Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1994-96 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon

FL0113-144184_1.jpg (616×406) - Google Chrome 5262014 73054 PM.bmp Welcome to the Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage, a regular feature which aims to expand the notion of what a muscle car is, and to create a healthy dialog in the process. Wagons have always been a paradox to true muscle car aficionados. Most of the wagons offered were utilitarian at best, and not all that exciting. However, there are a few examples in which the lowly wagon became a full blown muscle car, but you may have never noticed. In 1955, Chevrolet introduced the breathtaking 1955 Nomad, and by 1957, it was offered with fuel injection. In 1964, again Chevrolet offered a two door Chevelle wagon, and it was available with all the performance hardware of the SS (without the nameplate). By the early 70s these faux wood beasts could be equipped with 327, 400, or 454 power. But what would you say to a 90′s land yacht from Buick, complete with plastic wood paneling, Vista Cruiser roof, and a Corvette LT-1 V8 under the hood? Say hello to a most unconventional muscle car, the Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon. DSCF6045.jpg (1024×768) - Google Chrome 5262014 72357 PM.bmp During the 1991 model year, General Motors rolled out their long awaited re-designs of their “B” bodied full size, rear wheel drive, sedans and wagons. The previous versions offered by all GM divisions were largely unchanged since their 1977 debut, with the exception of various face lifts and engine offerings. Originally, Chevrolet was the only division to offer the Caprice Sedan, but Buick and Oldsmobile wagon versions were also in the mix. There was nothing muscular about these cars, with a 5.0L V8 only producing 170HP, and only 255 lb ft of torque, which was barely adequate at hauling these leviathans with anything approaching performance. 1994_buick_roadmaster_4_dr_estate_wagon-pic-1055417047581732849.jpeg (1600×1200) - Google Chrome 5262014 72156 PM.bmp When the 1992 models were introduced, both the Buick and Oldsmobile wagons offered a 5.7L low output V8 shared with many of the Chevy trucks at that time, with throttle body fuel injection. But this engine was only marginally better, generating 180HP, and 300 lb ft of torque. Soon, the Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser was put out to pasture, and only the Buick and Chevrolet versions continued on. 103153d1318542575-buick-roadmaster-estate-wagon-custom-woody-rmw-lf.jpg (1024×768) - Google Chrome 5262014 72440 PM.bmp However, it was in the fall of 1993 that these cars had a heart transplant, with a derivative of the Corvette LT-1 taking up room in the engine compartment. This engine put out 260HP, and over 330 lb ft of torque. So how did this “B” body perform with the Corvette of V8s? Car and Driver test results showed 0-60 times clocked at 7.8 Seconds, and 1/4 mile times of 15.6 Seconds and a speed of almost 90 mph. This may not sound all that fast, but remember, this is almost a 5,000 pound wagon doing these times. 848d1249678077-what-tint-should-go-on-my-02chevy-impala-35-is-legal-and-thats-the-highest-i-dscf6006.jpg (2150×1612) - Google Chrome 5262014 72929 PM.bmp The Roadmaster Estate Wagon had it’s fair share of sales, with the high point being 1992, selling over 85,500 of the brawny wagons, and then settling down to around 40,000 per year for 1993 through 1996. These cars sold at healthy margins in those days, without the usual rebates, or 0% financing you find in today’s market. However, these rear wheel drive monsters (along with the Chevrolet Caprice, Impala, and Caprice Wagons, as well as the Cadillac Fleetwood) were soon discontinued because of Americas love affair with the SUV. The Arlington Texas assembly line was converted to produce Chevrolet Tahoes, GMC Yukons, and soon, the Cadillac Escalade. The last Buick Roadmaster Wagon produced was sold at a Barrett Jackson Auction in January of 2009. 2762557.jpg (1600×801) - Google Chrome 5262014 73923 PM.bmp Wagons are approaching “cult” status, and the Buick Roadmaster Estate (along with the Chevrolet Caprice, and to a lesser extent, the Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser), are leading the way. Think of these as latter day Chevy Nomads, or Ford Country Sedans with big horsepower, in a refined package. They will never be confused with an SUV, and really stand out in today’s sea of sameness. But what do you think? Should these land yachts be considered Muscle Cars? Are they obscure enough to be included in the Garage? Or should I just have my head examined for even thinking that a wagon could ever be a Muscle Car? Let the debate begin. RoadmasterGS005.jpg Photo by 81X11  Photobucket - Google Chrome 5262014 72642 PM.bmp [poll id=”215″] buickwagon.jpg (600×367) - Google Chrome 5262014 73506 PM.bmp Please Note: All Images are screen grabs from around the web. If you want credit for any image, please let me know in the comments section. Thank You! 102_0429.jpg (800×533) - Google Chrome 5262014 73944 PM.bmp

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