2 September 2004
Usually a classified ad for a car causes major MEGO (Mine Eyes Glazeth Over). Then, in this week's Gazette, there was this:
1973 Buick Electra 225. 4400 pounds of Detroit steel, no plastic, no computers, no cat converters.
Originally, the "225" designation represented the car's length in inches, and the '73 was pretty close to that. This year's model was designed well before the first OPEC oil embargo in '73, so not even perfunctory attention is paid to gas mileage; its 26-gallon tank empties seemingly as fast as you can fill it. This particular sample is a four-door hardtop in metallic blue; the top is white, as is the leather interior. The one concession to presumed modernity is the air conditioning, which has been retrofitted to use R134a refrigerant.
Obviously, even at the bargain price of a buck a pound, I can't even be thinking about this behemoth. It would never fit in my garage, and it would triple the cost of my daily commute. Still, it's a serious cruisemobile, something that could never be said of my innocuous little sedan, and while '73 was well into the era of emissions controls, which tended to play hell with driveability in those days, there's something comforting about being able to pop the hood and identify every single part, something that just doesn't happen anymore, and besides... that's it, stop right there, don't say another word, dammit.
Did I mention the ashtray has never been used in those 31 years?
[click]Posted at 6:26 AM to Driver's Seat