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A Cruise Through the History of Buick Convertibles

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Throughout automotive history, Buick models have often featured innovative designs. The automaker’s convertibles are no exception — here’s a rundown that covers more than a century of Buick’s finest convertibles.

1908 Buick Model 10 Runabout

1908 Buick Model 10 Runabout
Photo: Greg Gjerdingen

Billed as the Gentleman’s Light Four-Cylinder Roadster, this eye-catching model made quite a splash when it debuted at the New York Automobile Show in 1907. Clocking in at $900, its mix of cool looks and great value made it Buick’s most popular model of 1908. During its first year, 4,000 models were produced for eager buyers. The next year, production doubled to 8,000 units. Its 22.5-horsepower engine helped it find a home on the racetrack, where it earned victories in hill climbing and in-class racing at Atlanta and Daytona, respectively.

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1938 Buick Y-Job

Buick has a long history of creating concept cars that catch everyone’s attention
1938 Buick Y-Job Concept

This concept car was both stylish and innovative. As the industry’s first-ever concept car, its outstanding design raised the bar for decades to come. The Y-job was brought to life by GM’s styling Department and visionary designer Harley Earl. In addition to its convertible top, the Y-Job boasted tailfins, retractable headlights, and the automaker’s now-iconic waterfall grille.

1953 Buick Skylark

Photo: Greg Gjerdingen

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Buick debuted the Skylark. Capitalizing on the hype around its 1952 XP-300 concept car, the Skylark was the perfect blend of athletic styling and posh design. It even gave drivers the option to have their names engraved on the horn button. It also boasted leather seating, with four color options and packed the Fireball V8, which pumped out 188 horsepower. Only 1,690 models were built, with some going to contemporary celebrities like Bob Hope, Milton Berle, and Jackie Gleeson.

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1990 Buick Reatta

1991 Buick Reatta Convertible Ad
Photo: Alden Jewell

This two-seater delivered almost 200 horsepower courtesy of its V6 engine. It featured subtle, classy styling, such as a matching roof and folding headlights. In addition to its confident handling, the Reatta’s classy interior was almost entirely handcrafted, adding to its luxurious appeal. Since it was a low-volume luxury car, only about 2,500 models were ever produced.

2016 Buick Cascada

With a name that means “waterfall” in Spanish, it’s quite ironic that the Cascada doesn’t feature the classic Buick waterfall grille. That’s likely because it’s a variant of the Opel Cascada. Since it’s a popular rebadged model, it’s known by many names around the world, such as the Vauxhall Cascada in the UK, the Holden Cascada in Australian and New Zealand, and the Opel Cabrio in Spain.

Sources: Sotheby’s, Concept Carz, Autotrader