1969 Buick Electra

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The Electra was the biggest and best-equipped Buick. Of course, it was significantly inferior to the Eldorado in luxury, but it was a good option for those to whom Ford or Chevrolet cars did not seem comfortable enough, and Lincoln, Cadillac, or Imperial were too expensive.
1969 Buick Electra was the third generation of this model, produced from ’65 to ’70. This Buick was not the choice of wealthy businessmen, famous actors, or politicians, but it was a great option for fairly established Americans. The big Buick, though more expensive than the Impala, was a more prestigious and better equipped car. The ’69 car was available in two versions; the base and Custom. Also this year the Electra received a new ladder frame, before that the X-shaped frame was used.

Sale and price 1969 Buick Electra.

In ’69, you could buy a two-door convertible Eldorado for $8,300. By comparison, the average cost of a car in those years was $3,270. The average house in ’69 could be bought for $15,500. So the Electra was not a cheap car and was meant for fairly well-off people.

Today, you can buy an Electra for $20,000. On average, this price is set for cars in good condition with about 60,000 miles. If you want, you can easily find an instance costing less than $10,000, but the condition of such cars will already be worse.
There aren’t as many Electra connoisseurs as there are Eldorado’s, for example. But these cars are still in the possession of some of the first owners for over 50 years, indicating great affection for the car.

Exterior and photos.

The easiest way to tell the ’69 Electra apart is by the new bumper and grille. The headlight surrounds are more square than they used to be. Pay attention to the chrome molding going from the front fender to the rear bumper. A similar styling element is used on the Skylark. Rear wheel arches are covered, which at that time was used on other American cars. From the photo you can notice the significant slope of the rear window, – it has a slope perhaps even greater than the windshield.

The four-door hardtop had a body length of 5,710mm and a wheelbase of 3,205mm. The Buick was short of Cadillac’s length, but that was the norm, because the bigger the car, the better it was, which meant the Cadillac had to be the biggest of all GM cars. Also you can notice the molding on the hood. Such a decision can’t be called exclusive, but it gives the charisma to the big Buick. At the request of the first owners, the roof could be covered with vinyl, which was also characteristic of all other large cars from the U.S. at that time. The radio antenna is located not in the front, but in the rear wing, which was somewhat unusual. Of course, the antenna was equipped with an electric drive.

Examining the photos of 1969 Buick Electra you can notice the logo Buick brand on wheel hubcaps. Pay attention to the rear fender, and in addition to the fact that it is decorated with an inscription – Electra 225 (the digital designation indicates the length of the wheelbase in inches), the rear fender is decorated and cataphore round shape. I do not remember that such decision I met on any other car. Yes, – cataphotas are found on other cars of that era with a long, rear overhang, but I do not remember on what – another car I could see a round shaped cataphot, and even with the Electra emblem. You can notice an inscription “Electra 225” on a trunk lid.

This cover is decorated with a special coat of arms with the inscription Electra. It seems that in spite of the fact that GM did not make Electra a separate model, they wanted to emphasize that it is not just Buick, but exactly Electra. The taillights are stretched horizontally, along the whole stern.

Interior and equipment.

In ’69 Electra received vertically adjustable headrests. This equipment is due to more stringent requirements for safety. No one could be surprised by a hydraulic power steering at that time, but the Electra has a varying degree of severity depending on speed – at low speed and in parking mode, it is as light as possible, and when driving on the highway, the steering wheel becomes heavier. It was also in ’69 that the Electra received front doors without additional vents.

Of course, the windows are raised and lowered with the help. of electric motors. The seats of this Buick can also be adjusted with the help of electric motors, and the car is equipped not only with air conditioning, but also with cruise control. The presence of the latter also sets the Electra apart from the mass-produced Chevrolet, or Ford.

There are Buick logos on the cabin mats. The company’s name is on the radio buttons. At the same time, the Electra 225 is inscribed in front of the front passenger, which reminds that this is not just a Buick. The speedometer has a square dial, and a clock was installed to the right of it. It is noteworthy that there is no tachometer among the instruments, obviously, the creators of Electra thought that the owner just does not need to know at what revolutions the car is going. It is possible to see embossing on a panelling of front doors, and also Electra logo under a door handle.

Even the two-door Electra has ashtrays and cigarette lighters for the rear passengers, which was the norm for luxury cars from the United States at the time. It is somewhat unusual that the seat belts are fixed not on the couch, but under the roof. This was due to new safety requirements and the fact that the Electra was produced in a hardtop body with no center pillar, but there was already a need for three-point seat belts, which provided a higher level of protection than the two-point lumbar type belts.
The base Electra offered a one-piece, front-facing sofa. Two split seats were available as an option, which were becoming increasingly popular at the time. The foot brake, as on other American cars, was activated by an additional pedal.

Engine and Specifications 1969 Buick Electra.

The base engine for the Electra was the 401 V8 Nailhead with a power of 325 hp. A more powerful 425 equipped with a single, four-chamber carburetor produced 340 horsepower. The same engine, but with two four-cam carburetors made already 360 horsepower.

The best known was 430 cubic inch V8 engine with an output of 7,041 cubic inches. This unit produced 360 horsepower at 5,000 rpm. It was not the biggest engine available from GM, but its power was very decent. Larger engines were installed only on larger Cadillacs and on muscle cars like the Chevelle, or Skylark. The four-door hardtop with a three-speed, automatic transmission could reach 100 miles per hour in 7.2 seconds, go ΒΌ mile in 15.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 205 kilometers per hour. It has a compression ratio of 10.25;1, a cylinder diameter of 109.5mm and a stroke of 92.5mm. Valve covers of this motor have the designation 430-4. The engine can hold 5.2l of oil type 5W30, or 10W30.
By the way, in ’69, the wheelbase has been increased to 127 inches (3200mm). The Vin license plate is riveted to the bulkhead of the engine compartment and is easily accessible.

Today, there are not as many Electra enthusiasts as there are Eldorado, or Mustang fans. This car is not blessed with a cult, but partly because of this, today you can buy such a Buick at quite an attractive price.

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