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Cannondale
 
1980 Buick Le Sabre... Some questions.

I'm in the UK and one of these came up at auction but didn't sell. Excellent condition and 23k on the clock. It's likely it didn't sell as it was in the countryside where tiny country roads are not suitable for a 2 metre wide beast. Б3000!

The questions.... What could insurance be? It's proving hard to find a quote online. Does anyone in the know have an idea? I'm 22, 4 years no claims, clean license, no claims ever. I may have to do some phone calls instead.

If it proves that insurance is not prohibitively expensive and I buy it, what could be the disadvantages? I'm concerned about reliability issues, my basic knowledge of cars (very willing to learn though!) and security issues.

Cheers.
Old 10-12-2011, 04:55 AM Cannondale is offline  
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asa
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i'm willing to bet that there is no possible way for most of our members to answer the insurance quote unless they actually call up an insurance agent in the UK with your address

as to the rest, which engine did it have?
something with so few miles, and so many years is an oil-stained driveway waiting to happen
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:19 AM asa is offline  
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Cannondale
 
Insurance, too many variables...As I thought.

It's a V8 in the 300ci range.
Old 10-12-2011, 05:37 AM Cannondale is offline  
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d114
 
What engine does it have?

also 3000 pounds is a lot of money for such a piece of... wondrous art
Old 10-12-2011, 05:38 AM d114 is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannondale View Post
tiny country roads are not suitable for a 2 metre wide beast.



My folks had one of these... it didn't seem that big to us, but we're a bit overfed.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:07 AM RedEyes is offline  
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joemama
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I had to google because I couldn't remember what those looked like. It is a large, heavy car...but not really enormous compared to late 70's sedans. Just keep in mind that large V8 cars of that era will not only be thirsty, but also won't be particularly fast either. What you will get is a beast that will intimidate all the tiny 4cyl shitboxes running around England, while giving you a smooth, plush pimpmobile.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:15 AM joemama is online now  
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very smooth ride man
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:28 AM RedEyes is offline  
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Cannondale
 
That's my reason for badly wanting this. It just looks soooooo cool. Riding round the streets in Birmingham amongst all the tiny Corsas and Fiestas with me laid back in a red behemoth... Yea!
Old 10-12-2011, 09:31 AM Cannondale is offline  
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illig
 
You sure you want to pay UK gas prices for that?

I drove several similar boats in high-school (79 malibu, and 86 cutlass), and regularly got around 14 MPG around town...and I could go into the single digits if i tried.
Old 10-12-2011, 10:14 AM illig is offline  
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Cannondale
 
Insurance is around Б2300. Now to debate if it would really be worth it. Could you guys in the know shed light onto what the potential mechanical problems could be please? Why would it leak oil due to it's low milage?
Old 10-12-2011, 10:19 AM Cannondale is offline  
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joemama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannondale View Post
Insurance is around Б2300. Now to debate if it would really be worth it. Could you guys in the know shed light onto what the potential mechanical problems could be please? Why would it leak oil due to it's low milage?
You have to keep in mind that even with the low mileage, all of the seals including the head gasket, A/C system, belts/hoses etc..are 30+ years old if they haven't been replaced at some point. None of that stuff is prohibitively expensive (at least in the U.S.) but it can add up pretty quickly if you don't do the work yourself. If none of those things have been replaced then you can use that to negaotiate the price down a little..
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:26 AM joemama is online now  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannondale View Post
Insurance is around Б2300. Now to debate if it would really be worth it. Could you guys in the know shed light onto what the potential mechanical problems could be please? Why would it leak oil due to it's low milage?

BOPs of that era generally came with TH200-4R transmissions. Behind the torque of a smog-dog V8, they generally last ~50,000 miles. I rebuilt the one in my '86 Cadillac Fleetwood (came with a 307 Olds V8) three times over its lifespan (was totalled at 130k miles).

The 5L Olds is a very reliable, but very anemic V8. They generally came with a quadrajet and an EGR that'll gum up on you about every year or so. They have about 15 miles of vacuum tube under the hood, to control everything from the various pollution controls to the climate control.

I know jack shit about the 4.9L pontiac (301) that came with those cars, except that there was also a 301 turbo poncho that came in Firechickens of the era, and they're thought of as total turds.

The 350 Buick is a pretty damned stout, but likely hampered in the usual ways (under cammed, under carbureted) to comply with CAFE and pollution standards.
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:02 PM Jehannum is offline  
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d114
 
in what, 1975 or 76, they enacted those clean air regs and started to slap EGR's and vacuum controlled whizzers onto cars in the USA. This was due to some federal mandate.


However, outside of the USA, car manufacturers did not have this limitation.


could it be that the buick in the UK is a totally different beast than the buick here?

Also the turbo 350 should be drop in replacement for the TH200 with one less gear. and didnt they use TH200's up for the turbo GN's?
Old 10-13-2011, 04:25 AM d114 is offline  
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Jehannum
 
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in what, 1975 or 76, they enacted those clean air regs and started to slap EGR's and vacuum controlled whizzers onto cars in the USA. This was due to some federal mandate.


However, outside of the USA, car manufacturers did not have this limitation.


could it be that the buick in the UK is a totally different beast than the buick here?

Also the turbo 350 should be drop in replacement for the TH200 with one less gear. and didnt they use TH200's up for the turbo GN's?
GM did use the 200 behind turbo GNs, but they also used some beefier internals on that one, too.

Also, in stock form, the turbo GNs didn't put out as much torque as the V8s did.
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:00 AM Jehannum is offline  
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Buick sold LeSabre's in the UK?
Old 10-13-2011, 07:12 AM ritalinjoe is offline  
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