Patrick H

Another chilly wet week end at the Rhinebeck show.

I've been attending the Rhinebeck car show at the Dutch County Fairgrounds in NY since the late 80's. In 2008 I had a little money to spend, so I brought along some cash just in case I found that deal I couldn't pass up in the car corral. I already had a 63 Cutlass conv that I had done a full restoration on in the late 70's. It had been off the road for several years as it was undergoing a 2nd rebuild. Always been a GM man, and I had a special soft spot for the compact and intermediate convertibles of the 60s.

It had been damp and chilly all weekend, so by Sun noon myself and my traveling companions were ready to head back to NH. We decided to exit the fairground through the car corral, for one last look. It was drizzling, and as our shoes squished through the

wet grass something caught my eye. It was not a conv, it was not a compact or mid-size, but it was definitely GM.

The Black paint was glistening in the rain as was the chrome - lots a chrome. It was a 61 Buick Electra 225 4 dr hrdtp. The car looked clean, straight and mostly original. Had it not been so, I would have passed it by. I may even had passed it by had it been a different color. The combination of the black paint, grey cloth interior, and tasteful use of chrome (for the era), gave it an air of conservative elegance. I learned later that the 225 was only available as a 4dr hrdtp and conv in 61, while the standard Electra was offered with a full range of body styles. That 6 window roof line with all that glass and no B post made it look every bit the 18 plus feet long that it was.

There was no owner in site, but a sign on the windshield included a phone number. I learned through subsequent phone calls that the car had come out of an estate, and had spent most of it's life at the Hamptons, as a summer car. I was told that it had been gone through, and was in excellent mechanical condition. A deal was struck over the phone, and the following week end I drove back to Rhinebeck with some friends to pick it up.

The present owner had purchased the car from the daughter of the original owner. She had acquired the car from her mother's estate, and had spent over $5000 in mechanical work. The paint chrome, and interior were original and of presentable driver quality. The Buick has proven to be exactly as represented. It has been very reliable, and a great highway cruiser. I have acquired a few more old cars since purchasing the Buick, but it is still my favorite (despite the gas mileage).

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