Imperial Crown Coupe. So it wasn’t gonna be just any wagon, but a fully loaded Town & Country Beach Wagon! In deep metallic maroon with matching three row leather interior, AM/FM8 track with 6 speakers, chrome everywhere including the chrome&aluminum roof rack, with the chrome handles on each side of the powered rear window. The best part was the 440/4 brl TNT dual exhaust premium gas V8, plus factory tow package that came with a 3:09 trac loc differential, that helped make that wagon a beast in the snow, especially with the huge Firestone Town&Country Snow tires Dad always used, along with tire chains that really helped get through some deep unplowed snow. The six of us ended up taking our road tests in the beast, plus used it every now and then, I used it as a daily driver after my Honorable Discharge and came home. One night I had the 440 TNT screaming and the speedometer needle climbed past 120 and went into the clock! My buddy couldn’t believe it! I would love to have it now for a two week road trip vacation! But at 8-15 mpg, maybe 18 taking it easy that would be an expensive gas bill, including the cases of octane booster it would need for the trash gas available today.

    Like 2
  6. Jerry Johnson

    I had the same car. Right down to the colors. We called it ‘BIG BLUE’. Beautiful riding and driving car. But your first stop will be a gas station. These are thirsty.

    Like 0
  7. Nelson C

    Here’s a tear jurker for you; Saw one of these assigned to the crusher with 16 miles because it had experimental parts. Saw some light on property use before seeing its fate.

    Like 0

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