Tag Archives: Buick

Die-cast: BoS Models’ Buick Flxible Premier Ambulance

A beautiful Buick ambulance in 1/18 scale …Buick Flxible Premier Ambulance

Every kid of the 1950s and 1960s remembers the extremely long brightly colored ambulances of the day, either from seeing them as they ran our city’s streets with lights flashing and sirens blaring, or from TV shows of the day.

Cadillac ambulances with their big tailfins were popular to be sure. We all remember the Ghostbusters’ Ecto-1. But many ambulances were based on Buicks too, in fact from the 1930s forward Buicks were the basis for both ambulances and hearses.

BoS-Models, also known as Best of Show, has just launched a beautiful cream and crimson 1960 Buick ambulance in 1/18 scale and it’s a stunner. This diecast resin ambulance is more than 13 inches long, finely finished and reflects a custom ambulance created by The Flxible Co. in Loudonville, Ohio.

The HistoryBuick Flxible Premier Ambulance

This long-wheelbase Buick built by Flxible (the E was dropped to create a registered trademark) was the Premier model and listed at the time for $8,615.

Flxible made ambulances, hearses and buses, but started as Flexible Sidecar Co., making motorcycle sidecars. The name came from a patented flexible mounting that allowed sidecars to lean in corners with the motorcycle, making them safer and easier to control. Flxible closed in 1996 after 83 years in business.

In the 1960s the firm used primarily Buicks to create their ambulances and hearses and had a smaller model, the Flxette, that rode on the 126-inch wheelbase of a Buick Electra. The premier was more than 27 inches longer.

The Model

The 1960 Buick Electra had a concave grille, with side-by-side quad headlights, and the first tri-shield Buick logo on its grille. Plus the front fenders sported four VentiPorts, the chrome portholes of a sort that had started in 1949 Buicks and had returned for 1960. All of that is perfectly captured in the resin BoS model.

Buick Flxible Premier AmbulanceThis Buick’s front and rear bumpers, and naturally that toothy grille, are all chrome as are the door handles, mirror, and taillight surrounds. The roof sports two standard red bubblegum lights trimmed in chrome and the center-mounted red light and siren to get folks attention. The thin white-sidewall tires also feature full chrome hubcaps and they’re pretty darned fancy looking for an ambulance, but were standard fare in 1960.

Buick is spelled out in photo-etch on the hood’s nose and BoS puts red Fire-Rescue and Ambulance decals on the roof. A fire and rescue emblem is emblazoned on the big wagon’s back door and Ambulance markings with a cross are printed on the rear side windows. The model also has a no. 138 decal on each side in front of the doors to represent the car’s fleet marking. Flxible script logos are on both front fenders too.

This is a sealed body model, so no doors open, nor the hood. All windows are posed up too so the light and dark gray interior will stay dust free if you display this outside a case. You’ll need a larger than usual acrylic case if you want to enclose it due to the car’s length.Buick Flxible Premier Ambulance

Inside there’s the new, at the time, Buick two-spoke steering wheel with horn buttons instead of the usual chrome horn ring. Gauges are raised on a pod atop the dash, very modern for the early 1960s, while the shift lever is still on the column.

Naturally the ambulance’s tail is most interest and there is a gurney there with yellow mattress and white pillow, plus two jump seats to accommodate an attendant or two. There is no other medical equipment in the rear and I really wish the tail’s big door opened to give a better view inside.

Still, this is a beautiful long-wheelbase ambulance, not your typical subject matter for a 1/18 scale model!

Vital Stats: 1960 Buick Flxible Premier AmbulanceBuick Flxible Premier Ambulance

Maker: BoS-Models

Scale: 1/18

Stock No.: 213558

MSRP: $135.95

Link: American-Excellence.com

 

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I’m sweating bullets….turn on the air

Drivers and passengers roasted for decades

air conditioning, auto air conditioning, ac, car acNow cars come with air conditioning where the temperature can set by the driver and the passenger and have a different temp. This image is from our 2008 Chrysler Pacifica where the driver and passenger can set the exact temp they want. It’s old technology now because the new cars can do so much more.

Speaking of old

chasing classic cars, classic cars, collector cars, buickvintage cars, collector cars, buickAnd what inspired me for this blog entry? My head’s always on a swivel when I’m driving or riding and while I was in a northern suburb of Milwaukee I spotted an old large green car. Not wanting to go past, I turned around because, well I’m a car guy. I think this is a ’53 because my uncle Walter had one. To ride in that car was like putting your living room on wheels. It cost him what was a ton of money then, something like 5,400 bucks. Yup, you were somebody if you were seen in one of these. This one was in mint condition. And of course what really caught my eye was the crazy thing hanging out the passenger window. Now it was all coming back because my uncle had one on his Buick. This is the precursor, to what we now
take for granted, cool air in our car, called an air cooler it came as an add-on.

Green before Green

air-cooler, vintage car air conditioningTime to put the research hat on. According to Oldeskool.org, inside the big gray tube is a blanket with a string attached that hangs in the passenger window. You fill the tube up with water before leaving on a trip, then every so often you pull the cord. It rotates the blanket inside and dips it in the water. Then air comes through the tube and becomes cool by going through the wet blanket into your car. But there were drawbacks. You had to be moving for it to work really well. It doesn’t work in places with high humidity like here in Wisconsin. It worked great in places like California, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada.

The perfect finishing touch for a classic car

Even though the original manufacturers, Thermador and Sears Roebuck, have long stopped making air coolers they still can be found. I poked around eBay and found one guy still making them for the retro group for $175, otherwise used ones can run up to $350. So the next time you turn on the a/c, which runs in any kind of humidity, and at stop lights, you should be glad you don’t have this item hanging from your passenger window which looks like a vacuum cleaner.

 

 

 

 

Die-cast: Automodello’s 1948 Timbs Streamliner

Automodello’s Timbs Streamliner exemplified slick stylingTimbs1

Few cars are as radically styled as Norman E. Timbs’ Streamliner.

The Streamliner is a teardrop-shaped car that looks like an amoeba that should be wriggling on a slide under a microscope, except it’s a car. You’ve probably seen it and didn’t know what it was.

Now Automodello creates the swoopy 1948 Streamliner in 1:43 scale resin, and bathed in one of two colors. The original, in maroon metallic, has shown up at fancy car shows and in national car magazines. In fact, the original first appeared in the second issue of Motor Trend. How so?

Norman Timbs in the original Streamliner he built in 1948. It's powered by a Buick straight-8 engine.
Norman Timbs in the original Streamliner he built in 1948. It’s powered by a Buick Inline 8 engine.

Continue reading Die-cast: Automodello’s 1948 Timbs Streamliner

2015 Lexus LS460 AWD

Cozy, sublime Lexus LS460 coddles its passengerslexus 1

Lexus has created the sedan we’d all like at some point in our lives, the time of life I’ve always referred to as the Buick stage of life.

No offense to Buick, as it and Cadillac and many others have delightful sedans with comfortable rides and interiors. But alas, they are not a Lexus LS460. The LS has been the Lexus flagship of luxury and understated comfort for years and the latest iteration is as, well, cozy and sublime as any car you’ll drive.

Its dimensions and leather-laden interior are such that they coddle you, wrap you in a cocoon of comfort.

The basics here, and really there is nothing basic here, are this. The LS is long and solid, riding on a 116.9-inch wheelbase and the tested AWD model weighing 4,651 lbs. That along with major sound-deadening material under the dash, hood and doors ensures, along with a well-tuned suspension, that your ride is smooth and well insulated. Bumps? Forget about it!

Lexus LS2Lexus uses its hush quiet 4.6-liter V8 with dual fuel injection, 32 valves and electronically controlled intake valve timing to propel this massive, yet comforting vehicle. Power is good, as you’d expect, with 360 horsepower that climbs to 385 in the rear-drive model. But this is not a super thruster that rockets you to 60 mph. It’s a strong unit that gently guides you to highway speeds via a silky 8-speed automatic.

Drive Select Mode is standard, as it should be at the $75,465 starting price for this AWD model. That allows you to dial back the car’s steering, suspension and engine performance to Eco mode if you’re on a relaxed trip where all that engine power isn’t required. Normal mode is perfectly fine for most occasions and a driver gets that by pressing the DSM knob down on the console. A Sport mode firms things just a tad and gives the car a bit more juice by holding the lower gears longer. I used it in town a few times when a quick lane change was in order. Even in Sport, the car doesn’t feel aggressive. Continue reading 2015 Lexus LS460 AWD

Promo Model: 62 Buick Electra 225 Convertible

1962 Buick Electra 225 conv, buick electra 225, buick, general motorsBuick‘s duce and a quarter is what car guys called the Electra 225. My best friend’s dad owned several of these. They were big with lots of power, they were, well, a Buick. The Electra was a full-size premium automobile built by the Buick division of General Motors. The Electra name (in various manners) was used by Buick between 1959 and 1990. It was a big car and with a 401 cu in (6.6 L) V8 had more than enough power to move it around. It used the C body platform which is shared with Cadillac and Oldsmobile. One in decent condition can start at 20K. I saw one in super great shape on Hemmings.com which was going for 60K.

62 BUICK ELECTRA 225 CONV, Wheat's nostalgia, 1/25th scale dealer promotional model cars62 BUICK ELECTRA 225 CONV, Wheat's nostalgia, 1/25th scale dealer promotional model cars

The promo models can fetch a hunk of change. I found this one on WheatsNestalga.com going for $600. Continue reading Promo Model: 62 Buick Electra 225 Convertible