First published June 5, 2014 in Old Cars Weekly

1959 BUICK ELECTRA 225 BILLBOARD – By: M. J. Frumkin

A marvelous sight awaited nighttime motorist who came upon this brightly lit outdoor advertisement for the 1959 Buick 55 years ago.

Massive, free-standing red neon letters blazed out the word B-U-I-C-K so there would be no mistaking the illustrated General Motors automobile that was all-new from bow to stern.

Very much like the 2014 media campaign, in which people didn’t recognize the new look of Buick, consumers were just as bewildered by the not-very-Buick-like models for 1959.

Spread across the 14-panel width of the large billboard was the ’59 Buick Electra 225 four-door hardtop in Magic-Mirror Arctic White.
The Electra “Deuce and a Quarter” was now the most luxurious Buick, replacing the venerable Roadmaster Limited model.

Love it or leave it, the ’59 Buick featured sleek, clean minimalist-modern lines for the times.

An unbroken sweep of chromium trim rose up and over the canted dual head lamps, then swept back at a downward angle across the entire side panels and climaxed just below the sprouted rear delta fins.

Buick also used the new GM four-door hardtop roof design that wrapped the unique over-hanging rear roof and the big Vista-Panoramic Safety-Plate glass windshield under one plane.

The revolution continued under Buick’s sheet metal with a new K-frame instead of the old X-structure. There were also increased wheelbases and overall lengths, plus heat-dissipating aluminum brake drums standard in front.

Electras received a bigger engine than Roadmasters they replaced; displacement was up 37 cubic inches to a total of 401 cubes to produce 325 horsepower – 25 hp more than in 1958.

Now you know why Buick was touted as the car for ’59.

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