Adamsville, Alabama, United States
Buick is taking a gamble with its 2013 Encore. General Motors' near-luxury brand has enjoyed great success attracting conquest buyers to its larger Enclave crossover, but it has never offered something quite like this small CUV.
Very early signs suggest that the gamble might be working. According to Mark Reuss, President of General Motors, the automaker expected about 1,500 initial orders from its dealers for the Encore, but it's tracking closer to 9,000 units. Alluding to the fact that historically, Buick has shared similar products with GM's other brands, Reuss says that Buick dealers are "thrilled to have an exclusive." The automaker already markets almost identical models in other markets as the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka and Chevrolet Trax, but The General's other brands won't offer a twin to the new baby Buick.
The new Encore is based on the Gamma architecture that underpins the Chevrolet Sonic, and it shares the economy car's available turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine. With standard front-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive, GM says its Encore will be pitted against competitors like the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, both of which are much more expensive but also much more powerful.
The Tucker Torpedo is one of the great what-if stories of automotive history. Preston Tucker hoped to revolutionize the industry with a car unlike any other on the road at the time. However, due to a variety of problems, he only managed build 51 vehicles before closing shop. Over time, they have become highly sought-after; In 2012, one sold for $2.65 million at auction.
That brings us to this Tucker "replica" that you see above because it might be one of the ugliest monstrosities ever put together. However, we might extend some leniency to the creator, as the vehicle isn't actually trying to replicate the classic look of the 1948 Tucker Torpedo. Instead, it is attempting to reproduce an earlier prototype from 1946 that actually features that weird, trident nose. According to the seller, his uncle built the car as a labor of love and supposedly used actual plans from Tucker as inspiration.
Underneath all of the crazy changes is a 1971 Buick Riviera powered by a 455-cubic-inch (7.5-liter) Buick V8. Some of the replica's odder modifications include the front fenders that turn with the wheels and the fin running down the back. All three headlights work, but the one in the middle is only for the high beams. Oddly, the small hinged sections on the roof are meant to open to avoid hitting your head when getting in or out. Maybe the seller's uncle was a very tall guy?
General Motors has finished off an extensive model overhaul for its Buick division, but along with its updated cars, the brand might also be getting a new logo. According to the Detroit Free Press, GM North America President Mark Reuss indicated that the Buick tri-shield logo could be getting a makeover, but offered no further information.
It is unlikely Buick will completely redesign or replace its current logo, but the article seems to indicate that it might return to color; although all chrome now, the logo used to feature red, white and blue shields. Head on over to the Detroit Free Press article to look at some past Buick logos including one from 1904.