During the 1960s, big vehicles with a sleek, long silhouette were a hit. A good example of such a vehicle was the Buick Electra, which was in production from 1959-1990. Throughout out its long and rich history, the Buick Electra received several upgrades and changes, making each version a classic ride that continues to attract fans and hobbyists today.
1959–1960: First generation
In 1959, the Buick Roadmaster was renamed as the Buick Electra, while the Roadmaster 75 was now referred to as the Electra 225. Both these variants were equipped with a GM C-body and a 126.3-inch wheelbase, which was longer that what was used on the Invicta and LeSabre models. The Electra’s standard engine was a 401 cubic-inch Wildcat V8 that came with a four-barrel carburetor. This engine produced 325 horsepower and was partnered with a Dynaflow automatic transmission. In 1960, the Electra was upgraded with horizontal headlamps and a concave grill. Chrome VentiPorts were also added, as well as an “Electra” scrip on the front fenders and wider rocker panel moldings.
1961–1964: Second generation
For the second-gen version, the Electra was equipped with shrunken fins and distinct rocker panel moldings. 1962 Electra 225 units were restyled to accommodate fenders with vertical hashmarks and an upgraded interior. Standard features included a step-on parking brake, courtesy lights, and custom moldings. In 1963, the most expensive Electras were redesigned with distinctly styled rear fenders and taillights.
1965–1970: Third generation
All GM and Buick vehicles were redesigned in 1985, resulting into Electra coupes with “Coke bottle” lines and fastback roofs. The Electra 225 also became available in two trims: base and custom. A new chassis was also offered, although the engine line-up remained the same. In the following years,upgrades included a new grille, a facelift in 1967, a new grille and taillight trim in 1968 for the Electra 225, more defined bodylines in 1969, and vent-free front windows.
1971–1976: Fourth generation
In 1971, the Electra was given a complete design overhaul. The new Electra was equipped with a new chassis, a double-shell roof, an instrument panel that featured a cockpit style, and a modified engine. In the following years, fourth-gen Electra models were upgraded with an egg-crate grill in 1972, and redesigned taillights and new bumpers in 1974. A limited Park Avenue edition was released in 1975.
1977–1984: Fifth generation
In 1977, the Electra was downsized and lost more than 11 inches in length. The limited Park Avenue edition became an official trim level in 1978. In 1981, the number of VentiPorts was reduced.
1985–1990: Sixth generation
For the sixth-gen version, the Electra was equipped with a restyled front-wheel drive layout, was further downsized, and was built with a unique hood hinge setup. In 1987, the Electra was no longer built with four-lamp quad headlights. After decades of production, this model was discontinued in 1990.