Hi, I'm Alf Gascoine
and I've been the secretary of the UK Buick Club since 1978/79 when I took over from Dave Norton who had formed, along with some other "Buick Nuts", a UK Chapter of the Buick Club of America.
The B.C.A. was formed in 1966 and currently has a world-wide membership of some 8,000. They produce a monthly magazine - The Buick Bugle - and organise both national and regional meets in the USA.
The first of these national meetings I attended was the 75th anniversary of Buick in Flint, Michigan, in 1978. There were some 683 Buicks in attendance! This was the first time I was able to see a 1953 Skylark "in the flesh", and needless to say, I was smitten. Consequently, in 1980 at a West Coast regional Buick met at Morro Bay, California, I was to discover a freshly restored '53 Skylark with factory continental wheel kit, which I was able to acquire and bring back to the UK.
People often say to me "Why Buicks?". My fascination and loyalty to the marque is born out of an appreciation of the superb engineering and build quality, together with the aesthetics of Buicks: that is to say THEY LOOK GOOD!
Buick has always had a very strong following in Britain due to the fact they were "Empire built" (McLaughlin, Canada) and the Royal patronage of the marque in the 1930s. The Buick, to my mind, with one or two exceptions, was that bit more understated and reserved compared to other American marques. It has a style that befits its old American image of the "Doctor's Car" in a similar way that perhaps you might compare a Bentley to a Rolls Royce.
However, a side of Buick people don't readily acknowledge is its racing and performance heritage. In the first decade of this century, a colourful group of men and their Buick racing machines thundered out of the corners of America's race tracks and scorched across the pages of the record books; eastablishing Buick's reputation as a dependable and reliable car with a racing record that was the envy of every other automobile manufacturer.
More recently, the 1987 Buick GN and GNX was surprisingly recognised as the fastest produciotn car on the highway in that year.
To finish off I'd like to invite you to send your Buick news/photos to us for inclusion in future Buick news items - 'till then - Go Buick. Alf.
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1953 Skylark
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