Wouldn’t You Really Rather Have A Buick?

If 365 Days of Motoring is correct, then on this day in 1904 the first production Buick was sold to Dr. Herbert H Hills (H Cubed!) of Flint, Michigan. Buick was the first automobile manufacturer, as opposed to tinkerer, to use an overhead valve (OHV) configuration in its engines.

As almost everyone reading this knows, my personal automotive history began with a Buick, my father’s 1956 Century. From momentcar.com a picture of such a car:


See the source image


I will not re-tell the story of my first drive in the car, etc. Trim like the famous Buick Sweep Spear is considered superfluous today and adds weight to cars affecting their fuel efficiency. If you think the weight of trim is not significant consider that Chevrolet/GM changed non-carbon fiber body panels on the Corvette beginning in 2016 so they could save 20 pounds of weight per car, an amount less than one percent of the total weight.

Of course, preserving the looks of cars like these is one reason why restomodding has become popular. How popular? The famous Bloomington Gold Corvette event has added a Restomod category to their judging portfolio.

Back to Buick…everyone reading this post knows of my affinity for the 1963-65 Riviera, a member of Ultimate Garage 2.0, as well as for the Reatta and the Grand National. However, I am also a fan of the looks of many of the postwar Buicks, like this:


See the source image


From Hemmings a picture of a 1953 Buick Skylark, which is an absolutely stunning car, in my opinion. In the appropriate setting nothing looks as good as a set of wire wheels. In the event my wonderful wife and I buy a 2000-02 Eldorado after/if we move, I would love to add a good set of wire wheels to it.

That’s all for today, folks.







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18 thoughts on “Wouldn’t You Really Rather Have A Buick?

  1. I am a fan of the 1950s era General Motors cars, but especially the Buick. A high school buddy drove his dad’s 1956 (I believe) Roadmaster. He always referred to it as the “Roadtoaster”.
    It has something every red blooded teen-age boy could really get into. A giant rear seat area. >grin<


    1. I agree all red blooded teen-age boys wanted a big back seat. I’ll go you one better. My first car was a 1957 Rambler 4-door sedan. The back of the front seat could be laid down so you almost had the space of a double bed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Weight is always the enemy, be it cars, airplanes or humans. It’s said in drag racing that 100 pounds equals one tenth of a second of elapsed time. It’s ironic that in the 50’s weight was touted as an advantage; road hugging weight.

    It’s also kind of ironic that today’s cars weigh more than ever. Safety requirements (door intrusion beams, roll over protection, etc.) and convenience accessories add hundreds of pounds to cars these days compared to 30-40 years ago. When the Ford Taurus was introduced for 1986 it was touted as using 86 pounds of plastic, for a weight savings of 250 pounds compared to using metal. These days carbon fiber is taking its place, but weight is still up there overall.


  3. Trimming weight is primarily an effort to increase fuel efficiency in order to meet the Federal CAFE Standards. Thou shalt meet the corporate fuel efficiency goals.

    Buicks are part of the U. S. Automotive history. I was surprised when my parents bought one of the full-sized sedans in the 70’s.. My Dad always favored Pontiac or Chevrolet. I had the “opportunity” to drive that particular land barge which was quite an experience. It did ride smoothly. You posted the picture of the Skylark convertible, which is one of my few Buick favorites. They did come with the famous “nailhead” V8. Wire wheels are classic. I have six Kelsey Hayes Ford bent spoke wheels for my roadster project.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks for sharing, Philip.

      Except for the two foreign cars I’ve owned (four if you count the jointly owned foreign-made SUVs), I have only owned GM products. In fact, I have only owned Chevrolet or Pontiac vehicles, again excepting the foreign cars. That’s one reason a Cadillac Eldorado is appealing.


  4. I am sure I’ve said this all before but I’m a big fan of Buick. In the mid 70s my dad acquired a rough 1964 Electra 225 Sport Coupe. It was beige, he did some body work and had it repainted black. At the time my mom had inherited her dad’s 1967 Ford LTD hardtop sedan. I have to say, sure they were older cars but our driveway looked pretty impressive with those 2.
    I’ve never had another Buick. But one of my good friends has a 1932 Buick 57S that he restored over 16 years. It’s one of the most beautiful cars I’ve ever seen. We also had a friend who we say regularly who has a 1952 Special Sedan. Both the 32 and 52 have the straight 8, and I always marvelled at how smoothly both ran. And pretty whisper quiet.


    1. Thanks for sharing, sir.

      The Buick straight-8 has long had the reputation for being smooth and quiet in operation. That being said, as long as the original drivetrain is not in existence then one of those old Buicks would make a great restomod, IMO.


      1. Other than packaging issues with a long straight 8, I don’t know why more of them aren’t used. Anyone I’ve ever heard speak about them rave about them.


    2. I guess I am starting to get older; I totally forgot that in 1985 my mother bought herself a brand new Electra Park Avenue sedan. It was the first of the down-sized, FWD ‘full-size’ GMs. White, white padded roof, burgundy velour interior, and the 3.8L V6. Loaded, short of moon roof and memory seat.
      To be honest it was a very comfortable car, and it was a very nice driver. I think it stood up to the reputation Buick had in those terms. Unfortunately, it was beset by issues with the transmission kickdown, as well as the many electric gremlins common to the mid 80s GMs. My mom really liked the size of it, she found it very easy to drive. My dad’s skills as a mechanic allowed her to keep it for 17 years.


      1. Thanks for sharing, markcars2014. Some kind of Buick–mid-80s Grand National, last-gen Riviera or maybe, just maybe, a 63-65 Riviera–has a non-zero probability of being the next car purchase. Like the hashtag reads, #somanycarsjustonelife.


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