Buick LeSabre Gen 1
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 5
The 1959 Buick LeSabre
LeSabre and all other 1959
Buicks not only got new names, but all-new styling as well, adopting the new GM B- and C-body used on all of the corporation's full-sized cars (the larger C-body used in the Electra as well as the Oldsmobile 98 and all Cadillacs was basically a stretched out B-body rather than a distinct body and chassis for 1959
). Wheelbases increased by one inch on all models. The new styling included slanted headlights in front along with a chromey square grille somewhat similar to the 1958 Buick and "Delta-wing" fins back along with round taillights.
While Invicta and Electra/225 models were powered by Buick's new 401-cubic-inch V8, LeSabre continued with the 364-cubic-inch V8 previously used in all Buicks in 1957 and 1958. In standard form, the engine delivered 250 horsepower with a two-barrel carburetor and 10.25 to 1 compression ratio (with Dynaflow transmission
; manual transmission
cars had a lower 8.5 to 1 compression ratio but horsepower was still rated at 250). Optionally available was a four-barrel version of the 364 rated at 300 horsepower.
A three-speed manual transmission
was standard on LeSabre but most cars were built with the optional two-speed Dynaflow automatic transmission
that was standard equipment on the Invicta and Electra/225. A three-speed "Triple Turbine" Dynaflow variant was also available. Power steering
and power brakes were optional and all 1959 Buicks used the unique 12-inch finned aluminum brake drums for improved stopping power that were originally introduced on the 1957 Roadmaster.
The 1960 Buick LeSabre
The 1960 LeSabre received a minor facelift with a concave grille and horizontal headlights centered by Buick's then-new "Tri-Shield" logo, which is still in use today. Reintroduced to Electras and other Buicks for 1960
were the chrome "Ventiport" portholes first introduced in 1940 and last seen in 1957. LeSabre and Invicta models had three portholes while Electras and Electra 225s were "four-holers".
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. The 250- and 300-horsepower 364-cubic-inch V8s were continued from 1959
, but a new no-cost option was a 235-horsepower lower-compression two-barrel version of the 364 with a lower compression ratio to permit use of regular-grade gasoline instead of the premium fuel required with all other Buick engines.