1988 Buick LeSabre

Technical specifications of Buick LeSabre 1988

Price: US $4,995.00
Item location: Newark, Delaware, United States
Make: Buick
Model: LeSabre
Type: Wagon
Year: 1988
Mileage: 141676
VIN: 1G4BR81Y1JA400318
Color: Wine
Engine size: 307cu V8
Number of cylinders: 8
Power options: Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, Power Locks, Power Windows, Power Seats
Fuel: Gasoline
Transmission: Automatic
Drive type: RWD
Interior color: Wine
Drive side: Right-hand drive
Options: Cassette Player
Vehicle Title: Clear
You are interested? Contact the seller!

Car description

1988 Buick Lesabre Wagon

Rare 1988 Buick LeSabre Station Wagon

What an Awesome Gift




You may never see another one like this

A Valuable car for anyone who:

Needs to save money on their transportation

Needs lots of room for the family

Needs lots of room for the sports team and gear

Needs lots of room for camping, fishing, or outdoor activities

Needs lots of room for transporting a lot of anything (fits a 4'X8’ sheet of plywood in the back) !!!

Wants a car that doesn't have all the complex electronics

Wants to do an easy restoration

Wants to make some money

Wants to learn how to work on cars, but not start with the overly complex newer cars

with the engine compartment packed so tight with “stuff” that the smallest item

takes hours (or more) to get to and or replace.

Wants to use the car in a demolition derby. Wagons are popular for this use, but this car has more potential/value - it’s not a hopeless “junker.”

Wants to have a low cost, safe (very heavy construction), reliable car for many years to come

Wants to make their car repairs easier and less expensive

Wants a "spare" car for emergencies

Wants to own an American Icon car

Wants to make a show car

Wants a car to convert into a Hot Rod

Wants to travel more comfortably, especially on longer trips

Wants to put a car away as an investment

I have many more pictures available that I couldn't list here. Send me an Ebay message if you want to see more. If you are seriously interested, I ask that you request additional pictures, especially of areas of wear/damage, etc. Also, please be sure to read the entire listing. It is long, but contains valuable extensive details of the car's condition and history.

Car has never been in/under water, no accidents (1 minor 2 mph "scrape"), clean title, 2 owner.

Great car for: Everyday driving, Tailgating Parties, Carrying extra groceries, Deliveries, Work vehicle, Farmers, Sports coaches, Campers, People who like to go Fishing, Hunters, Larger families, Long travel trips, Contractors, Ski trips, Surfers, Scuba divers, Drive-Ins, Picnics, People with large pets, Moving to college and new homes, Flea markets, Transporting inventory, People who don't want a truck or already have one, People who are tired of renting trucks because they lacked just a little bit of room in their vehicle to get a job done.

Up for sale for the first time in 14 years is this great American Icon style car – a full sized station wagon. My original plan was to have the car restored and keep it indefinitely, but due to personal circumstances, I am reluctantly letting it go. I am only the second owner (that says a lot about the car) and maintained the car with the eventual goal of full restoration. I can't say enough good about this car. I purchased it used in 2005. I'm hoping that whoever buys this car will have it restored.It may be one of the only few remaining survivors in decent condition in the USA. To the right person, this car is an amazing find of great value. The last time I could find one for sale (I looked fairly often over the last 2-3 years in many places) was about 6 months ago. About a year ago, I saw another one - beautiful, (was in like new condition cosmetically, may have been restored) was for sale for $17,500. I don't know how much it sold for, but in my opinion, it could easily be worth that price. Here is why:

New 2019 Chevy Suburban: $50,000 - $70,000

Tahoe $48,000 - $65,000

Yukon $49,000 - $72,000 (Prices as seen advertised on the internet and East Coast)

Wagon lower insurance cost: $500 - 1500 per year X 10 years of ownership = $5,000 - $15,000 more for the Suburban

Wagon lower repair/maintenance costs after restoration: saving thousands of $$$$ more over a 10 year period?????? Maybe $4,000 or more?

Plus, 10 years from now, it is possible (if inflation remains as it has) that the car would increase in value both due to inflation and collector value. In other words, probable good resale value. So, while other vehicles would be decreasing dramatically in price, the value of this car should be increasing! What would that 10- year-old Suburban be worth?

Here's a sample of used Suburban prices, searching randomly:

2009 168K miles $13K

110K 17K

19K 29.5K

2015 10 samples: miles from 35K to 105K prices $28K to 33K

WOW…Comparing what a new one would cost vs the resale value of a 10-year-old Suburban, the 2009 Suburban with 168K miles on it would have lost 74%-81% of its value in 10 years! That’s a $37,000-$57,000 loss !

For the 2009 Suburban with 110K miles on i, the price dropped approximately a 66%-76% in 10 years - That's a loss of $33,000- $53,000 !

The 19K mile car lost 41%-58%, or a loss of $20.5K-$40.5K !

What about the financing? How much interest would be paid to borrow the money to buy the Suburban vs the wagon? Even with low interest car loan incentives (4%, 3 years, with $25,000 trade-in or down payment), it may mean another $1500 to $2500

over 3 years. It could even be much higher if you don’t have the down payment or if interest rates go higher.

Almost bottom line:

Loss on Suburban depreciation: Average -$20.5K - 57K

Loss on repair cost difference: Approx. -$ 4,000

Loss on insurance cost difference: Approx. -$ 5,000 - 15K

Loss on loan interest difference: Approx. -$ 1,500 - 2K

Total Increase in cost to purchase the Suburban: $31,000 - $74,000 (10 years)

Station wagon appreciation Approx +$ 8,000 - 12K

Or - Station Wagon restored Approx. +$ 7,000 -

So, it is possible to buy this car, completely restore it or not, drive it for 10 years and either make money when you sell it, or essentially drive it for free for 10 years, or longer compared to buying a new Suburban now.

There is too much good left on this car, and it would make an easy(ier) restoration due to the condition of a vast majority of the car. By easy restoration, I mean that many of the small annoying things that would need to be done would be unnecessary on this car. It could become very time consuming, and costly, to find a large amount of smaller cosmetic items. Also, many of the bigger jobs would be easier or not needed. There are some things that need to be done, but overall, it should be a quick restore (not a year or years). It could, and probably should, be turned into a show car.

The original engine and transmission were replaced with a Jasper v8 305cu engine and Jasper transmission by the first owner at approx. 70,000 miles and now there is 141,676 on the car.


Interior - Positives

· Front seats very good with partial fading that can easily be redyed

· Original carpet in very good condition, except driver front near floor has some wear and the original floor mat on drivers side has some holes

· Dash is in excellent condition, except top piece has a few cracks – should be easy to disassemble/replace as it only has 7 easily accessible Phillips screws (unknown if more under panel). Could also be repaired or covered.

o Front – main section that faces driver and passenger side is in excellent condition with only minor plastic chrome covering off in the following areas: minor on driver side and moderate on passenger side (some chrome color paint missing on sides of center the 2” wide x 12” high trim area of center protruding dash area)

§ This is a very simple, quick, and inexpensive restoration by repainting with silver/chrome colored paint or by using chrome colored tape

· Headliner is in good condition

· All 3 dash courtesy lights work

· 2 back seat, 1 front, and 1 rear storage area original ash trays present and in good condition

· 6 way steering wheel tilt position works

· All manual door lock knobs work

· All inside door handles work

· All dash vent grates intact (no broken slots)

· 4 individual on/off levers for hot and cold air (3 working?)

o Very Unusual Feature – there are 8 heat/ac vents in the front; 4 are mounted mid-dash with up/down right/left adjustments and separate on/off wheel control that allows user to adjust air flow to any desired quantity; 2 up/down right/left vents under dash at knee height (very unusual); 2 floor vents as typical near fire wall; 1 vent possibly not fully functioning

· Overhead cabin interior light works but needs a bulb and cover

· 2 front floor courtesy lights both working

· 2 cabin interior map lights work (next to overhead cabin light that have individual on/off switches)

· All seat belts present and functional

· Odometer and trip meter working

· Kenwood KRC 235 High Power 40W x 4 Cassette and CD/MD Stereo am/fm ec^2 working

· Interior 3rd seat area inside roof courtesy light and switch working, cover intact

· Original center cloth arm rest working and in excellent condition

· Both original sun visors present and working (driver side in excellent condition and passenger side slightly faded – easy fix – dye, replace or keep as-is (presentable)

· Glove box lock working but occasionally “finicky” (easy, inexpensive to replace or may just need lubrication)

· Inside turn signal indicator working

· 4 dash courtesy lights under top of dash panel working and dimmable

· Dimmer switch working for dash lights

· Speedometer light working

· Fuel gauge light working

· New cigarette lighter and socket working

· 8 position driver power seat working but finicky, probably needs lube

· Rear backseat carpet all good

· Carpet in passenger and both second seats area are in excellent condition

· All interior imitation wood trim in good condition

Interior - Could Use Improvement/Repair

· Headliner light lens missing and 1 bulb, but light functions

· Dash top needs repair or replace (has 5 cracks, 1 minor)

· Driver side carpet has two areas that are worn and an area of wear on the place where the left foot would touch the side carpet, and the floor mat has holes

· Front seat driver side has (7) 1/8” to 1/10” inch holes, only noticeable upon close examination

· Steering wheel good, but some cracking, mostly in two areas (still very presentable)

· Gear shift and steering wheel tilt levers have some surface rust

· In extended heavy rain, driver side windshield top small leak (probably needs to be caulked)

· Dash gear position light not working

· Back seat fold-down needs minor repair (bolt?) but can still fold up/down easily

· Rear storage fold down panel lock missing (available for $10, fast/easy to install)

· Top rear cargo area storage carpets are good/still presentable but coming up / slightly damaged in panel folds

· Driver and passenger front door inside panels not perfect, but repairable or presentable as-is. Top of panels below window slightly faded (dye), minor buckling on bottom of (2) front doors.

Exterior – Positives

· No bent frame / out of balance body or suspension parts

· Clear coat is almost off, so it will be cheaper and easier to paint

· No leaks under car

· All known body emblems intact

· Original outside rear-view mirrors are in good condition and intact

· Has roof rack

· Rear roof rack has an air foil

· All exterior lenses and bulbs good

· 3 original hub caps

· Replaced front passenger tire with Uniroyal on 11/10/17 (it was the wrong size)

· 3 other tires in very good condition with lots of tread left

· Rear bumper rubber trim all intact and good

· Front bumper rubber trim all intact and good

· Roof rack in very good to excellent condition with only minor wear

· All window door trim intact and in good condition

· All upper door trim intact and in good condition

· 3 of 4 wheel wells no rust and in excellent condition

· Original antenna in good condition, intact, and working

· All main chrome trim intact and in very good condition, except one back passenger piece

· Solid body very minimal rust, no major body work needed

· Outside mirror adjustable lever on drive side works (there isn’t a level on the passenger side)

· Grill in good shape (presentable)

· All dash warning lights working (2 are untested – check engine and windshield washer fluid level low)

· 4 way hazard lights working

· Headlights (high and low beam) work

· Brake lights working

· Turn signals working

· Parking lights working

Exterior – Could Use Improvement

· Front and rear bumper fender plastic pieces missing

· Needs new paint

· Passenger side rear door handle outside loose on one end but functions

· Small area in one wheel well has minor rust

· Rear tailgate power window operating slowly (gasket may need to be replaced and/or internals lubed)

· 2 hubcaps missing, may have third hubcap will update if found

· Scratch on roof roughly 2 and a half feet long and 1/16 inch wide, not down to bare metal (would/should come out with repaint or touchup)

· Grill is loose on bottom (easy and inexpensive to fix – make or buy a hold down bracket. Some minor chrome plastic (paint?) off

· Passenger front chrome bumper some minor surface rust in one area (roughly 4 in. x 8 in.)

· Hood ornament missing

· Rear tailgate door has (1) 4 inch piece of trim missing (easy, inexpensive fix)

· Front passenger tire replaced recently and is not a match (different size, because matching tire was not available locally at the time)

· Passenger rear molding strip missing (easy fix). High probability that new same or similar 3 ft x ½ in plastic/rubberized black trim is probably readily available

· Approx. 1’X1” “scrape” body damage near front bumper

Systems – Positives

· New Jasper 305 cu Engine with approx. 70k miles on it

· New 200R4 Transmission with roughly 70k miles on it

· New Distributor Cap and Rotor 11/10/17

· New Radiator

· New Fuel Pump

· New Fuel Pump Hoses at Pump

· New Fuel Filter

· New Thermostat

· New Spark Plugs 11/11/17

· New fuel tank hoses – replaced roughly 4 years ago

· New brakes – replaced roughly 5 years ago (about 8K miles on them)

· New PCV valve replaced 11/16/17

· All new vacuum hoses – replaced about 2 years ago

· New Fuel Cap replaced 11/16/17

· New Exhaust System – replaced, no holes

· New windshield washer assembly – replaced roughly 5 years ago

· Great heater

· 4 Barrel Carburetor

· All gauges working

· Dash tailgate window switch working

· Intermittent wiper and washer working

· Speed and Fuel lights work

· Has cruise control (not working can get at Rock Auto for $32 or $53)

· Power Steering working

· New air filter – replaced roughly 1 yr ago

· Alternator working

· Battery working

· Transmission shifts smoothly

· Front and Rear shocks seem good

· Brakes working and firm

· New V. Belt replaced 8/19/16, good condition

· Upgraded and replaced air inlet duct

· Wiper Blades replaced recently – ok

· All power window switches / windows work, except driver side (replacement window switches readily available for $8 - $15 each) (4 level button switches available for $20 - $25)

· All Electric door lock switches working but finicky, should work well if used regularly or lubed. Some chrome colored finish off in a few areas (easy,inexpensive fix)

· Horn works

System – Could Use Improvements

· Needs oil change (last done at 137,000 miles)

· A/C hole in line, I bought the car this way and never used A/C

· Heat riser noise, been this way since I owned car, typical problem.

· Possible mixed up (improper install) vacuum hose(s)

· Cruise control not working

· Driver side power window off track, but switch still works (part is $0.57 at Rock Auto)

· 1 on/off lever for hot/cold air isn’t working

· Unknown squeak with heat/ac fan on any position except high

· All moving window gaskets not leaking, but may need replacement

· 1 valve cover leaking (set of 2 available for $10)

· Exhaust started smoking about 100 miles ago (3 months?)

· Car occasionally stalls while driving only (does not stall while idling – carburetor float?)

Overall – Positives

· No Leaks

· Clean Title

· Never in an Accident (No collisions, but 1 minor “scrape” on pole while parking)

· Great American Car

· Rare Survivor

· Only the second owner in 31 years

· Great car for contractors (4 x 8 sheets)

· Save thousands of dollars compared to buying a truck or SUV

· Fun car that people stop and talk to us about all the time – “The Chevy Chase Wagon!”

· Get compliments on the wagon all the time

· Was getting 26 mpg on the highway (changed now)

· Never in water/flood

· Never damaged by a storm

· Very smooth ride and drives straight

· These wagons do not come up for sale often, hard to find

· This is a classic car – 30 years old

· Approx. 70,000 miles on new engine and 65,000 on new transmission. Total mileage is 141,676

· Sleeps 2 adults in back seat when folded down comfortably and 1 small child on front seat (bench). Can also possibly sleep 1 child in back with two adults

· Original manual

· Better Radio

· Original Maintenance Schedule Manual

· Original Buick Motor Store Brochure

· Many parts are still available and inexpensive

· Sleeper investment? I see some wagons around, but extremely rarely this model and especially in this condition.


I don’t know what your needs or plans are for the car, but I was planning on a full restoration, but left room for a lesser or minimal restoration if my needs changed.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Approx. 6 months ago, several repairs/upgrades were done. All new vacuum hoses (this one was maybe a year ago?), new mechanical fuel pump, new radiator, new plugs/wires/distributor cap/rotor, PCV valve, fuel filter, etc. Prior to those repairs, the car ran well and I was getting 26mpg hwy, maybe 18-20 town. About 2 weeks after the repairs, the engine began to stall as described above and it started to smoke. I didn’t get time to find out why. It didn’t matter to me at the time as I planned on replacing the engine anyway. It’s possible that the carburetor float is sticking, or some other repair-related problem happened. Maybe the timing needs to be adjusted, failed plug(s)/wire(s)/distributor cap/rotor, fule pump, etc. So, it may just be some simple and inexpensive repair, or it may be a bad ring(s). Sorry I can’t give a definitive cause of the smoke and stalling issues. Regardless, even in the worst case scenario, this car is a great value at this price and may even be home run for some people. I priced it to sell, not to squeeze the last dime out of the sale. I don’t mind giving someone else a bargain. What goes around comes around they say.


1 - Get just the minimum done to be able to drive and use the car quickly:

Caulk windshield ($1), fix smoking problem($0-$400 install used engine), fix driver window ($3-$50). Fix A/C if desired ($50 line and fill). Total Cost $4/$54 to $451/501. This is doing the work myself.

2 - Do nothing and put the car away as a collectible/investment - Total extra cost is


3 - Partial restoration / good-looking reliable everyday driving car

The cost depends on the cause of the smoking. Could be something simple and low cost (or maybe free) to wanting an engine replacement ($0 - $4000). If you go with an engine replacement, there are many options. A used compatible engine can cost as low as $300 up to about $2000 for a new typical rebuilt crate engine delivered. The cost also depends on who does the installing. A nice paint job done at a shop would cost about $1000. Replace the A/C ($50 - $1200), caulk window ($1), fix window ($3 - $50), replace one tire ($60), and miscellaneous small items from the “could use improvement list” ($300). Total cost $1714 to $7611

4 – Hot Rod

Total Cost $0 to sky is the limit

5 – Full Restoration

I would estimate that a good quality full restoration including replacing the engine and transmission would be about $10,000. This would also be a respectable show quality car. I am not an expert at this. I cannot guarantee these prices, because there are too many variables, what area you live in, who is going to do the work, what quality you want, etc.

So as you can see, there is a lot of value here and as stated above you could basically drive this car for no cost over a 10 year period. In any event, you can get a great car that is multipurpose and costs far less than a new, or even recently used SUV, and many other vehicles. You can do an engine replacement and get a paint job in 2 weeks or less. A full home restoration with maybe some things (engine/paint) done by a shop and all or most of the other items by the new owner could be done by spring if it is worked on part time. Don’t be afraid to put in a reasonable offer.

Shipping is the responsibility of the buyer. Vehicle is sold as is. No returns. I have spent a considerable amount of time to provide an extremely detailed report of the car’s current condition. However, there are too many items on the vehicle to give a lengthy description of each and every item. However, it should be apparent that I have given a description that is much, much more detailed than most if not all others who are selling cars. I have given a full, complete, truthful, disclosure of everything that I know about the vehicle or could think about at this time. There will be no intentional negative surprises with this car. I want the buyer to be thrilled when they receive the vehicle.

Please message me here on Ebay with any questions you may have before bidding. I will be happy to answer any more questions you may have. However, my current situation warrants that I will not be able to do any further troubleshooting on the wagon.

$500 non-refundable deposit will be required within 3 days of the purchase. Full payment must be made within 7 days.

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