Mini or Electra?

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
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mini or electra

I snapped this shot of an Austin Mini (technically a Morris 850) and a Buick Electra 225 parked side-by-side in an Alameda, California parking lot before I left the West Coast, and every time I look at it I wonder: would I rather have an early Mini or a Malaise Era Electra? I can’t decide!

The Mini was one of the first Down On The Street honorees, and I believe the Electra pictured here has been featured in DOTS as well. So, what’s it gonna be, assuming the cars are similar condition? The beautifully simple machine that put the tranverse-engine/front-wheel-drive platform on the map, or the float-on-a-cloud, big V8-powered expanse of traditional Detroit Luxury Iron?

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Writer d'Elegance Brougham Landau.

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5 of 55 comments
  • MadHungarian MadHungarian on Jan 29, 2011

    Well, the Mini probably fits in the Buick's trunk, so you can have a both/and solution. Seriously, Buick all the way. A '74 Electra was my daily driver from 1992-96. They are great cars which handle better and get better mileage than many other barges of that era. The Electras had more rear overhang than the Cadillac sedans, so the Electra is within an inch of a Fleetwood Brougham in length and has a much bigger trunk. You can see the decklid thru the back window, so it's not hard to parallel park.

    • 0menu0 0menu0 on Jan 29, 2011

      I dd'd a '76 Electra from '92 to 94-95. I had a crackhead go cuff me a nice wood-rimmed Grant steering wheel for it. Always packed with people off do some mischief or other. I laugh when thinking of those days.

  • Amripley Amripley on Jan 29, 2011

    I'd take the Electra, simply because it's of a breed that's tough to find in this day in age. Lots of transverse, FWD subcompacts around these days, even if they're not quite as charming as the Issigonis Mini. Full-size, long/low personal luxury coupes are a little harder to come by, sadly.

  • 2ronnies1cup 2ronnies1cup on Jun 03, 2011

    I'm sorry, but in my book anyone who didn't choose the Mini just can't be all that interested in the joy of driving. Seriously, the Buick is basically just a badge-engineered lump of generic iron designed to make some middle-aged orthodontist feel just a little superior to his suburban neighbour (whose car was a shameful 6" shorter). The Mini was designed by a guy who seriously loved driving, and frankly it shows.

  • SAARNO SAARNO on Jan 29, 2014

    Just joined this forum today. I'd choose the 225, and I'm a bit partial. I have a mint 73 4-door in my garage, and a 72 Limited under a car cover. Both project cars with identical 455 V-8 4bbl. Great cars to drive!