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Charles D. Barnette

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Everything posted by Charles D. Barnette

  1. Shown at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, the 2008 Buick Riviera Concept actually made its debut at the 2007 Shanghai Motor Show in China. It was in fact designed and built by GM's Shanghai Tech center. It proves that Chinese designers are capable of creating some great designs. As with most great show cars, design elements of this car will probably show up on future Buicks if they have not already. I snapped several photos of the car in Detroit in January of 2008 which I wish to share on this thread. They will be posted here soon. Special features of the car include a new hybrid system, tightly stretched carbon fiber body panels, gull-wing doors, and "earth and water" interior tone colors. The look of it is intended to "transcend cultural or national" boundaries. I think it is absolutely stunning! 76 days left and counting down until the big 59 Buick party in Colorado Springs! Charles D. Barnette
  2. The 1955 Motorama Buick Wildcat III was a 4 passenger reinforced fiberglass concept car. The front and back of the car each had two bomb-shaped bumpers. It probaly was the most conservative and realistic of the trio of Wildcat Show Cars. It was powered with a 280 horsepower V8 engine with 4 carburetors. It featured the Buick side sweep side trim that would become prevalent on all 1957 Buicks. It is not believed that the car still exists. I was able to purchase on ebay a picture of the car with the 1955 LaSalle II Sedan Motorama Show Car in the background. The picture will be posted later on this thread. 77 days left and counting down. Charles D. Barnette
  3. This post goes back to the 30s and then stretches to today's decade. The 1938 Buick Y-job was the first acknowleged concept car. According to the book "GM's Motorama" by David Temple, the car was "a laboratory on wheels" for Harley Earl. It had hidden headlights, a horizontal grille, wraparound bumpers, prototype "Dynaflow" transmission, electric power windows and top, and power steering. It predicted many styling cues that would later be adopted by GM. In 2000 the car was on display in the basement of GM's headquarters in Detroit. I snapped two pictures of her then which I am sending to Brian to post here. While in Detroit, I attended the Detroit Auto Show and snapped a picture of the fabulous 2000 Buick LaCrosse Show Car on display. Brian gets to post it as well here. (On an historic note, this is the day that the Titanic went down in 1912 with a crated Renault auto onboard.) Only 78 days left until the big 1959 Buick "Bash" in Colorado Springs! Charles D. Barnette
  4. In 1956 as a Motorama car, Buick offered the XP-301 (Shop Order 2489), formally named "Centurion". This is the name fellow member Brian Laurance uses as his cyberspace handle carefully navigating with learned precision and passion through the B59 site and the Buick Club of America site. It is a good choice, because this car roused Motorama attendees to a high level of appreciation for Buick! The fiberglass creation was painted "Electron Red" (don't you think this adequately describes Brian and the car)on the upper portion of the body and bright white on the lower body. The great Chuck Jordan was in charge of the XP-301 project; he and his team came up with the unusual cantilever steering arm and rear-facing camera (used in place of a rear view mirror). The name "Centurion" was probably derived from the popular Buick "Century" models. This unique automobile can be seen at the Alfred P. Sloan Museum in Flint, Michigan, when not on tour. Source: "GM's Motorama" by David Temple. Years ago I was at the Museum with my friend Rusty Thompson, a photographer who took pictures of the car for David's book. Rusty prepared a montage of the car with 4 shots and gave it to me as a personal gift. I will again ask Centurion to post this montage of the Centurion. 79 days left and counting down. Charles D. Barnette
  5. If you have not already ascertained by now, this entire thread has the purpose of promoting the 50th anniversary celebration in Colorado Springs for the 59 Buick through special show cars (talked about here) as well as honoring member Brian Laurance for his efforts in promoting the 59 Buick. Having assisted author David Temple on research for the book "GM's Motorama", I was in a coveted position of helping to find unusual auto photos of show cars. One of those unusual photos that was not included in the historic book (a different picture of the same subject was selected instead) was of the 1953 Buick Wildcat I Show Car. It is believed that at least 2 or 3 examples of this Motorama car were produced. The treasured picture I want to share on this thread has not been published before and comes from the collection of Mr. Jim Jordan (of the Cadillac LaSalle Club) showing the rare show car in white with radiused rear wheel openings similar to the 1953 Buick Skylark. According to David's book and Jim, this car was driven by a Buick Zone Manager (thus getting that extraordinary privilege) for several days in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He apparently snapped the color picture in front of a regular production 1953 two-toned "4 holer" Buick with oil wells in the background at his home in Oklahoma City. I am going to give Brian the honor of posting this photo with proper permission on this thread. So this post will be continued in another post. 80 days left and counting down. Charles D. Barnette
  6. OK, what is the story on the beautiful 59 Buick. Who owns it and is it coming to Colorado Springs for the great adventure? Charles D. Barnette-is it a LeSabre?
  7. Since this year is the "Golden" anniversary of the 59 Buick, I thought it might be interesting to look at the historical events of the year 1959 and how they related to the 1959 Buick. It was the year Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba (I guess it was fitting that in more modern times a 1959 Buick was still used by some Cubans to flee Cuba over water). Also Queen Elizabeth II and President Eisenhower dedicated the opening of The Saint Lawrence Seaway, an American-Canadian joint venture (they used a 1959 special Cadillac for the event-too bad they didn't also use a 59 Buick!). Alaska became the 49th state of the United States and Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States in 1959 (I wonder if any 59 Buicks were sold new there?). The TV series "Twilight Zone" first premiered in 1959-one might say that a ride in a 1959 Buick is out of this world just like the "Twilight Zone" is out of this world! Finally the first U.S. Ballistic Missle Submarine was launched, and the X-15 Rocket Aircraft made its first flight from a B-52 Bomber. It goes without saying that the 1959 Buick is both like a missile and a rocket! 81 days left and counting down. Charles D. Barnette
  8. Thanks Brian for posting the pictures of the two models. Thanks also for all you do for Buick and especially the 59 Buick. I want to underscore the opportunity we have to display 59 Buick Memorabilia at the B59 banquet on July 2, 2009, in Colorado Springs. When you register for this banquet you may request the necessary space you need to so display. I for example will be bringing 4 1/25 scale models for display-the 59 model done by Paul pictured above, a model of the 59 Buick Texan Wagon, an AMT model of the 59 Buick 2 door hardtop, and an AMT model of the AMT 59 Buick convertible-all are Invictas. I want to encourage all of you to register to bring the 59 Buick Memorabilia to make it just as exciting indoors on display as it is outdoors with the real 59 Buick beauties! What a time we are going to have-I especially would like to see all of Paul's B59 models on display at the B59 event! 82 days left and counting down! Charles D. Barnette
  9. I would crawl through glass all the way from Texas to see that 59 Buick LeSabre Estate Wagon! Charles
  10. Dear Lucille, I am so glad you are coming to Colorado Springs! You will be one of the prettiest cars there being a 4 door flat roof 59 Buick Invicta. You see this is your 50th birthday, and you will be highly featured along with your other 59 Buick siblings coming as well. I just hope your master will let me ride in you for old times sake. You see I was raised by one like you except she was an Artic White color. See you in Colorado Springs where you really will be a hot item! Charles D. Barnette
  11. Fox News reported yesterday that GM is selling as I type this 100 of its show cars at public auction. It makes me wonder what the ultimate fate will be of the 1939 Buick Y Job and the 1951 LeSabre show cars now owned by the Heritage Center of GM particularly now that bankruptcy is probable? Harley Earl would indeed not be happy. We will however all be able to drown our sorrows this summer in Colorado Springs where the 59 Buick "Blitz" (a sudden overpowering bombardment) will happen! 83 days left and counting down. Charles D. Barnette
  12. Dear Buick 5563, I will be there with bells on! Meanwhile I want to dwell on the Invicta for a moment. Buick first used the Latin word "Invicta" (meaning "invincible") from 1959 to 1963. Then in 2004, Buick retrademarked the name and unveiled in April of 2008 the new Buick Invicta in Beijing, China. Thus I would argue that all roads that rise to meet you go back to the 1959 Buick Invicta! 84 days left and counting down-Charles D. Barnette
  13. My dad purchased an artic white 1959 Buick Invicta 4 door hardtop brand new when I was in the fifth grade; and he kept it until my senior year of High School racking up 200,000 miles on same. Along the way the Buick interacted with my family helping to raise 5 boys. Dad told us there were wildcats in the motor so we were constantly asking him to rev up the motor so we could hear them. The design of the car lent itself to allow us to visualize that it was a rocket ship that could take us to Mars. When I started driving I wanted to drive the 59 Buick, no silly little muscle cars for me. I got stuck in Texas mud with it, my lead foot got me into lots of trouble, and the police got to know me well. In short it was a significant part of my becoming an adult. That is why I want to see a sea of B59s in Colorado Springs this summer! I want my picture with each B59 there. Aside from my boots, I will be wearing in honor of Miss Electra and The 59 Buick Texan model my Western bolo, shirt, jeans, Texas belt buckle with a Longhorn on it, cowboy hat, and silver studded belt. In honor of the Invicta B59, I will have on display 4 1/25 scale Invicta B59 models, and in honor of B59 LeSabre I will have the Motorama 1951 Buick LeSabre Show Car in the form of a 1/18 scale model! Charles D. Barnette-85 days left and counting down! Double that 13 number by next week partner!
  14. On the dates of this year's Buick National (July 1-4, 2009) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the following four birthdays coincide: 1. As pointed out by Derek (his presence alone will make this an international event right off the bat), Canada's 142nd National Birthday is July 1, 2009-"O Canada"; 2. The 59 Buick's 50th birthday will be celebrated on July 2, 2009, as an official part of the Buick National- There is God, Family, Country, Apple Pie, and then there is the 59 Buick!; 3. Our nation's birthday will be celebrated on July 4, 2009-"God Bless America"; and 4. GM's first Motorama is considered to be in the year of 1949 (the year of the 2 door hardtop prototypes), which means that this year is the 60th birthday of the great Motoramas (1949-1961)-by the way the Motorama shows were also in Canada. Colorado Springs is definitely the "hot spot" to be at on July 1-July 4, 2009. Get those 59 Buicks rounded up and registered, because on July 2 we shall come rejoicing "Bringing in the Sheaves(B59s)"! Charles D. Barnette-86 days left and counting down until July 2, 2009, and the B59 big event!
  15. Electra (including Electra 225), Invicta, and LeSabre were names first used by the 59 Buick as everyone knows. But do you realize that each of these divisions give the car a different personality? Here is my take on this. First of all Electra is the flagship! I must emphasize here that the name came from a beautiful Texas (remember my Texas attire that I am wearing on July 2)lady by the name of Electra Waggoner Biggs who was married to the brother of Edward T. Ragsdale's wife. Electra is the "Beauty Queen" of the 59 Buick fleet. Now with the LeSabre we have the rich heritage of the Motorama Show Car, the 1951 LeSabre, connected with it. LeSabre is the practical one of the 59 fleet! Then we come to Invicta- the middle child if you will. Invicta is the "Maverick" of the 59 fleet with a free spirit. Invicta's formula is biggest motor put with the lighter body which equals a legal "hot rod"! Which one of these divisions will have the most present in Colorado Springs this summer? Make sure your 59 Buick is able to be there to properly celebrate its 50th birthday! Charles D. Barnette-87 days left and counting down.
  16. The ghost of Edward T. Ragsdale visited me last night at 12 midnight at my home in Texas. He assured me that he will be at the B59 event on July 2, 2009, in Colorado Springs. So Brian make allowance please for him there and register his name. He reminded me that he had given the B59 his heart, body, and soul while he was on earth-as he was the General Manager of Buick at the time. Being into Western themes, he applauds me wearing my Texas snake skin boots to the event. He made it known that he feels the B59 is ageless and timeless in its untamed designs and is a testimony to his lifelong work. He remembers presenting to his wife a B59 4 door flat top and recalls that design was meant to give the allusion of the top simply floating above the rest of the car body. For some reason the flat top B59 (as opposed to non Buick GM models) looks the best with this design. He is thinking outside the box (because he really is outside the box now), and wants to issue a challenge to the owners of the B59 LeSabre, Invicta, and Electra to see which of these three divisions of the B59 will have the most representation at this major event in Colorado Springs. (I am slightly prejudiced toward the Invictas, so I am betting that there will be more of them there.) He rattled the whole state of Texas when he said in a loud voice that each 59 Buick made was as important as any Motorama Show car made! You see he has this vision of every square inch of Colorado Springs being inundated by a B59. He ended our visit by saying he intends to invite Harlow Curtis and Harley Earl to this event. I told him he would have to speak to Brian about that. So Brian be ready for your visit from Edward! Charles D. Barnette -88 days left and counting down.
  17. Dear Bob, you are exactly right on the special features of the Buick XP 300 model. Further the hood opens to reveal a simulated engine and the trunk opens containing a spare wheel, a plastic hammer, a functional jack with jack handle, and a metal utilitarian tool to be used to remove and replace the wheels if nescessary. Further I found in the trunk a license sticker that fits the rear license holder simulating a New Hampshire license plate for 1954. I wonder why that state and that year was used for the XP model? It truly is to be treasured. Better look again for yours and check on your brother's model to insure its safety. Charles
  18. Thanks to Brian Laurance's alert to me, I now have been able to obtain on ebay a 1/18 scale version of the famous 1951 LeSabre Motorama Show Car to display with the 1951 Buick XP 300 1/18 scale model that started this thread. While waiting for the LeSabre model to arrive when pictures will be taken for this thread, I decided to interview the real 1951 LeSabre which currently resides at the Heritage Center of GM. Through the years I have encountered the immortal LeSabre at The Henry Ford Museum and at The Detroit Auto Show. These questions were posed and the following answers were given (the XP 300 approves of these responses): No.One-How does it feel to have been designed, owned, and driven by the great Harley Earl? Answer: "Legendary!" No.Two-What is the greatest contribution you feel you made to the auto industry? Answer: "That's easy, it was the passing on of my name first to the superb 1959 Buick!" No.Three-What is the greatest contribution the car lover of today can make to the auto industry? Answer: "That's an easier question to answer, attend the 59 Buick 50th birthday party and our country's 233rd birthday in Colorado Springs on July 2, 2009 (The Buick National Meet held in conjunction therewith will be from July 1-4, 2009), and drive, trailer, or drag if need be your 59 Buick to this glorious, patriotic event. Buick lovers are alive and well! So saddle up your B59 horses and be there-it will be the greatest adventure held since the days of the GM Motoramas!" Charles D. Barnette-the current actual count is 89 days and counting down!
  19. Roy, my short answer is for you and all other Buick lovers to come and find out! I have found that 59 Buick people have alot of tricks up their sleaves. I would like to publicly thank you Roy for the wonderful, historical article you wrote on the 1954 Buick Landau that appears in the latest edition of The Buick Bugle. I especially like the coverage you gave the Texarkana car museum. As for Larissa, she now has her personal copy of the artcle and is looking for an agent! Charles
  20. Alright it is time to heavily promote the 59 Buick at Colorado Springs this summer. I am asking Brian to post the picture of the 59 Buick convertible on this site as displayed at the 59 Motorama. Brian and his committee persons have worked long and hard to promote the fabulous 59 Buick at Colorado Springs for its 50th anniversary. If there is a Buick lover out there that cares anything about the 59 Buick it is time for you to register for the special events that will be happening with the 59 at the Buick National this year. I hope there is such a huge response that Brian has to draft more people to help with registration. The big day for the 59 will be Thursday July 2, 2009. See this cite for more information. I just don't want to see 30 59s there, or just 100 59s there, but I want to see every 59 Buick in the whole world there and every 59 Buick memorabilia there. This oportunity will never happen again. Can you feel my passion yet! My wish list is to see the 59 Buick Texan found and brought there, the 59 Buick needs to be fished out of the ocean between Cuba and Miami and brought there, the Indy 500 pace car 59 Buick needs to be located and brought there, and if any of you own my dad's 4 door flat top artic white 59 Invicta Buick with copper glow interior that he traded away in 1965 in the Northeast Texas area -have it there as well. Don't miss out! Charles D. Barnette- I will be there in snake skin boots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Only 90 days left and counting down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  21. The most beautiful sports car ever made in my opinion is the 1954 Buick Wildcat II Motorama show car. I am going to ask Brian Laurance to post here the most beautiful picture of it ever taken. Actually the picture is of the 1/43rd Great American Dream model of the car taken by my legal assistant Carla Tynes. This picture should melt your socks off! Charles
  22. Thanks Brian for posting the pictures of the 1951 Buick XP 300 model. The 1951 Buick XP 300 Motorama Show Car has in the past been overshadowed by the 1951 LeSabre Motorama Show Car that is now owned by GM. You can readily find models of the LeSabre, but models of the XP are rare. In fact this model by Ideal shown in Brian's post is the only model I have ever seen of the XP. The XP is actually considered to be a Buick product whereas the LeSabre show car is considered a product of GM generally although Buick later secured the name of LeSabre for its products. It seems there was a contest between Buick and GM as to who could build the better show car. Although there was no 1951 Motorama, the two cars were shown in later Motoramas. I have seen the actual XP at the Sloan Museum in Flint, Michigan. It is in pristine condition, and its low slung carriage is beautiful to behold. While photographing the XP I bent down to get a picture of the information card displayed in front of the car and my buddy with me snapped a picture of me. It looked like I was praying to it. Ever since then when I am in the presence of a motorama show car I try to duplicate that shot to the amusement of my friends. This includes the Wildcat II, The Centurion, and The Landau. Having models of these cars (I know of no model of The Landau) is the next best thing to owning them outright. Charles D. Barnette
  23. A Chevrolet dealer decides to equip his vehicle with $5000 tires and crush a Honda to convince us to buy American! Charles D. Barnette
  24. I nominate Bob Lutz of GM. He was already called the "Car Czar" before the bailouts. Charles D. Barnette
  25. The House says yes, and the Senate says no. Bailouts and foreign auto transplants are discussed and dissected, what a mess! Is there no end in sight? Charles
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