Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Antique Buick in Antique Gold

I had a rare bout of insomnia recently and decided to bike out to Brighton Beach at dawn. On the way back I took 86th Street past the Dyker Beach Golf Course. Look what I found waiting to tee up!
This is a 1969 Buick Electra 225 in Antique Gold Poly. Talk about stage presence! With a wheelbase 1" larger than the behemoths that preceded it the '69 Electra is large and in charge. From the front the lines are straight as an arrow. Rarely do you see a raised middle section of a hood that doesn't open up towards the windshield in a V shape.
The wipers are concealed below the hood adding to the clean look. The split grill is housed within a double loop bumper that pretty much incorporates the entire front of the car.
That swooping accent line going down the side was a Buick hallmark for '69 that can also be seen on the Skylark (the Riviera was the lone holdout). Above the front wheels you can see the now stylized Buick portholes. The portholes were officially named Cruiser-Line Ventiports when they were introduced on 1949 Buick. Back then they were functional in taking heat away from the engine. They became synonymous for Buick and were added in one form or another to most of their cars for decades.
This old girl's resting on semi deflated tires. The paint is faded completely and surface rust is emerging but for the most part this thing looks solid.
That Sweep Spear (as that swooping body line is known) really helps to keep this massive brick dynamic.
I love how unforgiving the rear end of these land yachts are. The '65-'67 taillights spanned the full width of the car and just look incredible. Starting in '68 we see this treatment with the license plate in the middle but the overall look is still substantial.
Of course the trunk is as big as you can imagine. Even a full size spare does nothing to take away from the truly colossal square footage inside this beast.
While you could specify a plain metal roof for your Electra we know this one had vinyl at one time. The chrome line running from the rear quarter window under the back window is the clue. This owner was smart to remove it because anything less than totally dry and pristine means the metal underneath will rot out.
It was a quiet block with nobody around so I didn't want to get right up to the window. Looking at it now I think this thing is unlocked though; watch out people!
The interior can ferry 6 well fed adults in ocean liner comfort. There were no manual transmissions available for this car; that wasn't the point!
Beneath this mighty hood lies the 430 V8 rated at 360 horsepower! Don't worry about the gas mileage. Feel confident in the fact that you can tow a large boat or camper, pull stumps out of the east, or simply lay strips until your tires dissolve. 
I found a commercial for the 1967 Electra that sums up the ride quality so well that I thought I'd include it here even though the year is different. The thought of combining glasses of wine and a car speaks to a simpler, more naive time!
Well at this point the sun was just coming up and I needed to head home for coffee. There seem to be a decent amount of these full size Buick sprinkled about Brooklyn, 2nd only to vintage Cadillacs. Speaking of Cadillac this ride is very similar, sharing the underpinnings with the Coupe DeVille. If you love big American iron and want a classic to use daily I highly recommend an old Buick. 

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