Cohort Pic(k) Of The Day: 1966 Buick LeSabre Sport Coupe – Cultured Sportiness

Photos from the Cohort by Jerome Solberg. 

How does Buick play sporty? Conservatively, of course. Uniquely too. And this ’66 LeSabre Sport Coupe displays those qualities to a reasonable extent. The model carried a nicely tailored suit, distinctive and muscle-car-like, but not too showy. It straddled a fine line between luxury and performance, which was something of a Buick tradition actually.

1965 brochure image. 

Full-size Buicks were completely restyled for 1965 and rode on the new perimeter frame shared with GM’s B-Bodies. The models featured rather chiseled lines with a nice amount of Coke bottle styling on the sides. Qualities that looked even sharper on the Sport Coupe with its semi-fastback roof. Not as attention-grabbing as Pontiacs from the period, but quite proper for a Buick.

1966 models would arrive with the usual styling updates, but sticking closely to the previous year’s themes. For ’65, the LeSabre Sport Coupe had arrived following a Buick tradition of providing a smaller V8 than Pontiac or Olds on its full-size models. Something already covered in a vintage Car Life review of the model in “400” package guise. 

Upgrades arrived for ’66 however, with the LeSabre’s standard engine growing to 340CID (upping Olds by 10 cubic inches). That meant 220bhp, mated to a three-speed manual or two-speed automatic. The “4oo” package remained, now providing 260 bhp, with the aid of 4-barrel carburation, a high 10.2 to 1 compression, and the outstanding Super Turbine 400 automatic. In the words of Buick’s 1966 brochure, “…it’s a package, you’ll like it.”

So here we have this surviving sample, a weathered ex-luxury ex-sporty offering. Not quite so luxurious nowadays, perhaps somewhat sporty (depending on what’s under the hood), but certainly attractive in its unique way regardless of condition.


Related CC reading:

Curbside Classic: 1966 Buick LeSabre Hardtop Sedan – Shoes Matter

Vintage Car Life Road Test: 1965 Buick LeSabre 400 – Small Block, Big Body Buick