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UncleLee Date: 1/25/01 9:20 AM Number: 1264

<<It sounds like you've done some research already. A clean 1996 Buick Roadmaster might fit your needs:>>

With the 350 modified corvette engine, the 1996 Buick Roadmaster "Estate Wagon" is like a large four wheeled rocket and was the last Roadmaster and the last large station wagon GM built and may become a collector's item for those who care for such vehicles.

Personally, I deliberately stayed away from them because:

1. They look too much like the 1976 and earlier models which also had those terrible hot-house slanted rear windows which collected dust, gave heatstroke to the rearmost passengers, and were an inefficient use of interior space;

2. They come standard with ABS which, although great in theory and in certain circumstances usually relatively effective and functional when new, often fail to function properly with age, are much more expensive to maintain, and seem to encourage idiots to drive faster in reliance upon them which more than negates any originally intended safety benefit (Note that some insurance companies have dropped the planned ABS discount because, in their experience, the accidents were more frequent, the damage more severe, and the repair costs higher with ABS than with conventional brakes.);

3. They come standard with the federally mandated air bags (instead of a properly designed "four point" harness which I believe should be available as an alternate option on all new cars) and, having had two heart attacks with only about half of my original heart still living, the last thing in the world I might want to experience would certainly not be a sudden and apparently quite large explosive device going off in my face unexpectedly;

4. They have the fancy plastic molded head light assemblies which are more expensive to replace than the halogen sealed beam units which are both more readily available and more economical to replace;

5. They have rear ends which are uglier than sin; and

6. They cost too much.



P.S. My personal preference is an older Buick Estate Wagon (usually an Electra or a LeSabre) with the 403 "V-8", the good old smooth and dependable three speed automatic transmission, and the steel rims.

Few have noticed that, when they went to the fancy "mag wheels" which are thicker, they retained lug bolts very similar in length so that the lug nuts cannot be as completely or as adequately tightened because there is insufficient thread sticking out through the thicker fancy rims.

Check it out for yourselves. Many of you in many different new or newer vehicles are currently driving on this particular bit of short-sighted stupidity.

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