Fresh Metal: 1973 Buick Electra 225

A “Deuce and a quarter” ruled the road…

Image

“Those were the days my friend…” The American Dollar was worth 100 pennies…we we’re livin’ large…Cars were a city-block long and half a city-block wide…The epitome of excess…the decadent American lifestyle. The cars we drove were glamorous…luxury sedans were really luxury sedans…not the pretentious make-believe luxury cars of today.

The “Deuce and a quarter” was one of the most luxurious automobiles on American roads. Yes…the fabulous Buick Electra 225 was King of the road! For the 1973 model year it was available as the Electra 225, Electra 225 Custom, and the epitome of Buick luxury… the Limited.

Powered by the formidable big-block 455 CID V8 engine, this luxury behemoth was as powerful as it was elegant. The Buick Electra 225 shared the limelight with GM stablemates Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight and Cadillac Sedan deVille…”Oh yes those were the days…”

Image

As either hardtop coupe or hardtop sport sedan, the 1973 Buick Electra 225 was truly a luxury car with spirited performance. This was the ultimate in luxury from its inception for the 1959 model until its demise when the last Electra rolled off the assembly line August 3rd, 1990. The 1973 base Electra 225 was a comprehensively equipped luxury car. The Electra 225 Custom added upgraded trim level to the interior with such luxury features as standard folding center front & rear armrests.

Image

Image

The Buick Limited was the ultimate…it was the most luxurious Buick in the model hierarchy. The 1973 Limited rivaled Cadillac’s preeminence in the luxury car arena. Whatever model one chose, the 1973 Electra was classic elegance in high-style and performance.

The incomparable Buick Electra offered unparalleled quality with fit & finish among the highest ranking in the automotive industry. Buick was an industry leader in design and engineering. A Buick Electra was the company Flagship. The Buick Limited was the very essence of the brand.

Image

Image

1973 Buick Limited interior

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

The venerable 7.5 litre 455 CID 16-valve pushrod V8 engine

Did someone mention performance? The Buick Electra 225 was quite the performer. The indomitable 7.5 litre 455 CID 16-valve big-block pushrod V8 engine with single exhaust produced 225 hp @ 4,000 rpm with 488 Nm of peak torque @ 2,600 rpm. Performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 10.9 seconds, 0-100 mph in 34.5 seconds with a top speed of 119 mph. It could do the ¼ mile @ 80 mph in 18 seconds.

The 7.5 litre V8 equipped with the dual exhaust system produced 250 hp @ 4,000 rpm with 508 Nm of peak torque @ 2,800 rpm. Its performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 10 seconds, 0-100 mph in 30.1 seconds and had a top speed of 122 mph. It did the ¼ mile @ 82 mph in 17.4 seconds. The numbers may appear low but when taken into consideration of the magnitude of a vehicle this size moving all of that real-steel going that fast…is quite a feat!

Image

Both versions of the 7.5 litre V8 came equipped with a Rochester 4-bbl 4MV downdraft Quadrajet carburetor and GM Turbo Hydra-Matic THM-400 3-speed automatic transmissions. All engines now featured EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) valves to meet the EPA emission standards for the day. (Hence…the beginning of the end…)

The 7.5 litre V8 used advanced engine and throttle-linkage. In order to off-set negative attributes from the exhaust emission controls, the carburetor, choke, throttle linkage, camshaft, and timing on Buick engines were modified which resulted in smoother engine operation during regular city stop & go driving. The 7.5 litre V8 used hard nickel-plated engine exhaust valves to accommodate the 1970s EPA mandated low to no-leaded fuels.

A BIG problem during the early 1970s conversion from leaded to un-leaded fuels was engine “dieseling” where the engine would continue to run even after the ignition was turned off. This issue also created “engine-knock” for many automobile manufacturers. Buick always had “a counter for the counters” to cease and desist with the ugliness from this sort of engine inelegance.

Did you know…Buick was so meticulous with the engine build…they were concerned with foreign matter that can accumulate in any new engine during production? They would run the engine backwards cleaning it with blasts of compressed air. Then the engine was run connected to a dynamometer, tolerances were checked and performance output was rated. Then it was installed into a Buick.

Image

The trunk alone could carry an entire car of today…

Image

Rear wheel fender skirts added the finishing touch of elegance

Image

The 1973 Buick Electra 225

Image

The Buick Electra 225 was the consummate luxury car. The base Electra 225 hardtop coupe and hardtop sedan & Electra 225 Custom hardtop coupe and hardtop sedan differed by interior trim levels with the Custom being the more exclusive. The Base Electra 225 used either a bench or notchback front seat with no rear seat center folding armrest.

The Electra 225 Custom used either a bench or notchback front seat with a standard rear seat center folding armrest. The Buick Limited had an ultra-elegant seat contour and sew style to immediately set it apart from the other Buick Electra 225 models offering either a front bench or notchback 60/40 front seat design and a standard rear seat folding center armrest. Each trim level offered a cloth with vinyl or an all-vinyl upholstery scheme to individualize personal luxury further.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Innovative optional equipment for the 1973 Buick Electra 225 included “MaxTrac” Buick’s computerized braking system. It was a primitive form of today’s traction control systems. MaxTrac prevented excessive rear wheel slip on slippery surfaces. Automatic Climate Control maintained selected temperature ranges without further intervention.

Among the most popular options available for the 1973 model year were front fender-mounted fiber optic lamp monitors, cornering lamps, power door locks, power trunk release, vinyl roof treatments, power seating, and AM/FM Stereo radio with 8-track tape player. (No scoffing this was the 20th century remember?) The 1973 Buick Electra 225 could be equipped to rival the luxury of the 1973 Cadillac DeVille.

Image

The 1973 Buick Electra 225 Custom

Image

The 1973 Buick Electra 225 was equipped with a feature called “AccuDrive.” This was a sophisticated suspension tuned for optimum forward steering. This standard system maintained stability as today’s contemporary stabilizer-tuned set-ups.

This achieves maximum road-holding values in adverse driving situations. The Buick Electra held the road on hair-pin turns like a magnet. I learned to drive on cars like these, I am from a die-hard GM family that drove the Olds Ninety-Eights, Buick Electras, and Cadillac Sedans deVille.

Image

Image

The 1973 Buick Electra 225 was a large front engine rear drive vehicle. It was built as body on frame construction. It shared the “C-body” platform with the Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight and Cadillac DeVille. It rode upon a long 127” wheelbase, had the luxury length of 229.8” and a wide 79.3” stance.

With the Electra’s long wheelbase and imposing stature the ride was smooth and unaffected…boulevard travel intrusion was negligible. The Buick Electra was nimble and very quick to be the size it is, these cars drove like a much smaller car but with the finesse and grace of a Flagship. “Chomp” the accelerator pedal and you had an instant performance car.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

The 1973 Buick Electra was built with unidirectional dual-rate body mounts. This sophisticated design isolated the Electra’s body from mechanical and road vibration intrusion. The result was a smoother ride and the driver was able to “feel” the road. A Buick Electra 225 was a magnificent roadcar.

Image

Special thanks to MJC Classic Cars among the best in the business!

Image

“From the beginning you’ve been…always, there my old friend…true, until the end of time…”  my old friend Al Jarreau

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Buick was one of the top three GM Divisions. The 1973 Buick Electra 225 was a contemporary luxury car with understated elegance. It was available as the Electra 225 hardtop coupe and hardtop sedan in three distinctive trim levels: the base Electra 225, the luxurious Electra 225 Custom, and the opulent Buick Limited.

A fully equipped Limited rivaled Cadillac luxury and stature. It was a large front engine rear wheel drive automobile powered by Buick’s 7.5 litre V8 engine. Performance, presence, and prestige summed up the character of the 1973 Buick Electra series. It’s a shame that the full-size American luxury car vanished without a trace…The automobile industry today makes nothing that could compare to a Buick Electra-

Image

1968 Buick Electra 225 Custom Limited

Image

Image

Image

Image

 

The “Deuce and a quarter”

Image

“Wouldn’t you really rather have a Buick?”

12 Responses to “Fresh Metal: 1973 Buick Electra 225”

  1. Heya excellent website! Does running a blog similar to this take
    a lot of work? I’ve very little understanding of computer programming
    however I had been hoping to start my own blog in the near future.

    Anyhow, should you have any recommendations or techniques for new blog owners please share.
    I understand this is off topic nevertheless I simply had to ask.
    Many thanks!

  2. Great car. When I lived in Sarasota in early 1980 I bought one of these for a few hundred bucks. To a Brit like me, it was a truly amazing experience although it was hard to turn off the engine ‘cos the darn thing just kept running! I remember once going to the grocery store, parking up and turning the engine off. When I came back to the car 10-15 minutes later it was still chugging away. Of course, being an auto-box, you couldn’t persuade it to stall either.

  3. That is caused by incorrect timing and CHEAP REGULAR GRADE GASOLINE! yes I was screaming! The older those cars from that genre need octane. The 1973 Buick with the 455 needs high octane and correct timing, as a rule of thumb: the older a car is…the higher the octane needed. Those cars, my friend, were the last of the breed…you should have kept it and restored it. Cars like that will run 300,000 miles easily. I have a friend that has a 1976 Electra Limited Park Avenue sedan and he is still driving it. That car looks brand new, he never drove it in the winter and always garaged it. It has been to Las Vegas twice, it has gone to Disneyland so many times I can’t remember. We have taken that car to Florida numerous times. It is like the “Energizer rabbit!” Glad you liked my article buddy! PLEASE come back. If you have a special request email me at the email address on the homepage.

  4. I loved my father’s midnite metal flake blue 4 door Electra 225 with white vinyl roof. It was one of the cars I learned to drive on as well as it’s opposite, a green Datsun B-110 with a black vinyl roof and a 4 speed. Oh those were the days! 45 cent gas and new highways still being built!

    • OMG! Don’t you wish gas was still at that price? I grew up in a GM family. My uncle bought a new Buick Electra 225/Custom Limited every year. Another uncle bought a new Olds Ninety-Eight annually. Mom bought the Electra 225 or Pontiac Bonneville. All of the family drove big GM cars. You should have seen the holiday gatherings at our house with all of those big shiny new luxury cars, all of which were four-door hardtops parked all around the house. I remember how new cars smelled back then. I was in GM heaven! My dad bought a new Cadillac Sedan deVille every year. I would go out into thr garage at night and sleep in the back seat, I loved the smell of the leather. I LOVE cars from the 1970s genre. But the magic in my head began when I read your comment about $.45 gasoline! I got my driver’s license on a Cadillac Sedan deVille, the state highway patrolman couldn’t believe how I drove that car with such ease…I hadn’t the guts to tell him I had been driving since I was 11! Thanks for the trip down memory lane! Come back again!

      • I took my road test in that ’73 Electra. I parallel parked perfectly the first time! All my friends failed their road tests the first time around. I thought about taking it in the Datsun but Ibwas worried Inmight be failed because it was manual. The last big block car I owned was a ’68 Pontiac Bonneville 455. That was when premium leaded gas was getting very difficult to find. Now I drive an ’89 Lincoln Mark VII LSC. I swear they’ll bury me in that car!

      • Remember that HUGE front bumper? I saw a bad wreck in high school where a 1973 Buick Electra hit a milk truck…that truck was totalled while the Electra sat there serenley with broken headlamps and scratches on the hood! I couldn’t believe my eyes! The damage to the Electra would have been less than a day in the paint shop, new bumper impact strip and guards, new headlamp bezels and lamps. The sheet metal had NO damage or disfiguration. The truck was toast, it was T-boned…bent in a “U” with the driver carried away via ambulance…and that Electra sat there like “how dare that thing got in my way!” It actually looked pissed off! The truck ran the light. The lady driving the Electra had no injuries, she was just shaking like a leaf scared to death. Cars from that genre were tough with brute force!

      • My ’89 Lincoln has 5 mph bumpers. My ’85 Crown Vic police cruiser also had them and they were great for pushing dumpsters to make a parking space. The ’74 Electra had even more massive bumpers, front and rear. They could do a lot of damage to today’s cars!

      • As long as you use a top tier fuel, the injectors should stay clean. It makes sense to pay a little more for better quality fuel. My Mark VII’s injectors foul easily when using cheap fuel, so yours is a point well taken. When using cleaners, the only ones that work contain polyetheramines (PEA). Techron concentrate is good (Chevron invented it).

      • I had a 1973 triple white Continental MK IV. It hardly had any miles on it when I sold it. Twas a beautiful car, but…I put THREE carburetors on it and it had started to rust from the inside out. All around the ersatz spare tire was bubbling, the door seams, and along the rockers had begun to rust. The problem was…that God awful Ziebart rustproofing did it! Did you know that if rustproofing is applied incorrectly, water gets trapped underneath all that crap and it actually accelerates corrosion? I was so mad I didn’t know what to do, and to make matters worse, the bastards had gone out of business and no one honored their guarantee! The one that got away that I really should have kept was a 1956 Continental MK II! I was young and didn’t know what I had. Those were the days my friend! I see you like cars like I do. Do you have a special interest car that you would like to see here on the site? I am always open for suggestions. This is how my popularity draws 167 views per hour, I give everyone what they want to see. Where those other writers give a brief 2-3 paragraph story with maybe 5 tiny little photos of the car they are including…I go the extra mile giving photos and facts as I would want to see/read. I write from the reader’s point of view. Let me know if you have any ideas. You can comment here or at the email address listed on my home page. You know that if you click on the photos you can make them screen-sized? Click on my blue Rolls Royce at the top and this will line up every post and you can scroll to infinity or go to the Notoriously Categorized drop down and select the car you wish to see. Let me know what you think…

      • I would love to see an early Dodge Viper. That is my bucket list car!

      • A good friend in Arizona has a black Viper to complement his Lambo Aventador and his hot slant nose 911. I would kill myself in cars that small. I got a lead foot, I like a BIG car with power! I wish GM still made a Cadillac!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: