Driveway Outtake 2: 1961 Buick LeSabre – Bring On The Love

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Just a block away from the new Prius I found this other new arrival in the neighborhood. This one gets a bit worse gas mileage, though, but it might appeal more to the eyes of some of you.

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The ’61 GM full-size cars were new, and substantially less flamboyant than their wild, winged predecessors. That goes especially so for the Buick; the ’59 Buick was really the wildest one of the bunch. The 1961 looks mighty tame in comparison. And in addition to the new bodies, the four door hardtops featured completely new roof line, ushering a trend to more formal lines.

This new roof line was only on the B-Body cars; the larger C-Body four doors still had either the airy six-window roof, or the ‘flying wing’ roof.

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Of course, the ’61 B-Body two door hardtops still had the ‘bubble’ roof, the biggest carryover from the previous generation. My CC on this one here.

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Well, the ’61 may have been toned down some from 1959, but there was still plenty going on its front end, including one of the last “Dagmar” bumpers. A bit baroque.

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The iconic Buick styled steel wheels were not yet available in 1961; the first appeared on the ’64s. Buick was proud of its finned aluminum brake drums, and these wheels show them off, some.

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The LeSabre’s interior is pretty typical mid-level GM for the early 60s. The Turbine Drive automatic backed up a 364 inch version of Buick’s nailhead V8, which came in three versions for the LeSabre. The standard version was rated at 250 hp, with a two-barrel carb but high 10.25:1 compression. A low compression version with 235 hp was available for those not wanting to pay for premium fuel. And a 300 hp version with a four-barrel carb (and high compression) was optional. Interestingly, all the Buick engines were already called ‘Wildcats’, before the Wildcat model appeared in 1962.

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Time to keep moving. Welcome to the neighborhood!