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 →
If you saw my previous post about Buick Century Caballero Wagons, you may remember that they are pretty rare cars. Because they were only produced for two years, they will fetch quite a premium whenever you do see one for sale. You can imagine my excitement when I saw this one at Barrett-Jackson 2013.
There’s more to this ’57 Century Caballero than just low production numbers. This is an award winning custom build by OZ Kustoms in Oroville, California. They have nicknamed the car “Dorothy” after the main character from “The Wizard of OZ.”
When you compare this car with the stock Century Caballero Wagon from the previous post, you will notice some significant changes in the body work.
One phrase that I often overhear at car shows is: “They sure don’t make ’em like that anymore.” In the case of the Buick Century Caballero Estate Wagon, they didn’t make ’em like that then, either!
The Caballero Estate Wagon was produced for two years only in 1957 and 1958. This ultra-rare car features a pillarless 4-door design and was GM’s only hardtop wagon. According to HowStuffWorks, Buick produced 10,186 Caballero Estate Wagons in 1957 and just 4,456 in 1958.
I guess now that Toyota has a sports car with a Subaru engine and a penchant for whipping around the corners doriftu-style, this post may seem irrelevant to most fan boys. Regardless of that (and the Vader-face GS Lexus) I still must say that this Corolla bearing the “Tone It Up” [link included to explain origin, Ed.] sticker seems to me to be begging it’s manufacturer to heed it’s adhesive-vinyl-based demands. Continue reading →