Buick Regal Preview


What it is: As before, Buick’s new mid-size Regal will be little more than a European-market Opel Insignia wearing the Buick insignia, er, Tri-Shield. With Cadillac’s rear-drive ATS busy chasing the BMW 3-series, the front- or all-wheeldrive Regal has always seemed more like a low-budget Audi A4. The new Insignia/ Regal looks to move further … [Read more…]

Buick Riviera (1971)


The ’63 Riviera had been one of Buick’s best sellers, but by the late Sixties it was lagging far behind Ford’s now-luxurious Thunderbird. However, the Riviera easily outsold its stablemate, the radical front-wheel drive Toronado; but for ’71 Buick upped the stakes by unveiling a new Riviera that was a little bit special.

Buick Riviera (1964)


In ’58, so the story goes, GM’s design supremo Bill Mitchell was entranced by a Rolls-Royce he saw hissing past a London hotel. “What we want,” said Mitchell, “is a cross between a Ferrari and a Rolls.” By August 1960, he’d turned his vision into a full-size clay mock-up. One of the world’s most handsome … [Read more…]

Buick Limited Riviera (1958)


When your fortunes are flagging, you pour on the chrome. As blubbery barges go, the ’58 Limited has to be one of the gaudiest. Spanning 19 ft (5.78 m) and tipping the scales at two tons, the Limited is empirical proof that 1958 was not Buick’s happiest year.

Buick Roadmaster (1957)


In 1957, America was gearing up for the Sixties. Little Richard screamed his way to the top with “Lucille” and Elvis had nine hits in a row. Jack Kerouac penned his immortal novel On the Road, inspiring carloads of Americans to seek the adman’s “Promised Land” along Ike’s new interstates. Fins and chrome were applied … [Read more…]

Buick Roadmaster (1949)


The ’49 Roadmaster took the market’s breath away. With a low silhouette, straight hood, and fastback styling, it was a poem in steel. The first Buick with a truly new postwar look, the ’49 was designed by Ned Nickles using GM’s new C-body. It also boasted two bold new styling motifs: Ventiports and an aggressive … [Read more…]

Buick Y-Job


From the earliest years of the car industry, manufacturers had been producing elegant custom coachwork designs for wealthy patrons, but mass-market autos were an entirely different matter — functional, unimaginative wagon bodies were cobbled on to whatever chassis happened to be rolling off the production line and aesthetic appeal was low on the agenda.

Buick Regal Grand National – 1982


At the time they called it the winningest facelift in history’. After a restyling for 1981 improved its aerodynamics so much that it swept the NASCAR Grand National race championships, the Buick Regal was the ‘it’ car of the USA. It reflected well on the perception of Buick’s entire range. Seizing the moment, in 1982 … [Read more…]

Buick GSX – 1970


The hot Buick mid-sized Gran Sport (GS) muscle cars of the 1960s were about to expire in the face of oil shortages and an inexorable trend towards high-performance pony cars, but they didn’t go down without a last, fierce firefight. The 1968 two-door Buick GS 350 was completely restyled and the engine size was slightly … [Read more…]

Buick Special Skylark – 1961

Buick Special Skylark - 1961

You could base a social history on the Buick Special Skylark. It was conceived as a conventionally cynical exercise in the idiom of contemporary supermarket salesmanship. The Buick Special had performed reasonably well for the company, which wasn’t quite ready to launch a whole new series of models.