By on November 28, 2009

Safari, exact year uncertain

Curbside Classic keeps generating spin-offs. The Outtakes were intended to be for the cars that didn’t make the cut for a full-on CC. But I (rightly) got grilled when I put the mile stone 1978 Mercury Marquis Brougham (the last of the Ford-Mercury land barges) into a CC Outtake. But I still have this problem of too many cars shot and not enough time.  Ergo; a new category: CC Capsules. It’s for cars that generally qualify for CC status, but lack the compelling qualities to inspire a lengthy tome, and might be a bit on the younger side. Anyway I do this, I’m bound to disappoint somebody. So here’s our first CCC: a mightily well preserved 1988 (I think) Pontiac Safari wagon:

CC 38 042 800Like a poker player reluctant to show his cards until the right time, I have some trepidation about exposing this car now. I’m planning a full-on CC for the ground breaking 1977 Chevrolet Impala/Caprice, and this Pontiac is of course just a badge-engineered version of that. Well, the 1980 reskin, that is. So let’s try to restrain ourselves and keep our enthusiastic attention on the Pontiac, and not on its Chevy donor.

The Pontiac B-Body has quite an interesting story of its own anyway. The downsized 1977 Catalina and Bonneville didn’t sell as well as its Chevy, Olds and Buick cousins from the start. In the midst of that nasty 1981 second energy crisis, Pontiac pulled the plug and did a 1962 Plymouth/Dodge re-enactment: forsook full size cars altogether, and transformed the mid-sized LeMans into the Bonneville Model G. It had almost the same consequence as the Chrysler fiasco; and just like Dodge quickly cobbled up a full size 880 from the family parts bins, so Pontiac reached up to Canada, where the full-sized Parisienne had never been canceled.

What makes this (sort of) interesting is that the Canadian Parisienne was truly just a badge-engineered Chevy Caprice, unlike the ’77-81 US B-Body Pontiacs, which had their own unique exterior skin and a coupe. We touched on this whole Canadian Chevy/Pontiac incest history here, and at least Pontiac had the honesty to now call it the Parisienne, instead of a Bonneville. The Parisienne also ended up with a brief lifespan, from ’83 through ’86, after which it was replaced by the new FWD Bonneville.

CC 38 041 800But the new 1987 H-Body lacked wagons, so the Safari stumbled along through 1989. I’m not certain of the exact year of this wagon, because there were very few if any changes in those last years. Being true Chevys, the Parisienne and Safari wagons only had SBC V8s under the hood, a 140 hp 305 in the case of the wagon.

This particular Safari is a mighty well-kept example. And the Collectible Automobile magazine featuring Pontiacs laying on the back seat makes it clear this is not being driven by granny anymore. It’s fallen into the hands of a dedicated Ponchophile, despite its provenance.

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54 Comments on “Curbside Classic Capsule: 1988 Pontiac Safari...”


  • avatar
    educatordan

    Just beautiful, Paul.  My dad works for a John Deere dealership that in the 1980s to the late 90s bought nothing but lightly used B body wagons for their salesmen to drive.  The salesmen had a dual role of delivering lawnmowers, picking up trade ins, bringing units in for repair, and delivering parts for the guys who “did it themselves.”  I spent much time riding around in these cars, all but one striped of it’s woodgrain sides (or as my dad said, “How do you like that vinyl siding?”) and all of them painted a garish green and yellow with decals plastered all over it.
     
    God I love those cars and I always thought the Pontiacs and Oldsmobiles were much nicer than the Chevys.  (BTW there weren’t any Buicks in the fleet.)  I’d love to have one someday.

  • avatar
    Runfromcheney

    I always wondered what happened to these; GM sold a shit ton of them in the 80s, but now I never see any on the road. What is weird though is that I see their sedan counterparts all the time.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J. Stern

      Same as happens to the wagon versions of everything else: they’re used harder, so they’re used-up sooner.

    • 0 avatar
      fincar1

      Well, I can tell you what happened to my old man’s 77 Caprice wagon. Nice driving and handling, solid car, that is until he drifted off the road and got it all wound up in some fencing and fenceposts. By then it was old enough that it was totaled.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    We loved our ’77 Chevy Caprice wagon to bits. Ours lacked the MACtac vinyl, thank God. It was one of the very best cars we ever owned. The other was an ’84 B-Body Buick LeSabre Limited Coupe.

    If GM still made the “B-bodies” it wouldn’t be in deep doo-doo now.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “Same as happens to the wagon versions of everything else: they’re used harder, so they’re used-up sooner.”

    My guess is many have met their end at the local county fair demolition derby!

  • avatar
    Daniel J. Stern

    PN-
    Why not peek at the 10th digit of the VIN on ’81 and newer vehicles? That’s the model year indicator. See here for the breakout. Also, I am pretty sure the Parisienne and Safari cars got the 307 cubic inch Olds V8, not the 305 Chev item.
     
     

  • avatar
    lahru

    The Ford Flex is just a newer version of the LTD wagon and a cousin of the Caprice wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      Runfromcheney

      Agreed, the Ford Flex is a station wagon, no question about it. Ford just markets it as a crossover because they know if they said, “Check out the Flex, our new station wagon!”, nobody would even consider buying it.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    I was never a GM fan, and my favourite car was my mom’s 1969 yellow Country Squire, but I have to admit, I have always had a soft-spot in my heart for those B-bodies clad in faux wood.  Nice job Paul, and thanks for sharing this beauty with us.

  • avatar

    You, you just broke my heart!
    Mine was 1987, burgundy with the wood grain, I bought in 1993 with 100k mils for $3000, no dents, not even one scratch on it as if someone took it from the dealer when new and never went off the hwy.
    I drove it for 7 years on the streets of NYC, oil every 3k, new radiator twice and tune up every year, after at 180k, the tranny broke and I donate it to charity.
    Brilliant back door, open sideways or up/down, quite and very smooth, I just loved it.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    Thanks for this short article, and I’m eager to read the upcoming one on the 77 Caprice.

  • avatar
    Hank

    I remember riding in my friend’s parents’ ’77 or ’78 Catalina.  Too this day I’d like to kick the idiot at GM who though kids in the back seat didn’t need the rear windows to roll down.  Vinyl seats, Texas heat and the window was seal shut at the factory.  DHS should have been on his butt.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J. Stern

      Nope, that was the GM A-body with the fixed rear windows. All the B-bodies had roll-down rear windows. If you couldn’t roll yours down, it’s because they were electric and the driver had thrown the window-lockout switch.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      Not if they were sitting in the 2 door coupe version. Fixed windows indeed.

    • 0 avatar
      Hank

      My bad.  I was thinking of the same vintage LeMans (an insult to the name if ever there was one).  Even in the four door the windows were sealed.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J. Stern

      Yeah…totally dumb idea on GM’s part. “Hey, I know how we can save money! We’ll make the rear windows in our bread-and-butter family sedan and wagon fixed, like so they can’t be rolled down!” Meanwhile Chevrolet had a 305 CID engine, Pontiac a 301, and Olds a 307 — each and all of which had to be separately certified for emissions compliance and fuel consumption, at great duplicative cost. Hello, McFly?

    • 0 avatar
      Hank

      It gets worse.  Apparently, the little vent window/sealed window was more expensive than if they’d just let the stinking window roll down.

  • avatar

    I really like the look of this car, and if dror drove his on the streets of NYC and it was still in one piece when he was done with it that says it all. NYC streets eat cars. I’d’ve grabbed it if possible and that is a smart person who did.

  • avatar
    Daniel J. Stern

    Paul, you’re right about the 2-door coupes (I had wagons on the brain given the subject of the article; GM may have been cheap, but parents who buy a 2-door rather than a 4-door are braindead). But are you quite as sure these cars didn’t get 307s as I’m sure they did? I think I’m going to stick to my guns on this point — every weatherly I check says the Pontiacs got the 307, while the Chevs got the 305. Did you check the 8th digit of the VIN on this wagon, for example, to see if it’s a “Y” (Olds 307 CID 4bbl) or an “H” (Chev 305 CID 4bbl)?  Rockauto.com shows only the 307-4bbl Y-code engine for an ‘88 Safari, and the Wikipedia article says 307. None of these sources has perfect veracity by itself, but taken together there seems to be at least reasonably strong consensus.

  • avatar
    tpandw

    This is a great post.  I nearly bought one of these when it was a couple of years old.  At the time I thought it was just the thing for a family with three kids until I brought it home on a test drive and parked it in the driveway.  The mother of my kids and my then wife took one look out the window and nearly threw me out of the house into the car and back to the damn dealer. Among other problems it was beige and she hated beige cars.  Maybe if it had been blue like this beauty my marriage wouldn’t have foundered several years later . . . .  But she also disliked station wagons on principle, and who can blame her for that.  Anyway, thanks for yet one more good memory.  I’ve never owned a car I didn’t like, at least for the first six months, and few I looked at I haven’t wanted to buy.

  • avatar
    sportsuburbangt

    My parents had one of these, an 85 with the 305 and the 4bbl.
    Drove great, no power, and great gas mileage.
    On a trip from Long Island to Michigan it was getting 24mpg, and it had 160k on it at that time.
    GM made these B-Bodies bullet proof, if they kept making cars like this they would be in a different place today.
    BTW my father sold his Parisienne to an auto parts store on Long Island with 220k on the clock, they used it as a delivery car for about 4 years.

  • avatar
    MadHungarian

    What a gorgeous wagon!  The B-body wagons totally dominated the stodgy Panther-platform Ford wagons to the point where Ford gave up after 1991, and Chrysler didn’t have any offerings in this segment.  GM’s real rival for the wagon buyer was Volvo.  The full size wagons escaped being inflicted with most of GM’s bad drivetrains of the 80′s and early 90′s, excepting the Olds diesels.

  • avatar
    red60r

    The true classic Safari was the 1955-57 2-door wagon with vertical chrome stripes on the tailgate and horizontal-sliding windows by the back seat. (Twin to the Chevy Nomad, best clad in salmon and gray). The steeply-raked back end looked more aerodynamic but ate into the cargo space, just like in today’s turtle-shaped XUVs.

  • avatar
    design89

    We still have our 1981 Olds Custom Cruiser burgundy with woody panels.
    Bought new in summer of 81 and year after learned how to drive at 16, soon after got my
    license. My Dad religiously every year got the Olds shot with oil to avoid any rust on our Quebec
    roads.Still today when a machanic reaches any where in the engine area or underside gets
    caked with oil.
    It’s now a summer driver and sleeps during the winter.Still going strong with synthetic oil changes and plan on a restauration with a Corvette engine inside.

  • avatar
    musicalmcs8706

    Ah what memories I have from a burgundy 1987 Olds Custom Cruiser with wood paneling.  We got it from my grandparents when it was only a few years old and they bought a 91 or 92 Olds in blue.  That they then traded in a few years later on what was probably a 96 Buick Roadmaster.  But the one he sold us was a total lemon.  But still, many good memories in that car.

  • avatar
    Garak

    That car brings back memories… There were lots of those huge barges here in Finland back in the 80′s and 90′s. They completely dwarfed all the other cars on the road, and the huge V8 engines rumbled like no other. US cars were the envy of the neighborhood.
    Now only Jeeps, Dodges, Chryslers and Korean Chevrolets are available here. Their combined sales are less than 200 cars per month – most of them Dodge Calibers. The mighty have truly fallen.

  • avatar
    wmba

    The very best classic American rear drive car design ever, and not by a little bit, IMO. I’ll save my comments for the ’77 Caprice/Impala CC when Paul does that. The Chev was the cream of the crop, and for reasons that I’ve never seen written down — just my experience of countless drives in all weather in Olds, Pontiac and Chev versions, right up to and including the slab sided ovoid re-styled monsters of the early nineties.

    Great car, great writeup, Paul. You have a way with words.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J. Stern

      Quite right about the Chev version being the pick of the bunch, at least ergonomically and cosmetically. The instrument cluster, dashboard, and glovebox arrangement, for one example, was best in the Caprice. We can talk about countervailing factors (engine availability, for example) when the ’77 Caprice CC gets posted.

    • 0 avatar
      MadHungarian

      The Chevy ergonomics were great — IF you are over 5’7″ tall or the car has a power seat.  Not too many years ago I had the opportunity to buy a very low mileage ’77 base Impala wagon — not many options other than A/C.  By the end of a 2 mile test drive my neck was stiff from looking UP to see over the dash.  I remember the days when fewer cars had power seats and that was just the cross us vertically challenged folk had to bear, and we made do with pillows, phone books, slabs of foam, etc.  Guess I’m an old you know what and not willing to put up with that any more.

  • avatar
    don1967

    I remember driving one of these for an employer in my youth.    The near-silent acceleration stands out in my mind, as do the two-finger steering maneuvers which sent the hood ornament scanning across the horizon in a manner which left you unsure of exactly where it would stop.
     
    I would love to drive one again, but probably just for a few minutes.

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      Ah yes, the wonderfully overboosted steering.  Got a couple of stories about these wagons that ol’ dad let me drive just a few too many times.
       
      In the snow and ice, the combination of light steering, torque-y V8s, and still a slight forward weight bias meant you could either steer with the wheel or the throttle, but not both.  I preferred the throttle and that practice helped me avoid bad weather accidents a few times in pre-traction control, RWD, trucks, vans, and cars.
       
      My dad once handed me the keys to his b-body work wagon to run an errand for him, but told me to; “Keep my foot out of it.”  (Meaning don’t push it hard.)  It was a 16 mile round trip over country two lane highways, on the way home I hit about 100 miles an hour.  I parked it in the drive and the old girl dieseled after I shut her off for about 60 seconds, haven’t seen the old man that pissed off in a long time!
       
      His boss had one of the oldest highest mileage (300,000 miles) wagons in the fleet (Caprice).  He finally decided to sell it and the mechanics in the John Deere dealership went back and realized his fill up records indicated that he was getting 26+mpg the last few years.  The boys decided to try to figure out why when all the others were getting around 22mpg on a tankful.  They took the air cleaner off and started to inspect the carb, the back two butterflys on the four-barrel where carboned shut!  The  old man wasn’t hitting the accelerator hard enough to activate them!

    • 0 avatar
      Unclebeasty

      My primary college job was working for the Student Security service, mostly an excuse to sit in the lobby of various campus buildings from midnight to 8am getting paid to study. My favorite shift was the Escort Car, a shuttle service dispatched by radio to pick up (typically) female students at various places on and around our scattered campus (in a mildly gritty urban setting) and take them to their dorms (or somebody else’s). Great way to meet girls. In any case, the escort car was a late 70′s stripper Impala wagon, which I thoroughly enjoyed driving around town (taking friends to the liquor store between rides, etc.). My favorite shifts were when the snow was falling; with some practice and a healthy disregard for common sense, you could get the Impala into a fairly predictable four wheel drift around corners and curves. Thankfully, the streets were mostly deserted around those hours. I have no idea if the car had snow tires – being from SoCal originally, I’m not sure I knew what those were at the time..

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    I find it hard to believe people were still buying sedan based wagons in ’88.    Minivans are much more practical for schlepping lots of people and gear.

    • 0 avatar
      BuzzDog

      The reason, in one phrase: Towing capacity. Back in ’88, the only competitive minivans were the ones from Chrysler, and those didn’t have much torque…or a separate frame…or rear-wheel-drive.

      The minivans were great for hauling things inside of them, but – at least in the minds of American buyers of that era – body-on-frame wagons had an edge for pulling boats and campers. Plus, the large GM SUVs of the time were still based on a 1973 design and were, well, truckish.

    • 0 avatar
      bugo

      Another reason: wagons have a lower center of gravity than minivans and therefore tend to handle better.

  • avatar
    relton

    Actually, by 1988 the Pontiacs had both 305 Chevy engines and 307 Old engines, depending on which plant they came from, and which engine was on hand. In 1988, I saw these, and the Chevy versions, being assembled in the Cadilac clark Street Assembly plant, next to Fleetwood Brougham sedans.And people wonder why GM is broke today.Bob

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      Absolutely correct.  In fact Fleetwoods got either engine too based on which other division of GM had them lying around.  This was an unintended consequence of loosing the unique to each division engines.  In the eyes of the GM brass, because they were dimensionally similar, returned similar fuel economy, and used the same transmissions, there was no difference between a 305 Chevy and a 307 Olds.  Now the old timers that I grew up with (ok they’re old timers now, they weren’t quite then) swore that the Oldsmobile engine made more torque.  A better explanation I’ve heard on Oldsmobile enthusiast sites (yes they do exist) is that the 307 made more torque at a lower RPM and had a slightly flatter curve.  When given a choice, buyers preferred the 307V8.  Another side effect of this was that two otherwise identical vehicles on the same new car dealers lot could have different small blocks.
       
      (BTW the 403V8 from the late 70s actually bolts right up to the 307s engine mounts and can be tuned for greater power if you don’t try to rev it over 7000RPM.)

  • avatar
    joeaverage

    Wonder what a modern long-slung big wagon would get MPG wise with a 200 HP V-6 and a five speed automatic tranny.
    I don’t mind SUVs (we have a CUV now) but I’d rather have a big wagon than a big SUV.

    • 0 avatar
      Mark out West

      All I know is our LT-1 equipped Buick Roadmaster gets 17 city and 26 or better on the highway.  And that’s absolutely fine with me.

      Ditch the fake wood but bring back the monster wagon.  The boomers will recoil in horror and shriek, but maybe the Gen X/Y/whatevers might appreciate it anew.

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    This is without a doubt a 1988 model, and here is how you can tell.  All the ’88 B-body wagons got that brushed aluminum plaque on the C-pillar. For 1989 they all had the rear seat shoulder belts, which would have been obvious in the pictures.  1989 was the last year for the Pontiac version, but the Chevy, Buick (renamed Estate Wagon, Electra and LeSabre names dropped) and Olds versions survived till 1990 and they can be identified by the front door-mounted seatbelts.
     
    As for this car, I would love, love, LOVE to have it sitting in my garage!!!  Being the nerd that I was as a kid, one of my first dream cars was a loaded B-body wagon, complete with the wood grain trim. Ideally it would be an Electra Estate Wagon, loaded, in dark blue, with the wood grain, and the aluminum wheels, in fact, it would exactly like the one in the 1987 movie Adventures In Babysitting, a movie that sticks out in my mind mainly because of that car.
     
    I know, I was weird :P
     
     
    BTW, Thank you Paul, for featuring this car, and for the large pics of it. I decided to use the 3/4 view pic for my new desktop pic, replacing the 1986 Cutlass pic I’ve had forever…

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      Ah a kindred spirit!  And with the proper screen name, I went searching the net for a big pic of a B-body wagon after reading this just so I could use it for my desktop.  BTW I did have a pic of an 87 Cutlass Supreme Brougham (4-dr sedan) as my wallpaper for a long time to remind me of the one I used to have.

  • avatar
    Civarlo

    I’d like to find the fellow who owns that blue Safari and give him a pat on the back for maintaining that wagon so well. All the signs of a super-conscientious owner are there; like the terry-cloth towels on the seats, the trim in place and lined up, and lack of modifications.

    That Safari reminds me of my folks’ ’84 Caprice Estate wagon I learned to drive on as a teen. Same car, different grille/taillamps/trim/emblems, etc. That thing was indestructible, and could haul just about anything you threw at it since it was as roomy as a gymnasium.

    I beg to differ on the theory that the wagons get run harder and are thus not as frequently found as survivors. I think it’s because the wagons sold in fewer quantities than the sedans due to the minivan craze that erupted at that time. When you see those wagons today, they seem in better shape than the sedans! The sedans are all being mutilated with 20-22-inch chrome rims, candy paint jobs, hydraulics, and other monstrosities. They’ve become the new specialty ghetto car.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “The reason, in one phrase: Towing capacity. Back in ‘88, the only competitive minivans were the ones from Chrysler, and those didn’t have much torque…or a separate frame…or rear-wheel-drive.”

    I’d be curious as to what they were rated to tow. The performance out of the smog 305 was absolutely dismal for a small block  V8. Combine that with the tall rear-end found in most of these vehicles to get mileage up and you have a less then stellar tow vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      Well the last of the B-bodies (1991 – 1996) were rated to tow 5,000lbs.  (Unless you were talking about the Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham which was built on a stretched version of the same chassis, it was rated at 7,000lbs.)  I recall Popular Mechanics doing a series of articles on outfitting a Fleetwood with a weight distributing hitch and seeing if they could tow a 10,000lb boat, they could but only by disabling the air suspension and replacing it with aftermarket units.
       
      Given what I saw my father tow with his 1980 to 1989 models I would say 5,000lbs is right in the ballpark.  The cars would track strait and true and he actually told me he preferred the b-bodies to using the Chevy or Ford 1/2 tons they had available, he detested having to take one of the trucks if his wagon was in the shop for something.  (Which, btw, wasn’t often.)

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    Educatordan…
    Oh that is too funny! The pic I had was of  a Cutlass sedan, a beautiful 1986 Supreme Brougham, white with cranberry leather, and the FE2 suspension  option.
    Drop me a line sometime, I can hook you up with a ton of great pics I have of cars from that era. Just add an at yahoo dot com to my screen name.
     
    -Richard

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    I had a ’79 Impala wagon for 1 years.  It was two-tone silver/grey with a dividing pinstripe, rather than the woody version.  With a 350 V8 and posi-traction, it made an impressive combination of pickup truck, bus and limousine.  Very well designed and built other than considerable problems with rust and defoliating paint.  Windows leaking from rust in the flanges was a difficult problem.

    I thought the 1980+ models looked better, since the rear doors were flared out to the wider haunches, rather than the crooked mounting of the rear doors on the ’77′s – ’79′s.  Sometime during the ’80′s, the full size Pontiac sedans had an “aero” version, with fender skirts and the ends of the bumpers sawed off.  The wagon looked awkward because they still used the full-width bumper for it. The one pictured has the wider front bumper.

    Another peculiarity of these cars was the wagons used a longer rear axle.  They did this to make the back end wide enough o carry a 4×8 sheet of plywood between the wheelhouses.  I don’t know how Ford made space for the plywood, because their wagons had the same wheelbase front and back. So the rear quarters looked clumsy because they overhung the back wheels.  One consequence of this was that hot rodders snapped up the Ford wagon posi-traction rear axles, while the GM wide posi-traction rear axles weren’t as useful.  While the GM wagons probably were more stable with the wider rear track, they did plow different tracks in snow front and back.

    In the early years, you could get a 427 in these wagons also.  Mine could get over 20mpg on the highway, and carry a conversational group of 6 people who could all talk to each other.  Unlike minivans.  The 3-way tailgate was an excellent thing.  Although the rear windows lowered, they didn’t go down all the way.  The turning radius was surprisingly tight, making parking easier than it would be otherwise.  Another advantage over minivans was the wide, long, flat floor. The wagons were a favourite for painters because they didn’t have to stack paint cans inside, and the roof was lower than vans for carrying ladders.

    The wagons are MIA because they’re used for demolition derbys.  I was in Washington DC around 1990, and was amazed to see the most popular cars for taxis were these wagons. They must have racked up millions of miles.

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      Growing up, I absolutely hated being the sixth passenger as a teenager. The Buick Electra wagon had uncomfortable faux pillow seats, leaving your crack in a perched position. Not enough shoulder space, either.
      The modern 8-passenger minivan is much more comfortable and holds more cargo than the 8-passenger B-body wagon with all on board. The market has agreed, and GM stopped building the latter in favor of B-O-F SUV’s.

  • avatar
    Hoser

    My familiy owned an ’87 almost identical to the pictured car. I am 100% sure it had an Olds 307.  It got stolen sometime around 1992 in New Jersey.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    I love these cars. Dad had 2 Caprices, one 82 V6 (meh) and one 81 with the 305 V8.
    The last one was imported from the US. Awesome cruiser. Motor just refuses to die,  that thing can’t be destroyed.
    He offered it to me and I stupidly rejected it.
    I still regret it.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    The 77-96 B-body cars were some of GM’s best to date and they were stupid for ever axing them. All 1986 1/2 B-body wagons were moved to one plant and got the Olds vin “Y” 307 4 BBL up to 1990. The 1986-1990 Cadillac Brougham also got this engine. I have never seen a 305 in any 86 1/2 wagon or Brougham ever so maybe this only happened in Canada or high altitudes. I did see Parisienne sedans for 1986 equipped with both 305 and 307 engines due mainly to the mid year switchover so that may be where some of the confusion is. The 307 did indeed make more low end torque and certain year wagons equipped with a trailor towing package could tow up to 7600 LBS. Try that with your Camry wagons!

  • avatar
    hungrybear

    Love seeing these cars on the net I just bought one myself. I just broke 63K original miles on mine it was a one owner car he keep it nice a few missing trim pieces on the outside but the inside is pretty much perfect my kids love sitting in the back and looking out the back window and I love being able to roll down the back window takes me back and I love the looks and questions I get from people I love it more when I pull up playing the national lampoons theme song “Holiday Road” its hard not to laugh but I love it!!! its fun to throw my bicycles on the roof rack that throws people off to and makes them smile which I love. Great car wouldn’t trade it for anything. :)


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