SWEET BITTERSWEET BUICK
Pardon the leaves on the trees in these pics! It was a warm and lovely day months ago when I walked by this beauty in the East Village:
This is a 1971 Buick LeSabre convertible in the awesome original color Bittersweet Mist Poly. This is just a really nice unique classic that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
This is the last moment for pre-emissions and safety regulations domestic cars. In 1971 GM had a corporate mandate to slightly lower compression in order to run on unleaded gas. The engine choices for this beast would be the 350 V8 or the mighty 455. The design of the front and rear bumpers was still entirely up to the automaker as opposed to having to meet federal standards.
This was the largest generation of LeSabre. For a 2 door car this really is gigantic.
With the top down on a ride this big you can easily cruise with 5 adults in total comfort.
The integrated rear bumper frames the taillights nicely. 2 years later there would be massive bumpers hanging off of the front and rear with the taillights and grill positioned above completely separate.
These vents in the trunklid are a part of the new-for-'71 ventilation system. The air comes into the cab through the cowl and exits through the trunk lid.
As with just about every GM product from '71 the gas cap is hidden behind the fold-down license plate.
Those are the original Rallye wheels from '71.
There's a radio visible and of course it is a convertible but other than that there doesn't seem to be any other options. Roll down windows and a bench seat keep it humble.
This CUSTOM badge tells us that this ride is equipped with the 350 V8. An emblem that says 455 would replace it if it had the huge motor.
Sometimes a car can be great without tons of flash or luxury. This ride is super comfortable, powerful enough to do whatever you ask of it, and is a ragtop from the era when they were still pretty common. A '71 LeSabre will never tear it up at the big classic car auctions and as a result they are pretty affordable. Combine that with the fact that parts are universally available and you've got a great ride for the summer months. To see one in an odd color is a treat.