The Roadmaster was a full-sized luxury vehicle manufactured by the Buick division of General Motors. This sedan is based on the same underpinnings as the Chevrolet Caprice, Cadillac Fleetwood and Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser station wagon. The Roadmaster once again represented Buick's largest sedan in its lineup. After the departure of the Roadmaster in 1996, the front-wheel drive Park Avenue took up the mantle as the largest vehicle offered by the Buick marque.
Engine choices included the 5-liter 8-cylinder engine sourced from Chevrolet, producing an adequate 170 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque, and the 5.7-liter 8-cylinder engine, producing 180 horsepower. In 1994, the Corvette-derived LT1 8-cylinder engine was offered, producing 260 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. No 6-cylinder engines were ever offered in the last generation Roadmaster. The Buick Roadmaster used a 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive to deliver power to the rear wheels. Fuel economy was acceptable, with most estimates averaging out to about 16 miles per gallon in city driving and 24 miles per gallon on the highway.
The Roadmaster is a storied name in the Buick lineup, despite a nearly 32 year gap in actual production. The Roadmaster name first appeared in 1938, replacing the Buick Series 80 nameplate. From then on, the name appeared on the largest and most well-appointed Buicks. Between 1936 and 1948, the Buick Roadmaster was offered in sedan, coupe, convertible and station wagon body styles, with a hardtop coupe and sedan being offered in 1949. The Roadmaster name was dropped in 1958 in favor of the Electra and remained unused until 1991.
The Roadmaster's trim levels were not so luxurious as the Park Avenue and LeSabre, but the amount of features satisfied those looking for a true full-sized rear-wheel drive luxury vehicle. The Roadmaster featured a leather interior, power seats, cruise control, carpet floor mats, height adjustable head restraints and a digital clock. The station wagon variants were available with simulated wood grain paneling and a fixed sunroof over the second row of seats. An optional third-row bench was also available.
The Roadmaster originally retailed at around $28,000, significantly less than a similar Cadillac Fleetwood or Lincoln Town Car, but the overall lack of features compared to the pricier Park Avenue eventually hurt the Roadmaster in the marketplace. After 1996, the Roadmaster was discontinued, along with the Chevrolet Caprice and Cadillac Fleetwood, in favor of expanded SUV production at the Arlington, Texas, plant
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