Buick Invicta

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1961 Buick Invicta convertible rear
Buick Invicta
Buick Invicta Convertible 1961.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer General Motors
Production 1959–1963
Body and chassis
Class Full-size
Body style 2-door convertible
2-door hardtop
4-door hardtop
4-door station wagon
Platform B-body
Dimensions
Wheelbase 123.0 in (3,124 mm) (1959)
Length 217.0 in (5,512 mm) (1959)
Width 81.0 in (2,057 mm) (1959)
Height 57.1 in (1,450 mm) (1959)
Curb weight 4,274 lb (1,939 kg) (1959 hardtop coupe)
Chronology
Predecessor Buick Century (1954–1958)
Successor Buick Wildcat
1962 Buick Invicta coupe

The Buick Invicta (Series 4600) is a full-sized automobile produced by General Motors' Buick Motor Division from 1959 to 1963.[1] The Invicta was a continuation of the Buick Century concept that mated the standard size Buick LeSabre (pre-1959, Buick Special) body with Buick's larger 401 in³ Nailhead V8 engine, yielding what was referred to as "the banker's hot rod." The name was derived from Latin and signified 'unconquerable, invincible, unbeatable, unvanquished' according to Buick Motor Division sales training materials.

The Invicta series was introduced as a full line of body styles for model year 1959. Sales never approached that of either the LeSabre or Electra models, but were consistent with the traditional sales penetration of Buick's sporty mid-priced models (the 1954 to 1958 Century and 1963 to 1970 Wildcat). The Invicta continued the tradition of installing Ventiports on the front fenders from the Century.

Starting in 1960, an Invicta Custom trim package was offered, featuring bucket seats and a 'consolette' in the hardtop coupe, convertible and wagon and a leather bench seat with a center armrest on some 4 door hardtops. Sales were nominal.

1962 saw the debut of the Buick Wildcat 2-door hardtop within the Invicta series. The Wildcat featured most of the interior trim of the Invicta Custom, which included standard bucket seats and upgraded door panels. Instead of the Invicta Custom's short console, however, the Wildcat had a long console with a tachometer and a shift lever. Other Wildcat features included special badging and exterior trim, along with a vinyl top and the taillights that were used on the Electra 225 rather than those of the LeSabre/Invicta. These features placed the Wildcat well in step with the shift towards sports-oriented models.

For 1963, the Wildcat would replace the Invicta, taking over its four-door hardtop, two-door coupe and convertible body styles. The Invicta series had a 6-passenger station wagon as its sole model. Only 3,495 1963 Invicta station wagons were built, after which the name disappeared.

According to Robin Moore in his 1969 book The French Connection, "the 1960 Buick Invicta had a peculiarity in body construction conducive to the installations of . . . extraordinary, virtually detection-proof traps concealed within the fenders and undercarriage" that made it a popular model for international heroin smugglers.[2]

Buick Invicta Concept (2008)[edit]

The Invicta nameplate was re-trademarked by Buick in 2004[citation needed], a concept vehicle bearing that name was unveiled in Auto China 2008.[3] The vehicle was designed by GM Design Centers in Warren, Michigan and Shanghai, China.

The concept included a 2.0-L direct injection turbo engine rated 186 kilowatts (249 hp) and 298 newton metres (220 lbf·ft), 6-speed automatic transmission, MacPherson strut front and independent rear suspensions, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, 20x8.5-in polished aluminum wheels with P245/40R20 tires.

The vehicle's designs were later used in the second generation of Buick LaCrosse.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "1959-1963 Buick Invicta" in howstuffworks, retrieved May 2, 2008.
  2. ^ Moore, Robin (1969), The French Connection: A True Account of Cops, Narcotics, and International Conspiracy, Boston: Little, Brown & Co., pp. 50, 54, ISBN 1-59228-044-7 
  3. ^ By  John Neff RSS feed. "Beijing 2008: Buick Invicta Concept debuts, say hello to next LaCrosse". Autoblog.com. Retrieved 2012-01-08.