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Thread: Buick LeSabre 1959-1960

  1. #1
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    Buick LeSabre 1959-1960

    The LeSabre was a new model in the Buick range when introduced in 1959. Outwardly nothing reminded of the previous Buick models. The car sported pronounced and sharp fins and a very descriptive grille, with 2 headlights put under a 30 degree angle to each other. The car was available as a coach, sedan, coupe and stationwagon. Powered by a six litre Wildcat engine, giving 238 BHP, a top speed of 170 kph could be achieved.

    For the 1960 vintage, the fins were slightly reduced, while the two headlights were now put in a more common parallel position. The 1959 edition sold almost 165,000 times, while in 1960 about 152,000 were sold.

    Shown here a 1959 Coupe and a 1960 Coupe, both present during the American Car Show supporting the 2006 Concours d’Elegance at the Het Loo Palace.
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    "I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting, but it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously." Douglas Adams

  2. #2
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    Another pretty unique car I've always liked. Took some getting used to, but the Bat Wing fins (a styling cue borrowed from the Chevys of the same vintage) lend it a very different air from what everybody else was doing with fins back then.
    An it harm none, do as ye will

    Approximately 79% of statistics are made up.

  3. #3
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    Add me to the list of admirers of 'the Delta Years' of Buick, as Delta Wing was the name coined by Buick to describe their attractive canted fin-work of 1959-60 - with the 'Bat Wing' moniker belonging to 1959 Chevrolets which also featured those huge 'cat's eye' tail lights

    My favourite of the Deltas would be the '59 Invicta Coupe, a re-name of the long-running Century - a performance-oriented model which from the later 1930s was known as 'the Banker's Hot Rod' and is regarded by many as laying legitimate claim to the title of 'world's first muscle car'. True to the formula, Centurys always featured Buicks biggest engine, installed in their shortest and thus lightest bodyshell. Pontiac's GTO came along much later

    I once came very close to buying an enticing '59 Invicta Coupe (r/h/d) in pale sky blue with the white top, a fabulous looking machine especially when viewed from the 3/4 rear which imo is their best angle. Another Buick charm of the era (alas soon to disappear) was their famous and very convenient 'push to start' feature, the last of its kind. For trivia, all full-size GM cars of 1959-60 (Cadillac, BOP & Chev) shared identical windscreens and front door inners, with the various marques evolving from that original design start-point

    Here's another good bit of trivia:
    One of the best kept secrets about the 1960 Buick was the Daytona durability run. This scheme was the brainchild of Buick’s PR director, Jerry Rideout, and was conducted during early January 1960.

    The idea was to prove Buick’s reliability by driving a stock 1960 Invicta [401cid automatic] coupe on the Daytona track for 10,000 continuous miles, at an average speed of 120 mph! To accomplish this, six professional drivers were used, each in a 2-hour shift. Pit stops were used for tires (only 1000 miles per set) and driver changes.

    Refueling, however, was handled in a very different and innovative way. Inspired by the military’s mid-air refueling of planes, Buick engineers developed a method to do the same with the Invicta. A chase car was built with a long refueling nozzle and apparatus to deliver 15 gallons of fuel in 6 seconds. During the course of the Daytona run, 78 such refuelings were conducted at speeds between 115 and 125 mph!
    The record car was reputedly stock-standard, except for tyres and exhaust. Fuel economy during the record attempt culminated @ a sobering 5.6 US gallons .. yes that's 42 L/100km! .. with refills required about every half hour

    For further interest, here's a nice site that focusses on Delta Buicks, including concepts etc http://www.the1960buick.com/
    Last edited by nota; 11-03-2006 at 07:12 PM.

  4. #4
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    Wow, good stuff. Didn't know Buick had a special name for the fins, either!
    An it harm none, do as ye will

    Approximately 79% of statistics are made up.

  5. #5
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    1960 Buick
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  6. #6
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    Nice ones, thanks.
    "I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting, but it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously." Douglas Adams

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