Ahhh, the Buick Somerset! One of my favorite obscure General Motors cars of the 1980s, right up there with the Oldsmobile Toronado Troféo and Buick Reatta. The Somerset started out in 1985 as the Somerset Regal, but then GM’s marketers must have become as confused as an octogenarian Buick shopper confronted in the showroom by this little coupe with thrashy four-banger and science-fiction radio pod, changing the name to just plain Somerset for 1986. Not easy to find, the Somerset, so I was happy to spot this one last winter in a Denver self-service yard.
Somerset buyers got this cool digital dash, which might have appealed to Japanese octogenarians but didn’t resonate so well with American ones who grew up with a more traditional sort of Buick coupe. No, I didn’t buy this cluster to add to my collection— I already have a Somerset digital cluster, pulled from another car that I found the week before photographing this one.
Want to upgrade to an aftermarket radio in your Somerset? Not with this setup in place, you won’t!
Nobody has ever been able to explain what GM was thinking when they came up with this idea.
Under the hood, the good old Iron Duke, the least luxurious engine available to General Motors at the time. The 3.0 liter Buick V6 was optional for the ’86 Somerset.
This one ran when crashed.
Give me the look. Give me the feel. Give me the magic. Give me the wheel.
Where better really matters.