Buick Electra 225
Prior to 1959, the Roadmaster and the Roadmaster 75 constituted the upper echelon of Buick's lineup. For 1959, they were renamed the Electra and the Electra 225 respectively.
The Electra 225 nameplate was a nod to the latter car's overall length of over 225 in (5,715 mm), earning it the street name "deuce and a quarter."
The Electra 225 Riviera was the top-line model and it shared its six window hardtop roofline exclusively with Cadillac (which offered it on all of its models). Buick first applied the "Riviera" name to a premium trimmed 2-door Roadmaster hardtop in the middle of the 1949 model year, and thereafter denoted all Buick hardtops Rivieras. Also, from 1950 through 1953, Buick made a premium trimmed, stretched wheelbase sedan, exclusively in the Roadmaster and Super lines, that was called Riviera. But 1959 was the first year that not all Buick hardtops were called Rivieras. A standard 4-window four-door hardtop was also available, as was a 4-door 6-window pillared sedan, along with a stripped chassis of which 144 were built in 1959 and 1960. The two-door convertible was only available as an Electra 225, and the 2-door hardtop as an Electra.
For 1959, the Electra and Electra 225 both used the General Motors C-body shared with the Oldsmobile 98 and all Cadillac, riding on a longer 126.3-inch (3,210 mm) wheelbase than the B-body LeSabre and Invicta, both of which rode on 123 inches (3,100 mm). The standard and only available engine was the 401 cubic-inch Wildcat V8 with four-barrel carburetor, 10.25 to 1 compression ratio and 325 horsepower (242 kW) mated to a two-speed Dynaflow automatic transmission, which was also standard equipment along with power steering and power brakes using Buick's unique 12-inch (300 mm) finned aluminum brake drums. Power windows and seat and leather interiors were standard on the Electra 225 convertible and optional on all other models. Front bucket seats were optional on the convertible. Electra interiors were trimmed in nylon Mojave cloth or broadcloth combinations with Cordaveen. Electra 225 convertibles were trimmed in leather. Standard Electra features included horizontal Red-line speedometer, two-speed electric windshield wipers, trip mileage indicator, cigar lighter, dual sunshades, Step-On parking brake, dual horns, Twin-Turbine automatic transmission, Foamtex seat cushions, electric clock, trunk light, glovebox light, power steering, power brakes, full wheelcovers and dual exhaust. In addition Electra 225s had Super Deluxe wheelcovers and an outside rearview mirror as standard equipment. Padded dashboards were also standard.
The Electra, along with all other 1959 Buicks, featured all new styling shared with other GM divisions that included slanted headlights in front along with a highly chromed square grille somewhat similar to the 1958 Buick and "Delta-Fins" back along with round taillights. Exterior distinction from other Buicks came from extra-wide moldings, with a massive Electra emblem on the front fender extension. The Electra 225 script was found on the front fenders ahead of the wheelhouse. The 4-door models had a lower bright rear fender molding as well.
The 1960 Electra and Electra 225 received a minor facelift with a concave grille and horizontal headlights centered by Buick's then-new "Trishield" logo, which is still in use today. Reintroduced to Electras and other Buicks for 1960 were the chrome VentiPorts first introduced in 1949 and last seen in 1957. Electra and Electra 225 models featured four VentiPorts on each front fender while lesser LeSabre and Invicta models had three VentiPorts. Electras featured wider rocker panel bright moldings and the Electra script on the front fenders ahead of the wheelhouse. Electra 225s featured a badge that was circled on the deck lid. The Electra 225 name was found on the front fenders in place of the Electra name.
Inside, a revised instrument panel featured a "Mirromatic" speedometer for which the lens could be adjusted to better visibility to suit the driver. A new two-spoke steering wheel with horn bars was introduced, replacing the time honored horn ring then still common to most automobiles. Brisbane cloth interiors graced closed models while the convertible was trimmed in leather. Convertibles also had a two way power seat adjuster and power windows standard.
The bucket seat option introduced on Electra 225 convertibles in 1959 was now available on Electra coupes and included a center consolette with storage compartment. Standard Electra features included windshield wipers, trip mileage indicator, cigar lighter, dual sunshades, Step-On parking brake, dual horns, a single-key locking system, Twin-Turbine automatic transmission, Foamtex seat cushions, electric clock, trunk light, license plate frames, glovebox light, power steering and power brakes. In addition Electra 225s had back-up lights, a Glare-proof rear view mirror, parking brake signal light, safety buzzer, map light and Super Deluxe wheelcovers as standard equipment.