If you read the editorials in Old Cars Weekly, you know I'm now the proud owner of a slightly used 1994 Buick Roadmaster LT-1 station wagon.
I bought the car after eating lunch with retired car owner extraordinaire Kenny Buttolph. Over lunch, I made the mistake of telling Kenny I needed a winter beater as a back-up to my 210,000-mile 1989 Caprice V-6 sedan, and he said he had just spotted a "nice" Buick woodie for sale in a driveway. Now, there are two things you should know: I'll never sell my rusty and trusty Caprice. It's ugly and rust is making it fall apart, but the extremely low amount of repairs and reliability I've experienced in the last five years and 110,000 miles will shame any proud Honda owner, and it gets 23 mpg, sometimes better.
Secondly, anyone who knows Kenny has heard him use the word "nice" to describe a car in his trademarked high-pitched voice kind of way. But they also know that Kenny uses the word "nice" to describe cars in a wide variety of conditions. Basically, if he would buy a car, it's "nice." That car may be a solid, intact No. 4 project car, or a well-restored No. 1 or 2 car, as long as it was solid and intact before restoration. Original options and unusually ordered cars may positively or negatively affect a car's ability to be considered "nice."
I wasn't really looking for a Roadmaster (or "Roadmonster," as I like to call them), but I always liked them. And after a drive that Kenny called "short" short (the car was more than an hour away), we found the wagon below.
I've had my version of the "Family Truckster" since December and am enjoying it. I only use it when the weather is nice, and when I go to the Twin Cities to visit family and friends. And I'm looking forward to hauling some Cadillac parts to the body shop with the rig, thanks to its spacious rear compartment. I'll be able to make it to the shop quick, too, thanks to its high-perf engine.
However, at the fault of the car's LT-1, I find my right foot is getting heavier as time goes by. Even though it's engine is based on the 'Vette powerplant, it doesn't quite feel like a Corvette. I do keep the second and third seat in the "down" position, so I do drive one of the postwar era's largest two seaters. And, as Kenny says, "when you're in the driver's seat, you can't tell how many doors your car has." I'll tell ya, when it comes to doors, and with all of this wagon's glass, I'm able to see how many doors I've blown off the cars behind me!
With this 1994 Buick Roadmaster, I join the Old Cars Weekly LT-1 fraternity. Technical Editor Ron Kowalke also has an LT-1-powered Roadmaster wagon, and retired OCW staffer Ken Buttolph has three big 1990s GM wagons...and counting.