Stored 50 Years: 1961 Buick Electra 225

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

The Electra replaced the Roadmaster in 1959, becoming Buick’s top-of-the-line automobile through 1990. It saw six generations of production, including this second-gen convertible from 1961. We’re told this vehicle has been barn-stored for 50 years as the result of an unresolved engine problem. For its age and dormancy, it doesn’t look too bad, especially the interior which needs a thorough cleaning. Located in Winlock, Washington, this once proud drop-top is available here on craigslist for $11,500. Thanks, Gunter Kramer, for the cool tip!

Buick’s full-size cars were redesigned in ‘61 and featured pointed styling at both ends. Apparently, there were two trim versions of the Electra at the time, with the 225 (“deuce-and-a-quarter) being a little more upscale and the only way to get an Electra convertible. In addition to the hallmark four Ventiports on each front fender, the 225s also had four “hash marks” behind the wheelhouse of the rear fender. The cars were powered by a 401 cubic inch “Nailhead” V8 paired with a Turbine-Drive automatic transmission. In late 2022, Buick announced plans to revive the Electra nameplate for its 2024 electric models.

Though they weren’t exactly scarce when new, I can’t ever recall seeing one of the 7,158 225 drop-tops that were produced in 1961. Nearly a half-century ago, this car’s then-owner removed the heads to do something but has no memory of why. For now, they’re loosely reinstalled for transport. The seller secured the car from said owner to restore but won’t get around to doing it, so someone else will get the honors. It still wears the dirt and dust that have accumulated over the years.

Considering the passage of time, this car could be in worse shape. It sports loads of patina along with a variety of dents and dings. And has some rust, at least in a fender well. This Buick comes with a red leather interior with bucket seats which we’re told was a rare option. The odometer reading is below 60,000 miles which could be real if this car hasn’t been on the road since the 1970s. This may be a complete automobile that would be quite an impressive ride once you take the time and money to do the right kind of restoration. The seller has included an extraction video for your perusal.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Will Fox

    Worth every dime to do a frame-off restoration. Few of these have survived the decades, and `61 was a beautiful styling year for them. Factory buckets and console? Even more reason to do this “Duece” right!!

    Like 10
  2. Dave

    “Loads of patina” LOL! Let’s watch all the clodhoppers chime in with “paint it or you’re lazy!” Hey Geo and Howie, patina! I’d have to spend a couple days cleaning it before deciding on what upgrades I’d do.

    Like 4
  3. Arfeeto

    Fifty years ago, I was driving one of these. Helluva car. Powerful, smooth, silent, a real looker that remains firmly fixed in my memory.

    Like 8
  4. Erik

    Hash marks?

    In the Buick world these are referred to as Ventiports or sometimes portholes.

    Like 4
    • Henry DavisMember

      The port holes on the front fender were originally called “cruiser line vent-a-ports”. 4 for the snazzier, 3 for the less snazzy. Maybe the “hash marks” referred to are the black vertical stripes at the rear of the chrome by the back bumper? Looks like there are more than 4 of them though.

      Like 2
      • MikeG.

        I’ve heard them referred to as “Fleetline ventiports”

        Like 0
      • Henry DavisMember

        “Fleetline” was a Chevrolet name for it’s snazzier 40s-50s cars. Don’t think it crossed over to Buick.

        Like 2
      • Erik

        “Cruiser liner vent-a-ports” How many beers did it take to invent that name? I wanna bet that even Google can’t help you out when you type that in….

        Like 0
      • Henry DavisMember

        According to Buick Club of America these portholes first appeared in 1948 on the personal car of one of their designers who had lights in them. President of company saw them and had them installed starting for ’49, but without the lights. 49 brochure called ’em “cruiseline vent-i-ports” I think.

        Like 0
      • Henry DavisMember

        I’m sure beatin’ this porthole thing to death! Found a 49 Buick brochure that calls them venti-ports, but no mention of cruiserline. So I may be fulla BS!

        Like 3
  5. Thom

    My first real car was a similar 1961 Buick Electra 225 convertible. It was light blue with a white convertible top and dark blue leather interior (unfortunately, no bucket seats). It had a neat adjustable reflective mirror for the speedometer. I hate to think of the gas mileage on that
    luxury liner. Loved that car for many years and it was one that “got away.”

    Like 4
  6. Henry DavisMember

    Had an uncle that had one of these (not a convertible). He sold life insurance to poor people in Arkansas, they paid by the week. He had to drive around to collect those weekly payments. He was driving down Ark. Hwy 1 (now called the “Great River Road”) and hit a pig going around 60mph. Completely wiped the front suspension. engine and tranny oil pans out from under the car. Had to shoot the pig!

    Like 2
  7. Scott Williams

    Any time I see a ‘61 Electra convertible, I recall the closing credits of “Animal House”. Bluto drives off in one with his future bride. That one was also white with a red interior.

    Like 5
  8. Johnmloghry johnmloghry

    Wonder why it’s sitting on concrete blocks? Back in the late 60’s I used to share a ride to work with a guy who drove one of these. I wonder if it’s the same one since that was in Washington State in and around the Seattle area.
    It’s my hope someone gets this and does a professional grade job restoring it.

    God Bless America

    Like 3
    • ACZ

      Amen! It’s too good of a car to waste.

      Like 2
  9. Yooper Mike

    I wonder if the cinder blocks come with the car. Great car, I had a 62 when I was stationed at Nellis AFB in 1967. Crusied the strip most of the time.

    Like 1
  10. Alan Henry

    General Motors 1961 cars were beautiful, even the poorly received Oldsmobile. I hope this car gets what it deserves, a good cleaning, and careful repairs, only updating mechanical parts. Get a new set of two inch whitewalls on it, and enjoy.

    Like 1
  11. Poppy

    What a major design leap from the prior two years. I do like the ’59s for being so radical looking, but these are beautiful in their own right.

    Like 0
  12. Jerry Bramlett

    I like this car. I think it could be saved without a complete restoration, but it will take a lot of time and money.

    The rust popping though the lower body panels is my major concern. The lack of factory air conditioning is another problem to overcome for this area.

    The seller is hurting his chances of finding a buyer by leaving this car dirty. I can’t even tell if the windshield needs replacement, let alone the true condition of the leather interior.

    If it was my car, I’d scrub the body with steel wool saturated with Ospho. That would remove the brown rust stains and make the car much prettier.

    Like 1
  13. ben root

    womder if it sold looking for one my first car same color but back in theb 60s u could still find them traded it for a 61 impala conv better on gas ben in fla

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds