LS2-Equipped: 1991 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon

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As Chrysler began changing how families viewed travel preferences back in the mid-eighties, station wagon desirability was tanking as minivan sales soared.  Maybe nobody informed the execs at Buick, as the brand continued offering wagons all the way up through 1996, including not just one but two different choices.  Buyers could opt for the mid-size Century Estate, or if you wanted something larger, a Roadmaster Estate such as this 1991 model here on Craigslist was more than capable of hauling the kids around proudly, providing plenty of room and comfort for long journeys.  This one’s in Noblesville, Indiana, and it features a fine powerplant under the hood for the next owner to have some fun with.  The seller’s asking price of $17,500 doesn’t sound unreasonable, all things considered.

Rocco B., thanks a lot for your excellent tip here!  Although the Roadmaster moniker had been absent from the Buick lineup for more than three decades, 1991 saw a resurrection of the nameplate for the wagon, with a 4-door sedan not far behind.  The seller doesn’t provide us with a whole lot of specifics regarding the wagon’s exterior, but he does say the wagon spent lots of time in Florida and claims that it’s free from rust.  A few areas outside have gotten a respray, including the hood and both bumpers, with the body panels appearing to remain in good condition.  It’s not perfect, but even the faux wood paneling seems to be in decent enough shape.

The base engine for the earliest final-generation examples was a Chevy-provided 305, making a period-respectable 170 horsepower.  However, weighing in at nearly 4,500 pounds, the Roadmaster Estate was no light traveler.  Any performance issues this one was born with have been addressed, as the bay now holds a rebuilt and cammed LS2.  The seller mentions some additional goodies such as ceramic-coated headers, a stall converter, and a positraction rear-end with 3.23 gears.  Bringing things to a halt is assisted by the addition of upgraded front brakes, borrowed from a 1994-96 police setup.

The all-business drivetrain theme changes to a luxurious atmosphere inside, with power just about everything and it’s all said to be functioning correctly, with the electric antenna being the one exception.  Considering they’ve been sat in for 131k miles, the seats are showing less wear than I’d expect, and the dash is stated to have no cracks underneath the upper covering.  The seller is confident enough in his wagon’s reliability to say it can be driven anywhere, plus he also claims 23 MPG is achievable on the highway.  I’m thinking this one would be rewarding to cruise in on a vacation this summer, how about you?

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  1. jetfire88

    Partial resprays (hood, top, bumpers) are common on most ’91-’96 GM full size wagons, almost always caused by clearcoat failure.
    All of mine have had it, no matter what part of the country they originally resided in.

    Like 8
    • 427Turbojet 427TurbojetMember

      In the early 2000s I bought this 92 Caprice wagon for $300.00. Perfect beater, 350 with the trailering package and all the options. The previous elderly owner’s garage was built in the 40s when cars (and garage door openings) were quite a bit narrower and both sides were well scrubbed. His family had helped him decide he really shouldn’t drive anymore. The body was rough enough that I didn’t feel bad in opening the rear wheel wells to 94 – 96 Caprice sedan specs. Visually took about 1000 pounds of, especially when replacing the rear bumper with a custom tucked in roll pan. Wonderful beater until the frame rotted out in the area of the trans cross member. Still drove perfectly but wasn’t comfortable with the safety. Now have a 95 Roadmaster wagon with a LT1 as a beater, but that frame is getting soft also. Both cars lived in northern metro areas and road salt got the best of them. They are great parts donors though!

      Like 8
      • Robert I Brown

        Had a 92 great Automobile sounds like a change in the motor mine had a 350 , but why so much money does it come with gold bars in the glove box ?

        Like 1
      • Haze

        Spray your frame with used motor oil or spray on a product that converts the rust so you can paint it. Salt doesn’t have to be a death sentence for any vehicle.
        And you would be surprised how you can repair a rotted frame. My buddy specializes in it at his shop. He did miracles with a 1995 Chevy truck I had and also my 1990 Ford F-350 Dump Truck who the previous owners neglected the frames.

        Like 2
  2. Claudio

    A lower suburban /tahoe with 2 wheel drive !

    Like 4
  3. Harry 1

    Becoming scarcer as the years go by. They were good family haulers & pulling small boats & trailers. With the seats folded down even pick up truck duty was done by some. However as tastes have changed these are being relegated to driving history as mini vans are today! Up next in the future Tahoes & Surburbans will undergo the same fate!

    Like 2
  4. Sean Howard

    Maybe $15k…if it had a LS3. Not $17.5k for a LS2.

    Like 3
    • Fox owner

      These were great cars. I saw this one house on my daily walks that had the Oldsmobile and Chevy versions parked in front too, plus the Buick. I regret the passing of the wagon and really wished that the Buick Tour X would have taken off. It seemed perfect, Euro style with a turbo charged engine and all wheel drive. Kind of like a poor man’s Audi All Road.

      Like 6
  5. Jon Rukavina

    Interesting work that’s been done on this car.
    It would probably surprise a lot of the younger set at a stoplight much like my ’70 Olds 98 did in the early 80s. LOL!
    Might be a little pricey, but with everything that’s been done, may be worth it in the long run.
    This’ll probably elicit looks and conversation at Cars & Coffee.

    Like 3
  6. Dwayne

    You could probably pull a travel trailer or a good size boat with this. We used my parents 64 Electra to pull a 20 Glastron all over the place. The brakes we iffy so you had to plan ahead. It would pull as hard as dads 1/2 ton Chevy pickup. I wonder if it’s rated to pull anything?

    Like 2
  7. John Phillips

    I had one like the way this one was born. Best car I ever had a living room with a steering wheel that doubled as a pickup. After 260,000 miles and teaching three kids to drive, I said it made it to the moon and sold it to a mechanic for his wife to haul four kids and two dogs around town. I’d like to think it’s still running.

    Like 4
  8. ACZ

    The only sore spot this one had was that old TBI truck motor. Now that that’s been cured, this thing is perfect

    Like 0

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