As Buick turns 110 years old, there comes the stale stereotype that the brand is finally as old as the average age of its buyers. But today, that isn’t even close to being the case. With vehicles such as the Enclave large crossover, Encore compact crossover, and sweetheart Verano Turbo, Buick is transforming itself into a full-line brand that appeals to the youthful demographics just as well as it does with anybody else, selling over 43 million vehicles since 1903. Today, we review the historic vehicles and milestones that make the brand great:
- The first Buick was hand-built in a small barn behind David Dunbar Buick’s Detroit home. Goes to show what a man can do with nothing but time and a shed.
- In 1938, Buick debuted the Y-Job (pictured above). Said to have been designed by none other than Harley Earl, the Y-Job is regarded as the first concept car ever built, and its signature waterfall grille is still used on Buicks to this day, and it featured futuristic technologies like power windows. Earl drove the car himself for more than a decade.
- Then came the 1963 Riviera, often regarded as one of the most beautiful cars ever made, which also turns 50 this year. The long coupe was said to be inspired by a Rolls-Royce that Buick design boss Bill Mitchell saw through the fog in London.
- Buick even won back-to-back NASCAR Manufacturer Championships in 1981 and 1982. Additionally, a Buick has served as Official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500 six times.
- The first Buick to top 100 miles per hour was the Buick Century. The name makes more sense now.
- The Century may have been the first Buick to break 100, but the fastest production Buick in history is the currently available Regal GS luxury sport sedan, recording a top speed of 162 mph at the 2012 Nevada Open Road Challenge.
- The Regal may have currently be the fastest overall, but the quickest Buick is the 1987 GNX, accelerating from 0-60 in a scant 4.6 seconds. It also stands as a rarity, with just 547 built.
- Buick’s largest engine, a 455-cubic-inch (7.5L) Big Block V8, was introduced in 1970. It had 175 horsepower, or just 23 and a third horsepower per liter.
- The 1975 Buick Electra grew to become the longest vehicle ever produced by Buick. It measured 233.7 inches from bumper to bumper. That’s nearly 20 feet.
- On the contrary, Buick’s first production vehicle, the 1904 Model B, was the shortest, riding on an 83-inch wheelbase.
- Buick has only twice made vehicles with seating for up to eight: the current Enclave and the 1991-1996 Roadmaster Estate.