PA appreciation thread - Buick Forum - Buick Enthusiasts Forums

Electra/Park Avenue Buick's full size premium car manufactured between 1959 and 1990

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Old 11-26-2013, 07:41 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Sweden
Posts: 26
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I have no purpose with this thread other than to express my love and gratitude towards my Buick Park Avenue Ultra -94. Now pushing 210k miles with a somewhat geriatric grace. I named it Baloo because it is like riding on a huge jungle bear.

See, I live in Sweden. Buicks are extremely rare here. We have a certain subculture of US car enthusiasts here, but they mostly concern themselves with classic cars up to the 60's or so. So while there are Buicks on the roads, they tend to be 50 years old. Plus a handful of rusty Roadmasters that failed to impress the market back in 1992.

I used to only drive motorcycles. I owned six different bikes (cross-country and sports bikes) until I was 33 years old, but never a car (we have a rather decent bus and train infrastructure, so most people don't really HAVE to own a car). Though in the summer of 2003 I decided that I mighta coulda woulda want a car.

So I thought "I'm a rational man, I should get something prim and proper. A VW turbodiesel hatchback or something. Maybe a BMW 3-series? People keep blabbering about how smooth inline sixes are. A van?"

Then I helped my brand new girlfriends dad to move out his apartment, he got retired and relocated to Brazil.

When we got to the garage, the rear end of the Buick came into view. Deep green, wide, flawlessly kept, exhuming leisure and comfort. Something stirred inside. For sale? Yes, absolutely. I desire this car, sell it to me.

It is the diametric opposite of every concept I had about cardom. It is anti-sporty, which is not a bad thing, as it turned out. Grand touring suspension, wide and deep leather sofas, electric everything. Big jovial chrome grin on the muzzle.

I have had it for ten years, I drive it summer and winter. It is a great winter car, neutrally balanced, plows like a ship through the slush and snow, ABS, traction control, FWD - and it is also a great highway locomotive (I regularly drive some 200 miles at 90 mph or so).

I have had to fix a few things (alternator, ball joints, relays, brake lines, SC bearing) and it has some flaws I ignore (power windows front, antenna motor, trunk elevator, AC) .

I have wondered "What car can replace this?" and I find faults with every other alternative. Too small. Too large. Too slow. Too hard suspension, to hard seats, too small seats. Too ugly. Ridculous racing aerodynamics. Too many exotic solutions. Big bulky pointless center console. Claustrophobic. The light switch is not in the doorframe.
I am not a fickle person, I find what I like and I keep it as long as I can.

Thus, I suppose, when this car inevitably dies of old age, when I lose the desire to repair flaws every year, when the car testing administration demands it to be repaired beyond what is reasonable, given that this is a unique car in Sweden and I have to order spares from overseas - I'm going to peruse the Buick alternatives and import one.

So please, Buick, build a car to my fancy. Make it soft and comfortable. Give it a large burbling engine that idles on the highway. Make the interior less an aeroplane cockpit and more a leather-clad bucket where you can relax every muscle south of Sternum. Climb over to the other side without effort. Put the switches and indicator lights in strange places. Do not make it sporty, I am in no competition on way to work.

I can consider a RWD or AWD with the new LT1. FWD is okay but I get a lot of spinning front wheels almost daily, and the torque steering makes itself known at motorway speeds.

I prefer pushrods before high redlight limits. No 60 4-valve double overhead cams if you ask me. They are pointless outside of a motorcycle. I assume you will not bring back the old indomitable 3800?

If you fail me this, I suppose I can go get a good condition 2004 PAU. Not the 2005, the last year models are usually a collection of discarded parts assembled with little enthusiasm. Unfortunately, the later PA's interior is something plastic lacking character.

The Roadmaster looked good on paper, but you did something bad to its snout. It looks unhappy. And there are no sedans in Europe, I have only ever seen adverts for banged-up wagons and they look fat like a queen bee and about as mobile. Also, it has no buttons on the steering wheel. Too bad.

Or I can keep Baloo for a few decades more if I can convince my wife that I am not crazy. She is more of the opinion that I should drive something more reliable.

Reliable? Feh. The only time Baloo failed me was when the ground cable at the battery got loose. It was my fault, I had forgotten to push down the lever on the quick release I put there when I converted the car to E85. Why? That's another story. Suffice to say it has worked flawless on ethanol since 2005.

Last edited by Michail; 11-26-2013 at 07:44 PM.
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