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 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???

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bobsr



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PostSubject: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sat Jun 11, 2016 1:19 pm

Hello,

   Sad day. Rust has finally overtaken my 96 light blue and woodgrain, light blue leather interior,  Roadblaster wagon, a regular  driver in the last few years for me. About 166,000 miles, rebuilt transmission a few years ago, LT1 runs GREAT, still squeels the tires whenever possible. 9 passenger wagon with most options. But was NOT the collectors edition (couldn't find one at the time, which was in June 1997 when they had stopped making them, and I bought this one new). But it has a label  on the dash saying something like"sport suspension."

 But the rust is in the floor pans, body mounts, both rear trailing arms, gas tank straps, and right lower rear quarter panel.  My neighbor owns a body shop and estimates at least $3000-- -just for the rust repair. Have to dis-assemble parts of the interior to be able to weld everything that needs it.

 Lots of good parts. I presume if I drive it to a junk yard I might get the standard  $300 they typically pay around here for most "junk" cars.

Car is located in Southern NH. Great parts car for someone who is into these wagons. I probably have all the maintenance records, and probably the original sticker or even factory literature if I look hard enough. Includes factory instruction book. AC does not work (no compressor), but auto climate control heater does. Alpine CD & radio. Have original radio if anyone wants it (does not work). 6 way power driver and passenger seats, twilight sentinal, leather interior, auto rear wiper. alum wheel rims.  Grill has some holes. Some rubber trim missing, but I have the pieces. Got tired of having them re-glued on. Same with some interior door trim parts.

  I really hate to part with a wagon, as I always had one in the fleet.  I started with hand me downs,  a '57  Chevy with the 283 I used in college in the 1960's. I bought new and suffered through the severely underpowered 350 diesels in the 1980's,  had an later Olds Custom Cruiser wagon with the 305, a 91 Buick, with I think with the 305. I bought this 1996  Buick Wagon new for my wife because it was the last of them and finally had a real engine!  Anyone got one  to sell, or maybe include a trade in?

 I can put some pics and details up if anyone has interest. Hate to see it just sit in a boneyard in NH where
there is not perhaps as much interest as in other parts of the country in these "woody wagons." (well, as close as we will ever get I guess except for the real woodies).

My Dad had a '36 Ford woody with the mechanical brakes. Paid $100 for it in the early fifties. Drove it only a few times during the year to Cape Cod in the summer and back in the Fall, and it held all the boat stuff all Winter. Got $ 400 for it when he sold it in the later fifties. Never really did stop straight with those brakes!

    If you have suggestions or possibilities, I would appreciate hearing them.  Thanks.
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silverfox103
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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sat Jun 11, 2016 3:13 pm

Hey Neighbor!

I live in Norther NH, and I have also had light adriatic blue Roadmaster wagons since 1997. The first one I had was a 1995 that was the family car. We had it from 1997 to 2008 and I sold it with 234K. The second was a 1994 blue wagon from Florida, which I bought in 2007 and still have. It is only driven in the summer.

The first thing I would do is post some pictures of your car. I'm sure you can do much better selling it as a parts cars or parting it out, rather than just junking it. As you can imagine, having had these things for 20 years, my cellar is bulging with parts.

Good Luck

Tom C.
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bobsr



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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sat Jun 11, 2016 3:49 pm

Hi Tom,

Thanks for your comments. Your blue wagon really looks really good, and I will put up some pics of mine, which is the same color. It looks not too bad, and the rubber trim and other minor items would be easy to fix, but the rust underneath is just not worth fixing.

GM made 38,909 of these in 1994, and 22,989 in1996 - not huge numbers. Not sure how many are left, but probably more in junkyards now. Most of those I see have Florida plates and are driven by retirees... and why not... we love them! Most kids have never seen a "real" station wagon.

Passing by a Jr High as the kids were walking home earlier this year, I heard someone yell, "What a Dinosaur." Yep. Both the car and myself. Love it. Smile

No idea what to replace it with. My other vehicle is a Yukon. Maybe another one or a convertibile?

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jayoldschool

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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sat Jun 11, 2016 6:49 pm

I'm in the same boat. I've got three rusty wagons in the driveway. Heartbreaking.
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dmg4

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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sun Jun 12, 2016 6:37 am

Fellow Northmen of the Wagon Fold: stop your weeping. You need to go south of PA now and pick up a rust free car and save it. They are out there, they are for sale, and it is your duty.
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MG Davis

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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:17 pm

dmg4 wrote:
Fellow Northmen of the Wagon Fold: stop your weeping.  You need to go south of PA now and pick up a rust free car and save it.  They are out there, they are for sale, and it is your duty.

Then use the pristine not-sun-baked interiors from your rusted out cars to restore the rust free but sun baked car you rescued.
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:18 pm

We need a universal wagon retirement yard,so that others may live. Somewhere off in the distance,taps is being reverently played...
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Bert Slater

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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:42 pm

Like an elephant's graveyard? Where wagons go to die?
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dmg4

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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:49 pm

Quote :
Where wagons go to die?

That would be New York, in the winter. We use more salt per mile of roadway that any other state. In the Spring we actually have salt-storms on I90 from the windblown residue.
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bobsr



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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:49 pm

dmg4 wrote:
Fellow Northmen of the Wagon Fold: stop your weeping.  You need to go south of PA now and pick up a rust free car and save it.  They are out there, they are for sale, and it is your duty.

Spent a good part of the day looking for another. Prices are all over the show. Won't solve this quickly. But I didn't see one light blue color with blue leather interior available. But hey, they only made about 22,000 + of these in 1996. But there are some possibilities out there from Down South... that's the good news.



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MalibuSSwagon



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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:55 am

Don't know if you'd be interested, but I live in Weare and I am selling my 1992 Caprice wagon. It has higher miles, (188K) and needs a little restoration work, but it's a solid base to start from. Might even work out a trade deal. If it's not what you are looking for I understand.
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bobsr



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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Mon Jun 13, 2016 1:27 pm

Hello Eric,

Thanks for the information. I did happen to see your ad yesterday when I spent some time looking for a replacement. Going to take me some time I think.

Really looking to replace with the same as I have, even the same color, and then I have a whole lot of parts! But at my age, maybe not...

Thanks, I know you aren't very far away.

Best, Bob

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Mark 96 Roady



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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:58 pm

Here's a crazy thought-why not look really hard at fixing it? If your neighbor is in the business, have him tear into it (take out the seats, etc,) to see how really bad (or maybe not so bad) it is? Let's say, worst case, $4000. Unless you buy one of the $10-15,000 wagons out there with 40,000 miles on them, what will you get for $4000? You've already replaced the tranny, you know with care the motor will last forever, and the a/c is an easy fix. Plus, from what you've said, it sounds like you are really attached to the car. You've had it for 20 years, so you know all its quirks. If you go the repair route, make sure your neighbor (or whoever you use) really knows their stuff. Do it right-cut out the rust, mig or structural adhesive it back together with rust free parts from a southern wagon, the works. I ran into a similar problem 2 years ago with my daily, a 97 Olds Cutlass Supreme coupe. The car is perfect, triple black, and one day out of the blue the motor blows. Now I'm in your place-what to do. So, long story short, I go the Jasper re built motor route (all in around $4000) because, what could I get for that money? So, I saved a car I really like, I've owned it for 9 years, so I know what's been done to it, and I keep motoring on for (hopefully) many years to come. Good luck.
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sat Jun 18, 2016 1:06 pm

I think fixing it would be worthwhile in that set of circumstances.

But, if not and the interior is medium blue I could use some parts. Smile
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Deadmanonduty



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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:31 pm

The problem with fixing a rust car is you can never get it all. No matter how much you do and spend it will be a problem somewhere else in a few years. rust is just nasty and hard to completely eliminate. Everything your repair is all patch work them too.

I'd buy a rust free wagon and go from there. I sold a rust bucket 5 years ago, and bought a rust free wagon and man its the best thing I ever did.
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AzDon

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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:45 pm

A year ago, I swapped out an entire saddle tan leather interior for a pristine blue cloth interior between two 91 OCC's......After a bit of selling/buying, the interior donor came back to me for $800 and became a drivetrain donor for another of my projects....... It had a severely bashed qtr panel and tailgate, so really wasn't worth restoring, but could have been a great bottom side donor for a rust-belt victim..... The Problem?.....I live on the western edge of Arizona and it's just too far away from most with rust-out problems to make it economically feasible.....
So here is the mission I would pursue if I lived where used cars are "just too rusty" and I wanted one of these wagons, but rust free...... I would fly (actually I would take a train - Hate flying) to CA/AZ/NV and buy a good enough copy that I could drive it home.... OR....I'd buy one to drive home and tow a second one....OR... buy several, drive one home after putting several in storage for later pickup......
Here are some links to show that these wagons are plentiful, keeping in mind that even the beat-up ones out here are usually rust-free

http://inlandempire.craigslist.org/search/cto?query=buick+roadmaster+wagon

http://mohave.craigslist.org/search/cto?query=buick+roadmaster+wagon

If you are more inclined to tow behind your own pickup, I know of some car-hauling trailers from Iowa that could be quickly turned for a quick $1k apiece profit to trailer dealers out west (more at retail).... Stacking three for sale could pay for your trip!
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bobsr



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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sat Jun 18, 2016 10:20 pm

[quote="Mark 96 Roady"]Here's a crazy thought-why not look really hard at fixing it?

Thanks for yoiur suggestions. But  I already have a project that's a bottomless  money pit, and my '59 Chris Craft is way over budget (Budget? What budget?) So I'm not inclined to fix the rust at the moment.

  But the devil you know vs the devil you don't can also apply.

 For the moment, I was told to see another gararge doing inspections, and that may have a better result. We will see. Maybe I can get another year out of it and be looking for another.

   As you guys all know, there just isnt anything out there to replace these wagons, except maybe a surburban. BUt it's not the same.

  So we will see how it develops next week.
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bobsr



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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sat Jun 18, 2016 10:22 pm

lamune wrote:
I think fixing it would be worthwhile in that set of circumstances.

But, if not and the interior is medium blue I could use some parts. Smile

Say tuned. It will be awhile before I decide.
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bobsr



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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sat Jun 18, 2016 10:26 pm

Deadmanonduty wrote:
The problem with fixing a rust car is you can never get it all.  No matter how much you do and spend it will be a problem somewhere else in a few years.  rust is just nasty and hard to completely eliminate.  Everything your repair is all patch work them too.  

I'd buy a rust free wagon and go from there.  I sold a rust bucket 5 years ago, and bought a rust free wagon and man its the best thing I ever did.  

That's probably the best of all possible worlds. But in dealing with 20 year old cars it never easy or clear cut.
One of those S.W. cars would probably not have the rust problem. But could have other issues. But that's the price I guess I have to pay if I want another one of these.
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bobsr



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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sat Jun 18, 2016 10:33 pm

[quote=e.....
 So here is the mission I would pursue if I lived where used cars are "just too rusty" and I wanted one of these wagons, but rust free...... I would fly (actually I would take a train - Hate flying) to CA/AZ/NV and buy a good enough copy that I could drive it home.... OR....I'd buy one to drive home and tow a second one....OR... buy several, drive one home after putting several in storage for later pickup......
Here are some links to show that these wagons are plentiful, keeping in mind that even the beat-up ones out here are usually rust-free

http://inlandempire.craigslist.org/search/cto?query=buick+roadmaster+wagon

http://mohave.craigslist.org/search/cto?query=buick+roadmaster+wagon
/quote]

Great idea! I will look at the listings and see what is out there. Lots of interesting options. Thanks for the tips.
Will see what develops with a State inspection by someone else. Might buy me another year and more time to look.
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AzDon

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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:52 am

So, In thinking about this thread a bit, I began to wonder if it would be a worthwhile retirement venture to buy and transport rust-free wagons from the west to Eastern places where such cars don't exist....Is the service of having a trustworthy agent secure, title and transport a car east something that would be worth paying for (?) or would the provider of these services be expected to do these things for free?
I guess that what I'm really asking is if the value of rust-free west coast cars justifies an appropriate markup to cover the costs of getting them there (?)  OR
Put another way.... What does a rust free wagon sell for in those places?
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AzDon

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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sun Jun 19, 2016 2:05 am

Andebe wrote:
We need a universal wagon retirement yard,so that others may live. Somewhere off in the distance,taps is being reverently played...

A place you could trade-in for rust free.....

What would be the best location for such a place (?) taking shipping miles from the west into consideration?
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Deadmanonduty



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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sun Jun 19, 2016 3:54 pm

Guys are making a Killing on craigslist selling Texas 3/4 Diesels with the non EPA motors in them in Wisconsin because all the 10 year old trucks here are rust buckets. Guys are paying big bucks for these trucks..
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:29 am

AzDon wrote:
Andebe wrote:
We need a universal wagon retirement yard,so that others may live. Somewhere off in the distance,taps is being reverently played...

A place you could trade-in for rust free.....

What would be the best location for such a place (?) taking shipping miles from the west into consideration?
Maybe a partnership with someone like Fred/Ruphaxe?
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Big Wagon Guy

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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:07 pm

AZ Don, I consider Northern cars parts donors. (Interior and soft parts for southern cars). I like to get my B cars from AZ or TX. I have bought several on line, flew down and drove them home. I think someone could make a decent buck scouting Southern cars for Northern buyers. As already stated above certain trucks bring good money...and buyers for specialty cars such as ours or F bodies would have takers should you offer your services on the various forms. I'm currently looking for a nice rear bumper for a 94 to 96 Fleetwood...Id be happy to pay a finders fee...I'm sure others would as well. I wish I lived in your area...I know what I would be doing to make extra money. I think someone could make money bringing cars and LS engines North, then bring Hondas/Toyotas back down. (The US dollar is stronger then the Canadian dollar...I would leverage that).
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Deadmanonduty



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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:45 pm

The problem is finding the nice southern cars. My dad found what he thought was a super clean 96 RMW in florida with 45,000 miles on it in around 2009. He flew down after making a substantial down payment to a dealer to hold the car for him. When he got down there, the car was bumped up on every single side, corner, etc. All the 50 pics they sent him had the light hide the damage perfectly. He was so pissed, he drove it home, and sold it for a small loss just to get ride of it because he couldn't stand looking at it all beat to heck. He's got a bitter taste in his mouth about trying that southern route with older cars now. You would need to be there in person and "hope" to find some to drive back, because shopping them from a distance is hard because sellers are complete crooks now days.
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MG Davis

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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:14 am

Mark 96 Roady wrote:
Here's a crazy thought-why not look really hard at fixing it? If your neighbor is in the business, have him tear into it (take out the seats, etc,) to see how really bad (or maybe not so bad) it is? Let's say, worst case, $4000. Unless you buy one of the $10-15,000 wagons out there with 40,000 miles on them, what will you get for $4000? You've already replaced the tranny, you know with care the motor will last forever, and the a/c is an easy fix. Plus, from what you've said, it sounds like you are really attached to the car. You've had it for 20 years, so you know all its quirks. If you go the repair route, make sure your neighbor (or whoever you use) really knows their stuff. Do it right-cut out the rust, mig or structural adhesive it back together with rust free parts from a southern wagon, the works. I ran into a similar problem 2 years ago with my daily, a 97 Olds Cutlass Supreme coupe. The car is perfect, triple black, and one day out of the blue the motor blows. Now I'm in your place-what to do. So, long story short, I go the Jasper re built motor route (all in around $4000) because, what could I get for that money? So, I saved a car I really like, I've owned it for 9 years, so I know what's been done to it, and I keep motoring on for (hopefully) many years to come. Good luck.

There was a dealership with a pristine 96 in DCM with like 65K for 4K here in Orlando.
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Hillbilly



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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Mon Aug 01, 2016 1:51 am

Reason # 101 why you never buy a car unseen in person or without having someone you trust check it thoroughly. If you look in places like Hemmings Motor News you will find guys offering that service who will travel to the vehicle, drive it and send you detailed photos and a list of the vehicle's faults and good points. The fee they charge is much cheaper than you going great distances only to be dissapointed by a vehicle that is misrepresented.
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Deadmanonduty



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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:23 am

Most nice ones priced right are sold by the time you find someone to go look at them in person. It would be nice to have a person hands on looking at them tho. Its getting like craigslist, 2 hours after the ad is posted, the cars are gone.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:07 am

Finding the right car for the right price is a matter of time and patience,.

It sounds to me tho,. that you are just looking for a 'friendly' inspection to get by on, and just to keep driving yours,.more so than buying another car.

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MalibuSSwagon



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PostSubject: Re: 96 Roadblaster wgn -too rusty for a sticker- bought new -what to do???   Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:14 am

Looks like this is the car for you! Local too

http://boston.craigslist.org/nwb/cto/5683026957.html
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