Junkyard Find: 1981 Buick LeSabre Diesel

Ah, the disastrous GM diesel V-8 cars of the 1978-85 model years, equipped with failure-prone engines that scared generations of Americans away from diesel cars. Nowadays, of course, diesels work just fine (except when they don’t), but it’s good to see the occasional reminder of these miserable GM cars in the junkyard as part of our American automotive heritage. Only problem is, just about all of these cars were crushed or had gasoline-engine swaps decades ago (I recall helping my uncle drop a Chevy 307 into a very clean Olds 88, around 1988 or so).

Here’s an extremely rare example that I found in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service yard last week.

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  • Arthur Dailey The only TR-8 that I knew was a 'project' car that sat in the same driveway for many, many years. Did however have a friend with a TR-7. Can confirm that the instrument panel, interior materials such as fabric/upholstery, ergonomics and in particular the seats were superior to my Corvette of the same vintage. However in the first week that my friend had his TR-7 while pulling out of a shopping centre, his driver's side door 'fell off' the car. Quality control was to put it mildly, primarily just a 'rumour' at B.L. during that period.
  • Kcflyer Son has about 3000 miles on his ND now. I've only driven it a handful of times. Great car. I'm biased but I don't think it has the charm of my NB. Much quicker and that's always fun but not really the point of the Miata. If you want Miata goodness but are a little bigger check out the NC miata's. More room for people and a bit more room for stuff. Fuel mileage in the new one is around 38 mpg as compared to 30ish in the 05 nb.
  • Rick T. Apparently Marathon was a popular name because there is one similar here in Nashville.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marathon_Motor_Works
  • Fahrvergnugen Boyo boyo we surely LOVE the 95M we bought sight unseen (hell, I'd never even been IN one much less DRIVEN one) last year. What a treat these cars are! As for infotainment, I think the cassette and maybe the CD work but neither compares to the feeling of enjoyment.Mrs. F and I are both around 5'9" and slender and you're right; you don't DRIVE a Miata as much as you WEAR it.
  • Dukeisduke Another article I read says this is all about defective fluid reservoir caps, which will be replaced. And also the software updates.