Long & beautiful

Imagine falling in love with this dramatically long and beautiful Buick Electra 225 convertible in 1964 and finding yourself surprised when you got home with it and could no longer close your garage door.
While I have no personal knowledge of anyone who faced this dilemma, it could have happened when the typical inside length of garages in those days was about 16 feet.
That’s because Buick’s richest full-size car with the perfectly designed vertical, narrow taillamps in the nearly straight-cut rear fender ends would stick out of the back of that garage by more than two feet.

Somehow, the “Deuce-and-a-Quarter” that came with fender skirts, actually looks longer, especially with the top down. The “225” nickname recognizes the number of inches from bumper to bumper. Among the Electra’s exclusive standard equipment were power steering, power brakes, two-speed electric wipers with windshield washer, foam padded seats, electric clock, license frame, trunk light, two-way power seat and power windows and additional courtesy lights.
Introduced for the 1964 model year, Buick’s version of the Turbo-Hydramatic transmission, used on that year’s Cadillacs, was known as the “Super-Turbine” – a moniker that seemed to say the Buick was maybe something more than its big brother.
All of that, and more, may help explain why Adlai Pennington felt like he had to have one of this era’s General Motors classics for his collection of cars he likes to find in original, unmodified and unrestored condition.
So, when he saw a 1966 Cadillac for sale in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, he went to take a look and encountered its owner who had seemed to have changed his mind and offered him his 1964 Buick instead.
Not to be outdone and experienced in the art of deal-making, negotiation ensued. To shorten the bargaining story that then unfolded, Adlai wound up with this Buick, the Cadillac, a 1926 Buick and six motorcycles. “I only went for one, but left with this small fleet that I somehow managed to work into my garage,”Adlai says. His so-called garage is home to more than 20 of the most interesting and eclectic vehicles to be found anywhere. We’ve previously written about two others in his collection, and more of them are calling our name.
Among the longest running names in Buick’s history, the Electra lasted six generations, with the lineup coming to an end in the 1990 model year after its introduction as a full-size luxury car in 1959.
The pedigree behind the Electra name is a story with Texas roots. Harlow Curtice, former president of Buick and later president of General Motors, named the luxury version of the Buick line after his sister-in-law, Electra Waggoner Biggs.
A Texas-born heiress, socialite and sculptor, Ms.Biggs became widely-known as owner of the historic Waggoner Ranch located west of Wichita Falls – notable for being the largest ranch under one fence in the United States. The land produced crops, beef cattle, horses and oil.
Having studied sculpture in New York and the Sorbonne in Paris, she also became recognized for her sculptures of Will Rogers, Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman, Bob Hope, Sid Richardson, Knute Rockne and others. In addition to the Buick having her name, the Lockheed L-188 Electra adds a turboprop aircraft to her fame.
Her final resting place is in the West Hill Cemetery in Sherman.
So, if you happen to encounter Adlai touring around the area in this 18-foot, 8-inches-long Granada Red Buick Electra 225, you’ll not only salute its beauty, but some Texas heritage, as well.