Been offered a cheap 91 buick

I currently have a 91 Camry manual shift with 223,000 miles - great car but fear it’s time to look for another that I can rely on for road trips. I’ve been offered a 91 Buick Century with about 28,000 miles, for $800, but worry it might wind up being a bad investment. What do you think?

A car is never and investment. The good part is the low mileage and low price, and parts should be available. Buick Centuries were reasonably reliable cars, but there were problems with body integrity and paint. So if you live in a rust-prone area you should maybe stay away from this car. If you live in a dry area or a warm coastal area, it might be a good buy. Be prepared to nurse this car initallly. With a car like this, I would spend as much time questioning the owner as examining the car. Spend $100 and have a mechanic check it out. The mileage works out to 4.8 miles per trip if used daily. The owner would not be engaged in daily commuting.

If the mileage is correct, runs and drives well, and the car has not been half devoured by rust weevils, I would be all over that car for 800 bucks.
There is a point when the age of the car is irrelevant and the price factor takes over. This sounds like one of them.
It could probably use a few things such as a fuel filter, trans fluid change, etc. but these are normal maintenance items and are required of any car.

The mileage sounds appealing however seals and parts fail due to the lack of use/lubrication over time. I personally would stick with the Camry manual shift. The reason I say this is that the Buick likely will need a new tranny if never replaced.

The price is right. I would have the oil changed, the transmission fluid and filter changed and have the coolant replaced. Drive it for some short trips and see how it runs. The tires are probably origninal and should be replaced because of age.

If the car doesn’t seem satifactory for long distance use at this point, you could probably sell it for about what you have in it.

My Uncle sold his '91 Buick Century (with about 60K miles) for $2500. He was meticulous about its care, and it was a great deal. Agree with most everyone’s comments except andrew (no offense). Definitely have a mechanic go over it. I do this for every car and its saved me thousands in repairs, had I bought those cars. Sounds like a good deal, if the undercarriage isn’t wafer thin from rusting. I bought a '72 Nova with 36K miles for $3500. Best car I ever bought, but I still had 2 mechanics check it out.

Given the low miles, I would definitely have it looked over by a mechanic - there is a possibility that the odometer may have been rolled back.

Does the wear on the seats, handles, rugs, and pedals look like the car has 28,000 miles on it? There should be some wear, but not much. If it passes that test, have a mechanic check it. Tell him that you want to buy it if it checks out fine. Good luck on your new car.