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Rare Buick

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  • When I was a teen, my dads friend bought a '67 LeSabre, this car had the best brakes, ride, style ,etc any car could have ever had. What happened to that division. the last good year for Buick was '70..remember the Wildcat, wow. Michael
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    I think if you liked the '70 Wildcat you might like the latest Le Sabre and Park Avenue. I've already embarrassed myself in this forum by proclaiming my admiration for the 2001 Le Sabre, but if you like big swoopy Buicks, GM is starting to style them again. Even if the new Buicks don't do anything for you, at least they don't look so generic now.
  • The new Buick is nice, although it is difficult for me to like ANY 4 dr sedan. I didn't like the '70 because of it's size, simply it's style. it had a Buick look. The '77-'79 was nice as well and smaller. What happened to the coupe market? Old 4 doors are just as equally boring as new ones. Being single I would never consider purchasing a 4 dr sedan...they have a very stodgy look.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,865
    That I ever owned was a 1965 Riviera Gran Sport.

    Yellow with black vinyl roof. It had I believe every option they made that year. Autronic eye, power vent windows, factory AM-FM with reverb, purse hook and some other very rare stuff.

    It was a very good looking car that would burn rubber for as long as you wanted to hold the gas pedal down.

    The two four barrels also consumed super premium at a shocking rate!

    Now, THAT was a Buick!
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    about the Rivi Gran Sport. Even the base Rivis had surprisingly good acceleration and handling, they were solid and, of course, the styling was flawless. The Gran Sport simply had more of everything. I also had one but--story of my life--it ran on seven cylinders. Was going to pull the engine, and got as far as removing the radiator before some other pressing automotive need presented itself. I was impulsive in those days.

    Mdelrosso, don't worry about the extra doors. Just tell your friends you need a four door to carry your clients around ;).
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    I was in Chico, CA acouple weeks ago and stopped at a classic car dealer I'd noticed. Among other interesting cars on the lot was a mint 65 Riviera, off-white with tan/gold leather interior, and only 68,000 miles. Not a Gran Sport, but still a nice car. I'd forgotten just how impressive and plush those interiors were! What a gorgeous car! Made me want to own one, which I never have-but I also liked the 66-67 Rivs. The 67 had the new V8-seemed like a better one than the "nailhead". Anyway, my appreciation for those 60's Rivs was reawakened.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,865
    That "leather" was really a very nice grade of vinyl. My '65 had the same stuff. It did look like leather.

    But in 1963, leather was a rare option. I've only seen a couple of them.

    Yeah...I sure miss that yellow beauty...the six to ten miles per gallon wasn't a lot of fun though.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    A neighbor had a mint '66 Riviera GS he'd bought new and he let me drive it before he sold it. He knew I'd buy just about anything, but I managed to resist. The '66 was a very nice car to look at but the styling, especially inside, wasn't nearly as distinctive as the '63-5. It drove okay but since it was wider and had a bench seat, it didn't have the sporty close-coupled feel the first Rivi had.

    I'll never forget the visual sensation I got when I drove an early Riviera for the first time, a '65. It's difficult to describe the sensation, and I never felt it as strongly again as I did during the first drive, but I suspect it's an optical trick that has a lot to do with how much fun that car is to drive. The driver's view is of the front fenders, sharply peaked along the top and plunging toward the front, and the hood sitting low between the fenders, gradually sloping toward the front. The fenders grab your line of sight and hold it straight ahead, the low sloping hood lets you see more of the road, and the whole effect creates a real feeling of motion.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,865
    Now I REALLY miss that Riviera!
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Then I guess I shouldn't mention that huge chrome aircleaner that came with the dual quad setup. What a work of art! No, shouldn't mention it.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,865
    That air filter element was almost as big around as a hula hoop!
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Well, it looks like my investigation finally points to the decision that no model 68 was available to the general public in 1955. I realize that this topic has strayed a bit, but I thought that I would share the results.
    I looked at an original dealers model and option list, with no model 68 listed for that year. I havn't found any reference to it in any original brochures or pamphlets, nor has anyone ever told me they saw one other than the Highway Patrol version.
    What I wonder though is why the HP would want a two door sedan. Can you imagine how hard it would be to get a combative prisoner into the back seat?
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    That's movie German for "we have ways". The final word would come from the paperwork for the CHP order. If the number of model 68s ordered by the CHP matchs the number made, there's the proof. Wonder if that documentation is still around?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,865
    I recall reading an article years ago about CHP Buicks. I'm almost positive they used 1955 Buick Centurys - 2 doors with three speed manuals.

    Am I dreaming?

    Is Broderick Crawford still alive? We could ask him!
  • I think I remember that same article. All of them were sold to the CHP and then auctioned off when they were taken out of service.
    I would guess they used 2-door sedans because they were the cheapest model available and it would be hard for the bad guy to get out the door if he had to go through the cop sitting next to it.
    Unfortunately Broderick is patrolling the freeways in the sky.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,641
    "OKAY YOU PUNKS...OUTTA DA CAR!"

    (I loved it when he said that...)

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  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    "book 'em right away and wrap it all up" [heavy breathing, walk away like his shoes were 2 sizes too small] At the end of the show, ol' Brod had a "safety message," after which he'd get in that Buick [or later, Dodges] and peel out as he roared off... Loved that show!
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Either you guys have a better memory than me, or you're watching way too much cable ;).

    There's a great article in the February '59 Hot Rod about how the CHP did its testing back then. Their specs were: 2-door sedan with minimum 122" wheelbase; 3800 lbs. minimum weight; HD suspension and brakes, with 15" wheels and 6-ply nylon tires; OHV V8 of at least 380 CID; not more than 15 lbs. per hp; at least 9.75 CR; hydro lifters; dual exhaust; AT with at least 3 forward speeds; top speed of at least 110; and quarter mile speed of at least 75.

    Three manufacturers submitted cars to the CHP for evaluation in November 1958: Dodge 383/345 with Torqueflite, 3.36, 12" brakes and Bluestreaks. Mercury 430/345, HD Merc-O, 3.22, 11" brakes with 3" linings and Bluestreaks. Pontiac with Tempest 420-A 389/330, Hydro, 3.08 and 11" brakes with Firestone Super Sports.

    The Dodge topped out at 122.023, Mercury 117.34 and Pontiac 121.84 (and none had freeway gears). The Dodge did the quarter at 86.89, Mercury 88.64 and Pontiac 87.88, good speeds considering the vehicle weights (Dodge was lightest at 4060 lbs.). Would be interested to know what their e.t.s were with those gears--low 16s? The Mercury brakes were the best at consistent straight-line stops and fade. Dodge was low bidder and received an order for 331 cars.
  • gulfguygulfguy Posts: 30
    I grew up in them.... Dad started with a 49 gray Roadmaster, then there was an off white with grey roof special followed by a 53 green/white top 2 door, a grey/white top 56 Century 2 door hardtop with red light and siren (Dad was County Coroner and as well as a Doctor and boy did my brother and I have fun in that one!) then a 57 grey Roadmaster (riviera hardtop...ie: no pillars) 75 4 door and a white/black top 60 invicta convert. The Invictas with 401 engines were NHRA A stock automatic champs in 59-60 and Buick did a dealer promotion movie titled 10,000 miles in 5,000 minutes in which they put an Invicta on the race track and averaged 120 mph for 10,000 miles including gas/tire and maintenance and driver change stops. Then Dad got the bug for a Riviera Gran Sport.......but his dealer buddy got him something better... with about 5k on the odo from GM proving grounds. It was a black with red tuck and roll buckets 63 Wildcat with four on the floor and a 425 running through a 3.08 posi. Boy was it fast. Dad kept it for years sold it to a friend of my brother and I bought it back for $85.00 when his girlfriend ran it low on water and cracked the block. When the engine was torn down to do a rebuild we learned why it always had a lumpy idle and ran so strong.... virtually nothing inside the never before opened block was standard 425 Buick..... hot cam heavily modified heads, bigger valves, yadda yadda yadda. It was one of 12 factory R&D Wildcats with 4 speeds I saw one other once. ANd met a guy from Kokomo a few years back that raced a 63, 4 speed LeSabre at Muncie dragstrip back in the mid 60s. He stopped to see my black one on his way home with a 65 GranSport he'd flown to Vegas to buy.

    The car made one road trip Detroit to Parry Sound Ontario in 3 hrs, 2 minutes and similar time Parry Sound to Ann Arbor....... Later Fort Leaonard Wood to Branson MO (before I-44) down Route 66 and through downtown Springfield, MO in under an hour and a half including the time spent on the side of the road with the cop.... Its still over 125 miles and almost all 4 lane now but back then it took nearly 20 minutes to get through Springfield. I restored the car and the last day of his life that my Dad was able to get outdoors I took him for a ride in the just redone beast and wound her tight through the first 3 gears before we ran out of road and had to begin to slow down.

    Then a 69 4 door Wildcat....... I kept that to well over 150,000 miles and it ran perfectly.....

    My last Buick was a white/white/white 74 LeSabre Luxus convertible with navy blue carpets and a Stage 1 Gran Sport 455 and a 2.73 posi. (Yeah I know ya weren't sposedta be able to get the Gran SPort engine in the LeSabre but I did) I kept it 6 or 7 years and sold it to Lulu Roman from Hee Haw for $50 less than I paid for it new.

    The black Wildcat was sold when I moved to the Gulf Coast..........simply ran out of garage space to keep it.

    I see the posts on the mid 50s Century converts.... MMMMMM Yeah..... a 56 or older.........even (or especially ) back in the late 40s and early 50s .... I could get stoopid over a white convert with white top and red leather!

    It was good to see your posts and make myself remember some great old cars.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,865
    Thank you. That was an interesting post!
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,710
    was my dad's '41 Buick Special black 2-door fastback sedanette. Boy, does that bring back memories! The steel on the fenders was so thick, you could use it as armor plating today.

    Bob
  • amoralesamorales Posts: 196
    Buicks in 1965. Was in Air Force stationed at Malmstrom AFB and I remember out running one going to Helena in my
    weaky squeaky 1962 Buick Electra 225 4 door gunboat with
    401 cu in V8, 10:75 to 1 comp ratio, 325 Hp, 445 LBS of
    torque, 86 mph 16 secs at local strip without hubcaps and
    air clearner. Loved that DYNAFLOW tranny. Could wind out to 70 in low gear. 0-60 was 8.8 secs. The 1965 Buicks had the 425 engine. I remember seeing a '64 Wildcat conv. with the 425 engine with 2x4 carbs and manual tranny. Had nice
    styled wheels, and went like hell
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,865
    Was an option in 1965. The standard engeine was the 401/325 HP. The 425's came with a single 4bbl and produced 340 H.P.

    The dual 4bbl 425's put our 360 H.P.

    They also got about 4 miles per gallon!
  • udasaiudasai Posts: 6
    Most of those late 50s/early 60s cars tend to be excessive, and the 1960 Buick certainly is, but I happen to think they are the best of the bunch. Large swoopy lines and creases. I saw a 1960 Electra 225 convertible a while back for sale (next to a '63 Lincoln convertible) and even though I love those Lincolns I would have bought that Buick instead..I was already plotting second mortgages, selling body organs, etc, but alas it didn't happen. I used to own a '62 Tempest Lemans, which had sort of the same kind of style on the side.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,641
    You know, those early 60s GM full-size convertibles aren't really all that expensive...I've seen very nice ones in the $10,000-12,500 range, and 70s converts at around half that. Don't pay attention to those high asking prices you see, that is not the real market.

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  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Yeah, '60s Buicks tend to appeal to a group of people that don't have much money to spend, like me. The engineering is fairly routine except for the aluminum front brake drums and Dynaflow, and the main appeal is the "period" styling, something people don't usually dig deep into their pockets to have.

    The exceptions might be the handful of 4 speeds and dual-quad 425s, but at least in the '80s they were bargains compared to comparable Chevies. Same with Olds, even the luxury/performance Starfires. The pool of people who really want these cars is just too small to put much pressure on prices.

    '60 Buicks are nicely baroque but for my money the '59 is an even more appealing example of wretched excess.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,865
    I remember a neighbor's new '59 Electra 225 sedan. It even had power rear vent windows! Was I ever impressed!
  • netranger4netranger4 Posts: 149
    Several years ago, I was in Salem, Ohio and stopped at a junk sale being held in a barn. One of the pieces for sale was a '37 Buick Fastback 4-dr Century with double sidemounts. The car was filthy and had a line of chicken poop right down the center of the car from the hood to the rear. It had been parked under a beam for umpteen years and was for sale for $750.00. These things do pop up once in awhle...don't know what happened to it but maybe one of the Buick collectors heard/bought it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,641
    Might be rare but not very valuable. Restoring 4-doors is a labor of love, you'd be buried in it financially with little chance of a profitable resale or of much admiration from Buick collectors. You restore a four-door and you get a polite "nice car" and they walk away, but a convertible always gets the juices going at car shows and club events, etc. This makes sense if you think about it, as the 4-door models were often the "utility" vehicles of the line. Even 4-door limos are a hard sell in old cars, as are flower cars and hearses.

    Of course, if the car were just dirty, it would be worth saving and driving around. But I doubt any serious "collector" would want it, except...except for that type of collector (a rare bird) who wants every model of a certain year....I have seen that happen now and then....so maybe that was the type of buyer.

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  • As isellhondas indicated the CHP used the Buick Century exclusively in 1955 & 56. San Diego, Long Beach and Los Angeles police depts also purchased some of these great pursuit vehicles for their "Freeway Flyer" special assignments. Seldom did anyone pull away from those cars. In the early 60's another attempt was made to enter that specialty market with the fast '62, '63 and '64 cars. They were great performers but the Dodge folks had the edge in the price war and the low bid usually prevailed. The RCMP had a few "Grand Nationals" for some high speed work and loved them. Again, price won out and another vehicle was chosen to replace them. Too bad. The Buick Division was the first GM outfit to design a production high speed performance car with their 1941 Century. What a car! My grandfather had one until the '56 Century hit the market. Then he bought a new one. It too was in his garage for years. With GM dumping the Oldsmobile Division what will happen for Buick? I hope they come up with some more classic vehicles.
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