If you are a car enthusiast, it’s a great time to be alive. Finding awesome cars to purchase has never been easier. That means if you are into weird cars like me, you could fill a massive garage in just a few day’s time—assuming you have the finances to back that amount of purchasing. I don’t have a massive garage or unlimited finances, though. I have an undersized two-car garage and just barely fill that. So what cars should I buy that would be a make for a nice collection and also fit in my garage?
Fate tempts me with this matching pair of woodies on Bring a Trailer, including a 1985 Chrysler LeBaron and 1996 Buick Roadmaster. The perfect woody combination of a functional daily driver and a weekend convertible. The amount of faux wood paneling would rival a basement apartment built in the 1970s.
The first, a 1996 Buick Roadmaster, is the king of wagons (sorry Cadillac CTS-V), with its slightly overinflated look. The hints of chrome, narrow whitewalls, and wood panels call back to a time when a wagon buyer could only dream of the functionality of this Roadmaster. The drivetrain starts with an LT1 V-8, backed by a four-speed overdrive automatic transmission, which sends power to the tires through a limited-slip differential, all providing the ability to rip smoky two-wheel burnouts. Might be a pirate wagon, but no peglegs here.
Equipped with the towing package, these wagons are rated for 2000 pounds of towing. Plenty enough to do all the yard work and hauling you would need. Trucks are overrated; those in the know own a wagon with a utility trailer.
What else could you ask for? Well, a drop-top fun car for the weekend, of course. If you’re going to have a woody-themed garage, you have to have a LeBaron K-car—the car closely associated with the late, great Lee Iaccoca.
Sure, you could fill that garage spot with a sports car, but the Roadmaster has a sports car’s heart—since the LT-series V-8 under the hood shares at least the short-block with Corvettes of the era. And besides, the point here is a matched set. Name a sports car that with such a woody-like exterior. I’ll wait.
A compromise might be to source a Morgan or a MG TD, which both have structural but not visible wood. That’s no fun—I want that woodgrain to be a bright accent against the stark white paint. The LeBaron has to look good since it is hardly a rocket ship (very few cars of the K-car family are) but the convertible woody would have originally been fitted with a turbocharged 2.2-liter four-cylinder. Instead, this one only bears the badges of that engine, as the 150-horsepower turbo mill appears to have been replaced by the 100-horsepower naturally-aspirated version.
Think there are better woodies that should replace either of these? Keeping budget in mind, sound off in the Hagerty Forums about which woody is the best of the rest. For me it doesn’t get much better than this pairing, but you can certainly try to change my mind.