Unsold but not Unloved
Writing about an automobile as invisible as this old Buick has been a challenge. What do I say that already hasn't been said about a car that is about as interesting to most people as an old VCR? I tried cataloging the history of the American two door sedan. Then, an itricate detailing of the history of GM's downsized intermediate coupes. I even worked on telling a story about my own personal experience with the four door version of this car. Hey, if you think this car is bland as a "sporty" coupe, don't operate heavy machinery if you happen to come across the sedan version. You...are getting...sleepy. Are you still reading this? Oh. Bless your heart. I'm boring myself to near tears rehashing the slop of black on white I've already deleted.
Staying true to my personal manifest to finish all things that I start, I have ventured forth once again to blog about this most ordinary of late '70s automobilia. So, grab a clean leisure suit, platform shoes and Star Wars poster and take a deep (brown) dive with me into what it is I like about this car. BTW, I've been told I have some masochist tendencies. Apparently, since you're still reading this, so do you.
Somehow, someway I'm smitten with this little lounge lizard. Why? Well, first of all I like two door cars. A lot. They are, sadly, all but extinct these days. Secondly, I like GM cars. A lot. Those almost became extinct going on five years ago. I like these "downsized" intermediates that the good general rolled out for model year 1978 too. Mind you I like some more than others. I'm looking at you, 1978-1980 Monte Carlo. Yuck. And I like V-8 engines in small cars. A. Lot.
The V-8 in a small car thing has a powerful aura (for me); I love a granny mobile having the heart of a lion. Stealth. Personified. Even if that lion is a bit asthmatic and lacking in the real get up and go department. At least this car sounds like a real car and not some under baked, battery powered golf cart. Those with a keen eye can tell that the engine in this Buick is the much lamented Pontiac 301 V-8. Sorry. This is not the much more desirable Chevrolet 305. The 301 gets knocks for having only three main bearings, the heads have siamesed ports, fragile crankshafts and a number of other designed in tricks that were to help the 301 get as many miles to a gallon as possible. Downside to that is that the 301 doesn't have much in the way of "real" power. My limited experience with 301 powered automobiles was that it provided ample push and it's smoother and more powerful than the Buick V-6 (that was standard on this car). Better still, at least it's not one of the other miserable "economy" V-8 engines like the Oldsmobile 260, Pontiac 265, Chevrolet 267 or worse yet, the Olds 350 diesel. Up against those ghastly lumps, especially that Olds diesel, the 301 really ain't half bad.
My wife and I are toying with the idea of getting an older car for our, now licensed to drive, 16 year old son. She says older and means 7-10 years old. We need to communicate more effectively because when I say older I mean something like an old hoopty like this here '79 Regal. Our son has been using our 5700 pound, 7 year old, 320 horsepower Tahoe as his own since he got his license a couple of months ago. This 3200 pound, 34 year old, 140 horsepower Buick makes much more sense to me for him to be driving. Then again, I'm shushed aside like Ole Grandad making poppy cock at the Sunday dinner table whenever I bring this car up.
Apparently she's not alone in her disdain of this old Buick. This car, with only 25,000 miles on her btw, has been for sale for a while now and has had two significant price cuts. Yet it still it sits unsold...but not...unloved.