When visiting your local Buick dealer, you’re more likely to see a selection of crossovers and SUVs than the sedans and muscle cars the Buick brand used to be known for. The Buick nameplate used to mean fast with class, so let’s take a look at some of the coolest and classiest Buick cars ever made.
The Buick Roadmaster is probably the model most synonymous with the Buick brand. It was in production for a long time, starting in 1936 with the Buick Roadmaster Series 80 Town Car. The Roadmaster model underwent an incredible evolution from the pre-WWII era to the early muscle car era in the late 1950s before finally ending in the late 1990s. The last generation of the Roadmaster was a pretty staid-looking full-size sedan and station wagon.
The Buick Riviera was in production between 1963 and 1993 and then between 1995 and 1999. It was marketed as a personal luxury car in the first era and took on a wide variety of different styles during that time. In all generations, it was quite a large car with a massive hood and roomy cockpit. Only in the late 1980s and 1990s did the Riviera take on a more neutral appearance. The Riviera was always a two-door coupe despite its large size.
The Skylark went through six different production runs that spanned 46 years. During that time, the design fluctuated dramatically based on new technology, new standards, and the aesthetic tastes of different eras. The Buick Skylark began in 1953 and came to an end in 1998. Like many other Buick models that started in earlier eras, by the 1990s, it had a fairly boring appearance. The Skylark also added a four-door sedan layout to its lineup almost immediately after the initial generation.
Buick Grand National
The original Buick Grand National was actually just an option package for the Buick Regal. The option package was no longer available by 1983, but by 1984, the name came back as its own model. The new Grand National went for a serious appearance with a powerful squarish design, black paint and trim, and brushed turbine wheels. The turbo V6 became standard and made 200 horsepower, which was a lot for the time. Unfortunately, the Grand National didn’t last long, and the final production year was 1987.
The Buick Special began in 1936, but unlike some of the other models on this list, it didn’t make it into the 1970s and beyond. The last year was 1969. In the 1960s, near the end of its run, the Special was known for being the model that debuted the modern V6 for GM, which became the core engine used by the automaker for several decades. After 1970, the Special ceased to be a standalone model, but the name was used later for entry trims on several Buick Century models between 1975 and 1979 and then again in1991 and 1996.
Although you might not find any of these models at your local Buick dealer these days, the nameplates continue to live on in classic car history and on the used market.
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