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1961-1962 Buick Electra


Another Buick Electra restyle appeared for 1962 after sales dropped off the previous year. Production rebounded past 1960 levels.
Another Buick Electra restyle appeared for 1962 after sales dropped off the previous year. Production rebounded past 1960 levels.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Mechanical changes to the 1961-1962 Buick Electra were minimal. Power surged again from a 401-cid "Wildcat 445" V-8 that whipped up a rollicking 325 horsepower.

Also carried over was Buick's Turbine Drive automatic transmission with its reputation for smoothness without sluggishness. Invictas carried the Electra engine, while LeSabres again came with a 364-cid V-8. Manual transmissions no longer existed for any full-size models, having been installed in only a tiny fraction of recent LeSabres.

Shoppers who craved some sport along with their comforts now had the option of obtaining an Electra engine in a new Wildcat body. Traditionalists, on the other hand, could feel secure in the knowledge that "their" kind of Buick would continue to be available, without drastic changes, for many years to come.

Even the pointy front-end elements were gone when the restyled 1962 Buick arrived with its revised roofline. VentiPorts were elongated, while back ends adopted simple cut-off quarter panels.

Rear pillars were wide and sloping, and grilles grew plainer than ever. The "Advanced Thrust" redesign also moved the engine forward, reducing the transmission hump and creating a floor with a "mere ripple" obstructing the center passenger's feet. Base Electras were gone, as each of the top models took the name "Electra 225."

Perhaps the public wasn't quite as impressed initially by the toned-down Electras as Buick hoped, since production declined by 8,391 units in 1961 -- though dropping one Electra 225 model may have contributed to the loss. After everyone accepted the new thinking, 1962 brought a jump to 62,468 Electra 225s, up from 47,923 in 1961 and well above the 1960 mark.

Pleasant cars these still-big Buicks may have been when new, but their relatively prosaic profiles just can't attract the kind of avid attention lavished today on the gaudy extravagances that preceded them.

What this intermediate generation of Electras did was set the stage for a new breed of formalized Buicks later in the decade.

For 1961-1962 Buick Electra specifications, go on to the next page.

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