Y’all are probably tired of hearing me mention the family’s 1959 Buick LaSabre station wagon, but that vehicle is why I have a copy of the February 1961 Buick Magazine. In it, readers get to rhapsodize over the features in their new and old Buicks.
F.G. Chambers of Cincinnati, Ohio, is very pleased with his 1961 Invicta, which he is convinced is better than his 1957 Special and gets better gas mileage. He brags that his buddy, has a “much more expensive competitive make that doesn’t ride any better and that certainly doesn’t have the smooth transmission of my Buick.” In addition to power brakes, power steering and windows, he has the guidematic light dimmer and rear window defroster. “I also have my car equipped with Wonder-Bar Radio. That floor button control is out of this world.”
If you are curious about the demographics of Buick owners in those days, just check out the cutline for the photo at the bottom right of this spread on New Orleans: “DRESSED APPROPRIATELY for the occasion, two attractive young [emphasis mine] ladies look on the Mardi Gras fun”. You had to be a Buick owner to think those are “young” ladies. I don’t think they could see young with a telescope.
On a second note: Missourian Editor John Blue impressed on me that “You never write that a female was a lady. You can tell if she is a woman, but you don’t know that she’s a lady.”
Control Arm Suspension
The driver if this car doesn’t seem at all nonplussed to find herself on a raft afloat on a nondescript body of water. She doesn’t even seem concerned that a couple of hooligan fisherboys are apt to scratch her paint job. In 1961, the portholes are still there, but the fins are disappearing.
I was just looking at footage of Cypress Gardens in family home movies from when we went to Florida in 1961. The Gardens were living-breathing PR machines for Florida. They even had a photo booth where you could call your friends up in the frigid north and describe to them the action flying by. If you weren’t all that good at photography, the announcer would tell you the exposure settings before the skiing beauties passed by.
Peter Jay Noto of Oaklawn, Illinois, wrote, “Every two years I buy a new car. I travel quite a bit being an actor, and Buick offers me the best performance together with complete pleasure. My next one will be a 1961 Buick Convertible.”
That name didn’t ring a bell, so I turned to Google. The only reference that popped up was on Page 10 of the June 29, 1960, Economist Newspapers where a gossip column by Vic Short said, “Peter Jay Noto reminds me he read the leading male role for “Living Venus” as mentioned here a few weeks back, but movie producer Lewis said that play wasn’t Pete’s particular cup of tea, that the Oaklawn theater guild actor would be better cast in a teenage flicker.”
Living Venus sounds imminently forgettable, but it did serve as the film debut of Harvey Korman.
Old Jackson Road
The magazine came to Mr. and Mrs. L.V. Steinhoff, courtesy of Wiethop Buick Sales at Sprigg and William. I was pretty sure that’s where Dad bought our LaSabre, but I would have sworn it was called Clark Buick.
I’m not sure when Kingsway Drive quit being called Old Jackson Road.