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Buick LeSabre

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

LeSabre
Vehicle Model

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Wikipedia: Buick LeSabre

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Concept Car
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A concept car produced by General Motors and shown without the Buick label, but when a vehicle named LeSabre reached production it was a Buick model from introduction (1959) to end (2005).

Awards and acknowledgements include:
A Complete Guide to Used Cars (1995 Edition) Best Late-Model Bet in the Full-size Car category (model years 1985, 1987-1995)

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Buick LeSabre page on 3 November 2018, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Buick LeSabre was a full-size car made by General Motors from 1959 to 2005. Prior to 1959, this position had been retained by the full-size Buick Special model (1936–58).

The name originated with the 1951 GM Le Sabre show car designed by Harley Earl; that car is often mistakenly attributed to the Buick division but in fact it was presented as a GM vehicle without reference to a specific GM division. Buick closely related their 1956-1957 models to the GM LeSabre by replicating the top section of the rear wing into their design.

The word LeSabre is French for sabre.

The LeSabre nameplate made its first appearance on the 1951 Le Sabre show car, which introduced the world to aircraft-inspired design elements such as the wrap-around windshield and tail fins. There is a V12 for the Buick LeSabre (5.00L) which originated in 1953. In 1959 LeSabre became the new moniker for what had previously been known as the Buick Special. The Buick LeSabre was offered in a full line of body styles except between 1965-1969 when its station wagon variant was dropped from Buick's full-size offerings. In 1977, the LeSabre was downsized along with other GM full-size models, and was available only in pillared coupe, sedan and wagon body styles.

In addition to being Buick's entry level vehicle, the LeSabre was consistently Buick's best selling full-size car. Of the four nameplates introduced in 1959 (LeSabre, Invicta, Electra, Electra 225), the LeSabre nameplate lasted the longest.

From 1959 to 1961, the LeSabre was powered by a 364 cubic-inch V8, which was smaller than the 401 cubic-inch V8 used in the more expensive Invicta and Electra models. The 364, which was previously used in all Buicks in 1957 and 1958, was rated at 250 horsepower (190 kW) in standard form with an "economy" 235 horsepower (175 kW) version offered as a "no cost" option in 1960-61 and an optional power-pack version with four-barrel carburetor and dual exhausts that was rated at 300 horsepower (220 kW). For 1962-63, the LeSabre came standard with a two-barrel carbureted version of the 401 V8 rated at 280 horsepower (210 kW), or a no-cost "economy" low-compression version rated at 260 horsepower (190 kW). Starting in 1964, all LeSabre models except the Estate Wagon shared their drivetrains with the midsize Buick models by switching to those models' smaller-displacement V8s at least as standard equipment for the next few years with cubic-inch displacements of 300 (1964–65), 340 (1966–67) and 350 (1968–76). A large-displacement would not reappear in a LeSabre until 1970 when a 455 cubic-inch V8 was introduced as an option and was offered through 1976. Beginning with the downsized 1977 models and continuing through three subsequent generations of front-drive LeSabres introduced in 1986, 1992 and 2000, Buick's 3.8-liter (231 cubic-inch)V6 would become the standard engine for most LeSabre models and V8 engines were dropped (except in station wagons) after the last of the rear-drive LeSabre sedans and coupes came off the line in 1985.

For most years from 1959 to 1971, a three-speed manual transmission was standard equipment on all LeSabres but rarely ordered. Far more popular was the Turbine Drive automatic transmission (previously known as Dynaflow) along with power steering and power brakes. For 1961 and 1962, the automatic transmission was standard on the LeSabre and all other full-sized Buicks but in 1963 was moved back to the option list on LeSabres. For 1964, the Dynaflow-based Turbine Drive was replaced by two new automatic transmissions, the two-speed Super Turbine 300 and the three-speed Super Turbine 400. A four-speed manual transmission was offered as a LeSabre option from 1963 to 1965 but only a small number of cars were so equipped. Automatic transmissions would once again reappear as standard equipment on LeSabres in mid-1971 and continue in such form until the model line's demise after 2005.

LeSabres were rear-drive six-passenger vehicles from 1959 to 1985 (station wagons through 1990) featuring separate body-on-frame construction along with a longitudinally mounted front engine. The first downsized generation of LeSabres introduced in 1977 retained the rear-drive and body-on-frame construction, while the later-generation models introduced in 1986 switched to front-wheel-drive, unit-body construction and transversely mounted engine. Convertibles were offered each year through 1975 while two- and four-door hardtops were dropped after 1976 and only pillared body styles were offered from 1977 to 2005. Station wagons were offered through 1964 and then dropped for several years until being reintroduced in 1970 and continued until 1990 after which year they were moved to the revived Roadmaster series. LeSabres come in two versions: Custom and Limited.


Concept Car

Hot Rods and Racing Cars: Issue 2 Hot Rods and Racing Cars #2, January 1952
View Hot Rods and Racing Cars: Issue 2 - 1.0MB
Hot Rods and Racing Cars: Issue 2 Hot Rods and Racing Cars #2, January 1952
View Hot Rods and Racing Cars: Issue 2 - 1.0MB
Speed Demons: Issue 9 Speed Demons #9, January 1958
View Speed Demons: Issue 9 - 994KB
Speed Demons: Issue 9 Speed Demons #9, January 1958
View Speed Demons: Issue 9 - 1.0MB


Photographs

1960 Buick LeSabre 1960
Photo ©2017 Bill Crittenden
2017 Woodstock on the Square Benefit Car Show
View photo of 1960 Buick LeSabre - 3.0MB
1960 Buick LeSabre 1960
Photo ©2017 Bill Crittenden
2017 Woodstock on the Square Benefit Car Show
View photo of 1960 Buick LeSabre - 2.3MB
1960 Buick LeSabre 1960
Photo ©2017 Bill Crittenden
2017 Woodstock on the Square Benefit Car Show
View photo of 1960 Buick LeSabre - 1.3MB
1960 Buick LeSabre 1960
Photo ©2017 Bill Crittenden
2017 Woodstock on the Square Benefit Car Show
View photo of 1960 Buick LeSabre - 1.5MB
1960 Buick LeSabre 1960
Photo ©2017 Bill Crittenden
2017 Woodstock on the Square Benefit Car Show
View photo of 1960 Buick LeSabre - 3.0MB
1960 Buick LeSabre 1960
Photo ©2017 Bill Crittenden
2017 Woodstock on the Square Benefit Car Show
View photo of 1960 Buick LeSabre - 2.6MB
1960 Buick LeSabre 1960
Photo ©2017 Bill Crittenden
2017 Woodstock on the Square Benefit Car Show
View photo of 1960 Buick LeSabre - 2.2MB
1960 Buick LeSabre 1960
Photo ©2017 Bill Crittenden
2017 Woodstock on the Square Benefit Car Show
View photo of 1960 Buick LeSabre - 2.5MB
1961 Buick LeSabre 1961
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
2010 Gary Lang Auto Group Car Show
View photo of 1961 Buick LeSabre - 3,372KB
1961 Buick LeSabre 1961
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
2010 Gary Lang Auto Group Car Show
View photo of 1961 Buick LeSabre - 3,729KB
1961 Buick LeSabre 1961
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
2010 Gary Lang Auto Group Car Show
View photo of 1961 Buick LeSabre - 4,581KB
1961 Buick LeSabre 1961
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
2010 Gary Lang Auto Group Car Show
View photo of 1961 Buick LeSabre - 4,157KB
1961 Buick LeSabre 1961
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
2010 Gary Lang Auto Group Car Show
View photo of 1961 Buick LeSabre - 4,259KB
1961 Buick LeSabre 1961
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
2010 Gary Lang Auto Group Car Show
View photo of 1961 Buick LeSabre - 4,290KB
1961 Buick LeSabre 1961
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
2010 Gary Lang Auto Group Car Show
View photo of 1961 Buick LeSabre - 3,276KB
1961 Buick LeSabre 1961
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
2010 Gary Lang Auto Group Car Show
View photo of 1961 Buick LeSabre - 3,607KB
1961 Buick LeSabre 1961
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
2010 Gary Lang Auto Group Car Show
View photo of 1961 Buick LeSabre - 3,965KB
1961 Buick LeSabre 1961
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
2010 Gary Lang Auto Group Car Show
View photo of 1961 Buick LeSabre - 3,672KB
1961 Buick LeSabre 1961
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
2010 Gary Lang Auto Group Car Show
View photo of 1961 Buick LeSabre - 3,623KB
1961 Buick LeSabre 1961
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
2010 Gary Lang Auto Group Car Show
View photo of 1961 Buick LeSabre - 3,111KB
1962 Buick LeSabre 1962
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night: June 6, 2011
View photo of 1962 Buick LeSabre - 3,742KB
1962 Buick LeSabre 1962
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night: June 6, 2011
View photo of 1962 Buick LeSabre - 3,466KB
1962 Buick LeSabre 1962
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night: June 6, 2011
View photo of 1962 Buick LeSabre - 3,862KB
1962 Buick LeSabre 1962
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night: June 6, 2011
View photo of 1962 Buick LeSabre - 3,323KB
1962 Buick LeSabre 1962
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night: June 6, 2011
View photo of 1962 Buick LeSabre - 4,291KB


Documents

DateDocument Name & DetailsDocuments
17 March 1967NHTSA Recall 67V027000
1966 Buick Wildcat
Service Brakes, Hydraulic: Pedals And Linkages
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Recall Page - 1 page
19 December 1973NHTSA Recall 73V250000
1974 Buick Century, 1974 Buick Electra, 1974 Buick Estate, 1974 Buick LeSabre, 1974 Buick Regal, 1974 Buick Riviera, 1974 Chevrolet Bel Air, 1974 Chevrolet Camaro, 1974 Chevrolet Caprice, 1974 Chevrolet Caprice Estate, 1974 Chevrolet Chevelle, 1974 Chevrolet El Camino, 1974 Chevrolet Impala, 1974 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 1974 GMC Sprint, 1974 Oldsmobile 88, 1974 Oldsmobile 98, 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass, 1974 Pontiac Bonneville, 1974 Pontiac Catalina, 1974 Pontiac Firebird, 1974 Pontiac Grand Prix, 1974 Pontiac Grand Safari, 1974 Pontiac Grand Ville, 1974 Pontiac Le Mans
Suspension:Front:Control Arm:Upper Arm
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Recall Page - 1 page
2 September 1976NHTSA Recall 76V132000
1977 Buick Century, 1977 Buick LeSabre, 1977 Buick Regal, 1977 Buick Skylark, 1977 Chevrolet Bel Air, 1976 Chevrolet Camaro, 1977 Chevrolet Camaro, 1977 Chevrolet Caprice, 1977 Chevrolet Chevelle, 1977 Chevrolet El Camino, 1977 Chevrolet Impala, 1977 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 1977 Chevrolet Nova, 1977 GMC Sprint, 1977 Oldsmobile 88, 1977 Oldsmobile 98, 1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass, 1977 Oldsmobile Omega, 1977 Pontiac Bonneville, 1977 Pontiac Catalina, 1976 Pontiac Firebird, 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix, 1977 Pontiac Le Mans, 1977 Pontiac Ventura
Steering:Wheel And Handle Bar
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Recall Page - 1 page
classified date 1990Special Investigation: Passive Belt System
1990 Buick LeSabre four-door Sedan
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 68.5MB - 227 pages
classified date 1994In-Depth Accident Investigation
1994 Buick Le Sabre four-door
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 33.5MB - 266 pages
classified date 2005Special Crash Investigation Report
Case Vehicle: 1998 Buick LeSabre Custom, 4-door sedan
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 6.3MB - 94 pages
classified date 1998In-depth Vehicle Occupant Report
1998 Buick LeSabre
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 11.2MB - 95 pages
classified date 2001Special Crash Investigation Report
Case Vehicle: 1999 Buick LeSabre, 4-door sedan
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 11.7MB - 127 pages
August 1998Redesigned Air Bag Special Study (RABSS)
SCI Technical Summary Report
RABSS Vehicle - 1998 Buick LeSabre Limited
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 141KB - 8 pages
September 1998Redesigned Air Bag Special Study (RABSS)
SCI Technical Summary Report
RABSS Vehicle - 1998 Buick LeSabre Custom
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 197KB - 9 pages
November 1998Redesigned Air Bag Special Study (RABSS)
SCI Technical Summary Report
RABSS Vehicle - 1998 Buick LeSabre Custom
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 98KB - 9 pages
November 1998Remote Redesigned Air Bag Non-Deployment Adult Passenger Fatality Investigation
SCI Technical Summary Report
RABSS Vehicle - 1998 Buick LeSabre
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 179KB - 10 pages
classified date 2001Special Crash Investigation Report
Case Vehicle: 2001 Buick LeSabre Custom, 4-door sedan
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 8.7MB - 121 pages
March 2003On-Site Air Bag Investigation
Vehicle - 2001 Buick LeSabre
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 1,329KB - 15 pages
19 April 2004Vehicle Safety Compliance Testing for FMVSS 208 for Occupant Crash Protection: Sled Test
2004 Buick LeSabre
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 4.7MB - 213 pages


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