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BS: Buying 'orphan' car? LeSabre

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Uncle_DaveO 29 Sep 06 - 11:21 AM
John MacKenzie 29 Sep 06 - 12:04 PM
beardedbruce 29 Sep 06 - 12:08 PM
Uncle_DaveO 29 Sep 06 - 12:30 PM
catspaw49 29 Sep 06 - 12:40 PM
John MacKenzie 29 Sep 06 - 12:40 PM
catspaw49 29 Sep 06 - 12:52 PM
Uncle_DaveO 29 Sep 06 - 12:57 PM
Donuel 29 Sep 06 - 12:58 PM
kendall 29 Sep 06 - 12:59 PM
Donuel 29 Sep 06 - 01:14 PM
catspaw49 29 Sep 06 - 01:18 PM
kendall 29 Sep 06 - 07:24 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 29 Sep 06 - 08:27 PM
Joe Offer 29 Sep 06 - 08:36 PM
JohnInKansas 29 Sep 06 - 09:24 PM
Uncle_DaveO 30 Sep 06 - 05:50 PM
Bobert 30 Sep 06 - 07:52 PM
KateG 30 Sep 06 - 10:09 PM
catspaw49 01 Oct 06 - 05:46 AM

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Subject: BS: Buying 'orphan' car? LeSabre
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 11:21 AM

I'm about to buy a "new-to-me" car. I've been an enthusiastic Buick LeSabre driver for a number of years, and would in normal circumstances go straight to buying another, three or so years old.

However, production of the LeSabre has been discontinued, and I wonder if it's wise to buy an orphan car, fearing that availability of parts may be a problem down the way. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

That's the first question.

Next question: If I decide to go with something else, does anyone have any suggestions for a car that would be as much like the LeSabre as might be around?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying 'orphan' car? LeSabre
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 12:04 PM

You may find it shares a common engine and/or other parts with different Buick marques, if this is so spares will be around for longer.
Try a few different models before you commit, it costs nothing, and you will probably find something you like just as much or better.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying 'orphan' car? LeSabre
From: beardedbruce
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 12:08 PM

orphan? With the company still in business, they have to carry parts in dealerships for 9 years( US law). There should be a "twin" pontiac/Chevy/Oldsmobile/Caddy) model around, though.

You want ORPHAN? I have a 1968 AMC AMX.......( My father used to have a Nash Healy, so I guess it runs in the family...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying 'orphan' car? LeSabre
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 12:30 PM

I once had a HUDSON Rambler.    Yes, that's right, Hudson. The same as the Nash Rambler, with cosmetic differences.   Good car, as I remember.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying 'orphan' car? LeSabre
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 12:40 PM

Dave.....The idea that a car is an orphan is long gone in the corporate builds of the Big 3 and many others to boot. Every model is a corporate piece with sister models under different badges. In recent years your LeSabre has shared the same large car platform as the Olds 88/Aurora and the Pontiac Bonneville.

All have used the same old trusty GM "3800"....a 3.8liter pushrod V-6 of moderate performance and all of the same running gear from trans to suspension and steering to brakes. All pretty easily available parts and they will be for years and years to come.

The new replacement "Lucerne" follows the same pattern in sharing but now offers up the more environmentally friendly version of the 3800, down on power and emissions and a bit up on mileage but for the first time in a loooong time you can also get a V-8, but it's a winner engine, the Caddy developed "Northstar" cranks out serious power while not being too costly in gas. With some handling upgrades and trim level upgracdes available the new Lucerne becomes a Bimmer/Mercedes Wannabee s opposed to it's previous Toyota Wannabee status.

You'll have no problem with parts or servicing even though the LeSabre is gone......BTW, there is still a substantial rumor that the LeSabre name will be resurrected in a few years for a rear wheel drive large sedan using an Australian GM company, Holden, for the platform base. A Holden was already used for the very bulletproof and excellent Pontiac GTO so I for one would look forward to that!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying 'orphan' car? LeSabre
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 12:40 PM

On looking around I see Le Sabre Limited models around only 1 year old, so they must have only just discontinued it. Based on what Bruce said, you have 8 years of spares to look forward to on a car of that age.
G


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying 'orphan' car? LeSabre
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 12:52 PM

BTW Dave......Have you looked at Honda Accords and Toyota Camrys?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying 'orphan' car? LeSabre
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 12:57 PM

Yes, LeSabre is only recently discontinued. As a matter of fact, I don't know the effective date. I am sure it was being produced in 2003, which is my general target year.

With the info and advice you folks have given me, I will try for a LeSabre, and failing that, an Olds 88/Aurora.

Thanx!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying 'orphan' car? LeSabre
From: Donuel
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 12:58 PM

The Park Ave is a better quality Le Sabre. Same engine, different wheel base in some years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying 'orphan' car? LeSabre
From: kendall
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 12:59 PM

Drive a Hyundai Sonata and you'll throw rocks at the Buick.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying 'orphan' car? LeSabre
From: Donuel
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 01:14 PM

better mileage on a Sonata too, it wieghs far less.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying 'orphan' car? LeSabre
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 01:18 PM

Assuming Kendall that you mean a 2006 after the redesign, I'd agree. Before then, they were okay but no great shakes. The 2006 was a quantum leap forward for Hyundai.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying 'orphan' car? LeSabre
From: kendall
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 07:24 PM

I drive a 2001 and it is one of the best cars I have ever owned. It's smart, rides good and gets 32 mpg.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying 'orphan' car? LeSabre
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 08:27 PM

Don't worry. With all the Baby Boomers that'll be turnin' into Geezers soon, GM'll bring the LeSabre back. Lookit what happened with the Camaro. GM dropped it but had to bring it back because all the topless dancers wouldn't have any way to get to work with no Camaros to drive.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying 'orphan' car? LeSabre
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 08:36 PM

Aw, Dave, I think you ought to move up to a Park Avenue.

-Joe Offer, Honda Civic Driver-


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying 'orphan' car? LeSabre
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 09:24 PM

Since at least the late 1940s, nearly all the parts that have gone into any new car have come from OEM suppliers outside the actual circle of "car manufacturers." Every part has a "supplier part number" under which the specifications and dimensions are listed in order to offer the parts to the people who select what to put into a given make/model. The parts actually shipped generally are provided with a different "auto maker's part number."

If you go to a new car dealer, and/or to his repair shop, you'll find insistence that "only the real my brand part number will work," and there may be some difficulty getting the part from the dealer - however - your local salvage parts dealer, if up to date, has the "Interchange Book" that lists the part manufacturer's original part number alongside the "automaker's part number" for every alias under which that part was sold.

In a specific instance (ca. 1958, admittedly), a 1937 3/4 Ton Chevrolet pickup truck was repaired using exact interchange parts, including a drive shaft salvaged from a 1952 Chrysler passenger car and a transmission from a Ford that was, I believe, a 1955 model.

The overhaul manuals for a more recent Chevrolet (Blazer) included the (interchangeable) part numbers for both the Chevvie and the GMC versions. Although nearly every part had different part numbers, they were identical in both versions, with the exception of the tailgate outer panel that had "Chevrolet" or "GMC" stamped into it, one pair of decals, and one bolt-on insignia for each (left and right) of the fender panels. (The GMC parts averaged about 15% more expensive than the identical parts with Chevvie numbers on the box, based on my queries to a local GMC dealer when the Chevvie dealer happened to not have something in stock.)

Since the original parts generally are not actually made by the automakers, but come from "OEM Suppliers," any repair parts will come directly from the same OEM Suppliers or from "Aftermarket Suppliers" who contract to provide the spares. As long as sufficient "anybodies" are driving a given make/model of vehicle, these aftermarket folk are going to supply parts for them.

The possible exceptions are with large "body parts/panels" and occasionally with headlights etc., where exotic shapes have been used. A good body shop seldom really has to replace a panel, since any lump of something close enough can be hammered (or puttied) to fit. The lighting fixtures sometimes present a more difficult problem, but your insurance guy knows somebody who can handle it... (if he/she will tell you).

ON THE OTHER HAND - Approaching a dealer and announcing that you want a specific model/make of used car is the absolutely most sure and certain way of assuring that you'll pay at least 15% - 40% more than necessary to get what the salesman "knows you want." Be flexible, or at least look like you are.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying 'orphan' car? LeSabre
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 05:50 PM

This afternoon my wife and I went to a local GMC Pontiac Buick dealer, and were made aware of one and shown and drove another live possibility.

We were told of (but won't see until Monday) a 2002 LeSabre Limited, with 20,000 miles on it. We were told, and Carfax verifies, it is a one owner car, bought here in Indiana and sold here. No indication of wrecks, etc. "Loaded" was the word. They want $13,000.

Although we are getting out of our current 1994 Cadillac DeVille (partly because of relatively high mileage, its age, and the necessity to use premium, we were shown, drove, and have borrowed for the weekend a 1999 Cadillac DeVille-Concourse, with 24,000 miles. Gas mileage is estimated about the same per gallon as the LeSabre. What seems to be the full set of repair-and-service records are in the glovebox. Again, it's one owner, the saleswoman's husband's grandmother, who no longer can drive. Loaded, attractive. They ask for $13,500. I haven't seen fit to run a Carfax on this one. The two drawbacks to this are (1) it requires premium, like our Cadillac, which will cost us about $300 a year extra by comparison to the 2002 LeSabre; and (2) the shift mechanism is in one of those between-the-seats consoles instead of on the steering column. I don't care too much for that, but it's not a deal-breaker.

We haven't yet got to how much they would give us for our 1994 Caddie, but Kelley Blue Book estimates the trade-in value for it at $2,000 to $2,500 in this area.

I thought some of you just might be interested in the followup thus far. More later.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying 'orphan' car? LeSabre
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 07:52 PM

Shoot, buyin' a late model GM car is like runnin' yer money thru a shreader...

The value on the sucker will drop like a stone...

Go to Cyunsumer Reports and buy a decent car that will hold its value, like a Toyota or Honda...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying 'orphan' car? LeSabre
From: KateG
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 10:09 PM

Bobert & Spaw are right. Check out a Camry or Accord -- they run forever, sip gas (especially the Camry, can be serviced by any compentent mechanic and last forever (or at least til you're sick of them).


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying 'orphan' car? LeSabre
From: catspaw49
Date: 01 Oct 06 - 05:46 AM

A word on parts...........

The situation John mentioned regarding an interchange of driveshafts and transmissions was from a far earlier time and doesn't apply today. It would apply to batteries and occasionally another small part like a spark plug, but you won't find a Ford tranny in a Pontiac. But WITHIN the Ford of Chrysler or General Motors groups there are differences across lines (Buick versus Pontiac for instance) only in the coachwork. They use "platform" names such as Zeta or G-Truck to denote which is which (Buick LeSabre=Pontiac Bonneville). Go ask any Chevy dealer if he has ever received a pickup (a C-Truck) with GMC badges or vice versa....almost all have. They're are completely identical except for badges and built in the same plant.

But let me make you aware of the "Name Brand" parts situation. For all of you like Dave I suspect who like to stick with OEM parts or at least other name brands. What is in the box may or may not bre made by the name on the outside. First, because not every part company makes all their parts and in the case of many, they make only a few if any and simply buy from someone else and put it in their boxes. But it gets worse. You buy a genuine AC fuel pump. It was probably made by Airtex, a huge supplier in their own right who also make fuel and water pumps branded as "Master"(their own in-house) plus for TRW, Dana, and several others.....but it may not be an Airtex in the box either! Maybe I work Carter and I come in to a Warehouser and sell him on swapping to my pumps. I rebox almost all of his in Carter boxes. A few years later the guy goes to AC and again a rebox. Get it? If the supplier warranties the product, this is completely legal....and extremely common. So when someone tells me they wouldn't use anything but AC parts or "Raybestos" brakes or something, it inspires a chuckle. And btw, I have reboxed parts that I knew were destined for Ford or Chevy or other Big 3 OEM dealerships as well as some I knew would go to Toyota and Honda dealerships. NO ONE IS IMMUNE!

Dave, I like ya' and I say this with all due respect....Try to shake that hook out of your mouth and go look at Camrys and Accords. When a GM has 150,000 miles on it I figure it needs (or is about to need) some significant work. When a Honda has the same mileage, I figure it's almost broke-in.

Spaw


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