Once supposedly owned by prolific Hollywood producer, Ray Stark, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Roadmaster limo is, like a blockbuster film, over the top. Let’s see if its price make it a new owner’s coming attraction.
Think of all the great car songs we would have missed if limited-range electric cars like yesterday’s 2014 BMW i3 REX had been the norm instead of gas engines. The Beach Boys’ I Get Around would have instead been I Charge in Town while Ministry’s Jesus Built My Hot Rod would more applicably have been Jesus, Don’t Let Me Run Out of Juice on The Freeway. Yeah, they’ll have to work on that title.
Limited range electric cars like that i3 are a prime example of fallout from early adopter syndrome, and like anything first-generation, the next gens typically are much better and devalue their predecessors. That was just the case with the i3 as while it was interesting and wildly innovative in its intent and construction, it just gets blown out of the water by more contemporary competitors when it comes to its primary function—moving people over distances. That led to a $15,500 asking price for the car, a far cry (probably a literal cry) from its $55K original out the door.
A narrow 50.4 percent of you felt that drop was was sufficient and the i3 squeaked by with a Nice Price win. Maybe the model will do even better in a year when they’re under ten-grand.
How many doors is too many doors? Today’s 1992 Buick Roadmaster offers six portals to the netherworld… er, I mean to its enormous interior, and for many that’s just right.
This is a custom job, obviously, and per the ad was the brainchild of Hollywood producer Ray Stark. Apparently armed with a wicked sense of humor, he commissioned the car’s creation at a reported six-figure cost. Stark, who passed away in 2004, was one of the busiest independent movie producers in the business. Over the course of his career, Stark produced more than 125 films, many of which are today considered classics. Today he is probably best known for his work with playwright Neil Simon and singer/actress Barbra Streisand.
We’re more interested in his wild and weird wagon however. Claimed to be the handiwork of a place called Limousine Works, the car offers six side doors and four-freaking rows of seating. The first and third rows are three-across bench jobs, while the rear-facing back row offers valuable hindsight. It’s in the second row however, where the magic happens.
There sits a modded front bench facing elevated footrests and a centrally-mounted TV with video tape player. A fold-out desk is additionally offered for the curb-side position. All the seating positions seem to be swathed in leather, or at least a laudable approximation of it. Everything inside also seems to be in excellent shape with the possible exception of the dash cap which, like many a Hollywood leading man, wears a rug.
The bodywork seems equally laudable and you have to appreciate the attention to detail in not just adding doors and feet to the car but extended woodgrain appliqués as well. Factory alloy wheels with whitewall tires of indeterminate age fill the wheel arches. The roof is notable for both its Vista Roof tinted topper and a large storage locker that rides just aft of it, like some sort of blue barnacle.
Paint is fine and there doesn’t seem to be any road rot or other aesthetic issues on the car. Gotta love that Southern California environment! The selling dealer makes no mention of the car’s mechanical condition, but then how bad could it be? There’s a mere 66,730 on the clock and one would imagine the standard 350 V8/4L60 automatic are pretty reliable out of the gate.
Wagons are of course a dying breed here in the U.S.. Six door wagons are of course the chimeric outliers of that dwindling caste. Checker offered extended wagon bodies with more than your standard four portals as airport livery, but those didn’t have the luxury accoutrements that this Buick affords.
The question however, is whether anyone should be expected to afford this Roadmaster’s $25,000 asking price. After all, that’s a lot of buttered popcorn and soda pop. In its defense, this is a lot of Buick.
What do you think, could this custom Limo command that kind of cash? Or, is this Roadmaster just too long—and long in the tooth—to ask so much?
H/T to Michael Tonelli for the hookup!
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