Potential buyer, Huntsville Al and intro

tabascojohn

New Member
I also posted this in the general engine tech forum.


This is my first post, although I have been lurking for some time. First let me introduce myself. My name is John and I am considering getting into a Turbo Buick. I can remember the first time I saw a GN. It was in 1988, I was in high school and my dad and I went to a Buick dealer just to look around. And there it was sitting in the show room. I remember thinking to myself that is a cool looking car. I also remember the salesman saying how quick it was and that not many people were aware of the cars performance.

I didn’t really pay too much attention to what he said. Little did I know his words would be proven to me about 4 years later. At that time I was in college and had saved enough money to buy my dream car which at that time was a 1990 charcoal metallic 6spd corvette. I thought my car could beat just about anything out there. Well, on a warm summer evening my cousin and I pulled up to a stop light on Countyline Rd just south of the I55 on ramp in Burr Ridge Il. A few seconds later a shiny black GN pulls up next to us. The driver of the GN and I were both looking over each others car. We both gave a little nod. When the light turned green I managed to get a jump on him, about a car length. Then my cousin and I heard this high pitched whine and then we saw the Buick shoot past us and our jaws just dropped. We could not believe what the hell just happened.

Anyway, ever since then I have had an admiration for these cars. I am now 38, live in Huntsville, Al and have 2 young children and thought this would be a good family hobby. There are very few cars that are this quick, cool, and can fit four comfortably. But before taking the plunge I would like to hear some of your Buick turbo car purchase experiences ( good and bad), and if you could answer the following questions:

Can I get a descent car for around $14k? I was thinking of getting a car with some mods but nothing too extreme. I would like to be able to run high 11’s at the track and be in the 12’s on the street. I also want to be able to drive it to work and get descent fuel mileage( low to mid 20’s mpg)

How much should I expect to spend the 1st year after purchase to get a reliable driver?

What are common problems with these cars? ( I have searched but I really don’t know what to search for)

Are these cars difficult to work on and are the finicky?

How much do you guys spend annually on maintenance and upkeep?

I know each car is unique and it is difficult to generalize but if you could give me ballpark figures.

Thanks for your time.
I look forward to reading your responses
John

Oh one other thing, are there many owners in the Northern Al area?
 
I would prefer a stock interior except for some gauges and a scan tool.

The silver 87 in Ga caught my eye as well as the GN in Ms with 49K on the clock.

Hope the 911 sells quickly, but with this economy, who knows
 
Look in ebay

Hi
Down in Dadeville which is 35 miles west of Auburn. I bought (stole) a good one for $16,100 on Jan 30 and had it shipped. I am just now getting some of the things it needs. The seller said it needed a a/c recharge. He did not say that Freon 12 is off the market for 15 years now. I got that on ebay too,

I am filling it up with cassettes which I threw out years ago from ebay too for 50 cents each.
 
I
Can I get a descent car for around $14k? I was thinking of getting a car with some mods but nothing too extreme. I would like to be able to run high 11’s at the track and be in the 12’s on the street. I also want to be able to drive it to work and get descent fuel mileage( low to mid 20’s mpg)


Yes. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Depends on where you are and what you can find.

How much should I expect to spend the 1st year after purchase to get a reliable driver?

Depends. Most of us can't keep our hands off the cars and a small project turns into a major modding spree.
What are common problems with these cars? ( I have searched but I really don’t know what to search for)

In my experience, most problems are caused by inexperienced owners. Many of the people that originally had these cars did not understand them as well as we (enthusiasts) do today. Sensors have been neglected, general maintenance as not bee performed...Are these cars difficult to work on and are the finicky?


These are easy to work on. Most inportant tool you need is patience.
If you fix and electrical problem, you'll have a flat tire. If you fix a flat, you'll have a fuel issue, etc... (I'm exaggerating of course but it always seems to be the case...)


How much do you guys spend annually on maintenance and upkeep?

I don't spend much on maint or up keep. I spend a ton on mods...:cool:
I know each car is unique and it is difficult to generalize but if you could give me ballpark figures.

You will spend lots of money on any car you buy. It's the nature of the beast. Every single one of us here starts out saying the same thing. " i just want something reliable - you know, a nice 12 maybe 11 second car..." Yeah right. Once you see how easy and relatively inexpensive it is to go fast you will not be able to stop and you will eventually find yourself buying another... Most guys here have more than one... It's a sickness. Welcome to the Darkside...;)

Good Luck
 
mods and more mods....That's what I am affraid of.:D

Hopefully the 911 will sell soon

Because the more I read and talk to people about the turbo buicks the more I want one.
 
mpg=30+ in a factory car sometimes

My 1987 GN was not well broken-in until 16,500 miles. It was tight at first and that showed up in the mileage. At 17,000 miles I drove 30 miles to a friends house where I gassed up. So the engine and drive line were warm. I drove 312 more miles on a cloudy day with a high relative humidity in 1989. The dense, cool, wet air may have had a water injection type of factor. It was a cool day of about 55 degrees. I did not need the a/c and drove 72 MPH. I got 27 mpg. The next 105 miles were at the 55 limit with traffic moving 61 or 62. I used so little gas it was hard to measure but it was about 3 gallons + a tiny amount I do not recall. That was at least 30 mpg and maybe 33. This was the only time I ever tested the mileage that well.

This was Wisconsin and at 117,000 miles I humanely put it to death by selling it for parts with a well cracked frame and well worn out drive line in a rusted body. It still had every engine/ trans part from factory except for one injector that clogged and had to be replaced at 70,000. I ALWAYS let it spin down after I stopped.

I never changer the chip which was supposed to be recalled for EPA violations.
 
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