1977 Buick Electra 225 2dr 403 V8 from North America


A truly amazing stalwart classic with a history


Distributor cap around 200,000 miles.

Car frequently overheated.

A/C compressor replaced twice in 33 years.

Automatic choke repair around 200,000 miles.

Gaskets (transmission and valve covers).

Regular maintenance.

General Comments:

I bought this '77 brand new in November 1976 from a dealer in Los Angeles, and I believe I paid around $9500 for it... yes, under 10 grand for a new, top of the line Buick. It's a gold two door with a white padded landau roof. I bought this car because at the time, my son was 11, and I wanted a semi-sporty looking car with plenty of room and comfort to replace my '71 Riviera (which was not exactly a child friendly car).

I owned the car from 1976 to 1982, and as I recall, I only replaced the brakes, and had overheating issues (which was a common problem with the Olds 403 V8 because of its block design). I gave the car to my sister in Pennsylvania as a gift in mid-'82. She passed away in 1988, but her husband, to this very day, still owns and drives the car on a daily basis.

As I was talking to him recently, he was telling me that since 1982, he replaced the distributor cap, A/C compressor, tires, brakes, belts. He reports no problems with it, and intends to keep the car indefinitely (he and I are both 72 now, so probably will be his last car). He also drives it in the snow and salt without trouble.

The car, when I owned it at least, was very plush and very stunning in appearance at the time. It had the chrome plated road wheels, glossy gold paint, 8 track AM/FM stereo, automatic climate control, power windows/locks/seats, and tilt, cruise, you name it. And the power that V8 had was phenomenal... according to my brother-in-law, it still is. It's not burning any oil either; original rings, valve seals.

There are just no cars like this anymore. Buick is like a security blanket that makes you feel great, not just because it's plush, but because you know you can count on your Buick, even as a daily driver, for decades at a time rather than just a few years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th July, 2010

6th Oct 2013, 17:55

Great review on a great car. At one time the Buick name meant quality, you were getting a damn good vehicle for that 9 grand... not like some of these (disposable) Opel garbage cars they've got now, that cost upwards of 25 grand and are engineered to be traded in at a loss (DEPRECIATION) every few years, before your warranty runs out or it blows up at 120,000 miles. No value for your money any more. Maybe that's why so many people lease their cars nowadays... sign a lease back in the day & you'd be regarded as a fool throwing your money away for something you'd never own (that was actually WORTH owning).

1977 Buick Electra Park Avenue 4-door Sedan 5.7 Liter 350 V8 4-barrel from North America


Forgotten, Underrated Jewel from GM, Die Hard Reliable to the Bone!!!


The only thing that ever left me stranded on the side of the road was a bad rear axle seal in 1981, at around 94,000 miles.

I finally broke down last spring and replaced the A/C system which gave out in the early 1990's.

Wiper Motor in 1999.

Heater Fan Motor in 2003.

All 4 coil springs and ball joints in 2003.

Replaced trunk seal last year due to leakage.

Dimmer switch in 1988.

Heater Core in 1994.

2 Radiators, One in 1987 and one in 2004.

2 water Pumps, one in 1988 and one in 2006.

Original Alternator died in 1999, at over 300,000 miles.

Two Thermostats, One in 1987, One in 2006.

Other than that, I have only done things like brakes, oil changes, tires and exhaust.

Repainted entire car in 1995.

Had a professional body restoration done last summer.

General Comments:

I purchased this car in the Summer of 1980 from a Buick dealer in Chicago. I got it cheap because of the already high miles at the time. The car was heavily undercoated when new and rustproofed which kept the body looking showroom new for a long time. I have a monthly ritual to this day of shining and treating the dark red vinyl top. While most kids my age were into Camaros and Firebirds, I opted for a 20 foot long barge. I was 22, fresh out of the Army and bought it in hopes that it would last me through 4 years of college. Hear I am 28 years later still driving it quite a bit. The car is a medium metallic red with a somewhat darker red vinyl top, and red interior. It has earned the nickname "Big Red" over the years.

In the early 1980's it survived countless trips from Florida to Illinois, stranding me only once on the side of the road. When I got married in 1987 this was our only car for 3 more years, and by 1991 it had over 225,000 documented miles on it, still running like Swiss watch. My three kids all learned to drive in this car. It took some time to grow on them. My youngest girl is a pretty little thing only 5'2". She was terrified of it at first, but soon became an expert and loved the car. She was the one who finally convinced me to get rid of the 8-track player and upgrade to a CD player. :-) I told my kids that if they can parallel park a car like this they can do it with just about anything.

The car has outlasted 2 Chrysler Minivans, a 1992 Honda Accord, A 1989 Chevy and 1994 Ford 4x4 pickup, and a 1996 Chevy Lumina.

It is somewhat of a rare car since the Park Avenue didn't become it's own model until 1980, and even more rare is the factory Oldsmobile V8 under the hood.

I added flowmaster mufflers with a true dual cat-back exhaust to give Big Red a nice rumble at idle and a throaty snarl when I step on it. At over 4000 lbs and under 200 HP it's no drag racer, but I have humiliated more than a few boy racers who asked for it. Many people forget or don't realize how much torque an old V8 can put out, even with an ancient carburetor.

GM and the auto industry in general could have learned a lot about fit and finish just by sitting in the drivers seat of this car. Sure beats the junk from the 90's that fell apart after 4 years. Everything still works, even the huge silver-faced dial clock that everyone is so fascinated by.

The car never fails to start, just tap the gas about halfway down and crank for two seconds and it always fires right up.

I will never get rid of this car, no matter how high the price of oil gets. It's like a member of the family.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th May, 2008

13th Feb 2009, 21:22

I had one EXACTLY like yours. I'd give my eye teeth to have her back again. It was my first car. I bought it from my buddy's parents who were the original owners. It was better than a Caddy and a billion times more reliable. Wanna sell me yours? :)

1st Mar 2009, 02:31

I recently bought a 1978 Electra that was treated very well. It was garage kept by owner who past in 2008.

It has slight fender damage after being hit by a dump truck. If it was one of these newer cars today it would have been totaled out.

It's powder blue, original snow white vinyl top, powder blue crush velvet interior. Man that thang runs like a sewing machine to have 117k.

It has a 403, 6.6 and man it's fast. I love that thang.

All original except the last owner put an electronic overdrive tranny in, but I still like the performance. May go back with original trans. one day and replace headliner.

She's a head turner for sure. I'll never sell her, though I've had many offers, but I made those mistakes when I was a young buck with a 72 Skylark GS and 73 and 79 LeSabre. I regret those days with much passion.

I'll post pictures as (MISSISSIPPI BABY BLUE) soon as I can. I'm proud to be part of the Buick nation. Long live Buick.