A Couple of Facts about the Buick Electra
- In 1959, the Buick Electra and Electra 225 were introduced as the luxury line of the Buick sedan family. Named the "deuce of a quarter," the Buick Electra 225 had an overall length of 5,715 millimeters.
- The Cadillac Series 62, De Ville, Sixty Special, Eldorado, and Oldsmobile 98 were some of the vehicles that shared the same body mold with the Buick Electra and Electra 225.
- Slanted headlights, a chromed square grille, "Delta-Fins," round headlights, and extra-wide moldings were the new styles included on the 1959 Electra and Electra 225.
- The 225 Riviera was Buick's top-of-the-line Electra model featuring a six-window hardtop roofline, which was exclusive only to the Cadillac. A standard four-window four-door hardtop was also made available for the Buick Electra 225 Riviera.
- Using the General Motors C-body design, the Buick Electra was fitted with a Wildcat V8 engine mated with a two-speed Dynaflow automatic transmission. 12-inch finned aluminum brake drums, power steering, Foamtex seat cushions, padded dashboards, and an electric clock were some of the standard features on the Electra and Electra 225.
- Buick's Trishield logo and chrome Ventiports were first seen on the 1960 Electra and Electra 225. The Trishield logo is still being used on all the modern Buick cars, while four Ventiports were featured on each of the Electra's front fenders. Ventiports were designed by Buick to help ventilate a car's engine compartment.
- A "Mirrormatic" speedometer, 3-speed TH-400 (Turbo-Hydramatic), Accu-Drive front suspension, a Glare-proof rearview mirror, and a 401-cubic inch Nailhead V8 engine were some of the innovative technological features incorporated into the Buick Electra.
- The 1963 Buick Electra is considered as one of its largest and plushest models ever produced. Bright wheelhouses, lower body moldings, and a unique cast front grille were some of the new exterior design features on the Electra. Turbine-Drive automatic transmission, dual-speed electric windshield wipers, dual armrests, power steering, and two-way power seats were also introduced on the Electra.
- Nicknamed the "Working Man's Monroe", Vera Jayne Palmer or popularly known as Jayne Mansfield died in an automobile accident while riding a 1966 Buick Electra 225.
- A 1970 Buick Electra 225 made an appearance on the family film "Matilda". While on the television crime drama "Perry Mason", three Buick Electra 225's were featured during the show's third season.
Buick Electra Common Problems
Replacing the Buick Super, Electra was a full-sized and top-end luxury car. With its iconic "deuce and a quarter" and big block 401 V8 engine, the Electra was large, roomy, and it was the longest 4-door sedan in General Motor's history. People loved the Buick Electra for its lavish, posh, and upscale features. However, Electra owners should be aware of their car's common issues to properly address them when they encounter these problems.
One of the Buick Electra's most common problems is the push-pull headlight switch. Its circuitry may come in contact with the car's other electrical circuits causing the headlights to operate intermittently, flicker, or suddenly go out. The faulty push-pull switch can suddenly turn off the Electra's headlights, reducing the driver's visibility during nighttime driving or severe weather conditions, which can lead to a vehicular accident.
A total of 106,111 Buick Electra units were affected by the headlight switch problem. General Motors advised its customers to have their vehicle's headlight switch replaced to avoid any problems.
Another common problem the Buick Electra encountered is its brake system. Apparently, the brake system's power brake vacuum hoses can fail due to the inferior materials used on them. The Electra's brake hoses may not meet or perform according to specifications. If the hose assembly ruptures, pressure and vacuum from the brake system will be lost, leading to total brake system failure.
In 1981, 93 Electra units were affected by the vacuum hose problem. Buick Electra owners were advised to bring their units to the nearest dealer and have the vacuum pump inlet and outlet hoses replaced. Buick dealerships were ordered not to charge the customers anything for the replacement.
Several Buick Electra models encountered problems with the car's fuses and circuit breakers. One of the in-line fusible links found near the plastic windshield washer bottle bracket was prone to melting down. During a high resistance load, the in-line fusible link can melt down that can ignite the plastic washer bottle bracket, resulting into a fire in the car's engine bay.
In 1987, about 479,715 units were affected by the problems with the in-line fusible links. Owners were advised by General Motors to bring their cars to the dealers for the immediate replacement of the plastic windshield washer bottle bracket.
Keep Your Buick Electra Classy with These Tips
Named after Harlow H. Curtice's sister-in-law, Electra Waggoner-Biggs, the Buick Electra was a premium, full-sized sedan, which replaced the aging Roadmaster. Nicknamed "deuce and a quarter," it was Buick's longest sedan, measuring at 225 inches. Despite its length and size, the GM's design team opted for simple body lines to make it look lighter yet elegant. It also featured plush interiors, making it a true premium sedan. On the road, it was also fast and agile, thanks to its 325 brake-horsepower (BHP) V8 engine. Although, the Electra finally ended its three-decade run in 1990, its legacy still lives until today. It's a true classic sedan worth keeping. Below are maintenance tips on taking care of your beloved classic car.
Your car was designed to be driven and not to be stored for long periods of time. Keeping it stored and covered inside your garage will lead to parts breaking down. Its tires may develop flat spots, rubber seals drying up, lubricants breaking down, and the gasoline may go bad. To prevent these problems, start by starting your car and let the engine warm for a few minutes. After warming up the engine, drive your car slowly for 30 minutes. This will let the fluids circulate through the engine and its other components. The oil filter will help remove any sludge or sediments from the engine. Turn on its air conditioner and let it run while you're driving to lubricate its parts. Crank your windows to keep its mechanisms working properly. Don't forget to check your car's lights—headlights, taillights, and signal lights. You don't want to cause an accident because of defective lights. Driving your car is the best way to keep it running smoothly.
As your car ages, it requires more attention, and it may also need professional help. Bring your car to a reputable garage and let the experts check your car's components. You may be an experienced DIYer, but sometimes, you need help. Suspension and steering parts are critical safety features, which need extra attention. Car specialists, especially those who have experience in checking classic cars, can help you check every nook and cranny. Areas such as the suspension may need professional skills to repair. Not everything should be done alone—an extra helping hand with years of professional experience can help a lot.
- Top up all its fluids and keep it clean.
Modern fluids such as gasoline, engine oil, and brake fluid have shorter shelf lives. It's ideal to top them up or better yet, replace them if you plan to keep your classic car in storage for longer periods of time. Fill your sedan's gasoline with fresh gasoline quarterly to avoid problems with its fuel system. Use fuel additives to keep the gasoline stabilized for longer periods of time. Check the antifreeze, brake fluid, and transmission fluid to ensure their consistency. If they get too thick and murky, flush them out and change them immediately. Also, don't forget to clean your car and have its interior and exterior detailed at least twice a year. This will help weather-proof your car against the harsh elements.
Following these simple tips will save you from expensive repair bills and a lot of heartache. A classic car such as the Buick Electra needs extra attention. Don't let time deteriorate your car. Keep it classy for years to come.
A Look Back at the History of the Buick Electra
During the 1960s, big vehicles with a sleek, long silhouette were a hit. A good example of such a vehicle was the Buick Electra, which was in production from 1959-1990. Throughout out its long and rich history, the Buick Electra received several upgrades and changes, making each version a classic ride that continues to attract fans and hobbyists today.
1959–1960: First generation
In 1959, the Buick Roadmaster was renamed as the Buick Electra, while the Roadmaster 75 was now referred to as the Electra 225. Both these variants were equipped with a GM C-body and a 126.3-inch wheelbase, which was longer that what was used on the Invicta and LeSabre models. The Electra’s standard engine was a 401 cubic-inch Wildcat V8 that came with a four-barrel carburetor. This engine produced 325 horsepower and was partnered with a Dynaflow automatic transmission. In 1960, the Electra was upgraded with horizontal headlamps and a concave grill. Chrome VentiPorts were also added, as well as an “Electra” scrip on the front fenders and wider rocker panel moldings.
1961–1964: Second generation
For the second-gen version, the Electra was equipped with shrunken fins and distinct rocker panel moldings. 1962 Electra 225 units were restyled to accommodate fenders with vertical hashmarks and an upgraded interior. Standard features included a step-on parking brake, courtesy lights, and custom moldings. In 1963, the most expensive Electras were redesigned with distinctly styled rear fenders and taillights.
1965–1970: Third generation
All GM and Buick vehicles were redesigned in 1985, resulting into Electra coupes with “Coke bottle” lines and fastback roofs. The Electra 225 also became available in two trims: base and custom. A new chassis was also offered, although the engine line-up remained the same. In the following years,upgrades included a new grille, a facelift in 1967, a new grille and taillight trim in 1968 for the Electra 225, more defined bodylines in 1969, and vent-free front windows.
1971–1976: Fourth generation
In 1971, the Electra was given a complete design overhaul. The new Electra was equipped with a new chassis, a double-shell roof, an instrument panel that featured a cockpit style, and a modified engine. In the following years, fourth-gen Electra models were upgraded with an egg-crate grill in 1972, and redesigned taillights and new bumpers in 1974. A limited Park Avenue edition was released in 1975.
1977–1984: Fifth generation
In 1977, the Electra was downsized and lost more than 11 inches in length. The limited Park Avenue edition became an official trim level in 1978. In 1981, the number of VentiPorts was reduced.
1985–1990: Sixth generation
For the sixth-gen version, the Electra was equipped with a restyled front-wheel drive layout, was further downsized, and was built with a unique hood hinge setup. In 1987, the Electra was no longer built with four-lamp quad headlights. After decades of production, this model was discontinued in 1990.