Buick Roadmaster

Flip This Car: Archive

We love Christopher Smith’s way with words, with old cars, and with the combination of the two. Flip This Car is a series that Chris has been writing, and we’ve all been enjoying for quiet some time now.

With a brand new installment of FTC just starting, and many more sure to be headed our way over upcoming months and years, we wanted to make sure that the total FTC saga had a permanent home here on Winding Road.

Be sure to bookmark this page if you’re as big a car-flipping fan as we are, and we’ll be sure to update it just as often as new content becomes available.

Got questions, ideas, or cars to buy/sell for Mr. Smith? Be sure to write all in the comments section below. (Including, but not limited to, any and all lovable but barely streetable pieces of near-crap that you may want to see Flipped!)

By James Bradbury | December 09, 2011
Flip This Car: 1994 Buick Roadmaster—The Finale

Well friends, it finally happened. I knew the first potential buyer to actually look at the Beast would take it home, and after nearly nine months of sheer selling frustration, that’s exactly what happened two days ago. The Roadmaster will now serve a young woman finishing high school in the southwest region of Michigan, sparing her a winter fighting an unruly pickup truck.

By Christopher Smith | November 21, 2011
Flip This Car: 1994 Buick Roadmaster—Part Seven

The Buick should’ve long passed into the realm of new ownership, but alas the market for older V-8 sedans that can boogie in a straight line just isn’t very hot, unlike the temperatures gripping pretty much all of the continental United States at the moment. Admittedly, I’ve also been pretty firm on a $2500 price tag—that’s just about what I have in the Beast but the current heat wave has also dampened my motivation for selling because, well, it’s a cool car. And I mean that quite literally.

By Christopher Smith | July 24, 2011
Flip This Car: 1994 Buick Roadmaster—Part Six

So yeah, part six is coming out a little lot later than planned, but here’s a great lesson to all the readers out there thinking about doing some flipping of your own. Sometimes winter weather moves in like a deranged uncle, drinking all your beer, taking up all your space in the garage and refusing to even head out for an afternoon so you can get your car properly spruced up without fear of frostbite.

By Christopher Smith | April 18, 2011
Flip This Car Extra: 1994 Buick Roadmaster—Beast vs. Blizzard

Seyth Miersma recently had his own tale of conquering Snowpocalyse 2011 in the Mazda 2 long-termer around Ann Arbor. Since I work outside the Winding Road home office a few hours north, I’m privy to a more rural setting for my daily commuting, but that can bring with it a whole new set of problems when it comes to big snow. The 1994 Buick Roadmaster is still in my grasp; it has proven to be a staple of all-weather reliability and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to relay my own blizzard story as experienced behind the wheel of the Beast. It also gives me a chance to drop a few not-so-sneaky hints as to the new Flip This Car machine, which also happens to be a white sedan but is decidedly better suited for rallycross. Whoops, there’s a hint already.

By Christopher Smith | February 21, 2011
Flip This Car: 1994 Buick Roadmaster—Part Five

A bit of time has passed since the Beast’s rallycross adventure. Truth is, winter has set in through these mid-Michigan parts, and the cold combined with the hustle and bustle of the holidays simply hasn’t left much time for neat-o things to do with the Roadmaster. And then last week the “other” car was sidelined by a disagreement between myself, a deer, and Sir Issac Newton. Yeah, the Beast is a daily driver just like the 1989 SHO was, but I leaned long ago to never fly solo when dabbling with older fixer-uppers. Well, while the insurance company decides what to do with car number one, the old Roadmaster is now well and truly the single vehicle in this household. If you’re curious how that makes me feel, let me sum it up in two words: Just fine.

By Christopher Smith | January 23, 2011
Friday Video: Flip This Car Edition, Racing The White Whale

In the last edition of Flip This Car, Chris Smith took his 1994 Buick Roadmaster (AKA The Beast, AKA Moby Dick) out racing. Apparently a master of both over and understeer, Chris may not have fared that well in the actual rallycross standings, but it’s hard not to count this a major moral victory for grandpa-wagons the world-over. Sure, a few orange cones had to give up their lives for the glory of the Buick, but we can live with that.

By Seyth Miersma | December 17, 2010
Flip This Car: 1994 Buick Roadmaster—Part Four

Entering the small dirt oval at the Calhoun County Fairgrounds, I was the subject of some attention. Situated among a host of Japanese runabouts and numerous other cars that could fit in the trunk of the Beast, I had no hope of being inconspicuous. In retrospect, signing this car up for a Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Rallycross event likely wasn’t the best use of the Buick’s ability, but from the moment I spied this car sitting on gigantic truck tires, I knew it was destined for an off-road adventure. That adventure materialized on Saturday December 4, as the Beast and I made a 200 mile round trip to compete in Round 10 of the Detroit Region SCCA Rallycross—the season ender—in Marshall, Michigan. If you’ve already spied the destroyed orange cone in the photo gallery, you’ve likely deduced that things didn’t go so well. In that assessment, you would be correct.

By Christopher Smith | December 14, 2010
Flip This Car: 1994 Buick Roadmaster—Part Three

I expected an old school feel from this 1994 Buick Roadmaster, but it actually is old school. For the folks who’ve never had the chance to drive domestic steel prior to 1978, let me make this live for you. Sit on your legs for a half hour while pounding 10 shots of Johnnie Walker Black on an empty stomach, then stand up, turn your head sideways and try to walk in the general direction of South America. This is what I encountered the first time I intentionally got the Beast a bit squirrelly, and it’s not like a $200 pair of track shoes will help. I’m not a contender for the next round of Formula Drift, but neither am I a stranger to opposite lock; let’s just say I won’t be doing that again outside of a controlled environment, where I can attempt to learn how to speak Beast.

By Christopher Smith | November 23, 2010
Flip This Car: 1994 Buick Roadmaster—Part Two

Sometimes, I’m reminded all too clearly just how non-performance oriented the Roadmaster really is. This car is riding on truck tires for crying out loud, and it has enough body roll to be a platform for a Jackass stunt. It doesn’t even have a rear sway bar, but when I romp the gas I remember that many 60’s muscle cars didn’t have sway bars either, and look how much fun they were to drive. That’s been my main lesson from this pivotal getting-to-know-you phase of used car ownership—this will never be a nimble corner carver with a fun powerband, despite a host of handling upgrades available from the Impala/9C1 Caprice enthusiast community. No, it’s a muscle car hidden inside a bathtub, and to make it into anything other than a straight-line fun machine just doesn’t fit the character of this particular Roadmaster.

By Christopher Smith | October 27, 2010
Flip This Car: 1994 Buick Roadmaster

At this point, some of you might be wondering why a Roadmaster owner would seek out Impala SS enthusiasts for help. Still more of you might be wrestling with the idea of a Buick Roadmaster being anything other than a numb, bloated, long-distance cruiser. It’s true that this car is very much the antithesis of Winding Road, but it does have a rather notable saving grace. Pop the hood, and nestled between the wheel wells sits the same engine that powered the 1994-1996 Impala SS, not to mention the Camaros, Corvettes, and Caprice cop cars of the day. I’m speaking of the 350 cubic-inch LT1 V-8, producing 260 horsepower and enough torque to fog entire neighborhoods with 150-foot burnouts, and that’s without brake-torquing.

By Christopher Smith | October 04, 2010
Flip This Car Extra: The Short List

Here’s the part where I really, really like my job, because in the end, we’re all just a crazy bunch of gearheads looking to satisfy our automotive cravings, and I’m now asking for your help. The only thing better than shopping for a car is bringing all your car-loving friends along to shop with you, and since this series began, it has become very clear just how passionate Winding Road readers are regarding this little adventure.

By Christopher Smith | September 06, 2010


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