Entering its final year on the market, the Buick Park Avenue undergoes only minor cosmetic changes for 2005. There is a Special Edition version to commemorate the final year. The Park Avenue receives chromed fender portholes formerly available only on the Ultra, along with a new grille design. Both the Park Avenue and the Ultra receive revised tail lamp lenses, new rear deck lid appliqué, restyled license plate pocket and header, and a new Cashmere Metallic exterior colour.
The Special Edition will be made up of the final 3,000 Park Avenue and Ultra models, and will feature special badging, chrome wheels, and a C-pillar badge featuring “Special Edition” under an illustration of the New York City skyline. Several hundred will be offered in an optional black and platinum two-tone exterior finish.
The base Park Avenue uses a 3.8-litre V6; the Park Avenue Ultra uses the same engine, but supercharged. Both use a four-speed automatic transmission.
The Park Avenue includes front cornering lights, power mirrors, 16-inch multi-spoke aluminum wheels, variable intermittent wipers, automatic dual-zone air conditioning, cruise control, leather-wrapped wheel with audio and climate controls, power windows, leather interior, 55/45 divided front seat with 10-way power adjustment, cassette stereo with six speakers, Twilight Sentinel automatic headlamps, and keyless entry.
The Park Avenue Ultra adds heated mirrors with auto-dimming driver’s side and integrated turn signals, 17-inch chrome-plated wheels, rain-sensing wipers, garage door opener, auto-dimming rearview mirror, simulated woodgrain wheel, driver information centre, driver’s position memory, heated seats, cassette/CD stereo with nine speakers, chrome-tipped exhaust, Grand Touring suspension, Magnasteer magnetic variable-assist steering, StabiliTrak, and OnStar.
The Park Avenue represents one of the last in the grand old land-yacht tradition, and in a way, it’s a bit sad to see it go. Even the hoaky portholes, homage to those introduced in 1949, don’t seem all that bad in retrospect.
The Park Avenue is still the epitome of Buick luxury and huge-car ride, with nice, simple controls (all the better for its traditional elderly buyers), an incredibly roomy interior, a huge trunk and, with the Ultra’s Grand Touring suspension, more road feel than would be expected. If all that grabs you, you’d better hurry to the dealer before they’re all gone. But if your only interest is in making a bit of money on one of the last Special Edition models, here’s some advice: keep the cash in your pocket, or be prepared to join a long list of people who are still waiting for their socked-away “last” or “special edition” models to even make back their depreciation.
The Park Avenue is built in Lake Orion, Michigan.