Cohort Outtake 1984 Buick Electra – Easy Fix


Well, the project car now has paint, LED’s instead of incandescent bulbs on the dash and the engine doesn’t smoke, stall or shake even when subjected to the watery excuse we have serving as fuel. This, combined with a short and mostly traffic-less commute means that I’m now looking for the next bargain, something unloved enough to look beaten, that is so rare and not-japanese that the average buyer won’t bother fixing and yet not so far gone that it will actually be salvageable…now if I could only find something like this.

After my Panther experience, I’ve had even more incentive to drool over the magnificence of the traditional American experience, and when it comes to traditional American experience, all those movies I saw as a kid (And the magnificent Grand Marquis that has a supporting role in Stranger Things) is that the most American way of traveling is a wagon manufactured by the big-three, Di-Noc contrasting with either Crimson or Blue paint.


Of course, being in a neck of the woods far, far away from Massachippisippi, old wagons are very hard to find, as hard to find as a tatty W113/116/126/124 or a last-gen Toyota Cressida Diesel (Number of them that I know exist: 2) or that Porscre-VW 914 that I saw rotting in a garage once. When they do appear though, they appear in similar condition as this one, caught and uploaded to the cohort by tbm3fan, which actually looks pretty well for its age and the almost-complete eradication of its kind in the new-car market.


It’s a great base to start. By 1984 the B-Body had already gone through its first redesign and would go on to print money with relatively few changes until the 1991 redesign. For the man who wouldn’t stoop down to a Custom Cruiser or, god forbid, a Caprice, Buick had the Electra wagon. In Sloanian terms, the closest thing to a Cadillac wagon that you could get without paying for someone to hack a wagon roof into a Fleetwood.


So what did you get for your money apart from the badge? Well, the usual trim and logo changes to justify the higher price, the Buick dash with Round gauges instead of the horizontal speedo. Oh…and the engine was Buick’s own 350 instead of Chevrolets. If you were brave you could also ask for the LF9 diesel. Performance? Well, I suppose it has some, but do you really want to ask about the performance of the 18-feet long wagon from the tail end of the smog-choked era?


I’d really really love to get my hands on one of these, I won’t be going anywhere fast and I would much rather have the Chevy instruments (who in GM had the bright idea to put the fuel gauge in a speedo-sized pod and not invest the $2.56 per car it would’ve cost to make a bespoke gauge for the gear indicator instead of putting it on the one where the fuel level should’ve been) But an American full-size that still has all its chrome, a straight body and little in the way of rust? Sign me up! Alas, as it stands, I’ll just keep browsing the classifieds to find…something…interesting…

There’s a WHAT!?