Here's the big question: when did Buick stop being a luxury brand? As much as I love the 1984 Park Avenue with its clamshell hood and perfect proportions, I'm thinking that was the day. People looked at the new Buick and the spell was just broken. Because it was no longer a massive and imposing vehicle.

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I think you nailed the exact time. It was right about when GM did that second wave of downsizing and made everything transverse-FWD.

Buick did *many* things wrong, and they culminated in the fall the brand has had. The biggest is that Buick's fall from grace was the largest once GM lost its design excellence.

The 1979-1985 Buick Riviera was gorgeous and imposing. It was the sort of car that you had to respect. It was aspirational. The Park Avenue you mention? More of an acquired taste. And then, they started making cars that you had to apologize for, or justify why you bought them. You yourself once mentioned the 2005 Buick LaCrosse as such a car, and I agree. Yes, on a spreadsheet, it met or exceeded every metric set by the contemporary Lexus ES 330...but did anyone really want a premium car that was styled after a 2000 Ford Taurus...and on the soggy W-body platform, at that?

The really interesting one is Oldsmobile. It went from being GM's most profitable division and arguably *the* brand to have, if you valued respectability and taste...to dead. In just 20 years.

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It still gives me a frisson of joy to see how Olds stylists managed to visually unify the Alero, Intrigue, and Aurora, given that they look NOTHING ALIKE between A and C pillar.

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From my view, the mid 2000's. Whether that has to do with the actual vehicles that were produced, or rather the state of the Buicks I'd seen at that time is a question for those with a more intimate with the Buick lineup.

Up until that point, my minimal experience with Buicks was positive. They were nice cars, with nice materials, and well cared for. Right around 2005 - my sophomore year of high school - or so is when these cars made it into the hands of grandchildren, who rapidly trashed them.

Once you've experiecned a Buck Century with more than a dozen medium sized iced coffee cups - the aftermath of Dunkin' Donut's "Free iced coffee day" - rattling around the passenger foot well, a broken gas gauge, and a musty odor emanating from the cabin, you'll no longer consider them or their ilk to be luxury.

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