By on February 20, 2010

[This piece first ran in 2007 as part of a five-installment series. I've added some pictures, but note that the ending was written at Buick's all-time product low]

Buick was the special child in the GM family: the beautiful and temperamental second-oldest daughter that somehow always got the most attention from Daddy. Sure, oldest daughter Caddy got to wear the family jewels and formal gowns, but Buick was lavished with style. Whether it was Harley Earl or Bill Mitchell, GM’s top stylists always blessed Buick with their best efforts. For decades, Buick was maintained in the style to which she had become accustomed, and remained America’s fashion-conscious upscale buyers’ wheels of choice. And then, not.

Scotsman David Dunbar Buick founded his eponymous automobile company in 1903. The following year, the inventor of the overhead valve engine sold the struggling concern to James Whiting, an ambitious wagon builder. Whiting turned to William Durant to help jump start Buick.

With an excellent product to sell (the Model C), Durant’s energy, affability and marketing genius ensured Buick’s ascension to profit and glory. Durant used Buick’s revenues to acquire dozens of other automakers and form General Motors.

Right from the get-go, Buick was GM’s anchor brand. Durant capitalized on the company’s engineering excellence and reputation to expand sales around the globe. In 1926, Buick sold a then-staggering 260k cars.

The Great Depression hit the brakes but good; annual Buick sales plummeted below 40k. GM President and future CEO Alfred Sloan used the downturn to rationalize GM’s brand portfolio. He slotted the consummate “doctor’s car” between affordable Oldsmobile and unapproachable Cadillac.

Priced at around $40k to $65k in today’s dollars, pre-war Buicks were the Lexi of their time: refined, smooth, powerful, elegant and built to last. They were the consummate “doctor’s car.”

By the late thirties, GM’s inter-brand demarcations had begun their inexorable erosion. Buick’s product line overlapped a significant portion of Olds’ and Pontiac’s price range. As internal competition intensified, Buick cultivated two selling points to stay ahead: performance and style.

Throughout the ‘30’s and into the ‘40’s, Buick espoused its General Manager’s “more speed for less money” maxim. In 1936, Buick had a brand-new 320-cid 120hp straight-eight, designed for the large and heavy Series 80/90. When the company shoehorned the big eight into the smaller and lighter Series 40, it was dubbed Century, for its readily attained top speed. Thus the first factory production “hot-rod” was born.

When Harley Earl joined GM in 1927, he created the Arts and Color Section: the car world’s prototype styling studio. Earl used the Buick brand to showcase his most significant creative output.

Earl’s Buick Y-Job of 1938 was the world’s first dream-car. Unlike the European salon specials sold to exclusive buyers, the Y-Job’s was created to build excitement for future GM products, and showcase their styling direction. The Y-Job succeeded brilliantly; it solidified GM’s global styling leadership. And Buick’s.

The 1951 Buick LeSabre and XP-300 dream cars initiated the GM Motorama era, a grand traveling carnival of GM-think. Until 1961, Motoramas showed Americans a tempting glimpse of the (ever better) good life to come, from cars to kitchen appliances. And GMAC would finance the dream.

The consumer era was now in high gear, and Buick style led the way.

Buick enjoyed its greatest market-share success in the mid-fifties. From 1954 through 1956, Buick was America’s third most popular automotive brand. During those heady days, models like the Century, Super, Roadmaster and Special defined affordable American automotive luxury, class and power.

In ’57, Plymouth’s radical models pushed Buick back to number four. But it was Buick’s horrendously overwrought ’58 models that really hurt. Renaming 1959’s Buick entire line-up (LeSabre, Invicta and Electra) didn’t help. By 1960, Buick’s market position had tumbled to ninth.

Buick desperately needed a new make-up artist, and found it in Bill Mitchell. The 1963 Riviera coupe was Mitchell’s tour-de-force: one of the most beautiful American cars of the post-war era. It had the class, cachet and authenticity of a Mercedes CL or Bentley Continental. The Riviera’s halo effect worked; by 1965, Buick was back to fifth place.

Fast forward a decade, and Buick’s hot new coupe is the execrable Skyhawk, a clone of Chevy’s Vega-based Monza. Alternatively, Buick intenders could contemplate the Skylark, a padded landau-roofed version of Chevy’s Nova.

The preceding and ensuing string of badge-engineered disasters were unleashed at the exact moment when Buick needed to strengthen its roots– style, performance and quality. Up-scale import competition from Mercedes, BMW, Audi and later, Lexus, stole traditional Buick customers by the tens of thousands.

Buick’s subsequent decline is too painful to describe in detail, especially during the mid to late eighties. After that, it was either too little too late, or another kick in the groin, like the Rendezvous.

No wonder Buick packed her bags and slipped away to China, where she’s once again adored and idolized. All she left behind moldering in American showrooms are ghosts, pale shadows of her former stylish self. And plenty of beautiful memories.

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63 Comments on “GM’s Branding Fiasco Part Five – A Brief History of Buick...”


  • avatar
    gslippy

    That 1905 car and the 1938 Y-Job are simply beautiful. Today’s Lacrosse isn’t so inspiring, but it’s attractive.

  • avatar
    crash sled

    It’s a sad tale, and mirrors, or is mirrored by, the history up in Buick Town, which is no-more.

    Somebody had to go, and probably by the early 70’s. So what did they do? They added Saturn.

    Once the Olds 98 was competing with the duece-and-a-1/4, and both were trying to compete with Cadillac, it was just too much.

    Such a sad story here. That ’63 Riviera is one beautiful car, though.

  • avatar

    I’d (thankfully) long forgotten about the Monza clones. That said, I had a ’75 Monza with the 262 V-8 and 4-speed. Loads of fun. Needed bigger brakes. And although you had to jack up the motor to get at some of the driver’s side spark plugs, at least they engineered the motor mounts to make it easier. Just loosen the two bolts underneath and voila!

    That said, is anyone familiar with GM Canada’s thinking behind the 1960’s badge-engineeered Acadians and Beaumonts, sold by Pontiac Canada? If you’ve never seen them, think “Nova and Chevelle with a split grille”. They had Chevy drivetrains and slightly upscale interiors. (As did the full-size Pontiacs, but at least they got the American Pontiac sheetmetal shrunk to the Chevy wheelbase.) I remember them everywhere when my family spent 1968-70 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Did someone stateside say “Hmmm, we can try that here?” Just curious…’cuz the ’71 Nova clones were the beginning of GM’s long tryst with such naked badge-engineering. Instead it should have been the flashing signal that perhaps it was time to shut down a brand or two.

  • avatar
    Audi-Inni

    The boattail Riv was pretty cool – maybe moreso looking back than looking at it in the 70’s. But Buick has some nice product out now – just not sure if anyone is paying attention. The Lacrosse is certainly as nice as the ES, if not nicer, I just haven’t driven it. The complicating factor is I’m not sure GM has finally decided on a plan for what they want Buick to be. But what puzzles me more is I drove an Accord for a day on a long road trip and couldn’t help but wonder what all the fuss was about. It was waaaay underpowered (had the 4 cyl), the interior was plasticky, the seats were very uncomfortable and the overall feel was “cheap”. Same with an Avalon I rented for about a week. These are the standards to which all cars are compared? Really?? There are domstics on the market, whether from GM or Ford, that beat these cards hands down. Hands DOWN.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      Welcome to the power of perception and groupthink. I recall sitting in an Accord at an auto show circa 95/96-ish and was appalled at the vinyl headliner and vinyl wrapped visors they were using when everyone else had long ago switched to fabric.

    • 0 avatar
      Facebook User

      Ah yes, those “cheap” plastic headliners… that never sag from age, are easy to clean, and don’t retain odors. What was Honda thinking, trying to pass off such “shoddy” materials on us intelligent ‘Muricans?

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      So I guess by your logic, that would make Chrysler interiors near perfect then? Being all plastic they don’t warp or peel, they’re easy to clean, don’t retain odors…

    • 0 avatar
      Facebook User

      LOL. Fiaysler should be so lucky to have access to the high-quality plastics Honda used for headliners. Those plastic headliners were also quite well padded, and of higher quality materials than the LEATHER available in the Sebring and Avenger abortions.

      But anyway, back to the topic at hand…

  • avatar
    ceipower

    I saw a new 2010 Buick at the Auto Show in Chicago and the thought came over me , that calling it a Buick is such a sham. There is no Buick, just like there’s no Oldsmobile , no Pontiac. GM killed all there “brands” years ago. For better or worse the Buick line today should just be called GM, because that’s what it is.It should be sold along side it’s sisters cars currently labeled as Chevrolet and they too should adopt a more true to life brand name of simply GM. There can be no pride in owning a Buick , because it’s not a Buick, it’s just a GM.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      By the same logic, we should just call Audis Volkswagens, and Lexuses Toyotas, and Infinitis Nissans.

      If there is a meaningful difference between the cheaper platform-mate and the upscale car – be it peformance, styling, appointments, etc – you really can’t call it a badge-engineered car. The 2010 LaCrosse and Chevy Malibu may share some mechanical components and basic engineering, but if you put those cars side by side, I defy you to give me a reason why the LaCrosse shouldn’t be sold for more money.

    • 0 avatar
      amca

      FreedMike: I ALWAYS take care to refer to Lexuses as “Toyota Lexuses.” Always.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    Nice article. But you skipped over some pretty nice mid sized Skylarks from the mid 60s. They shared a chassis but had unique engines sheet metal and interiors. A nice 65 convert with a 4 spd would be great to have. Not a “doctor’s car” but I’m not that hung up on the branding thing here at TTAC.

  • avatar
    MasterOfTheJawan

    Aside from the badge engineering of the 80s it’s sad that throughout the 80s and 90s buick interiors looked like they were designed in the 60s.

    You kinda have to own a buick to get it. I’ve got a 94 regal that I’ve had for 4 years now. It’s up to 165k miles (got it with 75k) and it’s given me almost zero problems. The fuel economy of the 3800 v6 is amazing (32 mpg highway baby!), and performance is nothing to ignore either. I’ve recorded 0-60 times of 8.3 seconds with Tuner-Pro RT. The 94-96 roadmasters are a future classic. They came stock with the lT1 and can hit 60 in 7 seconds while returning 25mpg highway.

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      +1 As recently as a decade ago, car rags like Car and Driver claimed they could feel a difference in the supsension and throttle tuning of the various GM badge engineered brands. Buicks came standard with the dynaride suspension and felt like they “flexed at the knees” as they said, Oldsmobile had a little European firmness right before it was killed, Pontiacs were usually tuned to deliver the highest skid-pad numbers when flogged, and the Chevy version would be some sort of attempted compromise between the others with the cheapest interiors. I remember when the last Lumina, Intrigue, Regal, and Grand Prix were released close to one another. Car and Driver liked the price of the Chevy but decried it’s “cheapness,” thought the Grand Prix returned good numbers but had a harsh ride, thought that the Buick was good at isolation, and liked the Intrigue the best. (Hmmmmmmm… and which brand was killed first?)

      BTW has anybody driven the G6 and the Saturn equivalent to see if there is ANY difference?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Dan –

      Actually, I have driven the G6 and the Aura, though not by choice (both were rentals). I liked the looks of the G6 a lot, but it was deadly dull to drive, and that electric steering just couldn’t be abided by. The Aura was more sophisticated and refined, and the electric steering system was much improved. It drove a lot like a VW Passat. Both cars had craptastic interior plastics in abundance.

      Since the Aura is the basis of the current Malibu, it’s no wonder the Malibu is as nice as it is.

    • 0 avatar
      slyall

      I have to agree, I never thought I would ever be happy with a GM car, but a year ago I needed a car when I moved out of NYC and found a ’96 Regal with 57k on it, it has been reliable and is satisfying to drive with the 3800 series 2 engine. I drive new cars of every model all day long for Hertz, and I look forward to driving the old Buick home at the end of the day. Maybe that is part of GM’s problem, they always got away from their strengths, like a smooth powerful car with a great engine, why they ever stopped making the 3800 is beyond me.

  • avatar
    obbop

    “a then-staggering 260k cars.”

    Gasp.

    If, decades later, ChryCo sold a mere 260 k cars the lambasting would still be all-pervasive.

    • 0 avatar
      moedaman

      Well duh, car sales back then were tiny compared to today. Plus there were many more manufacturers. There is no reason to keep a mass market brand around today if it can’t do better than that.

  • avatar
    red60r

    What about the Buick Special of the early 1960’s? All-aluminum 215 cid V8 in a compact body. Oh, yeah, then there were the 2-speed slush box, tiny brakes, and generally econo-tin construction. And a horrid stone of a 90-degree iron V6. The V8 engine was used in Land Rovers for a while.

  • avatar

    Buick’s biggest troubles have been, and are, clearly resulting from being a part of the General Motors Company. today there really is no Buick, only a damaged brand that distributes badge engineered offerings. there is no autonomy, no Buick leadership. hell they can’t even decide what a Buick really is.

  • avatar
    alexndr333

    Paul, a three-year old article in this day and age (without any update) is severely old news. If you’re going to recycle this stuff, at least conclude with your 2010 perspective: What has Buick done since 2007? What’s the state of brand-engineering at GM today? What has the China connection done for Buick? How has brand-engineering changed since GM’s hey-day? What are the best brand-engineered companies and why? There’s a lot more to mine from this article than simply a reprint.

    • 0 avatar
      Dynamic88

      But it’s not a news article, it’s an article dealing with history – specifically GM’s disastrous branding history. The history hasn’t changed.

      IMO this is the best series of articles ever to appear on TTAC.

      This article, and the others in the series, show why GM should only be Chevrolet – or as someone suggested upthread – just GM. GM cannot and will not keep distinctions between brands. That’s why there is no Buick today.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      I took off Saturday for the first time in months, and we went skiing. Sorry.

    • 0 avatar
      Monty

      @Paul Niedermeyer

      “I took off Saturday for the first time in months, and we went skiing. Sorry.”

      How dare you?! You should have been roaming Eugene for more Classics. How am I to spend my spare time without contributions for your series? This is totally unacceptable.

      Please excuse the sarcasm. I hope you enjoyed the skiing; the weather and the snow in the mountains must be spectacular about now.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      One of the best days skiing ever, on the slopes of Mt. Hood.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Paul, The 64k USD question: Does the worst day skiing beat the best day writing CC pieces? ;O) As always, thanks for the nice work. I don’t bemoan the recycling (as I hadn’t seen it previously), but I too, would be interested to hear your updated perspective. Servús.

  • avatar
    Moparman426W

    My favorite looking buick is the 63-5 riviera, especially the 65 because of the clamshell headlights. A friend of mine owns a red 65, black interior with the dual quad nailhead.
    The best car buick ever made, performancewise would be the 70 skylark gran sport with the 455 stage 1.If You want a fun to drive buick get one of those!

    • 0 avatar
      alexndr333

      As much as the front end of the ’65 is the culmination of the series, the sides of the 63-64 are better. The heavy chrome strip around the bottom of the ’65 makes the car look fatter than the more lithe appearance created by the thin chrome line gracing the earlier models.

  • avatar
    SilverCoupe

    I can’t not respond to this article, having had a silver ’64 Riviera in the family for over thirty years. My family used to buy a new Oldsmobile every five years, but my dad could not resist the gorgeous new Riv when it came out. He loved that car, but they went back to an Olds in ’70 – a silver Toronado, as by 1970 the Riviera had just become too bloated.
    We kept the ’64, though. It had a lot of style, and it still had enough power to keep a high school kid happy in the mid-seventies. It would easily outrun my friends’ Mustang, Impala, and Torino. It’s probably amazing that I did not kill myself in that thing, but the worst I ever did to it was break a shock mount when I jumped all four wheels off the ground. We finally sold it in the ’90’s, when we decided that my aging dad needed something with better safety features, as he was getting more prone to bump into things. I decided that it would be less expensive to buy a restored Riv in the future than to restore the one we had, which was not going to pass Pennsylvania inspection, as its chassis was rusting out.
    In all honesty, it was a boat to pilot, and at 11 miles per gallon [highway that is - 8 around town!], it was not the most appropriate car for more modern times.
    As for me, I progressed through more silver coupes, including a Supra Turbo and my current TT, now ten years old itself. I would say that I inherited my dad’s values for style, power, and engineering, but they now lead me to Audi, and I would no longer really rather have a Buick. Still, when I see an old Riv come up on the auction block, I do remember the days when Buicks had style.

  • avatar
    ButterflyJack

    Nice,informative article…Thanks.
    I noticed no-one mentioned that NOVA contains the first letter of each GM car that used the NOVA chassis..Nova, Olds Omega, Pontiac Ventura, and Buick Apollo..Odds are, it’s not a coincidence..
    And I agree with Alexandr333; the omission of Buck’s comeback in the last few years would have been a nice ending: Happy…something sadly missing in this day and age…Thanks again dragonfly

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe GM used the NOVA letters to name the Omega-Ventura-Apollo, but “Nova” had always been the deluxe version of the Chevy II, it dates back to the early ’60’s. By ’68, the bulk of Chevy IIs were Novas so for ’69, GM just shortened the name to “Nova”.

    • 0 avatar
      BuzzDog

      For what it’s worth, in my opinion it’s a coincidence that the first letter of the four X-platform models happened to spell “NOVA,” even though I first recall reading this during the late 70s in Popular Science.

      For one thing, with the exception of Chevrolet the model names themselves usually fit with established naming themes of their corresponding models (Greek letters for Oldsmobile, California resorts for Pontiac, Greek mythology characters for Buick).

      For another, this theory would have had a bit more credibility if the letters were in the divisional pecking order; that is, Chevrolet-Pontiac-Oldsmobile-Buick, rather than Chevrolet-Oldsmobile-Pontiac-Buick.

      We may never know for sure, but it’s just as likely that this is an example of a coincidental backronym.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      So where does the Pontiac “P”hoenix fit into all this?

  • avatar
    alexndr333

    Point taken, Dynamic88, it was a history article. However, the story told the history of Buick “to date” back in ’07; to wit: “All she left behind moldering in American showrooms are ghosts, pale shadows of her former stylish self. And plenty of beautiful memories.” I’m just sorry that Mr. Neidermeyer didn’t take some time to bring history up to date. A few important things have happened to Buick in the last three years – like them, or not. I’d be curious to hear Paul’s take; instead we just got a re-posting.

  • avatar
    MadHungarian

    If I may pick a nit, the 1951 LeSabre concept car was not officially a Buick and bore no Buick nameplates. I think it came to be treated as an adopted member of the Buick family after the fact, once the name was taken by Buick in 1959.

    The Skyhawk pictured is one of the later models with an insert in the rear side windows that totally messes up the purity of the initial design, which was very clearly modeled on the Ferrari 365GTC/4. A V6 early Skyhawk was not a bad car at all by mid 70’s standards. The V6 was a better match for the car than the Chevy V8 that had to be loosened on its mount to change the rear plugs. Unfortunately the swoopy body had the same rust propensities as the Vega.

    I agree wholeheartedly that Buick often got the best styling on any given platform. I would apply that to all the 1971-84 RWD full size cars, especially the ’72 LeSabre coupe, ’71 to ’75 convertibles, ’74 Electra sedan and the ’77-’79 LeSabre coupe

  • avatar
    buzz phillips

    GM spends as much time and money advertising Lexus as it does
    with Buick or Cadillac. Ever notice their TV commercials showing
    Lexus with Buick or Cadillac? I can’t tell the difference from the
    rear of a new Lacrosse or a Toyota Camry or Lexus ES! They need to come up with their own look like they had way back when! Not just
    try to copy Toyota and Lexus!

    • 0 avatar
      reclusive_in_nature

      Actually it’s not that bad of an idea from a strategic standpoint. When you emulate something Toyota does a Toyota-biased critic (they’re out there) won’t be able to knock your product for anything but being unoriginal. To do otherwise would leave his bias wide open to be pointed out.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve never liked Ford’s “our quality is as good as Toyota and Honda” ads, though they’ve now morphed to “quality not exceeded by Toyota and Honda”. Why mention your competitors and acknowledge that they make a high quality product?

      We’ll know that the Toyota brand has been damaged by all the recalls etc. when Ford stops mentioning Toyota by name.

      There’s an Acura ad that is nothing but grille logos. The first couple times it was on in the background I wasn’t sure which brand it was advertising.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    @Alexndr333

    Yes, it would be interesting to hear his take on what has happened.

    IMO the American side of the story doesn’t really change that much. A dead brand walking.

  • avatar
    50merc

    So since GM started with Buick, it really wasn’t the second-oldest daughter but rather the oldest, right? Or maybe the Mom, with Billy Durant playing the Dad.

    I think Buickman has it right. GM forgot what a Buick should be. I can’t understand why they’d abandon grand names like Century and Roadmaster.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    I also think the Buick Wildcat is a true Buick. Maybe not for the family doctor, but for the plastic surgeon or brain surgeon rock star type doctor.
    Read The Deal Maker.

  • avatar
    Moparman426W

    Just saw one of the buick commercials with the lexus in it. The buick in the commercial was silver, which got me to notice, that every buick I see on the road now seems to be silver.

    • 0 avatar
      DweezilSFV

      Ever notice how all the carsin the ads on TV are silver ? And the show cars ?
      Chevy [saw one with a red Malibu in it],Audi,Lexus Mercedes,they seem to not use any other color but silver.

      Sorry: as far as I am concerned, this article is as relevant today as it was the first time: nothing has really changed.

      Psarhjinian pointed out in response to the Opel article that Buick’s current story line is one borrowed from Saturn and before that Olds: great new product 2 or three years before the end.

      There’s no “comeback” here.

      “Re-think Buick”.

      The only new thing going on since 07 is that the ghosts of dead brands past are haunting Buick City and the B-G sales channel

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    Why no honorable mention of the Grand National and its GNX variant? Likewise for the discontinued Lacrosse Super. (Why GM, why?!) I also have fond memories of my beloved, supercharged 96 Riviera. Most wouldn’t believe it, but I handed quite a few Mustangs and ‘modded’ Hondas their asses from the stoplight with the old girl. Nothing like knocking cocky teenagers down a peg or two in a Buick.

  • avatar
    Ion

    The 06 Lacrosse my school had as our driver’s ed car wasn’t bad. Bland and boring sure but otherwise ok. It was the first car I drove with a power lumbar and every time I tried to move the seat forward I inflated the lumbar instead, I kept thinking the kid behind me was kneeing the seat till eventually there was no one behind me. That reminds me, the backseat area was horribly cramped and the leather seats didn’t breathe at all.

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      Lucky, kid. The high school I graduated from in 1995 had an early 90s Corsica as a drivers ed car and before that it was an old square Cavalier.

    • 0 avatar
      chrisgreencar

      I took drivers ed in 1983, and the car we got was a plush Buick LeSabre Limited sedan. I loved it, and so did the coach who was our teacher. Everyone is always surprised that I had such a nice car for drivers’ ed. Sounds like a lot of people in those days got Cavaliers and Citations and Tempos. That same summer, my folks got a new Delta 88 Royale Brougham. It was nice but somehow the Buick seemed a bit classier to me. The difference between Buick and Olds was painfully thin at that point, though!

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    The early to mid-90’s Buick Park Avenue always struck me as one of the nicest designs for that time period.

    A beautiful flowing silhouette with a nice chrome grille and exterior accents. Complimented by a leather interior that was a true high-end sofa on wheels on the highway.

    It always made me smile. I’ve owned over a dozen of them and even the ones that were ragged out had virtue.

    GM should bring back the Park Avenue and LeSabre names, keep the Enclave, and ditch the Lacrosse and Lucerne. If the Taurus can make a comeback so can those monikers.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Fully agree with you (and I was never a great GM-fan)… also loved the Estate Wagon … Now that I think of it, I also like the P.A. and E.W. from the previous generation too… (the tail-end of the post-’77-era design.)

  • avatar
    Moparman426W

    Our driver’s ed car was a crap brown 4 door 76 nova 6 popper.

  • avatar
    lahru

    What gets lost in all of these discussions about what Buick or Cadillac should be is that as we all age and we live longer as much as I might refute it now, is that most likely when I’m 70 years old I going to want a big plush soft riding and very soft seated car. Powerfull engine will be low on my list and as will handling and fuel economy. Comfort will be what I’m looking for to drive the 8,000 miles a year I will spend in it. The thing that any business needs to understand is that there will always be senior citizens in the market for a new car.

  • avatar
    Moparman426W

    Exactly, Iahru. Buicks, olds and cadillacs were generally purchased by older people over the generations. And they were built to suit those buyers. Oldsmobile tried to change their image in the 80’s and 90’s but didn’t succeed.

  • avatar

    IMO this is the best series of articles ever to appear on TTAC.

    Agreed, Dynamic 88 — well thought out, and beautifully written.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Ah yes, those Rivieras were something special. Judging from my attendance at auctions, they actually trailed the collector car market in terms of spiralling prices. For a while, they were a relative bargain. I will never forgive the guy down the road who let his 63 rot into the ground and then sent it to the crusher.

    Also, people who turn these into lowriders need to be shot.

  • avatar
    slyall

    We had a 1983 Pontiac Phoenix for driver ED, Iron Duke & 3 speed auto, so that sorry X car was my first ever driving experience.

  • avatar
    bugo

    I don’t care what anybody says, but that ’58 convertible is absolutely gorgeous.


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