Black Plate 1960 Buick Electra 225 Convertible

While it might look a little dusty and dirty, this 1960 Buick Electra 225 Convertible is a solid car just begging to be restored. With none of its needs being particularly urgent, it is also a car that could be driven and enjoyed with little effort or expense required, while the restoration work could be undertaken at some point further down the track. Located in Arroyo Grande, California, the Buick is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has made its way to $9,600, and the reserve has been met.

There’s no doubt that a good wash has made quite a difference to the appearance of this Sable Black classic. The paint has developed a matte appearance, but it would be interesting to see just how it would respond to various polishing techniques. I suspect that it might be possible to return a pretty acceptable shine to the vehicle without the need to resort to a repaint. The owner says that this is a car that has received a “double positive” throughout its life. As well as residing in Southern California since new, it has also remained stored indoors for many years. The result is a car with only some pretty negligible levels of rust in the rockers, while the rest of it remains solid and clean. One item that will definitely require replacement is the top, which appears to be beyond help. Having said that, the frame itself looks to be in good condition, so sourcing what is required should be easy, and relatively inexpensive. Looking around the Buick reveals no shortage of exterior trim and chrome, and not only is it all still present, but it all looks to be in quite nice condition.

The interior of the Buick will need some work to return it to its luxurious best, but at least it could be used as-is in the short-term. The leather on both the front and rear seats and the console is looking tired, and there are some splits that are becoming quite apparent. The carpet is free of tears, but it is looking a bit worn and faded. Some of the vinyl is also shrinking out from under the chrome on the door trims, but I suspect that an upholsterer would be able to stretch that back into place. The dash looks really good and looks like it wants for nothing. So, it really seems to be a case of a new carpet set, new covers on the seats and console, and some judicious stretching by an upholsterer would have the interior presenting very nicely. One feature that I really quite like is the “Mirrormatic” speedometer, which allows the display for the speedometer to be adjusted to suit the height of individual drivers. Surprisingly, the Electra is not fitted with air conditioning, and the manual operating handles for the vent windows suggests that while the original owner wanted a fairly luxurious vehicle, they didn’t load it up with optional extras. Anyway, when you find yourself seated in a convertible with leather upholstery, power windows, and power seats, what more could you want?

Tipping the scales at 4,740lbs means that the Electra 225 Convertible is not a light car. That means that it is a good thing that it is powered by a 401ci V8, pumping out 325hp. The Buick also features the 2-speed Dynaflow automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. Dealing with the bad news first (which isn’t that bad), and that is the fact that the tires are said to be pretty old, and these will definitely need replacing. The good news is that after years in storage, the Buick has recently been treated to new freeze plugs, a new water pump, new brakes, and a new muffler. The owner says that the engine starts and runs nicely and that it drives really well. The presentation under the hood isn’t the greatest, but we are dealing with a 59-year-old survivor, so that would seem to be quite reasonable. The next owner could once again choose to address the presentation, but it isn’t something that would be classed as either urgent or essential.

As Winter projects go, this Buick Electra 225 Convertible could actually be a real beauty. It would be tempting to try to restore the existing paint, which could easily be tackled in a home workshop. In a similar vein, any interior needs and the replacement of the top could also be tackled at home. With this work completed, there is a chance that by next Summer this is a car that could present quite nicely as an unrestored survivor, and could provide ample opportunity for plenty of top-down cruising. That has to sound pretty tempting.


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  1. Dusty Rider

    A really cool car you hardly ever see. Beautiful lines that are becoming more appreciated as time goes on. Well worth restoring, that’s what I would do if I had the skills and cash, that is.

    Like 19
  2. Redwagon

    So the last California tags say 1982. Assuming the registration was not kept current does anyone know if the seller can sell this to an out of state buyer without bringing the registration up to date? Or will California require annual registrations to be current (1982-2019) before releasing the title?

    Asking for a friend…….

    Like 4
    • Buicknut

      It can if the owner kept up the “Non-Op” paperwork. It can then be sold without having to bring the registration up to date.

      Like 1
  3. art

    I believe an out of state buyer has no obligations for past registration and after that many years, the car is most likely out of California’s DMV system. The catch here is that the vehicle would not be allowed to travel on any public road, period. Towed yes and I believe, wheels off the road, and driven, no. California does issue a one day “permit” to allow for a vehicle to be driven out of state, one direct trip and one day only. Not sure any wise person would put a long term storage vehicle immediately on the road for a long trip.
    Best to check with on registration questions or give them a call.
    And that Buick is stunning, even as is. The chrome along the side is striking against the black paint. That baby is too long for my garage but I’d love to have it.

    Like 3
  4. J_Paul Member

    That’s a hell of a lot of car for $10,000—if I were into the big 1950s cruiser scene (and had the space to park it) I would be watching this auction like a hawk. A bargain compared to its ’59 Caddy and Chevy contemporaries, and—to me, anyway—its relative obscurity makes it even cooler.

    Like 10
    • WR Hall

      I think the Buick is a much nicer looking car than a Caddy of similar vintage. I never have gotten excited about a 59 or 60 Cadillac.

      Like 2

    Just gorgeous.
    I would go muted black…with gold colored chrome…and muted gold convertible top.

    Like 1
    • Will Fox

      Far too rare to pimp out like that. “Gold chrome”? Seriously? That’s sacrilegious on SO many levels for a scarce Electra 225 cvt. like this. This car deserves a frame-off at the very least, and worth every dime to do it. Just look at restored examples of these and you’ll understand what I mean. Every bit as stunning & elegant as a `60 Eldorado Biarritz cvt. IMHO.

      Like 15
  6. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Talk about a car with presence! A step down from a Cadillac but with dramatic styling and not as garish. I believe the paint is probably heavily oxidized and would respond well to careful use of cutting compounds. Recovering the seats in leather will be costly but the new owner could choose to go with cloth in the appropriate Buick pattern. Worth putting money into as the Buick Electra 225 soft tops command big money when restored. They’re fairly rare with only 6,746 produced in 1960.

    Like 2
  7. Howard A Member

    Very nice car, still going to take a heap of change to make it right. That interior will make the meter spin. Someone put a water pump on, because the old one leaked, probably the tip of the iceberg, mechanically. IDK, is it worth sticking another $10+g’s into this? Maybe to older folks, but not many young people think anything of a Buick. Like Oldsmobile, it was always considered an “old man’s” car. Those cars in the 1st pic covered with dust, sadly I think that’s what will happen to these collections, nobody will want any of this stuff, especially if they are sticking their money into VW buses, 1st gen Broncos and such.

    Like 4
    • Miguel

      Howard, why wouldn’t you condition the leather that is there and leave it. it doesn’t appear to be severely ripped or anything.

      I think it would give the car a heck of a lot of character.

      Like 1
  8. Fred W

    I’ve seen a leather restorer do wonders with a similar interior. This car resembles “Brad’s Cruising Vessel” on Fast Times – Dude!

    Like 4
  9. gaspumpchas

    Put the top down, add some tires, get a good detailing guy to buff it and cruise.
    Or as you guys stated, frame off would be a great project to this beauty. Good luck to the new owner.

  10. Robert White

    Look at that interior. It’s perfect for smoking reefers with the dash acting like a coffee table for rolling. Eat your heart out Cheech & Chong.

    This car is definitely a road trip cruiser.

    I’m smitten for sure.


    Like 3
  11. Burger

    WOW ! …. just WOW !

    I collected up a nice bunch of 58-60 Buick convertibles in the 70’s and early 80’s. Back then, they told the world that the owner was an abject loser, and no one wanted to be seen in or near one. Then the car world figured it out and suddenly they were hotly sought after and worth lots of money. I sold out when the market got hot in 1989-90. This one has everything going for it, especially the elegant colors. I am done with 50’s cars, but this one does cause the heart to pitter-patter a bit ! 👍

    Like 2
  12. double cardan

    Can there be a term “factory custom?”

    Like 1
  13. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    I’m more interested in the ’63 Lincoln next to it. Is that a four door convertible or a hardtop? Can’t tell.

    Like 1
    • Miguel

      The Buick will give you way fewer problems.

  14. Al

    Missing one “Porthole” on pass side. (Yes, I know I just dated myself.). Great classy ride. Can only go up in value and you can still drive it. I love it and would love to add it to the “stable”.

    Like 1
    • Mountainwoodie

      Kind of odd that the seller didnt mention the missing porthole..or fender change if that’s what it was. That picture of the Buick in the garage is familiar. I wonder if this came from the collection in the East Bay of SanFran that was run maybe a year ago? I remember the polished floor that some thought was a wet floor. That estate had some amazing cars

  15. Bob McK Member

    What a find!

    Like 1
  16. Stevieg

    I would dig around & find a correct 4 hole passenger fender (good eye Al) & paint it to match the buffed out paint job, replace the top with a new black top & spend a small fortune restoring the interior, along with repair or restore any mechanical systems and issues.
    I have said before I am not a fan of a black interior in a convertible, and I stand by that statement. However, in this case I think it NEEDS to remain black. Beautiful car! I would be honored to own it.

    Like 3
    • Miguel

      I wouldn’t even go that far. I would find the portivent and just install that.

  17. dyno dan

    air cleaner says wildcat 455.

  18. Phil Maniatty

    The 445 designation on the air cleaner refers to the foot pounds of torque.

    The wheel covers don’t look correct for this car.

  19. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    Those caps come from a 1962 Electra 225

    Like 1
    • Phil Maniatty

      Thanks for clarifying that, Angel. I knew they couldn’t be correct for a 1960 model.

  20. Burger

    The “portholes” are attached with 3-4 (can’t remember) speed nuts, on studs. One could easily be removed and create the illusion that the fender came off an Invicta or LeSabre. Those stud holes are tiny. I would not assume the fender has been changed.

    I was going to say the wheelcovers are 61, but as I never cared for the 62 body, I never paid attention to other details like what 62 wheelcovers looked like.

    Yeah, the 445 means torque. The LeSabre got the 364 “nailhead” and the Invicta and Electra series got the 4bbl 401 “nailhead”. LeSabre had an optional “power pak” that provided a 4bbl on the 364, as well as dual exhaust and perhaps a couple other tweaks.

    Like 1
  21. Burger

    I should add that, starting in 1959, nearly all sheetmetal is the same between the 3 series. The entire nose clip is the same across the board, as are doors. The Electra and 225 had some extra length in the back, but I cannot remember exactly where they got the stretch.

    1958 and earlier Buicks had wildly differing body panels between the junior and senior series cars, with not only the predictable extra length on the senior cars, but also about 4″ of width. At a glance, they have the same appearance, but go to swap parts and the hood falls through like a wheelcover down a manhole !

    Like 1
  22. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    My 2nd car was a ’61 Invicta convertible, white, red interior black top.
    My 4th car was a ’62 Electra 225 convertible, baby blue, baby blue, white top. At the same time my mother had a ’62 Invicta convertible in teal, teal white top. Hubcaps were exactly the same, except the 225 had those turbines on them and the Invicta was minus the turbines.

    On this Christmas Eve, I’d like to extend best wishes and warmth for the holidays to all my BF brethren and their families.

    • Gaspumpchas

      Angel, you and your family have great taste in automobiles. Merry Christmas to you and yours . its gonna be a great 2020!

  23. Miguel

    The dash board has always fascinated me.

    Who thought to print is all backwards and then use a mirror to see it?

  24. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    They had that “mirror” dash on the ’61 as well. It was really cool and the mirror was adjustable. It used a ribbon also, instead of a needle. It was gone by ’62

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