Yesterday, I saw this face when I turned up a chichi side street on my way home. I remembered the words of many commenters here: the Le Sabre coupe is the prettiest of the GM B-bodies. I went home and got the dog to grab some shots before sundown, but my mind was full of doubts. The only Buick coupe of this era that I knew well was an Electra that belonged to an older friend of my parents. The only things I remember favorably about that bath-towel green car (a shade somewhere between Kermit the Frog and Aim toothpaste) were the strength of the air conditioner and the speed of the power windows.
So I came up on this end of our well-preserved (if slightly decked) example and noticed the subtle turn at the end of the trunk. GM’s “formal” roof from the Seville hasn’t been grafted onto this.
This looked to be fairly well optioned. I couldn’t get a good photo of the light blue velour seating, but it was clean, not discolored. The imitation wire wheel covers were all in place, with the proper divisional marking in the center. Complain as we do about today’s grayscale cars, the silver paint seems to make the design easier to see.
We know Bill Mitchell loved British and Italian tailoring, and these B-bodies were the final act in his decades at GM. Maybe this was his last, quietest tip of the cap to Pininfarina…
The Ferrari’s hood is much longer, as is to be expected of a V-12 GT. The Buick looks like it’s supposed to be a burly, Clydesdale adaptation of the Maranello stallion. Unfortunately, Buick brawn was pretty indifferent in those days between the Gran Sport and the Grand National, so these little cues–the back window, the ridge from the rear fender back–don’t really have much meaning here. But I do understand the praise of the LeSabre coupe a little better now, I think. It’s a masterwork of 1970s design. That said, why, oh why, couldn’t GM have stiffened these cars just enough that they didn’t go mole-hunting every time you toed the brakes?