1990 Buick Reatta Coupe

1990-buick-reatta-profileIf you saw my last post about the Chrysler TC by Maserati, you know the background leading up to the highly competitive luxury coupe market of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Today, we’re going to take a look at Buick’s short-lived attempt at cracking into this market segment.

The Reatta was a two-seat coupe that went on sale in 1988. Like the Chrysler TC, it was intended to be a top-of-the-line model, available at a premium price. Though the Reatta is in the same vehicle segment as the TC, Buick’s approach was completely different from Chrysler’s. Continue reading

SEMA 2014: JF Kustoms 1964 Buick Riviera

jf-kustoms-1964-riviera-sideIn every discipline there is a high award or honor that is bestowed upon those who have distinguished themselves from the crowd. Music has the Grammy award, acting has the Oscar award, and physics has the Nobel Prize.

In the world of hot rodding, the Ridler Award is among the most prestigious honors a car builder can receive. It is a moment of great pride and triumph for the shop who beats out all of the other shops and captures the award. In 2014, the Ridler Award went to JF Kustoms for this 1964 Buick Riviera nicknamed “Rivision.”

Continue reading

1964 Buick Special 2 Door Wagon

There is something magic about hot-rodded station wagons. They are the automotive equivalent of having your cake and eating it, too! What I mean is, you get the power and performance of a hot rod plus the storage space and practicality of an everyday car. There are no compromises to owning a souped-up wagon.

Continue reading

1956 Buick ‘Nailed’ by Troy Trepanier

One of the premiere builders in the hot rod scene today is Troy Trepanier. From his shop in Manteno, Illinois, Rad Rides by Troy delivers some of the most unique automotive creations on the road today.

I got to check out their 1956 Buick “Nailed” on display at the 2013 SEMA Show and based on the crowd of admirers, I could tell this car was something special. At the risk of sounding cliche, this ain’t your granddaddy’s Buick!

Continue reading

1974 Buick LeSabre 4-Door Sedan

No, it’s not broken down or trying to summon help. The hood is raised on this 1974 Buick LeSabre sedan because it’s actually participating in a car show. Yes, really.

I spotted this land yacht at a local cruise-in in Glendale, Arizona. The car’s enormous size piqued my curiosity and drew me in for a closer look.

Continue reading

Copper Queen: 1965 Buick Riviera Gran Sport Custom

When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Thunderbird in 1955, they created a market for a brand new type of vehicle: the personal luxury car. From the very beginning, the Thunderbird was a big hit that broke sales records and earned high praise from customers.

Over at General Motors, VP of Styling Bill Mitchell wasn’t about to let Ford hog the spotlight. He decided that General Motors needed a personal luxury car of their own. Mitchell asked designer Ned Nickles to come up with a rival to Ford’s 2-door, 4-seater Thunderbird. Continue reading

1970 Buick GSX

During the time of A-body GM cars such as the Pontiac GTO “Judge”, the Oldsmobile Cutlass 4-4-2 W-30, and the Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport 454, Buick decided that it wanted to carve a niche for a doctor’s car that hauled ass with the blue-collars. The 1970 Buick GSX stands alone among the others with it’s absolutely absurd gross torque rating that is rated over 500 ft lbs below 3000 rpm. With it’s 455 cubic inch Buick engine (Pontiac and Oldsmobile offered their own brand of similarly displaced 455 cubic inch engines, Chevrolet offered the now well-known 454) it certainly measured up to the rest, and with the good looks that A-body platform provided, it was nice edition to General Motors high performance stable.

I absolutely love this time in the automotive industry. Not because it rings nostalgically with me like all the baby boomers I see spending astronomical sums of money to own one again before they’re worm food, but because they’re from a time before the evils of badge engineering. The above cars may have shared a general platform, but they all got different body work and sheet metal, had engines designed completely different for one another and were all gunning to be the top dog under GM’s banner. It wasn’t about making a car that was better than a Charger, ‘Cuda, or Gran Torino, it was about having a car that was better than the one being done by an “in-house” brand. I think that the friendly rivalry kept the imagination and output high, even if all the different parts and pieces being made by each brand was a nightmare for the bean counters. Continue reading