The general's dominance of front-drive barges started as far back as the 1960s with the legendary Cadillac El Dorado, but the Buick Park Avenue was the last of the G-platform cars to leave the GM production lines as the era of GM's big-V6 front-drive luxury sedan dominance came to an end.
In the late 90s and early 2000s GM plowed the competition with understeering fleets composed of the Buick Riviera, Lesabre Park Avenue, Oldsmobile Aurora, Pontiac Bonneville, and Cadillac Seville & DeVille. Truth be told, 99% of the buyers did not care about drag slip times and simply wanted to spend 40-large on a vehicle to get them from the bingo hall to the 99 cent store on a weekly basis. Today those cars are depreciated and gingerly driven classics such as this 2005 Buick Park Avenue Ultra SE for sale in Birmingham, AL offered for $7,995 via craigslist.
The last Park Avenues to leave the factory were a batch of 3,000 Ultra Special Editions with a cool little NYC skyline badge on the C-pillar. Before you think this one has been attacked by someone with more money than taste - those chrome wheels and ventiports were stock on the 2005 Ultra edition. The Ultra edition also came without the hood ornament of the base version and instead has a Buick emblem in the grill.
The Ultra was only available with a supercharged version of Buick's series II 3800 V6. Like a can of Popeye's favorite spinach the 3800 V6 is iron-fortified and according to various unsavory internet sources weighs less than 400 lbs fully decked out. The Eaton M90 supercharger boosts the 3.8 liter V6 up to a staggering 240 horsepower and 280 ft-lbs of torque - incredible power density when compared to anything with a flathead inline-8 configuration or pre-war radial engine.
The inside of this Park Avenue is covered in the finest combination of hearing aid beige with walking-cane-wood inlay. It looks as comfy as a La-Z-Boy recliner and probably would be a great place to listen to your Glenn Miller Orchestra cassette tapes while driving slowly in the fast lane (with the blinker on).
The 2005 models came with some extra chrome across the back end - including the piece with the embossed Ultra emblem - great if you are into that kind of thing. The bottom line with this car is that it offers Lexus levels of comfort (park assist, heated seats) with good fuel economy and great reliability for the price of a used Kia. It certainly wasn't worth the $40k + options you had to pay when new, but now as a used sub $10k car...it sorta makes sense.
If the silver Ultra SE doesn't catch your fancy, perhaps you'd be interested in this black 2005 Park Ave Ultra SE which includes a close up of that limited edition Manhattan skyline badge. This one is located in Easley, SC and offered for $11,300 - a big premium over the previous car, but it does have about half the miles on the odometer.
Either way you cut it - if you just want a modern car to get you to the pharmacy and to doctor's appointments, the Park Avenue isn't a bad choice. firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally posted as 10k: Invasion of the G-Body Snatchers: 2005 Buick Park Avenue Ultra SE on Daily Turismo.