Craig’s ’66 Buick Electra Custom
|Model:||Electra 225 Custom|
|Body Type:||4 door Hardtop|
|Engine:||401 Nailhead V8|
|Transmission:||Super Turbine 400
Gear Vendor Overdrive
| This car was given to me by some elderly folks that bought her new. All the door pannels and carpet are original and the odometer reads an amazing 66,000 miles (which I believe to be correct). When I got her she needed everything mechanical. The motor had thrown a rod and ruined the block so I had to find a donor block and build it up. I had the rotating parts balanced and bored it out .060″. The heads where ported and polished for better flow.
At first I installed a dual-quad set up but at 6 or 7 miles per gallon it soon became clear that that set-up wasn’t going to last long. Back to the stock 4bbl I went. I also ‘fabed-in’ some headers for the car. Sandereson makes a block hugger style that fit awsome!! I just had to torch out some of the frame, put on a 2.5 in dual exhaust system with flowmaster mufflers and now it breathes nicely!
On to the trans. It is a newer TH400 with a nice firm valve body in it for tire chirping 2nd gear shifts! After the trans I installed a (bullet-proof) Gear Vendor Overdrive unit that gives me a cruising rpm of 1800 – not bad at 65mph and it’s like having 6 speeds, it rocks!!! I found and installed a positraction diff out of a Wildcat. Now I pitch it side ways if I’m not careful! 1.25 inch diameter front and rear sway bars where also fitted. The suspension is all new, right down to the brake hoses. The tires are very close to the skirts. It was a real feat. I had to grind off the rivets that hold on the drums and beat out the stock lug studs so I could the longer studs from a 1/2 ton Chevy truck. This was necessary so they are long enough to hold the 17 inch wheels on.
The interior has a few custom touches as well. I’m particularly pleased by the custom seats and I modified a 71 GS wheel to fit my tilt column. An impressive sound system takes care of ‘non-mechanical’ tunes for cruising and I must admit I probably spent a little too much on the sound system but the car is so big that there is room for all sorts of goodies. I always thought the way that the tail lights blink in sequence on the T-Birds was cool so I put in a tail light sequencer and with the full width tail lights of the 66 Electra it looks way cool! Installing an overhead console out of a newer minivan was a good idea as it I now have extra storage and lights. The windows have been tinted with a limo tint which certainly keeps everything cool inside. This car had sat for so long that the grease in the electric motors for the 6-way electric front seat had become rock hard and I had to dig it out and fill with fresh grease.
The body modifications include a grafted ’65 front bumper which I fabed to include driving lights and fitted a polished aluminium ’66 LeSabre grill. A scoop was also fitted to the hood to allow hot air to escape. The dual antennae on the back are off a ’63 Impala. A Tri-power carb set-up is also in the works. I love my Electra but want a two door car. Soon my boys will be all grown up and wont go to as many places with me any more so I dont need the big car except to tow our 24ft trailer with.
Owning a 66 Electra myself I obviously have a soft spot for them. Craig, your Electra is a spectacular success as a ‘mild custom’. Your choice of colour works well with the massive body and the mods are tastefully executed (the 66 LeSabre grille is a nice touch). Thanks for submitting your Electra, it makes a perfect addition to number ’66 BuickStreet.