Grandma’s Car: 1974 Buick Regal

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Thanks Peter R. for yet another cool find! Here we have what the seller calls a “time capsule” 1974 Buick Regal for sale on craigslist in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

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Spring is a beautiful season in the Berkshire mountains (as these pictures demonstrate) and a trip to see this very pretty looking Buick might be fun. While it is true that power was way down across the board in 1974 cars, this mid-sized Buick was ordered with the big 455 cubic inch making 190 horsepower with its standard two barrel carburetor. That was good for 0-60 times of something like 9.9 seconds, which was pretty good in those days for a heavy beast like this one (4,235 pounds dry). Since this is a ’74, it does not have a catalytic converter and was built to run on leaded gas.

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This car is said to have been purchased by the seller’s grandmother and is still in her family. And as the pictures show, it has been kept in very nice condition for the last 42 years.

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It’s most likely the odometer has turned over once, but is it possible it has been driven only 5,973 miles? Either way, as the pictures show, it is very clean indeed. Interior, engine compartment and body all look relatively free of flaws. I think $6,900 is an extremely reasonable price for this car, if the condition is as good as it appears in pictures. Nice to see those good looking Buick factory rally wheels here.

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Given that the ad provides no details about the car, and the pictures are limited, you will have to go see it, or at least call the seller to find out more about this car. I’ve never been a big fan of these mid-seventies GM cars, and many of the cars from this era have not aged well at all. I really don’t like white cars either, but this car really does look exceptional, and at this price, I have to admit it got me to thinking.

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These cars were pretty popular in their day – Buick built 57,512 of this Model AJ57 two door coupe in 1974. It’s amazing that these white door panels still look so good. That is a comfortable interior with lots of room. This car will make a very nice weekend cruiser for its new owner, and I think with summer coming, it will sell pretty quickly too.

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Comments

  1. packrat

    –No converter in a ’74? I thought it was the first year for all that folderol. These are the cars of my youth, the long-doored cars of the big three–but especially the DeLorean-designed Monte Carlos of ’73-’75 with the single headlights. Part of the scenery when new, when they got passed on to the teenagers in the family, then the last few stragglers tooled around town with rusty quarter panels, sagging doors, and windows that wouldn’t quite come all the way up.

    • Blyndgesser

      ’75 was the first catalytic converter year. But because lead levels had been reduced by federal mandate several years earlier, this will run fine on the unleaded of today.

  2. piper62j

    None of the odometer numbers line up.. Dead giveaway that the mileage is not original.. Look this one over yourself to be sure it’s “true-blue”

    Good find.. Nice car.

    Like 1
    • Rick

      mechanical odometer, (cable driven in ’74) so they began to turn early. Thinking 105,973 tho

  3. CJay

    Having done some speedometer/odometer repair slight misalignment is not abnormal . Due to poor quality of the internal parts.
    If a digit is only 1/2 visible then I would be concerned.
    A well maintained car can have over 100k on it and still be a great buy. While 30k of abuse and neglect can cost big bucks in repairs.

    Like 1
  4. Mike

    Hey Piper, you were concerned about the mileage not lining up straight, I have seen this before on low mileage cars of the era, but something I don’t think you noticed is the fact that the gear selector is showing l1, which means it is either broken or out of alignment something else common with this era of car. I had a 76 Old Cutlass and it drove in R all the time, it set parked in R all the time, the linkage was screwed up and I never worried about it, anybody that was allowed to drive the car knew all about it and knew to count the selection notches when putting it in gear.

    • Rick

      just a small cable to replace

    • Brian

      Hey Mike
      I noticed the car being parked in L1 also. From having a 75 back in the day, the gear selector is controlled by a small spring. No big deal. Good looking car for over 100k.

  5. piper62j

    CJ, I disagree.. The mechanical numbers on the older cars tumble in succession as the trip lever touches the next roller.. They are balanced and aligned at the factory to perform in alignment all thru the rotation, even past 100k. Once these rollers have been manually moved out of sequence, the numbers will no longer line up. I have also worked on odometers in the past and have researched them thru GM and Ford. Not to discredit what you have said, having been a GM service manager, I’ve been to GM training schools on many of their products..

    Many many years ago, when dealers were turning the odometers back on used cars, was how they were caught, fined or lost their licenses because the numbers didn’t line up.. Bock Dodge in Norwood, MA, lost his Dodge license because of it..

    Like 1
    • CJay

      I’ve worked on cars and at GM dealerships. Anyone altering mileage is guilty of fraud and should pay the consequences. But misalignment does not mean it has been tampered with.
      The 1986 Chevy C10 on this page mileage 26619 the 2 is low. The Chevy Eurosport wagon 20299 KM the middle 2 I slightly higher.

  6. Nessy

    Gee GM, why did you even bother to offer a 455 with a 2 barrel? This was offered for a few years on many mid size Olds and Buick models, maybe Pontiac as well. I don’t care what the excuses were about being better on gas, ect. It was dumb. How do you explain to your friends when you open the hood to show off your new big block only to see a pittyful little 2 barrel setup? If I can’t get a 4barrel on my big block, give me a 4 barrel 350 over a 2 barrel 455. The thought of it always bugged me. Glad that idea did not last too long.

    • Fred

      They used to offer the 2 barrel for more low end torque. Because of the two barrel having much larger primaries than the four barrel, low end torque was considerably higher which is why many of the cars that were ordered with towing packages came with a two barrel. With that being said, the four barrel application would grant you a higher horsepower rating that helps out in the top end speed once you’re moving. I used to own a 1972 Pontiac Wagon with a 400-2bbl and tow a 7,000 pound trailer and from a standstill you didn’t even know it was there!

  7. Kevin

    Odometer numbers lining up doesn’t necessarily mean it has been tampered with. My mother’s 1984 Monte Carlo SS has been in our family since day 1 and the numbers do not line up quite right. I can assure you none of us have ever tampered with it. Sure, it is possible somebody messed with this one, but nobody knows for sure. Also, her gear selector is also wrong. When in “2” the car is actually in drive.

  8. DW

    190 hp out of a 455 Buick? I think, if I recall correctly, my father’s 455 had a wonderful way of making a big throaty sound when you punched the throttle and then you could watch the speedometer climb moderately while the gas gauge also moved at the same speed in the opposite direction. But in the 70’s who cared?

    Still what a gorgeous body. Those lines still get me a little hot and bothered and I wouldn’t want to fully corrupt it, but this car, with a four barrel, 4 speed, some buckets and some nice wide rubber and modern rims would be an excellent cruiser.

  9. wagon master

    Looks like a well preserved, nice, honest used car, most certainly it has turned over though.

  10. AMC STEVE

    Even if the mileage is true it’s not worth that kind of money. I wonder if everything works on the car and the seats look a little worn for that kind of mileage. All told I’d be happy to pay $5500

  11. BillB

    Nearly 6K, so the 5 is beginning to move up. The getting in and out type of wear on the driver’s seat is excessive for the mileage, unless you’re wearing a huge ring of keys on your belt or something.

  12. Chad

    I have replaced clusters at the dealer and had to set the mileage to what the original had. The numbers are hard to line up correctly but it can be done. I know a few are running around that I reset and did not get perfectly aligned. You never know.

  13. Vince Habel

    I would put a 4 barrel and dual exhaust on it.

  14. todd

    paint it brown and call Kojak!!

  15. piper62j

    When I was a kid (hmmm) Amoco sold what we called “white gas”.. It had no color and was a slightly different odor than regular gas which was dyed red. Looking back, it was probably unleaded, but I didn’t have a clue.. some of my friends ran it to clean out the carburetor.. Who knows??? Probably had no affect at all..

    • Paul R.

      Amoco White gas was the original unleaded fuel.

  16. Roseland Pete

    I’m pretty sure GM engines were already set to run on unleaded by 1971.

  17. Utes

    Here’s the window sticker from this Regal…

  18. John Oaklay

    Is this car still available? I had a ’74 Regal for 12 yrs, sold it in ’91 for $800. Had a 350-2 originally but put a 4 barrel intake, carb off a ’68 GS, dual exhaust, ’77 HEI ign and the car was seemingly fast in it’s day. I’ve had sellers remorse ever since selling it.

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