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Driving down the highway, minding my own business, and I see this Buick - would you or wouldn't you?


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So, I'm far away, in the land of fall colors, driving along in the U.P. of Michigan, and I see this old but familiar Buick in a driveway.  No, it can't be.

I pull off and find a spot where there is room to park.  I take out my phone and set it to camera mode.  It was a '76 or '77 Regal colonnade coupe.  It had the V6 badge. The lady of the house comes out the door and I explain to her that my dad used to have one of these as a second car.  I asked if it was for sale.  She said that her husband would know the details, that he wanted to rescue this piece of history from going into oblivion, and she gave me their number after we talked a bit.

She didn't know much about the car.  I explained to her how it was a '77 as opposed to a '76.  She said it ran.  I suppose I could have turned over the engine, and hear the "odd firing" V6 come to life, but I felt that would have been so random, having just walked up to it.  I asked if it had the original engine and transmission.  She said she thought it was original.  With all the info I knew about the car, I suppose she deduced I wasn't a flake.

There was a good deal of rust on it, especially at its base and where the bumpers hook onto the car.  The interior fabric is tattered.  It's the pale blue base cloth interior.  On the other hand, the gizmos are nonexistent.  Sure, it has power steering and brakes, but no power windows, tilt wheel, or any of that.  Also, as I expected,  it didn't have A/C!  This thing was hilarious. 

The price would be low.  I still have their number somewhere.  Mechanically, it would be very simple, with no bells and whistles. It could be fun to have this .... and it could also be a money pit to bring it back to being presentable. Would you have done it (moved toward buying it) or would you do it (if it's still available)?

Photos:

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Parts of it look okay and parts of it look weathered: you can see the rust at its base ... also, check out the V6 badge!

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The area where the bumpers slotted into the ladder frame had seen better days ... there was a fair amount of rust

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I guess this household is voting for "RUMP."  I didn't know you could do that.  (I swear I didn't trim the photo.)

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The crossbars in the grille mean it's a '77.  The '76 had the basic "Parthenon" grille, with only vertical bars in the grille.

I didn't even lift the hood.  You'd see that compact engine pushed up against the firewall!  I was driving toward scenic sights that were on the checklist, not this Regal from yesteryear.

WWCGD?  What Would C&G-ers Do?

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2 minutes ago, balthazar said:

You already know my answer : too new / completely uninteresting.
I'd certainly do a walk-around on the International shell in the background!

Right, too new for you.  My "niche" here seems to be the championing of these GM colonnade coupes from this era.

Could an "even-firing" 231 c.i. V6 from the next few years that followed slip into this engine's place, just like THM 350s could be slotted where THM 200s used to be (having had that done for a previous car, which was the right thing to do)?

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First thing I missed- you were in the UP? Too bad I didn’t know....we could have met up if you were going south down 75.... 🙂 

Second thing- If the price is good- jump on it! If it costs you a few bucks here or there, no big deal- you only live once. Worse case, you could resell it to a car person if it became too much.. Plus, you would have some great stories to tell...

I recently had a chance to get a wagon version of my first car, a 1987 Cavalier RS. I totally regret that now. I kept coming up with excuses to say no...but it was in good shape! Did need some stuff though.

 

I say give it a shot!

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1 hour ago, daves87rs said:

First thing I missed- you were in the UP? Too bad I didn’t know....we could have met up if you were going south down 75.... 🙂 

Second thing- If the price is good- jump on it! If it costs you a few bucks here or there, no big deal- you only live once. Worse case, you could resell it to a car person if it became too much.. Plus, you would have some great stories to tell...

I recently had a chance to get a wagon version of my first car, a 1987 Cavalier RS. I totally regret that now. I kept coming up with excuses to say no...but it was in good shape! Did need some stuff though.

I say give it a shot!

That would have been cool.  I circled out and back using Minneapolis (airport) ... ridiculously good Southwest fare.

Stories, indeed ... having people wave to you or pointing at you, pulling your hair out looking for parts, haggling with people to restore the rust spots, etc. but you're right about living only once.

Would prefer a colonnade coupe with either the 260 V8 or the inline 250 6, and no A/C, to toy with.  I know those engines. I periodically look for those. If there was a cheap "even firing" V6 in excellent condition from the late '70s or early '80s that could be swapped in, that would make this more attractive.  I had a feeling this unit would rumble like an earthquake if I cranked it over ... but then I could have been surprised.  The lady's husband needed to be around for me to ask more questions and look at it more carefully.

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I figure if it’s your “project” car, you should be okay. 🙂  Rust doesn’t look too bad, but I would want to see under the doors and around the rockers to see how much work would be evolved. Car will need a paint job anyways....will be different colors as she’s being fixed . Plus, you could always customize the car to your liking as well. The resources are out there, plus we have Balty too to offer advice.... 

I myself have been looking around for a fun project.......

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Should be plenty of room under the hood for a 3.8L turbo setup. 😀  I think '78 was the first year for the Grand National so you would only be pulling it ahead a year or two.

The rust would definitely worry me.  I would get underneath and see how bad the underbody is for sure.

This kind of reminds me of when I was driving through northern Ohio on a business trip back in 2010 and came across this beauty.  I had to stop and check it out.  I just stumbled across these pictures yesterday while looking for something different.  If you had the time, patience and tools this would have been a fun LS swap project in my book.  Throw a turbo or supercharger on it even.  I was just watching a video a week or two ago where someone did a turbo LS in like and 80's Mercury wagon and kept it looking stock.  Even went so far as to have the stock rear wheels widened to keep the sleeper look.

 

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Edited by 2QuickZ's
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2 hours ago, 2QuickZ's said:

Should be plenty of room under the hood for a 3.8L turbo setup. 😀  I think '78 was the first year for the Grand National so you would only be pulling it ahead a year or two.

Turbo 6 Buick; yes. But the Grand National debuted for '82.

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On 10/21/2020 at 9:25 PM, 2QuickZ's said:

Should be plenty of room under the hood for a 3.8L turbo setup. 😀  I think '78 was the first year for the Grand National so you would only be pulling it ahead a year or two.

The rust would definitely worry me.  I would get underneath and see how bad the underbody is for sure.

This kind of reminds me of when I was driving through northern Ohio on a business trip back in 2010 and came across this beauty.  I had to stop and check it out.  

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I'm going to guess '74, maybe '75.  I'd pull over, too! That's a good price - probably a 400 c.i., maybe a 455 c.i.?

Back to the V6.  I don't think I'd want to do the turbo 231.  It's not a project I'd do or could do. I was wondering if one could swap out the '77 "odd firing" V6 for the "even firing" "offset crankshaft" one that followed in '78, '79, '80 etc.  My dad had an '80 N.A. 231 and it fared well, save some CCC issues.  I had an '84 N.A. 231 in a hand me down Olds and really liked it.  It's more about getting an engine that has less vibration and more longevity. There really was a difference in smoothness. So, I want to know if the basic exterior design of the following 231 ('78 on) matches up in terms of manifolds, throttle cables, and all that, or is it different enough that a swap wouldn't be a slam dunk.  They made that last "even firing" 231 N.A. engine with a carburetor from '78 up to the '87 or '88 M.Y.

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On 10/21/2020 at 11:27 PM, balthazar said:

Turbo 6 Buick; yes. But the Grand National debuted for '82.

You are correct.  I was thinking in terms of the generations.  The second gen Regal started in 1978 but the Grand National didn't come along until 1982.

 

On 10/23/2020 at 12:31 AM, trinacriabob said:

I'm going to guess '74, maybe '75.  I'd pull over, too! That's a good price - probably a 400 c.i., maybe a 455 c.i.?

It had a 455 🙂

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