Junkyard Treasure: 1986 Buick Somerset Custom
Buick built some fascinating cars during the late 1980s and early 1990s, including the sporty Reatta two-seater and slick Riviera (both equipped with the super-advanced-at-the-time Graphic Control Center touchscreen computer system). A hint of the technology to come showed up in the Somerset, built from the 1985 through 1987 model years on the same N-Body platform as the Oldsmobile Calais. I’ve only managed to find a handful of Somersets during my extensive junkyard traveling, so this Colorado car is a real rarity.
The Somerset got a digital instrument cluster to rival those found in the wildest Mitsubishis and Subarus of the time, and its radio lived in this strange-looking pod above the center control; the cassette deck was a separate unit beneath the HVAC controls.
Unfortunately, the base engine in the Somerset was the rough-running, primitive 2.5-liter Iron Duke four-cylinder. Just 92 hp, so this high-tech coupe wasn’t anywhere near as quick as it looked.
A world-class Buick!
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