Curbside Classic: 1974 Buick Estate Wagon – Hold The Fake Wood, Please

The 1971-76 GM full-size station wagons were the largest wagons the company ever made. Each division had their own fancy version, usually with vinyl wood appliques on the sides – the Chevrolet Caprice Estate, Pontiac Grand Safari, Olds Custom Cruiser and Buick Estate Wagon. The Buick was the fairest of them all, an Electra wagon for all intents and purposes.

Buick had only just resumed the production of full-size wagons. Starting in 1964, the Sport Wagon, a long wheelbase version of the Skylark wagon with windows over the second row seat (shared with the Olds Vista Cruiser), became the top Buick hauler. This remained the case until 1970, when a new full-size Estate Wagon debuted on the LeSabre chassis, which had been redesigned for the 1969 model year.

I’m not sure why GM bothered with the ’70, as all-new big Buicks were coming out for 1971. They must have really felt the need to get back in the full-size wagon market, to tool a wagon body that was only used for one year.

In 1971, the new Estate Wagon came out with new sheetmetal and interiors. This was the biggest wagon GM would offer, and the Buick was arguably the finest. Luxury wagons were not a crowded segment. The only other comparable wagons were the Chrysler Town & Country, Mercury Colony Park and maybe the Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser. Need to haul? No problem, as these wagons had 105.7 cubic feet of cargo space and a 127-inch wheelbase. Plenty of room for cargo and people.

Interiors were extremely nice for a station wagon, with upholstery that would not have looked out of place on an Electra. The Estate Wagon essentially was an Electra, sporting the very same front end and the requisite four portholes on the hood.

1971 Estate Wagons came with a standard 455 CID V8 and a three speed column-shifted manual (most likely only a handful were equipped with it) or optional THM 400 automatic. The usual woodgrained vinyl applique was available, but you could get painted sides if you wanted it. Two-seat, six passenger or three-seat, eight passenger models were available. One nice feature of the 1971-76 GM wagons was the third seat faced forward. One third of the curbside seat folded forward for access. In an interesting throwback, the 1971-76 GM wagons had a leaf-sprung rear suspension. It was the only was the third row seat could face forward and have sufficient space.


Authenticated 1946 Ad Ford Station Wagon Classic Car Automobile Convertible Wood Siding Red - Original Print Ad
Home (Authenticated)
  • Product Type: Original Print Ad; Color
  • Grade: Very Fine ++
  • Dimensions: Approximately 10 x 13.5 inches; 25 x 34 cm
  • Authentication: Dual Serial-Numbered Certificates of Authenticity w/ Full Provenance
  • Packaged in custom sleeve w/ archival black board (great for display, gift-giving, and preservation)

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Waxing Nostalgic - Things I miss

Was talking about cars to my 19 nephew today. He things that Civic's, Lexus IS 350 and Mitsubishi's are 'rad cars'.
Maybe I am too old understand.
My first car was a 1974 Pinto wagon, and I thought I was 'the bomb'.
I have my parents 1978 Mercury Colony Park station wagon, complete with 2 miles of fake wood on the side and 8 seat belts...don't think I will ever part with that car, though I never drive it.
Things I miss that my nephew will never understand:
Opera windows, Landau roofs, wire wheels covers, wood grain siding, velour interiors, fender skirts, Continental kits, Gran Fury, Cordoba, Sedan De Ville, Eldorado, LeBaron, Country Squire, Vista Cruiser, Delta 88, Electra 225 (Duece and a quarter!) Riveria, Toronado, Granada (the only car that nuns...

Ogdensburg home rehabilitation program gears up for phase two, on schedule  —
Some homes will receive extensive and visible rehabilitation, including the installation of vinyl siding, roofing and windows. Other homes won't have an obvious exterior update but will have new furnaces or flooring put in.

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