My father was a Buick man.
Here he is standing near the front of the first car I can remember.
Buick men were natty dressers.
This is a better picture of the car.
It’s a 1949 Buick with 1950 and 1947 model Paris boys. I’m the one with ears sticking out. Leah says I’m the cutest one I think I can remember riding in the car, and I can definitely remember fiddling with the knob over the rear view mirror that rotated the radio antenna. It was probably a Super. It was a straight eight cylinder engine. If you look carefully you can see the reflection of my father in the windshield.
Our ’49 was a four-door sedan, but Buick made a two-door fastback coupe around that time. I would love to have one of these.
Somewhere in the deep, mostly inaccessible recesses of my memory, I think a famous author (Hemingway?) mentioned that the Buicks of roughly that vintage had huge fenders. I tried unsuccessfully to find some reference to that online. I did find that Ernest Hemingway owned a 1947 Roadmaster convertible. It was royal blue with a red leather interior. He also bought a 1950 Buick station wagon in Key West.
The next car was a 1955 hardtop coupe Buick, maybe a Super or possibly a Century. My father was proud of how fast it was. This was the year model that Broderick Crawford drove in the late ‘50’s TV show Highway Patrol. I don’t have any pictures of that car, but here is one from the Internet.
Ours was also blue and white, although I remember the color as somewhat different.
The next Buick was a 1957, again, probably a Super. Here’s another Internet picture. Ours was a two-tone with cream and metallic bronze.
And then there was the 1964 Buick LeSabre, the first new car our family every bought. Again, no pictures of it, but here’s a very similar model from the Internet.
This one is very similar to the one we had. It was a hardtop coupe with a roof styled to look like a convertible top.
Next came the 1966 Wildcat coupe. About the time my parents bought this car they got interested in recreational vehicles. They bought an Airstream trailer and towed it with the Buick. Here is my father with both of them.
This picture was scanned from a very dark slide, so the quality is not great.
The Wildcat was definitely the sportiest and coolest of the Buicks my parents bought. I drove it a lot, since I turned 16 in 1966.
After that, RVing became more important to my parents, so their next car was not a Buick. It was a Jeep Wagnoneer, which was more suitable for towing a trailer. But they kept the Buick for a long time afterwards.
I’m not a Buick man, but I have a soft spot in my heart for Buicks of a certain vintage. I can recognize Buicks and guess the year model from around 1949 to around 1967, which corresponds to just before my birth to around my 17th birthday. After 1966, Buicks and cars in general started meaning a lot less to me. I suppose for me it must be something like music; it seems that a person’s favorite kind of must is fixed sometime during their youth. That’s why I like rock and roll from the ‘60s and ‘70s, and that’s why I like cars from around the same time. If you gave me a choice between a new Corvette and a perfectly restored 1959 Corvette, it would be no contest.
My parents bought another Buick sometime in the 1980s (or so). I think it means something that I can’t remember what year model it was. After my father died, I urged my mother to trade it for a safer car; it had no airbags and the seatbelt was one of the type that was attached to the door so you had to slide in and close the door to have a seatbelt. She considered a 2000 Ford Taurus and a 2000 Buick. She bought the Buick.
Buick went through a bad spot for a few years before and after that model. To this day any time Leah sees a Buick of that vintage, she calls it a “Doris car.” It’s usually the same beige color of my mother’s. Apparently Buick recovered, since it survived General Motors’ near death, unlike Pontiac and Oldsmobile.
I’m not a Buick man today. If we had a pickup truck full of hundred dollar bills, I would probably buy some Buicks, but the newest would be at least 50 years old.