Fresh Metal: 1973 Buick Electra 225
A “Deuce and a quarter” ruled the road…
“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…”
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.
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.
1973 Buick Limited interior
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!
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.
The trunk alone could carry an entire car of today…
Rear wheel fender skirts added the finishing touch of elegance
The 1973 Buick Electra 225
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.
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.
The 1973 Buick Electra 225 Custom
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.
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.
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.
Special thanks to MJC Classic Cars among the best in the business!
“From the beginning you’ve been…always, there my old friend…true, until the end of time…” my old friend Al Jarreau
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-
1968 Buick Electra 225 Custom Limited
The “Deuce and a quarter”
“Wouldn’t you really rather have a Buick?”
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.
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.
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.
Wow. It has only taken me nearly 4 years to get back to this site. Here I am, locked down in the UK, dreaming about the wonderful time I spent in the U.S. (Sarasota, Fla) back in the early 80s. Gas was cheap, cars were cheap, everything was cheap. Who worried about gas mileage in those days!
I haven’t been back to Sarasota for over 20 years now but I’m guessing things will have changed a lot!
Anyway, to my lasting regret, I traded my cheap and rather tatty Buick Electra 225 for…..a Renault 5 which my girlfriend had taken a fancy to. The stupid things we do when under the influence of hormones!
From memory, I think the Renault was traded for a Cadillac Seville (the original shape) and that was followed by a Porsche 911. I used to drool over Hemmings and also the local Auto Trader magazines. You could pick up a tatty Jaguar XKE for around $2000. I wish I had!
Hi Martin! Ironically, gas is now dirt cheap and we’ve no place to go to burn it because we’re all sequestered due to a silently anonymous killer on a stampede of destruction. The Buick Electras are starting to appreciate favorably. If you’re in the market for one and you find an excellent specimen – buy it quickly! American luxury cars from the 1970s have prices going thru the roof! I think any luxury car from the USA will be worth a fortune. I also believe when it’s said and done – the industry will return to an internal combustion engine after the electronic fad fades away. I hope this is true because I do NOT like those dinky little rolling coffins! As for autonomous vehicles…I will always keep a car that I can DRIVE MY SELF! I don’t like the idea of a car driving me! Besides, what does one do in a car when the car is doing all of the work? Oh I know the answer: The driver calls 911 because his autonomous vehicle just went straight thru an old K-Mart warehouse and he is stuck inside in the dark! Stay SAFE and by all means stay HEALTHY Martin!
Thanks for your reply. I would love to buy an old American car but sadly the prices on this side of the pond are already sky-high.
Although, this one looks quite nice and is a bit of a rarity: https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201706176543640
I agree with you about the ‘electric fad’ and self-driving cars. There are so many ‘driver aids’ in vehicles these days that, to me at least, it detracts from the joy of driving and has the effect of making drivers lazy and inattentive, thus adding to the number of accidents on the roads. I think adding all this unnecessary technology is one way that manufacturers justify the sticker price.
Keep fit and well yourself – I hope we can all get through the current ‘insanity’ (if that’s the right word) and get back to some semblance of what we used to think of as ‘normal’.
Hello again Martin! Here are a few of my favorite places to purchase great used vehicles: Car Gurus, carsforsale.com, Edmunds, Cars.com, Heming’s Motor News, and Car Fax. The good cars go FAST! If I am looking for a specific vehicle, I look every day. I keep a tab open and periodically look throughout the day. New cars are added all day long and over night. But the key is when you find them act upon it immediately especially if the car is a one-owner with low miles. I found a 2004 Lincoln Town Car Ultimate last year, a one-owner car with only 19,738 original miles on it. It was too big for the widow so she sold it. I found it online at 2:45 A on a Friday night turn Saturday morning. When I called and found out the mileage was not a typo I immediately sent a $1000 deposit to hold the car while negotiating it with the dealer so nobody else could snatch it away!
Just last week…yup, again in the wee hours of Saturday morning I found a 1993 Lincoln MK VIII that’s a one-owner in tip-top shape. It is coming from Oregon, you should see the undercarriage on this car! They do not use calcium chloride on their roads in Winter in Oregon so it looks like it’s only a few years old. Cars like this can be repaired fairly inexpensively because they don’t have today’s awkward not to mention costly technology. Parts are plentiful and they are easy to work on according to mechanics. I like a car without a lot of computer crap. I also want to buy cars that will NOT be in the electronic-grid! Anything updating in real time can be hacked into. BMW was the first to admit this flaw with technology. This will lead to all kinds of new computer-related issues in the automotive industry.
But by all means, start looking immediately and don’t stop until you find the car right for you. If it is a very nice car, don’t expect it to just sit there – there are people like me who are always on the prowl and will snap it up immediately!
If there is anything you are looking for in particular, please let me know. I am always finding cars for people because I look for them each and every day. Cars are my outlet from the tension of the real world! The older cars have character and are easier to purchase than the contemporary automobiles with monthly payments one could pay a mortgage with!
Keep looking dude!
You are obviously a real enthusiast/collector. It also sounds like you are very focused on finding ‘the right car’.
I do really appreciate your kind offer to help me source a vehicle. At the moment, that isn’t high on my priority list but, who knows, I might get back to you sometime.
All the very best.
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!
I often visit your blog and have noticed that you don’t update it often. More frequent updates will give
your blog higher rank & authority in google. I know that writing content takes a lot of time, but you
can always help yourself with miftolo’s tools which will shorten the time of creating an article to a few seconds.
Keep your shorts on! The site is undergoing changes as I type. Placing all content in a new environment is a major task. Thanks for reading, stay tuned for the ‘New” NotoriousLuxury. Also, writing a story requires more than “sitting down and typing it out.” To create…requires thought. I am doing it ALL for the last year or so. A lot of content was compromised with the last 2 people I had trying to help me.
MIFTOLO’s tools is a load of crap designed to SELL help. I do NOT need a service to re-write my stories…after all, how the hell does a re-write know what the hell I want to say? Sure, that’s the easy way out. You most likely work for one of the cut throat agencies I have had to contact me. First of all, this is my site. My readers tell me what they want to read about and I supply photos and verbiage for such. Second, this is FREE so why the hell can’t you just enjoy what’s here? Last, I don’t need anything to write for me. If one wants to get anything in this world accomplished…one must do it themselves. Besides, I am a forensic accountant by day which takes up most of the time. I am a journalist the rest of the time – for now at least. I plan to put up a couple of new sites which I am also preparing for.
NOTHING else will be uploaded into this version of NotoriousLuxury. I am working on new stories for the grand re-appearance of NotoriousLuxury. Everyone that writes in loves it. I just need more time to devote to it which I am trying to accomplish. YOU try writing for one publication, ghost writing for 3 other automobile publications while planning to put 2 more sites into being all on my own and see how fast you can come up with verbiage. Tis easy for me because I love to talk. You SEO people are really slick but you’re teaching me everything NOT to be. Thanks for the insight!
I’ve got a 1974 Electra 225 Custom 2 door hardtop. Practically a twin to the 1973/
The 1974 was the best looking version of the Electra. I had a 1969 Electra 225, a 1970 Electra 225 Custom, and a 1972 Electra 225 Custom Limited hardtop sedan. That 455 is a dynamo, they run forever with the proper care. Keep your car, you will be surprised as it appreciates favorably. I have more oldies to post but I am about to surprise my audience with an all-new NotoriousLuxury website. Everyone is wondering what’s up because they haven’t seen a new post since spring. It is taking longer because I am redesigning the look and writing new copy to post. Make sure to keep an eye for the new look!
I really prefer the ’72 since it’s the last year before those humongous 5-mph bumpers. I believe those bumpers really took away the clean styling the ’71 and ’72 had. I just picked up a ’72 2 dr Limited that’s quite loaded sans trip set, speed alert and rear defrost. I’ve been fortunate to own many of these in the past and up until 2007 I was driving a 29K mile example 4 dr Limited along with my ’72 Riviera as daily drivers.
These cars are nothing short of fantastic drivers and extremely reliable. The build quality was above par as I can honestly say I don’t remember having any issues with these cars ever. I hope to keep the ‘new’ ’72 for a long time. You don’t realize how huge these car were until you put them aside any modern car. It’s actually a foot longer than my ’96 Roadmaster!
Gotcha!! I took out my 1979 Collector’s Series Continental (Town Car) for a sprint before the weather got bad. I drove up beside a 2011 Town car and my car took up most of the street we were on. The smaller cars moved over out of my way to see how big my car is! There’s nothing quite like the ride of a TRADITIONAL AMERICAN LUXURY SEDAN I agree! Two weeks ago I took out my 1976 Sedan deVille for a ride…every place I went I got offers to buy it! I LOVED riding up slowly beside a CT6 and the way the car’s reflection stuck to mine – with room left over for the Ford Taurus beside it! These full-size land yachts just FLOAT over the worst pavement. I love taking the old girls out for a spin, they always get their share of attention. I sometimes tease car dealers parking them right up in front of the showroom. It makes their cars look like the fakes they really are! (Cadillac can’t get any more plastic can it?)
I used to be a Buick man! I had a 1969 Electra 225 hardtop sedan, a 1970 Electra 225 Custom hardtop sedan, a 1972 Electra 225 Custom Limited hardtop sedan, and a 1973 Buick Limited hardtop sedan. My favorite engine is the 455 4bbl (especially the 455 Stage 1 set up I tweaked my 1972 225 to compete with the Buick GSX). These cars are so easy to work on too because of all the room under the hood…unlike today’s nightmares where it requires a college degree just to change the headlamp bulb! I am waiting to see how these new cars will play out – electric or another alternative source of power.
Everything is getting lighter and dinkier for the autonomous 4-wheeled disasters just waiting to happen! I can see it now, technology’s latest issues: people running into fixed objects with all of that electric voltage and internal combustion engines all smashing into each other creating an atom bomb! KA-POW! Just blew up an entire city block because the electric car hit a gas station as the tanker was refueling! Autonomy…electricity…and ignorance, my oh my what a combination! Stay tuned for future events! I am going to record them as they happen!
My father had a 73 Electra 225 and I used it a lot before getting my own car. What a great ride that was! Very roomy inside and plenty of head room also. Those were the days!
I was born in 1954. My parents were doctors who had a 1958 Buick Limited. My dad wanted a new Limited for 1968. So I drew the one you see and sent it to Flint’s Buick Design Division. It arrived in early September at Spuds Wasson Buick in Delphi. Spuds called my mom. In 1969 my mom was tired of small Sportwagons. So I drew a Buick Invicta Wagon for 1970 and sent it to Flint, the one you see now. Again it arrived at Wasson Buick in Delphi and my dad bought it, renamed by Buick as Estate Wagon. They had an Invicta Wagon in 1963. I wanted to be an artist for Buick. They wanted a doctor. So I dropped out of high school in 1972 and enrolled at Purdue’s chemistry Dept. I became a gold foil filling dentist and did root canals. But I really wanted to be an artist for Buick. My uncle was deputy metallurgist for Dongfeng and in 1986 I got him to build Citroen in Hubei Province in the 1990s.