Throwback to the Buick Electra 225


Buick made two different cars called Electra and Electra 225. They didn't start out as brand new models, though. The Electra was previously known as the Super, and the Electra 225 was the Roadmaster. Electras made their debut in 1959. They were long, sleek, smooth-riding luxury cars that were a bit more affordable than Cadillacs. The Park Avenue replaced the Electras in 1991 as Buick's high-end luxury sedan. Here are the answers to some of your questions about the Buick Electra.

1

Does "225" stand for how much horsepower the Electra engine produces?

No. The "225" stands for the car's length in inches. It was precisely 225.4 inches long in 1959. The 1960 models were 225.9 inches long. The engine was actually more powerful than that. The Electra 225 was shortened to 223.4 inches in 1966. The Electra was 220.9 inches long in 1959 and 221.2 inches long in 1960.

2

Did Buick equip the Electra with any driver-assist safety features back then?

The Electra and Electra 225 came standard with power-assist brakes and power steering. It still had the huge steering wheel, but the car was much easier to steer. Buick put two-way power front seats and power windows in the Electra convertibles. Airbags became available in the mid-70's, but people rarely had them installed. They were considered too expensive.

3

Was there a convertible Electra 225?

Buick did make a 2-door convertible Electra 225 for the first, second and third generations. It was discontinued after that. The first generation Electra 225 also came in a 4-door Riviera hardtop, a 4-door 4-window hardtop, and a 4-door 6-window sedan. The second generation Electra 225 also came in a 4-door 4-window hardtop, 4-door 6-window sedan, 2-door hardtop and 4-door 6-window hardtop. The third generation Electra 225 also came in 4-door hardtop, 4-door sedan, and 2-door hardtop models.

The fourth-generation Electra 225 was available in 4-door hardtop, 2-door hardtop or 2-door coupe trims. For the fifth generation, Buick produced a 4-door sedan, 2-door coupe or 4-door station wagon Electra 225. Trim levels for the Electra 225's sixth and final generation were only the 4-door sedan and 2-door coupe.

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4

What type of engine did the Electra 225 have?

The first- and second-generation Electra 225, between 1959 and 1964, came with a 401-cubic-inch (6.6-L), 325-hp, Nailhead V8. Third-generation Electras, between 1965 and 1970, came with either the 6.6-L Nailhead V8, 425-cubic-inch, 340-hp V8, 360-hp, 430-cubic-inch (7.0-L) V8 or a 370-hp, 455-cubic-inch (7.5-L) V8 engine under the hood.

Buick began to scale back the horsepower in Electras in 1971 as the car began its fourth generation. The 455-cubic-inch V8 engine was still standard, but Buick built the engine with a lower compression rate of 8.5 to 1 rather than 10.25 to 1, which reduced the output to 316 hp. In 1975, the output was reduced even further to 205 hp.

Fifth generation Electras, from 1977 to 1984, came with either the 252-cubic-inch (4.1-L) Buick V6, a 307-cubic-inch (5.0-L) Oldsmobile V8, a 350-cubic-inch (5.7-L) Buick V8, 350-cubic-inch (5.7-L) Oldsmobile diesel V8 or a 403-cubic-inch (6.6-L) Oldsmobile V8.

Buick no longer equipped the Electras with V8's when the car was updated for its sixth generation, which lasted from 1985 until the models were discontinued in 1990. The available engines were a 3.0-L Buick V6, a 3.8-L fuel-injected Buick V6 or a 4.3-L Oldsmobile diesel V6.

5

Did the Electra 225 have leather upholstery?

Some of the Electra and Electra 225 models had leather trim on the seats. The original 1959 Electras came with either broadcloth or nylon Mojave cloth seats with Cordaveen trim. Cordaveen is a leather-look vinyl product. Buick advertised Cordaveen as "a vinyl so soft you'll find it hard to distinguish from real leather." Real leather trim was only used in the Electra 225 convertible.

Brisbane cloth upholstery replaced the broadcloth and nylon Mojave cloth in 1960. In 1961, Electras came with only fabric upholstery. Electra 225 models had fabric seats with either Calais cloth or leather trim. Convertible models came with vinyl trim, although you could get a special Custom interior that came with leather trim.

The 1962 Electras had cloth interiors, except the Electra convertibles which came with leather. Buick went back to the cloth and vinyl combination and an optional Custom interior with leather in 1963.

Throughout the remainder of the car's production, Buick changed the upholstery slightly. They generally stuck with the same material combinations and options, though.

6

How many people could ride in the old Electra 225's?

There is room for six people in most Electra 225 models, including the driver. Electra 225's with bucket seats only had room for five passengers. Bucket seats were an available option for most models.

7

How much did a Buick Electra 225 cost originally?

MSRP for the 1960 Buick Electra 225, 4-door Hardtop was $4,300. Retail prices for the same model in good to excellent condition currently range from $10,650 to $18,400. An Electra 225 2-door Convertible model originally sold for $4,192. Current prices for a 2-door Convertible in good to excellent condition range from $31,500 to as much as $53,800. MSRP for a 1967 Buick Electra 225 2-door hardtop was $4,075. The current prices for this model ranges from $7,050 to $11,450.

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