Museum Condition? 1989 Buick Regal Custom

Only offering a two-door coupe for the first two years of the third-generation, Buick wanted to take advantage of those buyers who were looking for a personal luxury car. This 1989 Buick Regal Custom can be found here on craigslist in the Los Angeles, California area. The seller is asking $3,300. Thanks to Ikey H. for sending in this tip!

The third-generation Buick Regal made for the 1988 through 1996 model years was the first to have front-wheel-drive and a four-door sedan wasn’t available until the 1990 model year. The Custom trim level for 1989 would have been below the Limited and Grand Sport trim but they were still nice cars with plenty of Buick goodness – but they were quite a different driving experience being front-drive. Coming right after the generation of Regal that gave us the rear-drive Grand National and GNX, they were indeed different.

The seller says that this car is in museum condition and/or near museum condition. I would lean more towards near museum condition because it’s the lowest trim level and they go on to describe a sagging headliner, a missing hood ornament, and a left-rear strut that squeaks periodically on corners. That being said, it’s a low-mile car in really incredible condition. It has 42,000 miles and it was a “grandpas car” with no surface rust underneath, and I’m assuming no rust anywhere but they don’t mention that.

The interior appears to be almost like-new, other than the aforementioned sagging headliner, and the back seat looks like it has never been occupied. Everything works from the radio to the power antenna to the ice-cold AC.

This engine isn’t a supercharged V6 or a V8, it’s a Chevrolet 2.8L V6 with 130 hp. A V8 wouldn’t be available ever again in the Regal after the second generation cars and a Buick 3.8L V6 would be available in 1990. This car has no leaks, it doesn’t overheat, and the transmission shifts perfectly. Have any of you owned a third-generation Buick Regal?

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  1. Joe Haska

    If I was in need of a nice little driver car this would be it . Have friends who want a driver car for their grandson, but not until fall. I see this car as a great buy for that.

  2. Bob Mck Member

    Museum Condition is NOT usually a good thing. My mechanic has always told me to never buy a museum car. One of his clients did against his better judgment. It burned down the guys garage.

    • JoeNYWF64

      Always disconnect the battery! & i don’t trust modern battery “tenders” either. ’68 nova parked in a basement parking garage decided to fill up the whole thing up with smoke. Live wire on front harness came in contact with metal – insulation worn away
      No fire, but hood was warm, tho. After 2 days & a tow & new harness & battery, car was back on the road! Also once shut off car & instrument panel lites came on dimly! Was a tailite bulb with corrosion that bridged the 2 bulb terminals.

    • D.K. Evans

      I bought a “museum” condition car, a six year old Olds Ciera Limited with 11,000 mi., from an elderly neighbor. Worst piece of junk I ever owned. Couldn’t wait to peddle it. Buyer beware.

  3. Ike Onick

    I didn’t know AARP had a car museum.

    • Sam61

      Very witty…well played sir.

      The first new car the ex-wife and I purchased was an 88 Olds Cutlass…same color combo as the subject Buick. Drove it to Florida and back for spring break without seeing another.

      We went on and purchased a 1992 Pontiac Grand Prix 4dr and a 1996 Buick Regal GS 4dr (white over gray with Buick chrome wheels). All decent cars with the 3.8 Buick being the best.

      • Ike Onick

        And the color for this gem was called “Persnickety”

  4. Ikey Heyman Member

    Need a second car? Got a young driver looking for some wheels? At this price, how could you beat this?

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      If you were a kid, getting this is like getting Beige Betty.

  5. Jcs

    What he said.

  6. CarCrazyDan

    I do like these now more than when they were new. That being said I feel this car has radwood show potential if you get the headliner repaired.

  7. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Not really sure that I am old enough for this car yet…..

    Getting close, though!

  8. HavasuDave

    I’m old enough for it, but there are so many better options out there! This one is just plain ugly.

    • wjtinfwb

      Agree with Dave… GM styling at its absolute lowest point. The previous generation Regal was clean and straightforward. These and the Oldsmobile Cutlass variant were hideous and the sales validated that notion.

  9. YourSoundMan

    I was a typical teen in the mid-eighties, really into cars.

    I remember when this class of mid-size came out: So futuristic! Especially the coupes. I really felt like this was the direct car style should be going in. Ditto the Olds Cutlass that shared this platform, and the smaller Beretta 2-door from 1987 forward.

    All of the cars I mentioned, including the subject of this thread, still hold their own, appearance-wise, today.

  10. Patrick Anderson

    Another meh- mobile. The automotive equivalent of old people’s coffee shops. Bland, flavorless soylent beige that all tastes the same no matter what you order.

  11. Jason Garrett

    My grandmother bought the Buick regal new in 1988 I was only 6 years old then but I remember the car well as she owned it up until I was 16 years old when she got to old to drive it. It was a great car very futureristic looking two door coup. I always thought it was cool the way the door handles were made opening on the upper side pillar of the door, the digital gauges, and the way the radio looked, and the digital climate controls, it was very futuristic with technology at the time. It was a burgundy limited, meny road trips up state New York. I wanted it at 16 for my first car considering it was my grandmothers, she owned it since new, and it had low miles but my uncle sold it b4 I got a chance to get my hands on it ☹️☹️☹️


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