One-Family Hauler: 1972 Buick Estate Wagon

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“Estate Wagon” is definitely the correct name for this huge offering from Buick dating from 1972! It’s been in Texas most of it’s life, but is now located in Benson, Arizona and is offered for sale here on eBay with a buy-it-now of $8,000. The sellers are willing to listen to lower offers, though.

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The car has been in one family from new; the seller makes the point of stating that his father-in-law never threw anything away, so the car comes with spare parts and manuals as well. In the early 90’s, the car was repainted and new wood grain paneling was applied. I think the whole idea of fake wood on the sides of cars is silly, but somehow I love them anyway. My family was one of the few that didn’t have one when I was a child, but I rode in plenty of my friends’ parents’ Country Squires, Kingswoods and Vista Cruisers. I don’t remember riding in one of these, though.

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The seller carefully details where the car acquired some rust under the rear windows when it was stored outside for about 7 years. I wish the classics I’ve purchased had such small issues to deal with! The trim was removed from the other side and pictures included in the auction to show the extent of the rust, which is not bad. As you can see, the paint is still pretty glossy.

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As many wagons do of this size, this one has a third row seat, but it’s facing the “right” way–no staring out at the cars behind you in this wagon. It looks like the differential takes a huge chunk out of the available space here; maybe that’s why so many wagons had that third seat facing the other way? It doesn’t look like much of a lower cushion, either. “Aw, honey, the kids won’t care…right?”

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Apart from the driver’s seat and a few bare spots in the carpet (the car comes with a partial carpet kit), the interior looks really nice. I’m surprised to see an un-cracked dashboard, and pleased to see air conditioning controls in the dashboard closeups! Unfortunately, the owner didn’t include any under hood or under car pictures, but I’m hoping they would if they were requested. They do say that it’s a 455 cubic inch V-8 with a Turbo 400 automatic transmission. We also know that it’s 160,000 miles, not 60,000. I still think it’s a neat car, although I’m not sure I’d be willing to pay the buy-it-now price, and I’d certainly want to see some under hood and car pictures. What about you? Is their room in your collection for one of these great wagons?

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Comments

  1. Mr. TKD

    I’d be willing to pick it up–for a significantly reduced price. And then I’d breathe on that engine.

  2. Eric

    Nope prefer the mercury wagons

  3. randy

    “Buy the new Estate wagon, you can bring your whole estate along”.

    I can hear the corny advertising slogan now.

    Very nice car, this is an example of a high mile car that has been well cared for, not those 16K mile cars that sit in a field of dreams.

  4. Don Andreina

    If it was a 71, I’d take it in a heartbeat. The dropped grille on the 72 is less nice, but iirc these lost the flow-through vents on the tailgate. Don’t need a 455 but they were standard, small price to pay for such a handsome wagon. Wouldn’t be using the third row which does look entirely uncomfortable and inadequate.

    • randy

      Kind of like the useless seats in the back of an extended cab Chevy. I rode there once, and NEVER again.

  5. Rancho Bella

    I know Bensen. There is a great Mexican restaurant on the main drag.

    Like 1
    • randy

      You’d be hard pressed to find a town in Arizona without a great Mexican restaurant on the main drag.

      Like 1
  6. HeadMaster1

    I LOVE these GM clamshell wagons. My parents had the “new” for 77 Buick Estate wagon. No wood trim, and had the 3rd row facing backwards…..It was still a blast to ride back there, and camp on occasion. I drove it once as a 15yo with a permit, then my dad sod it for a new 84 Celica (way sporty for my dad)……Never knew a car could NOT leak fluids until we got that Celica………….

    • Kizzle

      That was my first car, 84 Celica notchback GT!

  7. Mark S Member

    It seems that since the big wagons lost there appeal and the auto makers dumped them, they have all but disappeared from our roads. I am find it to be kind of cool that there has been a renewed interest in these big beasts. This I a pretty nice car and we all might be surprised at how well it does on a gallon of gas. This would be a solid D. D. kid hauler . When you think about how much a new car costs these days and how much of a bite out of our monthly budget car payments cost, you could buy quite a lot of gas to equal those costs. Nice find I hope it finds a new garage to hang out in.

  8. Amy

    I think this wagon is neat ! I have a 1996 Limited Edition Buick Roadmaster wagon and love it . I hope this one finds a good home .

  9. CJay

    My Aunt was concerned about the size of their new Buick Estate Wagon. On her maiden voyage driving the Buick, they were approaching a toll plaza when she asked “Will it fit through there?” My Uncle dryly said “Just follow the tractor trailer.”

    Like 3
  10. Rick

    nice wagon. love woodies. 72 is the last year that Buick looks good IMHO, for ’73 they sprout the most giantest and ugliest bumpers on the front

  11. MountainMan

    Although priced about twice what I would expect to pay for this car it does look to be pretty sweet. Obviously it has been loved and that is worth a bit to me when buying any used car but for $8,000 I have seen other cars I would rather have. This is one that the price would be the major reason I would want it…,BUT…if priced right I would not hesitate to proudly captain this barge

    • randy

      I am trying to understand your statement, but cannot.

      “This is one that the price would be the major reason I would want it…,BUT…if priced right I would not hesitate to proudly captain this barge”

      • MountainMan

        been a long day and obviously that wasnt worded very clearly. what I’m trying to say is the price would be the major reason I would buy it ….like if it was priced at 1500 bucks I would scoop it up and smile every day when I drove it
        Here’s a 69 ford wagon for less than half the price of the Buick
        http://kpr.craigslist.org/cto/5342263160.html

    • randy

      Gotcha, I have wanted a wagon since I was 10 years old. We had a new ’64 Biscayne in light blue that I really liked.

      • MountainMan

        Here’s one on my local CL that’s a little older, the seller is hard to contact though…maybe its already gone and the ad just wasn’t deleted for whatever reason

        http://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/cto/5336535566.html

      • Jesse Staff

        It’s probably still around. No title.

      • randy

        Gee thanks!! I’d have that today if it were about 1000 miles closer.

        They are out there, just got to find them. I drove through Hugo, Ok a few months ago and a Chevelle pulled up behind me, I told my daughter there was a real cool car behind us. When I turned I could see the whole car, It was a ’70 Chevelle station wagon. I drooled all over the front seat. I had to turn around and talk to the owner. She was a good looking 30ish lady, that seemed to not want to talk. I just told her she had a nice car and left.

  12. randy

    MountainMan, you might come out ahead putting more money out up front, as that old ford was not cared for as well as the Buick. It’s still a lot of money for an old wagon for sure. I do prefer the Ford, as that is what I drive, old Fords with the FE engine. I think with patience we can all end up with a nice classic. They seem to be coming out of the woodwork these days.

    • MountainMan

      Right, generally I do agree. Its a good rule to buy the best example that you can afford. Personally I like the Buick better and it’s in better condition without a doubt. The old wagons have a charm and usefulness that is hard to beat and if one priced right came along I would strongly consider it. There are just lots of other vehicles I see for almost $10k that I would prefer over a 72 Buick estate wagon. I generally make my vehicle purchases due to finding a very good deal on something I already like. This is easy for me since I absolutely love old stuff of almost every variety . The first word from my mouth as a kid was “car” and they have been a big part of my entire life.

  13. Vince Habel

    If it was closer it would be mine. I had a 72 till 83 when I traded it on a Dodge. Big mistake.

  14. Charles H.

    I owned one of the downsized ’77 Buick Estate Wagons with the wood grain, was absolutely loaded with options, power everything, had the Old’s 403 ci. engine, factory Rally wheels, leather etc. Brought my first born child home from the hospital in that car, was very reliable too, loved it!

  15. racer99

    Not my cup of tea but have to give credit to the seller for providing a pretty complete set of pictures and information. Much better presentation here than some of the more expensive barn finds. At least you know what you are getting.

  16. piper62j

    Nice.. A little TLC and a tune-up and you have a great hauler.. 455 cubes makes it impressive..

  17. Vince Habel

    These would get 20 MPG on the highway. 18 with the A/C on. Only about 9 around town. I still would buy it is it was closer.

  18. 64 bonneville

    buying a wagon, my first concern is “Does the A/C work” It gets to damn hot in Oklahoma in the summer not to have A/C. We brought our last (4th) child home from the hospital in a 73 Kingswood estate with the 454 and power everything. Made a great boat and travel trailer hauler, pick up truck, etc…etc…. also.

  19. Tundra/BMW Guy

    That is longest “looking” old wagon I believe I have ever seen!!! I mean just look at the side view picture!!! Mountainmans “captain this barge” was absolutely perfectly descriptive!!!! Holy crap!!!
    As for the price, lest I step into that snakes nest from a previous post, I believe it is kind of on the way high side. Especially with the mileage. IMHO IMHO IMHO! Don’t shoot, it is only an observation!

  20. Barry T

    I think someone is dreaming if they think one of these barges can get 20 mpg on the highway (maybe if you are being towed). I had one around 25 years ago (bought used) and it was such a gas hog.

  21. piper62j

    I agree Barry.. I’ve been around a long time and these big cars were not very fuel efficient.. Back then, gas was not as expensive as it is now and mileage was not a big factor.

  22. HeadMaster1

    13mpg is about all you should see in one of these, but it can be fixed. You either change out the transmission for a 700R4, or you install a under/over drive gear-vendor behind the TH400……These are low power, high torque engines, so if you can keep them around 1,500rpm, 20mpg is very possible…..

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