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?”