By on April 17, 2008

lesabre16.jpgPop quiz, hot shot: What's longer than a Ford Excursion, older than the Beatles' Revolver, blacker than midnight, totally devoid of seatbelts and soon heading to the Czech Republic? The pictures don't lie: a 1965 Buick LeSabre 400. Yes, the lure of a small finder's fee and my irrational obsession for anything with four wheels has once again seen me purchase a hunk of Detroit iron for a mysterious man somewhere north of Prague. Who am I to resist?

Luckily this Buick was being held behind the Orange Curtain, which is only a 30-mile jaunt from my hilly compound near Downtown Los Angeles. As fate would have it, I still have the 1981 C3 Corvette. Cashier's check in glove box, a friend and I decided to set off to retrieve the LeSabre.

lesabre11.jpgFirst, we decided that he should test out the 'Vette to make sure my driving companion was comfortable with the ‘Vette's thirteen inches of clutch travel and tractor-like controls. He wasn't. So we hopped into the WRX.

Thirty minutes later we were in Irvine staring at nineteen and a half feet of utter darkness, punctuated by chrome and brass. I've seen surf boards smaller than the bumpers. You could stash the entire Gambini family in the trunk. Talk about a back seat; the original wheels were passengers. All four of ‘em. With tires. It seems ludicrous that the LeSabre front seats accommodate as many as the four-door BMW X6-or is that the other way around?

Title in hand, I fired up the LeSabre and pointed it in the direction of a gas station. And then stalled. And stalled. And stalled. And stalled seven more times. The seller had warned me that the carburetor was "a little funny." Apparently, I needed to double pump the pedal to mix the fuel and air properly. Trouble is, the throttle is bottom hinged and the seat is so deep and far back that I kept messing up the mix. And stalling.

lesabre10.jpgFinally, I removed my right shoe and got the big black beauty moving. Seventy-five dollars and at least a dozen stalls later, we're off.

Other than bored, alcoholic housewives who celebrate their uniqueness on reality TV, long, wide empty streets that cut straight through what used to be citrus groves are Orange County's defining feature. I pushed the Buick up to an indicated 50 mph and called my friend (who's worriedly following me) to ask how fast we're actually going. "50 mph." Well alright then, we're good to go. Or, as Farago would say, not.

lesabre15.jpgYou see, the aforementioned scenario occurred just before I learned that the Buick doesn't have brakes. Well, OK, there are four tired, 43-year-old Detroit drums, but they don't actually stop the car. All they do is ask nicely if the Buick LeSabre feels like slowing down. Sadly, the car's deaf.

So there I was, blissfully unaware of this mechanical deficit, about to make a 90-degree right hand turn. Long story short, apparently curves weren't a feature of American roads when the second generation LeSabre was penned. I now know what it's like to pilot a submarine. I made a mental note to increase braking distances by 1,000 percent and hopped on the freeway, heading towards Disneyland.

edel3.jpgTraffic was light. The Buick's tweaked mill (Holley carb, Edelbrock headers) was shockingly capable of motivating nearly two tons of vintage metal up to and past freeway speeds. In fact, with the Super Turbine 400 slushbox in "D" and my foot off the gas, the LeSabre was happy to plod along at 30 mph. A light toe-tap summoned 70 mph; a decidedly comfy cruising speed.

Despite a complete lack of handling and the persistent feeling in my gut that I'm about to die, the Buick was fun. While only sporting two doors, the LeSabre has six window cranks (side quarter vents, window, rear window) and my favorite all time feature: kick-on brights. There was so much cavernous space that I could put my right arm across the back of the seat and not even get kinda close to the passenger door. And of course everybody was staring at me.

My biggest gripe was with the Buick's ride. Sure, the suspension's dropped (and shot), but the tackytastic, uber-low profile tires on massive donks make potholes feel like severe fender benders. I hit two patches of nastiness in a row and was certain I'd been rear-ended. But here's the good news. As soon as this baby hits continental Europe, my Czech benefactor will be ditching the ugly wheels and installing a disk brake kit.

lesabre1.jpgDespite my rep as TTAC's resident treehugger cum racer (go figure), the LeSabre is my kind of car: a machine with genuine American style. Too bad our Ameri-Pesos are only worth seven swizzle sticks, ‘cause this baby's a keeper.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

40 Comments on “Czech it Out: 1965 Buick LeSabre 400...”


  • avatar
    210delray

    Those 1965 GM full-size 2-door hardtops absolutely blew me away when I first saw them at the tender age of 12 in that glorious fall of ’64. Nice to see that the passage of four+ decades hasn’t diminished their beauty one iota. Bill Mitchell really was at the top of his game; Ford and Chrysler could only follow, not lead (except for the Mustang).

    Glad to hear the atrocious wheels, totally out of character with the car, will be tossed.

    BTW, those cars were factory-equipped with lap belts for the driver and right front passenger, but I see no sign of them now, as you’ve stated.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Those wheels are an outrage. Who did that, pimp my classic buick?

    At least it has a buick engine, not a chevy.

    And pity to fool who pulls out in front of one of these. Unlike the smart car you would survive a collision with a barrier, or 3.

  • avatar
    210delray

    No, crashworthiness was not their strong suit. Hit a Smart, yeah, you’d be fine: mass (almost) always wins.

    But hit another car of equal weight head-on and you’d be toast: lap belts only, no airbags, and a chest-impaling solid steering column! Closed-coffin funeral for sure.

  • avatar
    menno

    Ah, American iron. Strangely, my father owned a 1966 Buick Wildcat. It was about 5 years old (and I was all of 13) when the pin fell out of the oil pump, the crankshaft sheared it off and hence, the engine immediately stopped (which was a thankful thing, except that it threw the car into a snowbank and damaged a front fender). One oil pump later, my dad was putting the finishing touches on the newly painted fender by re-attaching the W I L D C A T badges, when I opined that “I knew just how to get more MPG out of her,
    dad” – (he took the bait). “Oh? How’s that?”
    “Turn that W upside down before you put it back on.”

    Badum bump. Ching.

    I also recall my dad passing a slower moving old 1955 Chevy, and the guy in the Chevy decided he didn’t want to be passed (his girlfriend was in the car, under his right arm). “Wail” went the Chevy (hopped up – or so he thought).

    W A A A A I L L L – (minute delay) then W H O O O O O S S H H H went the Buick. He got a jaw-dropping view of the Buick’s tail lights. To use the vernacular of the day, we blew his doors off.

    Nothing like torque, is there?

    Ah such memories. Of course, this is all for the museums, and rich car collectors to enjoy, now.

  • avatar
    Mike66Chryslers

    Nice car aside from the tacky wheels, air cleaner and aftermarket steering wheel.

    Vent windows, kick-on brights and gutters over the door sills are probably the 3 things I miss most on newer cars. Open the door in rain or snow and the edge of the seat invariably gets wet.

    EDIT: I also miss torque and legroom when driving newer cars.

    @menno: Not all car collectors are rich.

  • avatar
    RayH

    and my favorite all time feature: kick-on brights.

    I like my oldish f150. Clutch, parking brake, bright lights, brake, gas all on the floor. I think brights on the floor should be the standard for any automatic equipped vehicles, it’s just that awesome.
    It sounds like an old Riveria I was contemplating restoring a couple years back being so sensitive with the pumping action. Then my dad drove it one day and had it running right within 2 stalls on a cooler day… So I felt emascuted, and spent dozens of gallons of fuel mastering it. Best effort: 4 stalls. And it had some vapor lock or something; after it was warmed up, you shut it off, it WASN’T starting again for 20,30 minutes. Good thing it never stalled once it was going. The day I decided to restore it, someone offered me 50% more than I paid so it could be a parts car for his Riv. Sold!
    Thanks for sharing that experience; a part two on the Corvette if you take it out driving again? As soon as I replace the tie-rods (ie put newer baling wire, new grease) on my ’51 International grain truck, I’ll post a story. Never had it on the street. You’ve given me inspiration. If I live, it should make for a good story.

  • avatar
    windswords

    Is there a good reason why Detroit moved a way from having the high beam control on the floor? It’s not like I ever hit the brights by mistake, and if I had, I could quickly dim them again. In todays cars I think it’s a lot easier to turn them on by mistake – the control stalks perform 15 different functions!

  • avatar
    beetlebug

    OMG..those wheels! The horror! The horror!

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    I share your exact feelings about wheels. A couple weeks ago I purchased a 2002 Mercedes S500 for $12,600 at a public sale in North Georgia. What an amazing car. You can almost literally do anything one would ever want to in any car. Adaptive cruise control, built in TV set, voice command galore, and about 500 other built in features that literally make any rush hour traffic jam an opportunity to have fun. Oh, and it’s fun to drive too if you consider near autobahn speeds a possibility in your travels.

    But the wheels. Ugh!! 20 inch velocity wheels make the vehicle look great… but it definitely hurts the ride and with the way this Benz exudes wealth and power, it doesn’t need any help. You may not feel everything from the seat, but the steering wheel makes you realize that the tires and wheels are simply a substandard mismatch for the vehicle in question.

    Now as for classic cars, I still believe that the most practical older car to own (1960’s and 1970’s) is a Mercedes with the W116 chassis.

    I currently have a silver 350SE that was only made in Europe which was bought for the princely sum of $250 a year ago. It runs, drives, handles amazingly well for a vehicle from that era, and even came with a sirius satellite radio system (before somebody stole it).

    That one has 205 stock horsepower and the brakes have been modified in order to make it a fun little commuter. Alas, it doesn’t even have a tenth of the presence of your car (so many folks drive the diesel versions of these things that it’s not even considered to be a ‘true’ classic), and the fuel economy with the Euro only V8 is stuck in the mid to high teens.

    For the gas bill and the presence I would take the newer Benz over the older any day of the week. Sad to say that most enthusiasts don’t feel remotely the same way about Detroit iron.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    Yep, get rid off those wheels and fix the suspension, and you’ve got one heck of a car. We’ve got a big local car show going on here and I went to one of the local show and shines last night. There was a 1960 something Pontiac Catalina. Trunk big enough to hold a whole family. Loved it; total (traditional) gangster look.

  • avatar
    86er

    windswords
    Is there a good reason why Detroit moved a way from having the high beam control on the floor? It’s not like I ever hit the brights by mistake, and if I had, I could quickly dim them again. In todays cars I think it’s a lot easier to turn them on by mistake – the control stalks perform 15 different functions!

    If I recall correctly it was because mud, snow, etc. would clog the switch and make the operation of it tempermental. This was especially a problem on work vehicles that were constantly in various states of uncleanliness.

  • avatar
    86er

    210delray
    Those 1965 GM full-size 2-door hardtops absolutely blew me away when I first saw them at the tender age of 12 in that glorious fall of ‘64. Nice to see that the passage of four+ decades hasn’t diminished their beauty one iota. Bill Mitchell really was at the top of his game; Ford and Chrysler could only follow, not lead (except for the Mustang).

    My dream car is a ’65 Impala 2dr ht. I have been hard-pressed to find a vehicle I find more desirable, although a ’66 Galaxie 2dr ht comes close.

  • avatar
    menno

    I know not all car collectors are rich, Mike66Chryslers.

    Usually people with more than 2 collector cars are either collectors of junque or fairly well off, however.

    The average collector car owner has 1 or 2 fairly nice cars, and they make up the vast majority of collectors from what I understand.

    However, collector cars are getting to be more expensive to buy and run if you want anything nice. That was my real point that I did not make so well.

    Legally required (in many areas) ethanol mixed in the fuels are anywehere from inconvenient to catastrophic for pre-1980’s cars, depending upon the car, by the way. It’s even worse for antique boat owners who are finding the E10 foisted on them actually MELTS fiberglas fuel tanks.

    The other problem with owning antiques is that the latest motor oils are NOT compatible with flat-tappet engines. A liquified zinc, ZDDP, has been removed from most new oils of the latest types. Collector car owners are finding that in a matter of as little as 200 miles, their cam lobs wear completely off, in some cases.

    Shell Rotella T oil rated “SL” for gasoline engines AND rated “CI-4” for automotive diesel engines, does have some ZDDP in it (ZDDP is an absolute MUST for diesel engines). There are other solutions to the ZDDP problem, such as adding some COMP Cams Engine Break In Oil Additive (Part # 159), particularly after rebuilding an old engine. The government decreed that ZDDP in minute quantities of blow-by gradually degrade catalytic convertors over 100,000 miles so collector car owners got thrown under the bus.

    If I didn’t know better (deep sarcasm), I’d say that Uncle Sugar doesn’t want us to have any fun with collector cars, boats, etc.

    Next thing, they’ll probably require training wheels and air bags on donorcycles.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    That reminds more than a bit of my Wildcatting days;

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/auto-biography-13-wildcat/

  • avatar
    Mike66Chryslers

    Hi Menno, I only mentioned it because (as my handle implies) I collect/restore 1966 Chryslers and I’m sure not rich. It would certainly help if I was! By your definition, I would be an “average” collector though. My wife told me I’m not allowed to buy any more unless I win the lottery.

    Consequently, I’m quite familiar with the problems that you mentioned. I run Rotella T 15w40 in my cars. No catalytic converters, so no problem!

    I drive one of my Chryslers quite a bit when the weather is good. In the past couple of years I’ve become increasingly wary of taking it anywhere where I have to park it in a public place though. With the increasing number of stories about people vandalizing SUVs in the name of “saving the planet” it’s just a matter of time before one of these enviro-militants targets my car while it’s parked at the back of the Home Depot parking lot.

  • avatar
    Jonathon

    Man, what a beautiful car. I don’t think I’d want to own one, but it’s sure nice to look at. It just exudes class.

  • avatar
    Queensmet

    As I recall it was not Detroit that moved away from floor maounted headlight switches, but Japan, but I could be wrong, it was just that all Japanese cars had it before all North Amercian cars. AND it was always in the same place. Today, when renting a car, you have to read the manual to figure out which stick on teh column turns on the lights and what you have to do to activate the high beams.
    Never had one freeze up either and I live North of the MAson-Dixon line. Must have been lucky.

  • avatar
    windswords

    Queensmet,

    Same here, I never had a floor mounted bright switch go south on me (I also grew up in NJ). And yes I think it was the Japanese who first put it on the control stalk, although I don’t know if the Europeans did it before them or not.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    A quick note about the engine.

    The owner had told us that it was a 401 Nailhead. Which sounded fishy to me, as that wasn’t available with that transmission in 1965. but hey, swaps happen.

    The LeSabre 400 came with a 300 small block.

    However, after checking the block numbers (and Farago thinks he’s the only one with OCD) turns out that this puppy as a ’69 Buick 350.

    Awesome.

  • avatar

    Those are some bling-tastic rims. Thankfully they didn’t hop the ride height like too many ghetto-fab Caprices I see.

    Love the brass accents on the rear fascia though.

  • avatar
    Mud

    Lord I am SO tired of classic cars with pimp wheels.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Mud:

    So’s the guy buying it — which is why the OG wheels are in the back seet.

    And, to be fair — these wheels are less pimp than they are Rock-a-Billy car gang.

  • avatar
    Verbal

    menno: Legally required (in many areas) ethanol mixed in the fuels are anywehere from inconvenient to catastrophic for pre-1980’s cars, depending upon the car, by the way.

    Back in the day, I had a ’72 Pontiac Grand Ville with a Rochester Quadrajet carburetor. The float pin had a rubber tip. When the gas stations started pumping “gasohol”, the rubber degraded, causing the pin to get stuck. Thus, the Rochester was rechristened “Quadraflood”.

    Concur about ghettotastic rims on classics. Surfing through the ads on craigslist, it is amazing how many people are selling old POS Detroiters with a set of 22’s that are worth more than the rest of the car. Who decided this was a good idea?

  • avatar
    86er

    Verbal
    Thus, the Rochester was rechristened “Quadraflood”.

    Among other monikers such as “Quadrajunk”.

    Carburetors are one thing I don’t miss.

  • avatar

    This is what Buicks (and American cars really) should always look like, beautiful with presence and distinctly American. Not Japanese like the new ballyhooed Malibu.

  • avatar

    Sad to see this gorgeous piece of Detroit iron leaving the country. We Americans think so little of our heritage. But the Euros have been happily buying our old cars, the Japanese have been scooping up our old vinyl records, and the only people making good Soul music these days are 18-year-old British chicks.

    Meanwhile, we’re pumping out gansta rap and Dodge Aspens. Hunh. There’s a corollary here somewhere – I just can’t put my finger on it.

  • avatar
    Andy D

    10/30/69, I was driving home through the twisties in my ’47 GMC pickup. I dipped the brights and they went out. The lights had been flickering previously, but I was too young and bullet proof to worry about such trivialities. For what ever reasons, floor mounted dimmers disappeared circa 1966.

  • avatar
    50merc

    Again, floor mounted dimmer switches disappeared because manufacturers finally realized that putting an electrical device where it was very vulnerable to dampness and corrosion was a dumb idea. The potential for mischief wasn’t limited to making it hard to switch between dims and brights; I had a Chrysler that would go entirely dark when the dimmer switch would act up. I suspect the switch was supplied by Lucas.

    Now, if you go back far enough, you’ll see holes in floorboards for clutch, brake and gas pedal linkages. The only thing that can be said for that design is that when the rubber boots inevitably deteriorated there was fresh air for the driver’s feet.

  • avatar
    Theodore

    I wonder what the last production car with a floor-mounted dimmer switch was. My ’78 LTD had one, and the high-beam indicator light on the dash was red, not blue like they are today.

  • avatar
    Mike66Chryslers

    Floor-mounted dimmer switches survived into the 1970’s. my mom’s second car was a 1973 Dodge Coronet and I remember her stomping on the dimmer switch in the winter trying to get the lights to change.

    So who remembers the OTHER foot switch for Wonderbar station-seeking radios? There was a feature that was ahead of it’s time!

  • avatar
    william442

    Great story. Nailheads were pretty easy to spot due to the configuration of the rocker arm covers.Knowing which engine was in your GM car was another story. Why did some Olds 455s use Buick water pumps for example. I worked for the General and never got an answer. If anyone knows the real story, I would love to hear.

  • avatar
    86er

    Theodore
    I wonder what the last production car with a floor-mounted dimmer switch was.

    The last known model I’m aware of was the 1980 F-350 my dad had as a work vehicle.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Pretty nasty mismatch between that bench seat and the interior trim.

    My first car (in 1973) was a ’65 LeSabre 4-door hardtop, which started life as a gold metallic color, but when my uncle sold it to me for $500, he had “livened it up” with an Earl Scheib ‘Daytona Orange’ job with a white, sprayed-on ‘vinyl’ top. Once I had spray-painted the grille with gloss-black paint (except for the large cross-bars), the look was complete.
    300 V8, Super Turbine 400 tranny and the worst (drum) brakes ever for a beast that size.
    Since I walked to work at US Steel in those days, the car was only really used to take my Dad shopping, and for me and my buddies to cruise around on my days off, the trusty six-pack always occupying the center-front seat position.
    I can say that the bullet-proof tranny, being pulled all the way down to “L” (with two feet firmly planted on the brake pedal) ended many a drag race just short of disaster when it finally scrubbed off the ill-advised velocity of that lovely, lovely behemoth.

    The Carter carb’s automatic choke never worked right (despite numerous attempts to fix it); but proper feathering of the throttle would usually bring the engine to life in all but the coldest weather. I can’t remember what kind of gas mileage I got, but in those days, it didn’t matter.
    I do remember that the car was extraordinarily quick for its size/engine combo; I once measured a 0-60 time of 9 seconds up a slight grade; I raced later-model 318 Plymouth Dusters and er, dusted them…
    The stock AM radio came with an adjustable “reverb” for the rear speaker, you could set it between “bathroom” and “bad acid trip” settings.
    Instead of a cruise control, the speedo had an adjustable extra needle (like an alarm clock), where a buzzer would go off if you exceeded the set speed. (I couldn’t see the sense of it; the buzzer would merely irritate you to set the pointer to 100mph). The six-way power seat was always set to “pimp” mode to accommodate my lanky frame.
    Surprisingly, the car ended life after a woman crossed a double-yellow line and crushed the driver’s side of the car from the back door through the rear fender — her insurance co. “totaled” it for me, and wrote me a check for $500.

    Thanks for allowing me to wallow in my automotive past… ;-)

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Shaker,

    Thank you — I had been wondering what the hell the black needle on the speedo was for.

    Very cool.

    And for the record, it was set to 90 mph. The fastest I ever went was 85 mph.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Jonny:
    You’re a brave soul ;-)

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    shaker:

    Yes, but my mother thinks I’m stupid.

  • avatar
    Busbodger

    My early 70s VW Beetgle had the turn signal lever mounted high / low beam switch. Works just like my modern Honda.

    The one that I was glad to get rid of was my ’81 Mustang. The &*%@ horn was activated by pushing IN on the turn signal stalk. I don’t remember where the high/low beam switch was. I want to say the floor just like my ’66 Mustang. I either want the switch on the floor or at least a GOOD turn signal lever switch like a decent foreign car. The current domestics are good – smooth with just the right feel too. My VWs and Hondas are for me the benchmark on switch feel.

    As for the through the floor pedals: our family had a 1935 Ford fordor (no I didn’t spell that wrong) in the 1980s. It was an unrestored car on it’s second paint job. Neat old car. Vacum wiper system that was uh less than optimum. One rainy weekend we drove it from Chattanooga to Pigeon Forge (a place where they made cast iron birds?) for a car show. We were humming along at 50-55 mph when Dad hit a low spot in the road and got a face full of road water!!! Us two kids in the back seat thought this was endlessly funny. Mom was a good sport dealing with a leaky roof (rubber insert top) over her door. The wiper would slow to a crawl on the hill climbs and then race as we coasted down the other side. My ’49 Chevy did exactly the same thing.

    They are fun old cars but I am glad that this isn’t what we all HAVE to drive everyday.

  • avatar
    Kevin Kluttz

    Problem here is, I’m looking at a 1966 LeSabre. Those are 1966 taillights. And I am sure. I was 9 in 1966 and I remember the Wildcat. The 1965 had two unframed lights in the same place, but with the reverse light nestled between them. Do some research…I’ll be watching for a rebuttal.

  • avatar
    C. Alan

    I had a room mate in college who oned a 66′ Ford Galaxy 4 door. That car was massive, and we called “The Star Destroyer”. We pulled a joke on him once and advertised the trunk of car for rent as an apartment in the college paper.

    My own exposure to ’60s cars has been limited to the ’67 Mustang I am trying to restore. Driving that car with 4 wheel manual drum brakes is an adventure. You have to get used to really stomping on the brakes to get it to stop.

    There are not a lot of these cars left mainly due to rust. If it was not seen, chances are detroit did not bother to paint it at the factory. Replacing rusted out floor plans, and cowls are the first order of business when restoring alot of these cars.

  • avatar
    philr

    Nice car!
    1965 Buicks are my favourite cars. When I was 9 years old, the mother on one of my classmates had a LeSabre Custom hardtop coupe like this one (but without the “400” package) and with a black interior, faded green paint, surface rust on the roof, rust holes in the lower quarters and two remaining hubcaps, one on the driver side rear wheel and another on the passenger side front wheel!
    When I saw it, it instantly became my favourite car even if it wasn’t in good condition! I was also impressed by the 6 window cranks in a two door (that was in 1986…) and the fact that there was no center post like there were in most cars of the eighties (except a few japanese and some MB models) really got my attention. Since then, pilarless hardtops became my favourite body styles and I still wonder why US automakers stopped making them in the late seventies. Buick was the first brand to introduce pilarless hardtops in ’49 but it was soon followed by Cadillac and Olds and within a year, most brands from the big three had pilarless hardtops in their lineup. Hardtops disappeared almost as quickly in the seventies and the padded landau roofs and fixed side glass that replaced them were quite uncool!

    210delray, as you said, these cars came equipped with lap belts in the front but in 1965, it was still possible to delete them and get a credit (for the last time!).

    Jonny I read your comments about the engine and I can tell you the engine pictured is not a Buick 350. The ’65 LeSabre 400 had a 300-4 barrel and ’66-67 LeSabre 400 models had 340-4 barrel engines which look the same as the ’65 300. The exhaust manifolds shown on the picture indicates this engine is either a Buick 300 or a newer 340 but they would not fit a Buick 350.
    The 350 also has different valve covers.

    This car lightly modified from original.
    The engine was painted gold but it left the factory with light green paint. The tail panel is painted gold but it was originally the same color as the body (but it looks good like that!). Some parts of the interior were redone in black but they should be the same color as the rest of the interior (except the dashpad that should be brown). The original steering had two spokes that were curved down to allow reading the gauges.

    Shaker, the ’65 Buicks could also be equipped with the cruise control. In that case, the black needle with a yellow dot in the speedometer would indicate the set speed and pushing on the set button would make the car accelerate quickly from still to to the set speed without having to touch the accelerator pedal. Once there or above that speed, the “cruise” light came on above the 60 MPH mark in the speedometer. (see the link to my page on CarDomain below for images of it).

    http://www.cardomain.com/ride/772306

    And ’65 LeSabres had cast iron drums which were not so good (and the featured car lacks power assist, not common on these cars!) but models with the bigger engines like the Wildcat, Electra 225 and Riviera got aluminium brake drums which were the best drums on the market. I have a ’67 Buick Riviera with disc brakes (and 4 piston calipers) and they are not much better than the aluminium drums in my ’65 Wildcat.

    Andy, the floor dimmers didn’t disappear in 1966, there were still used in the seventies. That’s what I have in my ’75 Buick Electra and newer cars have them too!


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • pprj: I tried the T6. No thanks. He car needs a better engine. This small 2 liters 4 cylinder is not good enough,...
  • Maymar: Isn’t that what they meant, that every vehicle they build will be somewhere between hybrid and full...
  • Ronnie Schreiber: I wonder if you could work out synergies betweeen a Lyft/Uber type ride service and a grocery...
  • akear: The 200 is better than anything GM is offering today. GM – what a disgrace!
  • akear: I saw a really cheap 200 with the tigershark engine in a local add. It would make a good second car for some...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff