The Last Dinosaur! 1996 Buick Roadmaster Wagon

One morning, eons ago, the last dinosaur woke up, feeling queasy, nibbled on some tender vegetation, gasped, and keeled over with a tectonic thud. Similarly the Chevrolet and Buick full-size wagons, last of the V8-powered, rear-wheel-drive wagons that defined suburbia since VJ Day, expired after model year 1996. Thanks to Pat L. who spied this 1996 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon in Virginia’s Tidewater region and listed here on craigslist in Norfolk, Virginia with an asking price of $3500.

If you like the 1991-1996 full-size GM wagons, this Roadmaster has it all:  leather, wood grain, Corvette-derived engine, ABS, and Vista-Roof (thanks to oldcarbrochures.org for some details).

The seller lists a host of new replacement parts, and says the car runs and drives well. With fuel injection, a 26 MPG rating, nearly 600 miles of range, 5000 lb towing rating, and room for eight, these wagons represent a classy alternative to a sea of truck-like top-heavy SUVs.

Indeed the cargo area (with seats folded) can swallow 4×8 sheets of drywall and/or plywood with the tailgate closed, embarrassing most pickup trucks sold today. Two rear-facing seats offer room for grand-kids or adventurous adults. The iron-head LT1 makes 260HP and 335 lb-ft of torque. More horsepower requires a carefully planned budget rebuild or a few modifications to one of the world’s most popular engines. Who’s ready to give up $3500 and pilot this nifty dinosaur into the sunset?

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Comments

  1. JazzGuitarist54

    You could also rent it out as a small condo if needed

    Like 2
  2. James S

    knock $2500 off the price and you might even sell it

    • Andre

      You sound like fun at a party

    • John

      Seriously dude? What do you even buy today for $3500. Get a reality check.

      Like 1
    • carsofchaos

      So you’re thinking $1000 for this? Good luck.

      Like 1
  3. Mark Evans

    Ex-Father in law had one identical to this. Was going on a trip & asked to store it in our garage. Took out our Dodge Caravan & put this in. Couldn’t close the garage door as it hung out. These things are soooo long.

    Like 2
  4. jdjonesdr

    Really good shape for it’s age.

    Like 1
  5. Christopher Wenz

    I want it. I also would like $3500. Sigh.
    I’d swap in a 6 speed, I’ve seen a couple.

    Like 2
  6. Cmarv

    Great cars !

  7. DuaneBoda

    Upper Michigan – Marquette. My Father In Law had one and it rode – drove

    really nice but with the salt and snow (Winter Elements) it rusted out and is

    in klunker – junker heaven.

  8. Joe Haska

    I have seen several of these slammed with trick wheels and tires, and I like them, I am sure there allot of you that don’t. I never thought about it ,but your SUV and P/U comment is very appropriate ,I am sure I could get everything in this, that I carry in my 53 Ford P/U.

    Like 1
  9. Classic Steel

    Bury the relic for later archeological finds and maybe it will turn into a diamond or a Corvette in a garden like the last 58 listed 🤠

  10. Peter R

    Already deleted – anyone know the mileage for this price? pictures look good

  11. John

    A friend has a 40,000 km one sitting in her garage, won’t sell, started periodically.

    Like 2
    • Christopher Wenz

      I’m checking prices with the hope of getting one about a year from now. If this is what you say it isn’t going by the prices I’ve seen it could fetch 10k. They are extremely popular these days.

      • MIKE SPLITTGERBER

        the ‘saver” in the garage is a ’96 limited roadie wgn w/no rust and 58 k miles. is white with deluxe cloth. it is for sale. the driver i have is at 206 k and doesn’t know it……..still the best kept secret on wheels

        Like 1
  12. Frank M

    I have a 1991 Roadmaster Wagon. The grandkids love the waaayback seat and the car rides like a limo. Almost as long too!

  13. Lumpy

    Had one of these and loved every mile. The all night drive from western Canada to Vegas was a breeze. Then the wife thought a minivan would be better……it wasn’t….at least for me.

  14. 427Turbojet 427Turbojet Member

    Several years ago bought a 92 Caprice wagon owned by an elderly gentleman who’s garage was a little narrow. Major scrapes on both sides. I cut the rear wheel wells out like an Impala SS. Put 8″ American Racing 200s wheels with big tires on – took 1000 pounds visually off. 350 (pre Lt1) with all options including trailer package and cold A/C. Great beater, ran several years until frame started getting soft. Would love to do same treatment on a nice Lt1 wagon.

  15. Jay

    It’s sold. Depending on mileage it was well worth that. Clean it up add some air bags and I would pull my 7500 lb lightweight camper. We pulled a 1995 LTI out of a wrecked roadmaster and made a beast out of it in a short bed Chevy pickup. Everybody asked what you got in there? Corvette Motor haha.

  16. Bill Owens BillO Staff

    Nice car. It’s odd, the dinosaur car (and wagon) was succeeded by the dinosaur SUV which was succeeded by the dinosaur truck. That’s why they stopped building Caprice and Roadmaster, so they could build the other dinosaurs.

  17. Henry Drake

    Typo. You are missing the decimal point.
    $35.00

  18. javier

    love the hell out of our 95 RMW….get more looks/waves/thumbs up than any car I’ve owned.

    Like 3
  19. dgrass

    Worth every penny asked. Someone got a great deal if it runs and drives well.

    @Henry Drake, 35$ would cover your cab fare home after the seller tells you to take a hike.

    • Henry Drake

      Ha, you’d never catch me looking at that heap anywhere past these photos.

  20. Splitz

    Best kept secret in the car world. Will run with the big fullsize dogs and get 21 mpg with your foot up it’s throat. And it has 204 K on it w/o anything major..that’s why I have three of them.

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      And that’s why I knew this one would be gone before I even got a chance to look at the ad.

    • Nicolette

      agree I have three of them

  21. ccrvtt

    Depending on mechanical condition this is a bargain price. There is a small but extremely loyal legion of fans for Roadmaster wagons of this era. My late mother was one of them and her last two cars were like this one. It rode like a waterbed, which was kind of cool if you didn’t want to feel the road beneath you. Would have been a great find if still available.

    Like 1
  22. charlie Member

    My early teen kids called them “Whales” at the time. We had calls for Beetles or Bugs as well. All called for one to punch whoever sat next to them in the arm if the puncher saw it first and called “Whale”. The Chevy qualified as well. Complaints of “he hit me too hard” were frequent. By the way, my 2005 Toyota 4Runner will carry 4 x 8 plywood/sheetrock flat but only above the wheel housings and the liftgate not completely closed.

  23. Skip

    I had a ’94 Roadmaster wagon for a short time a few years ago. I loved the ol’ wagon but it was the worst deal I ever made! I ran a standby ambulance service for many years and had retired a ’92 Ford Type II Diesel rig, and put it up for sale for $5000. A guy stopped by with the Roadmaster, wanting to sell it for $2500. So I told him I was asking $5000 for the ambulance, so he offered me the wagon and $2500 for the van, and I took it. The Buick ran well but needed some work (front grille missing). Bottom line of the story is the guy took the van and I haven’t seen him since…period. He never got a title…I still have it; but he and the van have simply vanished. Well like my dad used to say, “You live and learn”. Really!

  24. Utes

    These dinosaur’s are some of the finest bang-for-your-buck vehicles ever marketed by GM. Even the throttle-bodied L05 versions, prior to the ’94-’96 LT1-powered examples, were fantastic rear-drive, front-engine, full-frame vehicles of great build quality. I’ve a 290,000-mile ’95 9C1 Caprice & a ’92 Roadmaster…..’luv em!

    Like 3
    • Steve

      I have a 91 OCC wagon with a swapped in Vortec 350 usinf a GMPP intake I got on EBay for $200 to keep the TBI. Me likey, and no optispark to boot!

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