This is a graceful, smooth-running, comfortable, reliable car
The electric window control system shorts at times, requiring the driver to reach under the dash and touch the main wire from the fuse box.
The landau roof was ruined by a protective car cover one winter by a previous owner, causing the material to crack and draw moisture. The landau roof has been replaced twice due to this moisture/corrosion issue.
Rubber body mouldings at the rear of the car failed after 10 to 15 years (according to 2nd owner), and were replaced with fiberglass upgrades in 2000.
The starter and alternators failed at around 84k miles due to lack of use before I purchased the car.
The radiator failed at 92k miles due to age.
The fuel tank failed at 103k miles due to age.
At 100k miles, the car's engine received new seals and the valves were ground. Two mechanics raved at how little wear the engine showed and how well the compression was with so many years and miles.
With many years for General Motors to perfect the full-size Buicks, there were only minor things that could have been made better for 1976 Electras. Although these had large, 455 cubic inch engines, exhaust emission reducers were thrown onto the design in the early '70s, which cut the horsepower back by about a third of its original design. When it came to passing other cars on the highway, these still had plenty of respectable get-up-and-go, jumping from 45 miles per hour to over 80 in less than three car lengths. While these were never meant to be race cars, they could get onto or off highways or pass with grace and ease.
General steering and driving is much easier than most imagine. Turning into most perpendicular parking places in the 1976 Electra can usually be done in one attempt, even though the car is over 19 feet long. Parallel parking is relatively easy, as the driver can see the front and rear corners of the car from the driver's seat, and the power steering works well. The optional passenger-side mirror made it easy to see curbs.
Riding and driving a 1976 Buick Electra makes for enjoyable and comfortable trips. It is like sitting in one's favorite chair or sofa while traveling. After a 90-minute trip, passengers would not struggle to exit nor would they have to stretch and yawn when exiting. The interiors were detailed with interesting simulated wood trim and chrome edging. The upholstery held up well to wear and normal sunlight. The 4-speaker stereo system has a decent sound, even over after 30 years.
There were some short-cuts used with the Fisher Body design that could have been done better. The rubber body moldings in the rear (below taillights and licence plate, between fenders and rear bumper) did not hold up well. Door pins were not strong enough, causing the doors to sag and not close well. Armrests on the 60/40 front seats rattled from inside. The electric clocks were notorious for not lasting more than a couple of years.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 22nd June, 2008