Buick Electra Classic Cars Wiki

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Buick Electra

The Buick was a full-size premium automobile by the Buick division of General The Electra name (in various was used by Buick between and 1990.



Prior to 1959, the Roadmaster and the constituted the upper echelon of lineup. For 1959, they renamed the Electra 225 and the Electra

The Electra 225 nameplate was a nod to the car’s length of over 225 in (5,715 earning it the street name and a quarter.

The Electra 225 Riviera was the model and it shared its six window roofline exclusively with (which offered it on all of its models). first applied the Riviera to a premium trimmed 2-door hardtop in the middle of the 1949 year, and thereafter denoted all hardtops Rivieras. Also, 1950 through 1953, made a premium trimmed, wheelbase sedan, exclusively in the and Super lines, that was Riviera. But 1959 was the first that not all Buick hardtops called Rivieras. A standard four-door hardtop was also as was a 4-door 6-window pillared along with a stripped of which 144 were built in and 1960.

The two-door convertible was available as an Electra 225, and the hardtop as an Electra.


For the Electra and Electra 225 both the General Motors C-body with the Oldsmobile 98 and all Cadillac, on a longer 126.3-inch (3,210 mm) than the B-body LeSabre and both of which rode on 123 (3,100 mm). The standard and available engine was the 401 cubic-inch V8 with four-barrel carburetor, to 1 compression ratio and 325 horsepower kW) mated to a two-speed Dynaflow transmission, which was also equipment along with steering and power brakes Buick’s unique 12-inch mm) finned aluminum brake Power windows and seat and interiors were standard on the 225 convertible and optional on all other Front bucket seats optional on the convertible. Electra were trimmed in nylon cloth or broadcloth combinations Cordaveen.

Electra 225 convertibles trimmed in leather. Standard features included horizontal speedometer, two-speed electric wipers, trip mileage cigar lighter, dual Step-On parking brake, horns, Twin-Turbine automatic Foamtex seat cushions, clock, trunk light, light, power steering, brakes, full wheelcovers and exhaust. In addition Electra had Super Deluxe wheelcovers and an rearview mirror as standard

Padded dashboards were standard.

The Electra, along all other 1959 Buicks, all new styling shared with GM divisions that included headlights in front along a highly chromed square somewhat similar to the 1958 and Delta-Fins back along round taillights. Exterior from other Buicks from extra-wide moldings, a massive Electra emblem on the fender extension. The Electra 225 was found on the front fenders of the wheelhouse.

The 4-door models had a bright rear fender as well.


The 1960 and Electra 225 received a minor with a concave grille and headlights centered by Buick’s Trishield logo, which is in use today. Reintroduced to Electras and Buicks for 1960 were the VentiPorts first introduced in and last seen in 1957. and Electra 225 models featured VentiPorts on each front while lesser LeSabre and models had three VentiPorts.

featured wider rocker bright moldings and the Electra on the front fenders ahead of the Electra 225s featured a that was circled on the deck The Electra 225 name was found on the fenders in place of the Electra

Inside, a revised instrument featured a Mirromatic speedometer for the lens could be adjusted to visibility to suit the driver. A new steering wheel with bars was introduced, replacing the honored horn ring still common to most Brisbane cloth interiors closed models while the was trimmed in leather.

Convertibles had a two way power seat adjuster and windows standard.

The bucket option introduced on Electra 225 in 1959 was now available on Electra and included a center consolette storage compartment. Standard features included windshield trip mileage indicator, lighter, dual sunshades, parking brake, dual a single-key locking system, automatic transmission, Foamtex cushions, electric clock, light, license plate glovebox light, power and power brakes. In addition 225s had back-up lights, a rear view mirror, brake signal light, buzzer, map light and Super wheelcovers as standard equipment.

1961–1964 Edit


The along with the LeSabre, was for 1961 with drastically fins. Electras featured rocker panel and wheelhouse Four VentiPorts per front were a hallmark, with spelled out on the front fender Electra 225s had four marks interupting behind the of the rear fender. Electra 225 were found on the front

Electra interiors were in fabric. Electra 225s trimmed in Calais cloth or trim, except for convertibles were trimmed in vinyl. An Custom interior featured trim, while another vinyl with contrasting stripes and front bucket with a storage consolex and two-way seat adjustment. equipment on the Electra included automatic transmission, Mirromagic panel, directional signals, oil filter, electric windshield Deluxe steering wheel, mileage indicator, cigar Step-On brake, dual cloth and vinyl trim, carpeting, power steering, brakes, two-speed windshield system, glovebox light, seat cushions and Deluxe

Two-tone Electras had the color on the rear cove. In addition 225s had back-up lights, rearview mirror, parking signal light, safety courtesy lights, two-way seat, Super Deluxe with gold accents and windows. The Electra and Electra 225 the same length in 1961.

discontinued the Electra nameplate at the end of the model year, leaving the Electra 225 starting in 1962.

The big Buick of 1962 carried VentiPorts per front fender and a rakish sculptured restyle of its guise. The hardtop coupe and hardtop sedan featured a inspired semi-formal roofline, the Riviera hardtop sedan to use six-window pillarless configuration. 225 rear fenders had a group of hashmarks, with Electra 225 out in block letters just A full length bright crowned the upper body while the tower rocker and wheelhouses were accented bright trim. Wheelcovers had a accent ring.

Interiors of the finest cloth and, on the leather was used. Standard included directional signals, oil filter, dual speed windshield washer/wipers, Deluxe wheel, cigar lighter, parking brake, dual Turbine-Drive transmission, padded heater, defroster, glovebox back-up lights, power Glare-proof rearview mirror, brakes, power brake light, safety buzer, lights, two-way power power windows, Super wheelcovers, Safety option custom padded cushions, Group options and custom


Buick’s largest and most expensive models restyled for 1963, with rear fenders culminating in a vertical edge housing back-up lights. The taillights horizontally placed in the vertical cove. A unique cast was used at the front.

Bright and lower body moldings, ribbed rear fender were used. Red-filled 225 badges were found on the fenders, while four lent status to the front Interiors were cloth and combinations, while a Custom in vinyl and leather, with bucket seats and a storage was available for the convertible and sport Standard equipment included signals, full-flow oil filter, speed electric windshield Deluxe steering wheel, lighter, Step-On parking dual armrests, Turbine-Drive transmission, padded dashboard, defroster, glovebox light, lights, power steering, rearview mirror, power parking brake signal safety buzzer, courtesy two-way power seats, windows, Super Deluxe Safety option group, padded cushions, Accessory options and custom moldings. dropped the Riviera name as a style designation after the model year, shifting the name exclusively to Buick’s new luxury coupe that had introduced in 1963.

Buick a 7-way tilt steering in 1963 as an option.


The General Motors C-body was to create the 1964 Electra Buick’s richest full-size Vertical, narrow taillamps found in the nearly straight-cut fender ends, and the so called Quarter came with skirts. Four traditional were found on the front with heavy heavy grille accenting the frontal

Wide front lower moldings were used with a bright deck insert. Electra 225 lettering was on the rear fenders and specific wheelcovers were featured. and brocade cloth interior were found in closed while leather upholstery was for seats in the convertible. Among the exclusive standard equipment power steering; power two-speed electric wipers windshield washer; foam seats; electric clock; frame; trunk light; power seat and power for the convertible; safety buzzer; and courtesy lights.

The 2-speed Dynaflow automatic was by the 3-speed TH-400 as standard

1965–1970 Edit


All GM vehicles received a major in 1965 dominated by flowing bottle lines and fastback profiles on its coupe models, and the 6 style was eliminated. For 1965, also changed its marketing and offering the Electra 225 in two trim base and Custom. Along the new body came a new chassis a full perimeter frame side rails that the previous X frame used 1961. Engine offerings unchanged from 1964 the standard 325-horsepower 401 V8, and two versions of the 425 V8 that were rated at 340 (250 kW) with a four-barrel or 360 horsepower (270 kW) with two barrels.

The three-speed Super 400 automatic transmission was standard


The 1966 Electra 225 saw minor styling changes a new grille and a revised full-width and trunk led that included an 225 script rather than the nameplate spelled out in 1965. offerings were unchanged 1965 with the exception the dual-quad 360-horsepower 425 was downgraded a factory option to dealer-installed. a revised instrument panel a horizontal sweep speedometer, gauge and warning lights.

seat headrests became an


A moderate facelift the 1967 Electra 225 including a divided split grille. base and Custom models continued with a new Limited package available Electra 225 4-door hardtop reviving a that graced Buick’s flagship in the late 1930s and in 1958) which included an interior trim. Under the a new 430 cubic-inch V8 rated at 360 horsepower kW) with four-barrel carburetor the previous Nailhead 401 and 425 V8s.

front disc brakes available as a new option along a stereo 8-track tape


The ’68 Electra 225 got a grille and taillight trim with concealed windshield Inside, there was a revised panel with a square and other instruments, plus a new wheel. Shoulder seat-belts standard for the driver and right-front

Base and Custom models still offered, with the trim option available on the 225 Custom hardtop sedan.

The year 1969 also a major restyling to the Electra 225 and GM B-body and C-body cars somewhat crisper bodylines 1965-68 models, but continued the same chassis and inner structure introduced with the model, however the wheelbase was one inch to 127-inch (3,200 The 1969s were also the to offer headrests as standard due to a federal safety mandate, and the column with ignition that also locked the wheel with the transmission in a feature found on all 1969 GM one year before it became a safety mandate in 1970. new was a variable-ratio power steering combined with revised suspension tuning called

Other changes included front windows and the elimination of fender skirts. The same of base and Custom models offered in 1969 with the trim package available on sedans and coupes. A new option with the Limited package was a 60/40 bench seat center armrest.

Braking: finned aluminum drum were again offered and effective. The Bendix 4 piston brake units were 12 x 1 vented steel rotors coupled with the cast caliper assemblies. Exhaust: exhaust was available as an option.

Axle Ratios: 2.56 as well as 2.73, 3.08, gear ratios were The special PX-Code AC Delete performance gear option was Performance: 1/4 mile road completed in 15.5 seconds at a velocity of 90 mph (140 km/h) was with the dual exhaust and gear ratio in a 4,700 lb kg) Custom Convertible.


a minor facelift with grille and taillight trim the 1970 Electra 225. The big was under the hood, where a new 455 cubic-inch V8 replaced the 430 V8 used 1967 to 1969. This was the year for the Electra convertible, aluminum brake drums and compression engines.

New this was a concealed radio antenna, amounted to two wires embedded in the

New for 1970 was the Estate Wagon, shared the Electra’s 455 V8 and four but was a B-body car like the LeSabre and the and consequently shared the smaller 124.0-inch (3,150 mm) wheelbase and This was Buick’s first station wagon since The following year the Buick would move up to Electra’s body and more voluminous

1971–1976 Edit

Like the GM carmakers, Buick completely its B-body and C-body cars for The full-size cars emerged and heavier than before and ever after. The new GM full-size at 64.3 front shoulder and 63.4 rear shoulder set a record for interior width would not be matched by any car until the GM rear-wheel drive models of the to mid 1990s.

The styling featured bodysides, long hoods and expanses of glass. All Electra were hardtops in the 1971 to model years, eliminating the four-door pillared sedan and the convertible. In 1974 Buick GM’s pillared coupe and fitted it with the Landau on the Electra Limited coupe.

driver and passenger airbags also available from to 1976, but they were due to their cost.


In the year for new GM C-body shared Oldsmobile 98 and Cadillac, the 1971 225 rode on a new body chassis retained the 127-inch (3,200 mm) with styling evolutionary previous models. The new design a double-shell roof for improved protection and noise reduction. was a new wrap-around cockpit style panel shared with LeSabre and Centurion models grouped all instruments with reach of the driver.

Under the the 455-cubic-inch V8 was retained as standard but featured a lower compression of 8.5 to 1 to 10.25 to 1 in 1970 as part of a GM mandate requiring all engines to run on 91 octane regular leaded, or unleaded gasolines. Horsepower dropped from 370 to 315 as a result. equipment continued to consist of power steering and Turbo transmission.

Power front brakes were now standard on Electras, replacing the 12-inch mm) finned aluminum drum used in full-sized Buicks the late 1950s.

Also new for the Electra 225, as well as the LeSabre and Centurion, and E-body was a new power ventilation system. The shared with other GM B-, C- and cars along with the Chevrolet Vega, used the fan to draw air into the car from the intake, and force it out through in the trunk lid or tailgate. In theory, could enjoy fresh air when the car was moving slowly or as in heavy traffic.

In practice, it didn’t work.

Within of the 1971 models’ debut, Buick—and all other GM dealers—received complaints from drivers who the ventilation system pulled air into the car before the heater warm up—and could not be off. The ventilation system was revised for 1972.

From to 1976, Buick’s full-sized Wagon shared the 127.0-inch mm) wheelbase and 455 cubic-inch V8 with the 225, and shared its interior and styling from 1971 to (complete with the prerequisite VentiPorts). And although from to 1976 the number of VentiPorts reduced by one, and the front was downgraded to a LeSabre’s, the Electra 225 chrome rocker panel and distinctive Electra 225 style quarter panels (albeit fender skirts) remained. were the first Buick wagons to be built on Buick’s chassis since the Roadmaster of 1947-53. The Estate Wagons, as did GM full-sized wagons during years, used a unique suspension with multi-leaf instead of the coil springs on other full-sized Buicks, and full-sized GM cars. The Estate also featured a a new ‘Clamshell’ design where the rear glass slid up into the as the tailgate (manually or with assist), slid into a under the cargo floor.

The tailgate, the first in station history, ultimately supplanted the tailgate, which required effort to lift from It was operated by switches on the instrument or a key switch on the rear quarter The Clamshell system, heavy and made it easier to load and the extremely long wagons in spaces.

But it remained un-adopted by any manufacturer, and would be eliminated GM reduced the length of their by about a foot in 1977, and the concern became increased economy.

At 5,182 lb (2,351 kg) shipping or about 5,400 lb (2,400 kg) weight, the three-seat 1974 Wagons are easily the heaviest ever built, even than the Buick Limited of 1936-42.


New egg-crate and taillight trim highlighted the Electra 225s. The trouble-prone system used in 1971 was by a new system using vents in the jambs instead of the trunk-mounted of 1971. The 455 V8 was carried over and now at 250 net horsepower compared to 315 gross in 1971.

The differences in advertised in the two years was due to an industry-wide switch gross (dynometer-rated and not installed in to net (as installed in vehicle with and emission controls installed) measurements.


A revised grille above a new federally-mandated 5 mph km/h) front bumper and taillights were among the noticeable changes for the 1973 225. All engines now featured EGR to meet increasingly stringent emission standards (the EGR was featured on Buick engines for cars in 1972).


New and a new rear with revised and a federally mandated 5 mph (8.0 rear bumper highlighted the Electra 225, still in base and uplevel Custom The Electra Limited, previously a trim option on the Custom was upgraded to full model Electra Limited models got power windows, power seat and a new digital clock as equipment, along with an leather upholstery trim, the Buicks (along with year’s Riviera) to offer leather seats since the Riviera.

The 455 V8 was revised to meet the federal and California emission with horsepower dropping 250 in 1972–73 to 230 for 1974. A one-year option for the ’74 Electra was the Stage 1 455 with dual and a 245 horsepower (183 kW) rating.

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the wrap-around instrument panel was revised and optionally available for the time (and seldom was a driver’s side airbag with an exclusive steering design. 1974 was the final for the Max Trac traction control New options for 1974 included tires and a low fuel warning came on when the gas tank was to only four gallons.

A new Landau option was available on the coupe that included the rear side opera and rear-quarter vinyl roof.

1975 brought about in all of General Motors C-body In 1975, all Electra 225 coupes had rear side windows and posts. 1975 also along a newer front end and design. Rectangular headlights standard on all GM C-body cars, with many others. supposedly would allow to lower the front end to reduce resistance, but this wasn’t apparent with the new design.

The received a new metal eggcrate grille, which covered of the front end, and wrapping the headlights. The grille included lights on either side. was a choice of a base model 225 whose trim and appointments upgraded to the same level as the year’s Electra 225 Custom and an Limited. The 1975 Electra was the longest Buick ever at 233.4 inches (5,928 which is over 19 feet.

cars dwarfed the newer drive Electras and Park in sheer size and weight.

windows and a power driver’s became standard on all Electra in 1975. Also new to the standard list were radial-ply The 1975 Electra was one of the first GM to offer an Air Cushion Restraint or airbag.

Inside, a new flat panel (shared with Estate Wagon and Riviera) horizontal sweep speedometer facing with black replaced the wrap-around cockpit of previous years and door trim was revised. The speedometer was back from 120 to 100 mph (160 and kilometer readings were

Technical changes for 1975 the addition of a catalytic converter and ignition to not only meet the 1975 and later emission but also extended routine intervals, and improved fuel and driveability which was a must in the era following the 1973–74 energy but also spelled the end of dual systems and mandated the use of unleaded as the converter could be rendered if contaminated with lead. ratios were also lowered to aid in improving gas mileage. The 455 V8, now rated at 205 horsepower (153 was retained as the standard and only engine.

Electra Limited Park

The Park Avenue, originally an comfort and appearance package, buyers ultra-luxurious pillow-topped a center console, velour thicker carpet, and an upscale panel design. The Park seats were designed by This seating design was by the Cadillac Sixty Special the Talisman (1974–1976) option and with Park Avenue the 1980 model year. Park Avenues were with the full size console (unlike the Sixty Talisman’s half console), eliminated the 6th passenger, in the front between the driver and front 1975 also offered a luxurious Park Avenue which was sold only in and included every option on the Electra (posi-traction, 15 rallye wheels, rear automatic etc.).

The Park Avenue was an expensive option not popular buyers; only 37 were The Park Avenue would as the top level trim package 1990. In 1991, the Electra would be dropped and Park would replace it as the flagship sedan.


1976 about a few changes on the Electra. The was reworked, including the grille and The new plastic grille featured 17 bars and covered much of the

The grille did not extend under the in 1976, but instead Buick the running lights and turn lights underneath the headlights, the 1975 grille had once The bumper no longer housed lights. There were some minor interior The brake release handle was instead of chrome, the seat was slightly different, on the limited, diamond pattern seating. The material appeared in a corduroy but the actual material was not corduroy.

The diamond pattern seating did not have this appearance. The air cleaner did not have a cold-air ram air hose like the 1975 did, and there were carburetor changes and camshaft to meet EPA standards. The rear end also was higher than the standard, at 2.56:1 instead of The Park Avenue and leather in 1975 and 1976 were the

Once again, there was the 225, the Limited, and the luxurious Avenue. The Park Avenue vanished for 1976 due to poor The 1976 Electra is about the size as the 1975 at 233.3 (5,926 mm), making among the biggest Buicks

The 1975 Buick Electra 225 was the longest 4-door hardtop car GM built, as the Cadillac Sixty (which was a bit longer) was unavailable as a sedan since the mid sixties. The also ushered in a return of the six configuration that Buick between 1959 and 1964.

All were powered by Buick’s 455 in³ L) engine between 1971 and The 1971 model had a respectable 315 hp kW), but that was reduced to a 205 hp (153 kW) by the 1976 model ever increasing government emission controls were the for the drop in performance. Even at its state, the Buick-built 455 engine produced 345 lb·ft (468 of torque at 2000 rpm. The 455 was the engine on the Electra, but there some built with 350s during the GM strike, 455 production halted. The 350 engine came with a price

The once mighty 455 engine after the 1976 model in favor of smaller, more powerplants.

Total production for generation was 794,833.


GM downsized all C-body cars in including the Electra. It lost 11 inches (279 mm) in length and a bit of weight too. The car was totally but still offered base 225 and trims, plus a top-line Avenue option package, became available on the coupe.

The option in the Park Avenue was never to return to the rear drive Electra. The downsized brought increased sales, 161,627 Electras produced in

The big-block 455 was gone forever. The engine was now the Buick 350 with a carburetor. The Oldsmobile 403 was optional 1977 to 1979.

Oldsmobile’s 350 was added to the option list in 1980.

A different grille was the cosmetic change for 1978, but brought a redesigned, flat end and a subtly different taillight featuring a Buick crest and horizontal silver line. It last, and the 1980 Electra back to its earlier 1977 but with a new grille featuring slats. Also in 1980, finally completely dropped the 225 in favor of Park Avenue, for reasons.

For the first time since Electras didn’t have VentiPorts in 1981. The 1981 saw very few changes from the restyle but it got a modified grille, new (the Buick 350 V8 was dropped in of a standard Buick produced 252 in³ V6, and an Oldsmobile 307 in³ V8). The 350 in³ Oldsmobile-produced was still available.

The top-line Park Avenue model to show 4 small depressions stickers in the chrome moulding on its fenders until they completely gone in 1985. of the rear-wheel drive Electra in April 1984. Technically was the last year of the rear drive C-body, as it was renamed the and would continue on under the Fleetwood Brougham, and later the Cadillac Brougham and finally the Cadillac Fleetwood.

The next rear wheel drive sedan would be the 1992–1996 sharing the same B-body as the Caprice and GM’s last rear wheel drive wagons.

The Buick Estate was also downsized for 1977. It had a separate model in its own right 1970, alternatively sharing and styling with both the and LeSabre. In stark contrast to when it shared Electra’s (3,230 mm) wheelbase and used front end styling, the new Estate shared LeSabre’s B-body and Electra’s front-end styling.

the rear wheel drive was discontinued, the Estate Wagon to be produced with the rear drive Electra’s front end until 1990 when it was by the Buick Roadmaster Estate.

comparison between 1974 and Buick Electra 225


In 1985, a redesigned front-wheel Electra debuted with the new C which was further downsized compared to the previous generation. due with the model change, discarded all V8 engines. Sales in April 1984, alongside the rear-wheel-drive model, which had production that month.

It was powered by either a carbureted 3.0 or a injected 3.8 liter Buick V6 mated to a 4-speed automatic with a .70:1 overdrive The trim levels for the Electra Limited, Park Avenue, T-Type, and later, Park Ultra. One of the distinctly unusual of this car was that unlike other passenger cars, its was hinged in the front thus towards the passenger compartment, of the conventional setup.

In 1985, the Avenue badge became an trim designation within the series. It denoted, as it had in the past, the luxuriously equipped and fully Electra available.

Although the design remained unchanged 1985 to 1990, the Electra did some noticeable changes. The significant change came in when the Electra lineup the four-lamp quad headlights in 1985–86 models in favor of one-piece headlights. In 1988 the Park Avenue received would later go on to become flagship engine, the 3800

The original 3.8 L V-6 was still offered in Electra models through the model year and was designated by the VIN 3, while Electras with the V-6 were designated by the VIN code C. For the front seat belts door-mounted, and back seat belts became standard.

The Electra rolled off the assembly on August 3, 1990.

The long Electra name was dropped Buick’s lineup at the end of the 1990 year. Starting in 1991, Avenue became a distinct instead of a trim designation as it had in the past.

The Electra Estate wagon model was an entirely car that was based upon the full-size GM station wagon (revised in 1980). 1990 saw the of Electra production to make for the Park Avenue.

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