Discussion in 'Cars and Parts For Sale Leads' started by jalopi42, Aug 6, 2016.
I always wonder:
The model year 1971 to 1976 Estate Wagon was based on the Electra (C-body), why didn't the 1975 EW receive the rectangular head lights from the Electra? o No:
The Pontiac Bonneville came with those rectangular head lights for 1975, and so did the Grand Safari wagon.
They had a supply of headlamp doors for round lights to use up?
Buick built 109,201 LeSabres with the same round headlight surrounds for model year 1975.
And I don't think those were left-overs, the 1974 model year headlights were different:
The Estate wagon is based on the 'C' body Electra,
But, the Estate Wagon has LeSabre fenders, (three vent ports, wood grain not with standing)
And speaking of wood grain on the fenders ,
Why did they put the fake wood on the front fenders? When the real wood wagons had steel front fenders (?)
Or: The 1975 Estate Wagon and LeSabre had the Electra front wings without the fourth Ventiport o No:
My 1972 Estate Wagon has the 4 ventiports and it is original to the car. Go figure.
And the B-body LeSabre based 1970 Estate Wagon had four Ventiports :laugh:
Those new Buicks are so confusing ....
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
The 1971 to 1974 Estate Wagons had the Electra 4 vents. 1975 and 1976 had the Lesabre 3 vents as well as the Lesabre grill. No idea why.
Well, here's the scoop. We all know that the Estate Wagons (EW) were built on the large Buick platform LeSabre/'B' series and Electra/'C' series. When Buick reintroduced a full sized EW for the '70 model year (which is a little surprising since it was a one-year only model for all that effort), Buick introduced it on the full-sized platform, but trimmed it more closely to the Electra as opposed to the LeSabre - with 4 ventiports and door panels, Electra grille & interior trim closer to the Electra 225, etc., than the LeSabre.
Same for the introduction of the 'clamshell' wagons for '71 - 4 ventiports and Electra grille and most options. Note that Buick voluntarily and intentionally stopped selling the raised roof (Olds style "vista roof") A-series wagons during these years - '70 through the end of that model's cycle in '72. GM put A LOT of engineering effort into the clam shell design for all the divisions and it had many state of the art features. I believe it was to focus Buick Wagon sales on the full-size EWs and not have the Skylark raised roof SportWagons (which would be the higher-end more expensive SportWagons moving into the same price-range as the lower EWs) competing against the EW sales (a very different proposition than Olds which sold the flat and raised "Vista" roof Cutlass Cruiser wagons (with standard 350 or optional 455 engines) alongside the larger full-sized Custom Cruiser clam shell wagons. So, Buick and Olds had very different strategies for wagon sales in these years. I will tie-in the rectangle headlights in just a minute.
So, as Buick was approaching the mid-'70's, it tried to move the full sized cars and the then almost new Colonnade A-series up market further. Buick created the 'Luxus' (higher trim level) for the LeSabre and Regal (remember that the Colonnade A-series had a dual-level model strategy with the Century as the lower cost model (with specific sportier roofline) and the Regal decidedly more formal and up-market. The LeSabre, therefore, was positioned a little higher against its competition with the added more luxurious equipment. If you have seen a highly optioned '74 LeSabre Luxus and compared it to a very well equipped '73 LeSabre, for example, the '74 LeSabre Luxus is much nicer (though I am personally more fond of the earlier models). You will also note that (especially) in '75, the Electras similarly took a step up-market with available options including the Park Avenue trim level and seriously plush interiors. In fact, Buick used a Cadillac designed steering wheel in those years in the Park Avenues (with a Buick emblem, of course). Leather interiors were optional or crushed velour from door-to-door - they were impressively trimmed. Now, during these years when Buick put a lot of effort into its top of the line series and trim levels - the Electra 225, Electra Limited and Electra Park Avenues, Buick moved the EW to the LeSabre trimmed "body" with 3 ventiports, grilles and interiors closer to the LeSabre models. This was definitely intentional.
Now, you've waited patiently for the tie-in to the rectangle headlights. The styling changes for the rectangle headlights was a major design move as many cars looked decidedly more modern and 'clean' with these new headlamps which were mostly mounted flush with the front surfaces, etc., it was a dramatic change and look .... and in a good way.
GM allowed Cadillac to use the new rectangle headlights across the product range for '75, but all the other GM Divisions only used the rectangle headlamps for the highest model(s) whereas the lower models (i.e., LeSabre for Buick, Delta 88 for Olds, Catalina for Pontiac and Impala for Chevrolet) got the round headlights. Now, you might think that this strategy a bit over the top, but you must remember that GM was the king of the 'model year change' strategy (which attempted to make last years' models look old/dated by changing the front and rear ends and minor additional trims changes), specifically, revised front and rear end treatments ... grilles, bumpers, tail lights, etc. This was part and parcel with that strategy. In 1976, all the full sized models got the rectangle headlamps with grille/headlight doors/bezels changed over.
Now, another parting comment on EWs. I believe that with the introduction of the down-sized '77 models, Buick aligned the EW with the Electra trim and grille, 4 ventiports, etc. But, I believe starting in the '80 model year, Buick started selling the LeSabre Estate Wagon and the Electra Estate Wagon side-by-side - each having the front-end and grille and venitports relative to the respective LeSabre or Electra models as well as interior trim and upholstery of the respective models/levels. An additional curious fact about these these post-'80 LeSabre Estate Wagon and the Electra Estate Wagons is that the Electra based EWs used larger wheels including the "large car" Buick Road Wheels (15x6 and 5x5 inch bolt pattern) whereas the LeSabre Estate Wagons used different front hubs and rear axles as these were 5x4.75 inch bolt pattern wheels and when equipped with the optional Rally/Road wheels, they were the same 15x7 and 5x4.75 inch bolt pattern wheels that the older A-series cars used since about '71.
Very informative and impressive Ken......