27k Mile Survivor: 1974 Buick Electra 225

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Beginning in 1959 and lasting through the 1980s, the Electra was Buick’s largest and most luxurious automobile. The tag 225 was added to the name to indicate that the car was at least 225 inches long (231 by 1974). The fourth generation of the product was built from 1971 to 1976 and was the last before the big downsizing of vehicles at General Motors. This 1974 edition looks like it has spent much of its life in a time capsule and may only have 27,000 miles on the odometer. Located in Des Plaines, Illinois, this bigger-than-life Buick is available here on craigslist for $14,000 (that’s $60 per inch). How does Rocco B. find all these cool tips?

Unless you were ready to step up to a Cadillac, the Buick Electra 225 was your car if you wanted big and fancy. It was maybe a notch up from the Pontiac Bonneville and the Oldsmobile 98. By 1974, these vehicles were as large as ever, and the 455 cubic inch V8 struggled to deliver horsepower as the detuning process for lower emissions had robbed them of compression. Plus, the bumpers had gotten larger and heavier. But the “Deuce-and-a-Quarter” was still an impressive machine.

As fancy as the 225 was, there were three trim levels offered in 1974: base, Custom, and Limited. Given the absence of power windows which you would expect to find on a car like this, we’re guessing it’s the base model which saw 3,339 assemblies in ’74 as a 2-door hardtop. The other two series saw output of more than 31,000 units combined in the same body style.

We don’t know the history of this Buick or why it has only seen 27,000 miles. Was it used regularly but lightly or was it in storage for a while and then brought back to life? Everything here looks as original as they come, with a tight body and super nice burgundy paint and white vinyl top. The upholstery pattern in the interior is typical of the 1970s, comfortable but “loud”. The seller says this car has won “tons” of car show trophies and just did a 200-mile trip with ease. Is your garage big enough for one of these beasts?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Darren

    A relative of mine bought one of these brand new and she had to get rid of it after some time because something under the hood would catch fire and it would stop running. She never did tell me what the problem was but she got it repaired and gave it to another relative who needed a car.

    Like 1
  2. ClassicP

    What did they do farm work with this car look at the filth on front seat especially the armrest. I never understood the hype over the big bumpers look at the bumpers on the 40’s and 50’s they were huge.
    Still a deuce and a quarter

    Like 2
    • rudiger

      It wouldn’t take long for that light-colored interior to get sleazed up, especially without A/C. That’s why the armrest is so discolored.

      Like 1
  3. Big_FunMember

    I always thought the ’73 Front (above) looked slick with the chrome surround. The ’74 looks bloated, almost amplified. Perhaps Buick stylists thought the ’73 needed spectacles (with a heavy prescription?)

    Like 7
  4. TinIndy

    It doesn’t have air conditioning or power windows. That’s pretty rare for an Electra by 1974 but wasn’t unheard of because the Great Generation was in the prime of wealth but a lot of them were very frugal, a mentality left over from the Great Depression. A few years later, all luxury cars would come standard with air conditioning and today, I don’t even think you can get a vehicle without it.

    Like 9
    • Big_FunMember

      Seller brought the car home from Sheboygan – I bet A/C wasn’t needed. check out the Average temps here:


      Like 2
      • TinIndy

        If you didn’t need it, you didn’t order it. And real men rolled their windows down with a crank. Nowadays, people are buying big bloated SUVs imply because they don’t want to suffer the “pain” of getting into a regular car. They would look at a window crank like it was a spaceship that landed right smack in the middle of the street at 2 pm on Tuesday. I’ve seen a few Bonnevilles and Grandvilles of this era equipped like this in my beloved Poncho realm, but this is the first Electra I’ve seen so equipped..

        Like 2
  5. Nelson C

    I still love these big Buicks. This one threw me for a minute. I didn’t realize that a 225 2-door was still offered in ’74. Also, 60/40 seat is from the Custom model. For the record, brocade, or pattern cloth, is not loud. This one needs a little detailing inside. That neutral color would be really attractive.

    Like 3
    • George Mattar

      Beautiful except that nasty interior. Rather have a 75 or 76 with the square headlamps. 455 a pig on gas mo matter how slow you drive.

      Like 0
    • Steve smith

      I bought one of these on Vancouver Island in 1985 for $800 drove it to kc Wyoming. It was a great old car. One night after a few beers I decided to see how fast it would go it threw a rod at by the spedo north of 110 mph. Left it in a ranchers paddock off the interstate. It was still there in 91 when I left the USA for new zealand.

      Like 0
  6. HoA HoAMember

    Why do these cars seem more attractive as we age? Because we’re old farts, and old farts bought Buicks like this, an image still tough to shake today. I realize my views on foreign cars isn’t the most pleasing, but in an about face, did you know, China buys almost 80% of all Buicks made. Why? Buick has morphed into the SUV market, worlds apart from these cruiser behemoths that one time lined our streets. The 70s were a wonderful time, gas was still cheap, airplanes still fell out of the sky so driving was the way, and none better than the deuce and a quarter.

    Like 16
    • OtterdogMember

      China surely saved the Buick division from getting cancelled by GM. Buick has a long history in China, it benefits from name value.

      I love these big old Centurions. Great memories driving with friends in one of these boats.

      No AC was no surprise in the Seattle area back then, most cars here did not get that option box checked – expensive and largely unneeded. But in the hot Midwestern summers? This ride must have been a cooker.

      Like 2
    • Timothy Rudzinski, Sr.

      I certainly wasn’t an “old fart” in 1976 when I bought a 1971 Electra 2 door.
      I was twenty five at the time.

      Like 3
      • Threepedal

        If Howard says you were an old fart you were whether you knew it or not

        Like 4
      • Nelson C

        That’s alright. I was only 28 myself.

        Like 0
      • HoA HoAMember

        I apologize, but “old fart” has gotten a bad rap, and quite frankly, to me it’s now considered an honor. I say that because Buick had a well defined crowd. To many on the “way up”, the Caddy was next, and not many gearheads bought big Buicks,,,at the time. My old man had Buicks, and most of my friends dads had Buicks, it was a sign of saying, “you made it”. A Simca 1100, not so much.

        Like 0
    • Glyn H Wood

      Nice car but I would have to reupholster it! Looks like grandma’s curtains !

      Like 1
  7. Phil Maniatty

    My Uncle Steve had a ’64 225, followed by a ’69 225. The ’69 had air conditioning, but neither one had power windows. I never thought to ask him why.

    Like 2
  8. BoveyMember

    Had a White 74 Limted. Plush, red velour interior. All options. 11 mpg. Slug. But a sweet ride. Worst part was bad GM lacquer white paint cracked and rust shows up real well on white. Wasn’t worth stripping and repainting.

    Like 0
  9. jwzg

    “200 mile trip with ease”…that is if “ease” doesn’t involve stopping for gas.

    Like 1
    • HoA HoAMember

      That’s true, however, gas mileage readings on all these cars was severely dependent on the placement of your right foot, and I read a combined low of 6.8 mpg, but some are in the mid-teens. Gas was still around .53/gal. so gas consumption was not an issue,,,yet.

      Like 0
  10. Morgan Wright

    Vinyl this old will crack as soon as you sit down. It needs replaced with modern fabric. Why is the steering wheel covered? What’s wrong with the original one?

    Like 0

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