I have only owned three American cars that were not race cars; everything else has been European with the occasional Japanese sports car thrown in.
The Pick of the Day is from that short list of American cars I have owned, a car I drove in high school when my other ones did not run, a 1966 Buick Electra 225 located in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Electra 225, or Deuce and a Quarter as their fans call them, is named for its total length: 225 inches. These big luxury sedans were from the end of a truly great era for Buick. They were built to compete with Mercury and Chrysler and were just a notch down in quality and luxury from their Cadillac cousins.
The classic Electra 225 offered large-displacement engines with strong horsepower and prodigious amounts of torque. This 1966 model is powered by the last of the Buick Wildcat “Nailhead” V8s, a 401 cubic-inch beast that delivers 325 horsepower and 445 pounds-feet of torque. The engine is mated with a Super Turbine 3-speed automatic transmission, which makes this car the perfect mode of transportation for devouring hundreds of miles of interstate.
This low-mile example has all of its original LOF window glass, all original body panels, all original interior carpet and upholstery, original trunk equipment, and all factory chrome and trim, according to the seller, a St. Louis, Missouri, dealer advertising the Buick on ClassicCars.com.
The Buick has covered just 41,589 miles since new, the seller says, and “continues to run and drive with exceptional ease.” According to the ad, the seller recently replaced the air conditioner compressor clutch and converted the system to R134a refrigerant; replaced all the door-window weather stripping and under-hood insulation; and detailed the car under the hood to make it a show-worthy example of one of the ultimate 1960s American land yachts.
The Buick would be a fantastic car for running in a multi-day, long-distance vintage car rally, such as Arizona’s Copperstate 1000. This is the perfect car for you and three of your friends, as well as every bit of their luggage in the voluminous trunk. No, it wouldn’t be the most sporting car on the rally, but it most likely would be the most comfortable.
When I bought my Electra 225, a 1968 model that was all original and in mint condition, it cost $1,000. My friend Trent Abbott, another European car collector, bought one in the 1990s for only $500. Prices for these cars have gone up, and this one represents a strong buy for an asking price of $15,900.
In 1966, Buick ads called the Electra 225 the “best of everything Buick,” and I would have to agree.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.