Monday, May 9, 2016

The U.S.S. Electra

I don't even remember which nameless stretch of auto shops I was riding by when I found this. All I know is that I was captivated by the ocean view when I realized it was just a Buick. Behold!
1968 Buick Electra 225 in some sort of aftermarket Turquoise. There was a color choice for this year of Aqua Mist, but it's much more subdued than this.
That split grill is much more Pontiac than Buick. While the Electra had some sort of center grill divider from '67-'70, this is the only year where the two sides are separated by body-colored metal.
This is a FULL size automobile, meant to be one baby step down from Cadillac in the GM hierarchy. This is the bank managers car as opposed to the president. That swooping side trim is a buick hallmark. The traditional portholes along the side have been completely stylized flat rectangles above the trim on the fender.
Beneath that mighty hood lies a 430 V8 good for 360 horsepower. These cars are on a monumental scale but they are surprisingly quick and nimble! I had a '65 Electra the same 4 door size as this and it was smooth and very fast.
This is a barge there's no denying it. However unless you're against sitting on a comfortable couch I guarantee you'd feel cozy riding around in this thing.
The years leading up to this had a full-width taillight bar that was plenty menacing. This is the first year for the split, still enormous, taillights.
This is exactly the sort of thing I'd drive if there was any chance of parking it. I sold my own '65 Electra when I moved from Oakland to San Francisco. My first day living in North Beach I circled for 45 minutes before literally driving out of my neighborhood to park on the Embarcadero. I put it up on Craigslist and within 2 minutes somebody from Sweden was on the phone. We struck a deal and I drove it down to a shipping company by the water. They handed me an envelope full of cash and it got shipped off to Sweden. Makes me happy thinking of that beast rolling around Northern Europe somewhere!

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