Buick Motor Company is one of the oldest and most respected automobile manufacturers in the United States. Dating back to its founding in 1899 by David Dunbar Buick, the company was the first brand to become part of General Motors, and has developed many great cars over the years. The brand new Buick has become associated with terms such as affordable luxury, sporty, and cutting edge. Classic Buick models have included the practical Estate station wagon, two-door sport coupes like the Riviera, and the luxurious Electra and Regal sedans. Who can ever forget Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman driving cross-country in their dad’s ‘49 Buick Roadmaster in the Oscar-winning Rain Man, or Ralph Macchio’s ’64 Buick Skylark in My Cousin Vinny? Buick is as big a part of the American landscape and automotive history as any of the other venerable brands. And you can become a part of this history by stopping by your local Buick dealer to check out the latest in modern classics from Buick, each applying the legacy of over 100 years of auto-making into a premium vehicle that will fit your needs without breaking your budget.
Buick LaCrosse: Modern Luxury with a Long Legacy
Buick has a legacy of building cars with affordable luxury. This continues with the LaCrosse, available in the LaCrosse, Preferred, Essence, Sport Touring, Premium, and Avenir trims. This goes back to such luxury sedans as the Roadmaster, Skylark, and Electra. The Roadmaster was first introduced to the public back in 1936 and had the longest wheelbase of any non-limousine built by the company at the time. It featured a big, 320.2-cubic inch, 120-horsepower straight-eight cylinder engine, comparable to the one featured on the more expensive Cadillac. It also sold for less than the least expensive Cadillac, making it affordable for most Americans. The Roadmaster was an immediate hit.
It was the late Fifties, and Buick wanted a full-size luxury sedan for families like the Nelsons and the Cleavers, so it introduced the gorgeous Electra in 1959, a model it would produce in various iterations through 1990. The ’59 Electra was typical of the cars of the time, with aerodynamic lines ending in a pair of Delta-fins by the trunk. It also featured the latest technology for the time, including a cutting-edge, two-speed Dynaflow automatic transmission. This may have been built to seat a family of five comfortably, but it looked more like it was made for the Jetsons than the Flintstones, with its cool lines, sloped back angle, and fins.
Fast forward to the swinging Sixties, and the era of rock and roll for the re-introduction of the sporty and versatile Skylark in 1964. This classic came in sedan, coupe, and convertible versions, and, as Mona Lisa Vito can tell you, looked a lot like a Pontiac Tempest to all but an automotive expert like her. However, the sporty Skylark was also more luxurious than the similar Tempest, much like all other Buicks. The Skylark was so popular it went through six different model generations through the end of the Nineties.
This legacy of luxury Buick sedans continues with the LaCrosse. With a base MSRP of $29,570, the LaCrosse provides luxurious features at an affordable price. It rides on a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with eAssist light electrification technology, showing how Buick is committed to providing the latest in technological advances on its cars. Luxury features are numerous on the base model LaCrosse 1SV, including a Buick Infotainment System with an 8-inch diagonal color touch-screen, Bluetooth streaming, OnStar, USB ports, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, remote start, rear park assist, rear vision camera, and Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Buick has built on the legacy of such great sedans as the Roadmaster, Electra, and Skylark, to bring you the LaCrosse.
Buick Regal: A Royal Lineage of Sporty Cars
In addition to being associated with affordable luxury, the Buick brand name has been synonymous with sporty performance cars. Such classics as the Super, Riviera, and LeSabre made Buick one of the top manufacturers of sporty coupes and sedans that gave drivers the speed and dependability they craved in their cars. The Super was introduced in 1940 and featured the aptly named 248 cubic inch Fireball I8 engine, with Compound Carburetion, an early version of a four-barrel carburetor. This Super fastback could really move! Buick continued building Supers until 1958 when the model line was replaced by the Riviera and the LeSabre.
The LeSabre was introduced in 1959 and was an immediate hit. The first generation LeSabres featured Delta-wing fins to show the speed, and power drivers would come to associate with the model. These were rear-wheel drive, six-passenger vehicles with separate body-on-frame construction, and a longitudinally mounted front engine. The looks match the performance as the LeSabre was able to cut through traffic with speed to burn. Buick continued building LeSabres through eight different model generations up to 2005.
The Buick Riviera, introduced in 1963, may have been Buick’s most popular sports coupe. This sexy two-door Riviera was so cool that the studio chose it as Warren Beatty’s car in the hip classic Mickey One from 1965. This was Buick’s entry in the personal luxury car class and gave Ford’s Thunderbird a run for its money. The lines on the first generation of Riviera are considered by many to be a stylistic landmark, making it one of the most collectible cars on the market. The Riviera also featured a 325 horsepower 401 cubic inch “Nailhead” V8, capable of going 0 to 60 in under 8 seconds! The last Riviera model year was 1999, but Buick’s dedication to speed continued, with this eighth-generation Riviera capable of going 0 to 60 in under 7 seconds, on its 3.8-liter OHV V6 engine.
Today, you can drive the legacy of these models in a brand-new, 2020 Buick Regal. The Regal itself was first introduced by Buick back in 1973 and has evolved into being one of the most dependable, versatile, and affordable luxury cars on the market. The top-of-the-line 2020 Buick Regal Avenir has a base MSRP of $35,770, much less than most comparable cars in its vehicle class. It features a 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine with a 9-speed automatic transmission, a Buick Infotainment System with an 8-inch diagonal color touch-screen, and a whole host of standard safety features. Buick has taken the knowledge it gathered over the years of producing the Super, LeSabre, and Riviera, and used that to bring you the Regal, a car with a royal lineage of sporty ingenuity and luxury all in one vehicle.
Buick’s SUVs and Crossovers: A Legacy of Luxury and Dependability
Buick has been building vehicles that offer luxury and dependability since it first entered the market over 100 years ago. Today’s SUVs and crossovers can trace their heredity to the concept of the touring sedan, introduced by Buick in the Roaring Twenties to give drivers room for up to seven passengers and more luggage space as they began to take longer road trips across the country. The touring sedan was safer and more comfortable than using rumble seats for those last few passengers since they were not relegated to being outside during the drive, a big problem in inclement weather. However, there were limits to the touring sedan, and that is why Buick came out with the venerable Estate line of station wagons, the forerunner of today’s crossover, the Regal TourX. The first Estates were “woodies” in that they had wooden bodies. These were eventually replaced by all-steel bodied station wagons in 1954.
Initially, the Estate wasn’t its own vehicle, so much as a separate trim style on other vehicles, like the Special, the Roadmaster, the Super, the Invicta, and the LeSabre model platforms. The Estate got its own platform in 1970, with the first generation Buick Estate wagon. It was strong, roomy, and dependable, a staple of suburban drivers. There was always plenty of room for the kids, a pet dog or two, and all the luggage for a nice, long summer road trip. The Estate was to go through three model generations until it was absorbed into the Roadmaster model in 1990.
This history has been carried forward into today’s line of Buick SUVs and crossovers. The most similar vehicle is the Regal TourX. With a base MSRP of $29,370, the 2020 Regal TourX gives drivers the exceptional performance features of the Buick Regal, in a configuration with up to 73.5 cubic inches of cargo space, and all-wheel drive. Buick has also come out with a full line of SUVs, consisting of three models. Drivers can choose between the compact 2020 Buick Encore, the small SUV 2020 Buick Envision, and the three-row, midsize SUV 2020 Buick Envision. Each of these features plenty of room for passengers and cargo, with all the safety, luxury, and infotainment features we have all come to expect from Buick.
Stop in today to your local Buick dealer to see how the legacy of classic Buick models has been applied to the new lineup of 2020 Buick cars, SUVs, and crossovers.