The Buick Electra is a full-size luxury car that was manufactured and marketed by Buick from 1959 to 1990. Introduced as the replacement for the Super and the Roadmaster lines, the Electra served as the flagship Buick sedan line through its entire production. While offered primarily as a four-door sedan, at various times, the Electra was also marketed as a two-door sedan, two-door convertible, and as a five-door station wagon.
For all six generations of its production, the Electra used the GM C platform. For 1977, the model line underwent downsizing to increase fuel efficiency. For 1985, Electra sedans were downsized a second time and adopted front-wheel drive.
For 1991, Buick withdrew the Electra from its model line. The Electra had served as the basis for both of its replacements, as the Buick Park Avenue had previously been marketed as a premium Electra sedan trim; the Electra Estate was redesigned, becoming the Roadmaster Estate for 1991. Following World War II, the Super and the Roadmaster constituted the upper echelon of Buick's lineup. For 1958, Buick returned the Limited nameplate (dormant since 1942), slotted between the Roadmaster and Cadillac. For 1959, the Super was renamed the Electra, the Roadmaster was renamed the Electra 225, and the unsuccessful Limited model was discontinued. The appearance was shared with two other Buick models, the mid-level Invicta and the entry level LeSabre. The Electra 225 nameplate was a nod to the car's overall length of over 225 in (5,715 mm), earning it the street name "deuce and a quarter. The Electra, along with the Invicta and LeSabre, was redesigned for 1961 with drastically shrunken fins, and was joined with the all-new compact sized Skylark/Special. Electras featured bright rocker panel and wheelhouse moldings. Four VentiPorts per front fender were a hallmark, with identification spelled out on the front fender plaques. Electra 225s had four "hash marks" interrupting behind the wheelhouse of the rear fender. Electra 225 nameplates were found on the front fenders. Electra interiors were trimmed in fabric. Electra 225s were trimmed in Calais cloth or leather trim, except for convertibles which were trimmed in vinyl. An optional Custom interior featured leather trim, while another featured vinyl with contrasting vertical stripes and front bucket seats with a storage consolex and power two-way seat adjustment. Standard equipment on the Electra included Turbine-Drive automatic transmission, "Mirromatic" instrument panel, directional signals, full-flow oil filter, electric windshield wipers, Deluxe steering wheel, trip mileage indicator, cigar lighter, Step-On brake, dual armrests, cloth and vinyl trim, combinations, carpeting, power steering, power brakes, two-speed windshield wiper/washer system, glovebox light, Custom-padded seat cushions and Deluxe wheelcovers. Two-tone Electras had the color accent on the rear cove. In addition Electra 225s had back-up lights, Glare-proof rearview mirror, parking lights, signal light, safety buzzer, courtesy lights, two-way power seat, Super Deluxe wheelcovers with gold accents and power windows. The Electra and Electra 225 were the same length in 1961. Buick discontinued the Electra nameplate at the end of the 1961 model year, leaving only the Electra 225 starting in 1962. Buick's largest, plushest and most expensive models were restyled for 1963, with distinctive rear fenders culminating in a sharp vertical edge housing narrow back-up lights. The taillights were horizontally placed in the vertical deck cove. A unique cast grille was used at the front. Bright wheelhouse and lower body moldings, with ribbed rear fender panels were used. Red-filled Electra 225 badges were found on the rear fenders, while four VentiPorts lent status to the front fenders. Interiors were cloth and vinyl combinations, while a Custom interior in vinyl and leather, with front bucket seats and a storage console, was available for the convertible and sport coupe. Standard equipment included directional signals, full-flow oil filter, dual speed electric windshield wiper/washers. All GM passenger vehicles received a major redesign in 1965 dominated by flowing "Coke bottle" lines and fastback roof profiles on its coupemodels, and the 6 window-body style was eliminated. For 1965, Buick also changed its marketing strategy and offering the Electra 225 in two trim levels, base and Custom. Along with the new body came a new chassis with a full perimeter frame including side rails that replaced the previous "X" frame used since 1961. Engine offerings were unchanged from 1964 including the standard 325 hp (242 kW) 401 V8, and two versions of the larger 425 V8 that were rated at 340 hp (254 kW) with a four-barrel carburetor or 360 hp (268 kW) with two four barrels. The three-speed Super Turbine 400 automatic transmission was standard equipment. A new body style introduced for 1965 was the thin-pillar 4-door sedan, which featured frameless window glass with a thin, chrome fixed "B" pillar. The 1966 Electra 225 saw only minor styling changes including a new grille and a revised full-width taillight and trunk lid that included an "Electra 225" script rather than the "BUICK" nameplate spelled out in 1965. Engine offerings were unchanged from 1965 with the exception that the dual-quad 360 hp (268 kW) 425 was downgraded from a factory option to dealer-installed. Inside, a revised instrument panel featured a horizontal sweep speedometer, fuel gauge and warning lights. Front seat headrests became an option.1967 Electra 225 2-door hardtopA moderate facelift highlighted the 1967 Electra 225 including a Pontiac/Oldsmobile-like divided split grille. Both base and Custom models were continued with a new "Limited" option package available Electra 225 Custom 4-door hardtop reviving a nameplate that graced Buick's ultra-luxury flagship in the late 1930s (and again in 1958), which included an ultra-luxurious interior trim. Under the hood a new 430 cubic-inch V8 rated at 360 hp (268 kW) with four-barrel carburetor replaced the previous "Nailhead" 401 and 425 V8s. Power front disc brakes were available as a new option along with a stereo 8-track tape player.1968 Buck Electra 225 4-door sedanThe 1968 Electra 225 received a revised grille and taillight trim along with concealed windshield wipers. Inside, there was a revised instrument panel with a square speedometer and other instruments, plus a new steering wheel. Shoulder seat-belts were standard for both the driver and front passenger. Base and Custom models were still offered, with the Limited trim option available on the Electra 225 Custom hardtop sedan.
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