This 1940 Buick Super Convertible had a frame off restoration completed in 1992 by Albert Brigman in Asheville NC.
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Auto blogWed, 17 Oct 2012 18:28:00 EST
As we reported earlier, there has been much speculation regarding a Buick convertible of sorts. The most ringing endorsement of this conjecture comes today from General Motors Europe, as the new Opel Cascada has debuted on the interwebs. Opel calls the four-passenger Cascada an "athletic, glamorous midsize convertible." With a length of 4,697mm (185 in.), the Cascada is as long as an Audi A5, to which GM has said it would be slightly larger.
The Cascada, which is Spanish for waterfall, features a cloth convertible top that retracts in 17 seconds and at speeds up to 50 km/h (31 mph). The Cascada features a 1.4-liter turbo gas engine, 2.0-liter turbodiesel with 165 horsepower and a range-topping 1.6-liter turbocharged Ecotec engine that puts out 170 horsepower and 280 Nm (207 lb-ft). Power is sent through either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
According to GM, the Cascada will also come rife with luxury and tech features. In addition to adaptive forward lighting and ergonomic heated front seats, the convertible will feature Opel Eye, which is a front camera that can recognize traffic signs and incorporates lane departure warning and forward collision alert.
Here we have a concept in the true sense of the term. The Buick Riviera you see here - the name of which was last used in production back in 1999 - is said to preview Buick's future styling direction, which means we should expect to see more flowing body shapes to go along with new versions of the marque's classic waterfall grille design. Oh, and we don't believe there's a single porthole in sight.
Powered by Buick's so-called dual-mode wireless plug-in hybrid electric vehicle propulsion system (we'll stick with the W-PHEV acronym) that allows the car to be charged wirelessly just by driving atop a special charging mat on the ground, the car's powertrain is just as futuristic as its exterior shape.
Other high-tech bits include holographic projections on the windshield showing the driver what's around him, with input coming from 10 high-res cameras and 18 micro high-precision sensors. The car also sports 4G wireless connectivity so that its occupants are always connected.
If there are any lingering doubts why General Motors held onto Buick while killing Pontiac, Hummer and Saturn, one only has to look at the sales numbers from 2013 for the real answer. Thanks largely to strong sales in China, Buick set a global sales record last year by selling more than one million vehicles.
The lion's share of Buick sales came from China, which sold more than 809,000 units - about four times more Buicks than were sold in North America as a whole. In the US, the Buick Encore accounted for almost half of all US sales with 97,311 units as Buick spent the summer trying to keep up with demand of the subcompact crossover. Likewise, China-only models like the GL8 minivan and Excelle sedan (same as the US-spec Verano) were strong sellers in that market.
For good measure, Buick more than doubled its sales in Mexico with 2,319 units. Scroll down for the full press release.