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Thread: Getting to be about that time again...need another A-body

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Century7667 View Post
    That's the story of auto repair over the last few decades. The repair isn't bad; what's bad is un-peeling the onion to get to the repair. This was already the case for the a-body, but in 1996 when I was shopping for a new car, the a-body was the least cramped and most serviceable on the mid sized market at the time. The '96 Ford Taurus was the absolute WORST; that was the first year of the suppository/jelly bean shaped Taurus cars. I look at what it took too just replaced the drive belt and walked away. At least in 1996 you could get your arm into the bay of the Buick.

    Ken T.
    Looking at it now, it's crazy to think that the A-body was available at the same time as the jelly Bean Tauras. Those two cars couldn't be farther apart, from an engineering standpoint. Well, and looks too, lol.

    But these days, all the new cars look like they were sculpted by the same person and produced by the same manufacturer.
    -Andy

    '86 Eurosport VR coupe
    '86 Eurosport sedan
    '88 Eurosport VR coupe
    '89 Eurosport wagon



  2. #32
    Senior Member Century7667's Avatar
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    Andy,

    Yeah, they had one year of crossover. I wasn't really looking for the a-body in particular at the time. I drove a brand new '83 Celeb in driver's ed, but I didn't really appreciate the car then, as it was a new design. But, my wife, true to her conservative nature, really appreciated the old style climate controls and the rest of the interior. At that point I was thinking "Oh yeah.... that's the old GM a-body!" I really liked the refreshed grill; looked BMW-ish. I asked the salesman, "Can you get a Buick 3.8 in that?" The answer was no, but we bought it anyway. It turned out to be a fantastic first new car. Still have it. Waiting for me to do something about the transmission.

    "But these days, all the new cars look like they were sculpted by the same person and produced by the same manufacturer."

    Too close to the truth buddy!

    Ken T.

  3. #33
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    I just wish I could say I bought an A-body as a new car. Or any new car really. But I just don't see that happening anymore, so I'll have to rely on the memories of being with my dad when he bought something new. Or almost, lol. I remember being SOOOO close to having him talked into a new '96 Impala SS.

    And to Alan, if you are interested, I know we're there's a complete and rust free Celebrity 4dr that's been sitting in a guys back lot for many years. I don't remember if it was an '84 or '85. I'm almost positive it was a 2.5, but maybe a 2.8 with a carb. It's been several years since I looked at it. It's a light/medium blue with a blue interior. Could probably be had for 200-300 bucks. However, it's in South Central VA, Blackstone to be specific. I could help with pickup arrangements, potentially even picking it up for you if you aren't in a rush. At the very least, I could make arrangements for you to stay the night at our company's rental house while you were in town to pick up the car.
    -Andy

    '86 Eurosport VR coupe
    '86 Eurosport sedan
    '88 Eurosport VR coupe
    '89 Eurosport wagon

  4. #34

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    check craigslist Johnstown-Altoona pa for a 89 6000. very tempting but I need suv

  5. #35
    Senior Member Century7667's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 86euro View Post
    I just wish I could say I bought an A-body as a new car. Or any new car really. But I just don't see that happening anymore, so I'll have to rely on the memories of being with my dad when he bought something new. Or almost, lol. I remember being SOOOO close to having him talked into a new '96 Impala SS.

    And to Alan, if you are interested, I know we're there's a complete and rust free Celebrity 4dr that's been sitting in a guys back lot for many years. I don't remember if it was an '84 or '85. I'm almost positive it was a 2.5, but maybe a 2.8 with a carb. It's been several years since I looked at it. It's a light/medium blue with a blue interior. Could probably be had for 200-300 bucks. However, it's in South Central VA, Blackstone to be specific. I could help with pickup arrangements, potentially even picking it up for you if you aren't in a rush. At the very least, I could make arrangements for you to stay the night at our company's rental house while you were in town to pick up the car.
    Well, she's not new any more, but everything she's been through I know...especially when it comes to service. I think the hardest thing to find when looking used is getting a clean interior. Very hard, very rare, and when they come along they are more expensive. Remember that '90 Century that was on ebay that was showroom new with something like 100 miles on it? That thing went for $5k, and I think that was a bargain. It had the 3300, and all it really lacked was the the 4T60 trans (it had the 3T40).

    Still, there are some really straight ones out there like the '95 I bought that was driven by an old lady. Another old lady around the block from me has a pair of Ciera's (one blue and one white). Perfect condition too; both are garage kept.

    Ken T.

  6. #36
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    I know what you mean Ken. A few years ago a friend(car salesman)of mine had a super low mileage '93 Century on his lot. Fully loaded, all original and perfect in every way. Like the day it was originally delivered. Still had the factory plastic on the seats, window sticker and original factory mats in the trunk. Went for 8000 dollars and they were saying it went cheap. I have not seen one like that again........not since the day I bought mine. God how I wish these were still being made.

  7. #37
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    I'm still beating on this poor Uplander van. Haven't really got into all its issues on this forum yet, let's just say I've replaced everything once and now I'm replacing things for a second time, and my 12 month investment in it so far is about to exceed $7000. I'm sitting here reading this old thread thinking how many A-bodies I could have reconditioned and resold in that time with that money and I'm heartbroken. That said, it's thread revival time.

    In the past two years Craigslist has been pretty much abandoned and Facebook Marketplace is where it's at. I've also moved from Ohio to Oklahoma and the cars down here have different problems than cars up north. They don't rust out here but the paint and interiors get trashed quick. FBM makes it difficult to steal pictures, too. Images have to have matching timestamps from the time the ad was clicked on or they don't show up right, and the pictures are always shuffling around. I might have to use an upload service to post everything.

    That said, here's the couple of A-bodies on FBM I'm looking at now...


    https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...2482400790183/
    1986 Cutlass Ciera GT coupe in gray on maroon with a 3800
    interior is getting rough, paint isn't that great, has various damage all around
    $1200, located just north of Albuquerque NM, about 540 miles away


    https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...0745798775337/
    1993 Ciera sedan in silver with a 3300 I'm guessing
    this one has been sitting, might be a dud, don't know yet
    $500, located in Amarillo TX, about 215 miles away, within AAA distance!

    And then there's THIS bad boy which is actually HERE IN TOWN...


    https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...2276586182370/
    1988 Oldsmobile Firenza 2-door, OHC engine, automatic, pretty well equipped
    cranks but doesn't start, and he's down to wanting $645 for it

    It may not be an A-body but it's one size smaller and it's rare enough that I might have to get it.

    Other cars I'm trying to consider include:

    an ex-City of Lawton 1993 Dodge Spirit with the 2.5 but he thinks it's worth $1800 with half the paint peeled off
    a 1966 Oldsmobile 88 sedan with the left rear door folded in half for $1550
    several 93-97 Concorde/LHS/New Yorker sedans most with the 3.3 V6
    a couple 97-05 Buick Century W-body sedans with the 3.1 V6
    a couple 00-05 Chevy Impala sedans with the 3.4 or 3.8
    a couple 06-09 Chevy Impala sedans with the 3.5 (which would better suit sitting next to the Uplander's 3.9)

    there's also about 13 Dodge Dynasty sedans around the USA some are actually pretty nice but the others are questionable...nicest one is $900 in Indiana but that's 900 miles away too
    Alan Moore - Lawton, OK
    RIP Cobalt February 2020
    08 Uplander LS van, maroon, 259K and counting

  8. #38
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    This one popped up today as well...


    https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...56250638737897
    1991 Century sedan, blue on blue, 128K, 3300 I assume, not horrible, $1100, about 80 miles out (OKC)

    I really like that Firenza but I can DRIVE the Century.
    Alan Moore - Lawton, OK
    RIP Cobalt February 2020
    08 Uplander LS van, maroon, 259K and counting

  9. #39

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    Well that Firenza is a one year only production. That front clip is completely unique to that car, and that year. Finding parts to replace could be an issue. Otherwise its just a j-body, and the rest of the parts should be normal to find, assuming you have J-Bods in your area.

    Depending on the engine, I really like the J-Bodys, as long as they have the V6 in them. The later 2.2 in the 93+ were good, in manual tranny form. This one has the 2.0 SOHC.. More powerful than the later 2.2 OHV, but the head gasket is a known failure point. They are fairly easy to work on thou.

    My money is on the 96 GT.. Just cant beat the 3800, and a 2 door to boot.
    Brian - Carpe Diem

    I dont have to love my president, or any god, to love my country!!
    More people have died in the name of "God" than in all wars combined thruout history
    01 Pontiac Aztek GT AWD 127k - 04 GMC Envoy SLT XUV 193k

  10. #40
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    Those are my exact thoughts on the Firenza. It's one year only, but only for cosmetics. Otherwise it has the same problems any Sunbird or Cavalier would have, which at the moment includes a lack of options on RockAuto for front struts. You can buy the complete spring and strut ASSEMBLY for one side up front, but only the INDIVIDUAL pieces for the other side. Everything else is cheap and plentiful. So whether this no start issue is an ignition module, or a bad coil, or the fuel pump, or needing a top end rebuild, I'll be able to handle it.

    The worst parts about the Ciera GT are the distance to acquire it and the difficulty in finding good interior parts. It's also a little rough on the outside but nothing that can't be fixed. Finding the right trim level on the trim parts will be the issue. That might be a vehicle that would require a rusted out northern parts car to get all the plastic pieces and interior from.

    If my wife and I take a trip to D/FW there are plenty more to choose from, but if I go to D/FW with $1200 I can guarantee I'm bringing home a navy blue 1992 Dynasty LE with the 3.3 that needs a fuel injector rail but is otherwise decent. I'm certain I can find a 3.3L with a good rail in one of the numerous self service yards in Dallas or Fort Worth and get that going just fine.
    Alan Moore - Lawton, OK
    RIP Cobalt February 2020
    08 Uplander LS van, maroon, 259K and counting

  11. #41
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    Of course, I get my heart set on a thing and something bad happens.

    The trailer park owners pulled out an older house today and took out the back of my van with it.

    So as usual, everything previously planned gets put on hold until that gets dealt with.

    Also, found another interesting vehicle locally...1992 Riviera, white on white on white with blue interior plastics and carpet, for $1700!

    https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...ok_story_share

  12. #42
    Senior Member Cressida's Avatar
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    Hard to imagine why they didn't have a spotter to help watch for clearance issues when moving a trailer. They should do better than that.

    I can't imagine that silver 93 will last long. It looks very clean and could last another decade.
    1993 Olds Ciera S, 3300 - 110K - Sapphire blue leather interior

    98 Chevy Venture 3.4L 196K

  13. #43

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    I would rock that Rivy all day long.. Great little cars.. Parts used to be plentiful inbetween it, the Tornado, Rivy, Eldorado, Seville, Reatta, and another one I cant remember, but unlimited for drivetrain, since it was used in almost everything from GM with a 3800.

    Better buy it quick.. Im tempted.
    Brian - Carpe Diem

    I dont have to love my president, or any god, to love my country!!
    More people have died in the name of "God" than in all wars combined thruout history
    01 Pontiac Aztek GT AWD 127k - 04 GMC Envoy SLT XUV 193k

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