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1979 Buick Electra Park Avenue Sedan


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Hey everyone, my name is Shervin, and I just bought my very first GM vehicle. It's fittingly a Buick, and even more fittingly a Buick Electra Park Avenue Sedan. The reason I say that is because my grandfather was a Buick man and special-ordered one new while he was the President of the National Iranian Oil Company during the late '70s. All throughout my life, I have heard about that car and how marvelous it was. It had every option available and rode like a cloud. When the Iranian Revolution took place, my grandfather retired and gave the car back to the company. For my family, that car still remains a symbol of the last example of opulence and splendor before things changed. They never saw it again.

 

For years, I've been researching every model year, color code, option, and trim level using original literature and photos, to try and find out what his was like. He passed away in 1989, and there aren't any photos of the car either... so all I can rely on are the 42-year-old memories of my mom, and of my great-uncle (his brother) who drove the car extensively.

 

After years, my conclusion was that the car was a 1979 Buick Electra Park Avenue Sedan, in Medium Green (44) with Green Velvet-Knit Cloth and a Green vinyl top.

 

I went on the hunt for one in exactly those specs, but I couldn't even find a single photo or mention of one online. I even decided I wasn't going to be picky about the color of the vinyl top. But there were simply zero examples on the internet, past or present. There were a couple of Limited Sedans, as well as a few 225s, but no Park Avenues in that year and color.

 

Three weeks ago, I received an email that one was for sale in my area. I jumped on it and bought it. The car isn't perfect, but it won't take too much work to get it there. Here are some photos...

 

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Now, here's where the story gets interesting. After I bought the car, I video-called my great-uncle to show it to him. And when I did, he said it didn't look like my grandfather's!

 

Perplexed, I did a week or two of additional research and came to the conclusion that his was a '78, not a '79. I bought the wrong year! In all my research, I had gotten confused between the slight model year changes and color code switching that GM was known to do.

 

Oh well. I'll keep this one and make it as nice as I can until I can find the right spec (a 1978 Buick Electra Park Avenue Sedan in Medium Green (45) with a green crushed velour interior and a green vinyl top), exactly like this. I still plan on surprising my mom with it for her birthday in a couple of weeks. That should be interesting. :)

 

Thanks for reading!

Edited by Shervinator (see edit history)
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Don't feel too bad -- that's a great looking '79!  Those cars devour highway miles with aplomb and as you said, pamper their passengers.  Really just minor cosmetic differences between '78 & '79.  ;)

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The subtle changes between the 78-79 years do tend to make it look substantially different on the outside. But the interior is essentially the same and your mom won't know the difference I think.  While I personally prefer the 78 Park Ave and Limited, that is one gorgeous car.  That is a striking color and in today's world, many would love it just like it is.  The funny thing about that era was that if you had a good car it was relatively maintenance free.  But if you had a bad car you would want to have a rich relative who owned a service shop.  The good news is most of the bad ones were sorted out and scrapped. while most of the ones running today are the better of the batch.  Good luck with the car and hope Mom likes it and it brings back good memories.

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Looks nice. I drove one in high school after my father was done with it. Brings back many fond memories.......

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On 6/15/2021 at 2:55 PM, TexasJohn55 said:

They don't come much cleaner than that!  Pretty car.

 

On 6/16/2021 at 5:46 AM, Larry Schramm said:

Welcome to the group.  Nice looking car.

 

Thank you! I've always wanted to own an old land yacht like this, and I'm glad to finally have one on my hands.

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On 6/15/2021 at 4:38 PM, JohnD1956 said:

The subtle changes between the 78-79 years do tend to make it look substantially different on the outside. But the interior is essentially the same and your mom won't know the difference I think.  While I personally prefer the 78 Park Ave and Limited, that is one gorgeous car.  That is a striking color and in today's world, many would love it just like it is.  The funny thing about that era was that if you had a good car it was relatively maintenance free.  But if you had a bad car you would want to have a rich relative who owned a service shop.  The good news is most of the bad ones were sorted out and scrapped. while most of the ones running today are the better of the batch.  Good luck with the car and hope Mom likes it and it brings back good memories.

 

On 6/15/2021 at 1:51 PM, EmTee said:

Don't feel too bad -- that's a great looking '79!  Those cars devour highway miles with aplomb and as you said, pamper their passengers.  Really just minor cosmetic differences between '78 & '79.  ;)

 

As it so happens, my mom has a pretty photographic memory! So while most moms wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a '78 and '79, mine actually will. She's not a car enthusiast, but she's very detail-oriented (guess where I got it from). When I bought the 1979 Buick Interior Trim Materials and Fabrics booklet several months ago and showed her the sample for the Park Avenue's seats, she said the type of material was wrong and instead pointed to another sample in the book that had wrinkles in it. I was confused and figured she must have been mistaken, since this was obviously the only material available for that model. It was only when I later saw the seats of a '78 (wrinkled crushed velour vs. the smoother velvet knit cloth in the '79s) that I realized she had been right all along.

 

For reference, here's the upholstery of the '78 Park Avenue:

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And here's the upholstery of the '79 Park Avenue:

831833659_1979BuickElectraParkAvenue37.JPG.385ea2bab3f109587f9aff824c23da38.JPG

 

Not much of a difference to the naked eye, but the material is totally different. I imagine the crushed velour is even comfier than the velvet.

 

But that's okay... like I said, I'm trying not to stress too much about the year difference. Until I can find a '78 in this color combo (if one still even exists), I'll be happy with the one I have.

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On 6/15/2021 at 7:10 PM, Y-JobFan said:

Sounds like you must be looking for this color then?  This was a rather popular color at least.

image.png.bbdd72e9bf37b9ee027fe66188e9a587.png

 

Very close! One of the things that made my search even harder than it should have been was the confusing array of colors from GM. For the 1978 model year, Buick offered two very similar shades of green: Light Green (44) and Medium Green (45). Both were metallic.

 

Simple enough, right? Most people would think that if GM were to continue offering colors with those names the following year, nothing about them would change.

 

Wrong. 1979 Buicks were also offered in Light Green and Medium Green, but this time their color codes were 40 and 44, respectively, and the hues themselves were totally different. "Light Green" wasn't even metallic anymore.

 

To answer your question, it seems my grandfather's car was Medium Green (45), not Light Green (44) like in that photo you posted.

Edited by Shervinator (see edit history)
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