|The 1960 Buick|
|Design & Styling|
|1960 Buick Interiors: The Belly of the Beast|
|Looking at this interior, it was easy to forget the LeSabre was Buick's cheapest and smallest model for 1960. Other LeSabre convertible interior colors were 3-tone: primary color, plus white, PLUS a darker version of primary seat color.|
The "gun sight" shift indicator on this car is actually one of several versions that can be found on 1960 Buicks.
Production started with a design that was painted red and had no pointer. Later versions became chrome, but still lacked a pointer. This third and final version is chromed and features a pointer.
Visibility issues & parallex error (due to spacing between the indicator and lettering on the dash panel) are the reasons for the changes.
The unique Mirro-Magic instrument panel used a tilting mirror to display the instruments. (Stumped? Look for the chrome border of the rectangular mirror.) The thumb wheel that is barely visible on the RH border of the picture is the control for tilting the mirror. The actual speedometer, odometer, and fuel gauge are made in reverse image and point up at the windshield!
This feature was a favorite of both Harley Earl and Buick Chief Engineer O.K. Kelley and was the idea of interior studio chief George Moon. It was carried over to the 1961 Buick but subsequently dropped due to cost pressures.
Note the famous Buick "barber pole" speed indicator in lieu of the more common speedo needle. While it appeared to the driver as a thermometer-like display, it was actually accomplished with a striped revolving drum that was viewed through a slot.
|To Clock, or Not to Clock...|
This is without a doubt one of the most elegant and stylish clocks ever turned out by Detroit. Notice the hour hand that is reminiscent of the famous ball clocks of the era. According to George Moon, chief interior designer of the 1960 Buick, it was inspired by a Howard Miller desk clock that one of team's stylists owned.
On Invicta and Electra models, the clock was standard equipment.
On LeSabre models, the clock was included with the extra-cost Accessory Group (as was trunk light and rear license frame) or could be installed as a dealer accessory.. If you didn't order the clock, you were constantly reminded of your frugality by a large chrome housing that contained "BUICK" in tiny letters.
My LeSabre did not originally have a clock. In the spring of 2004, I installed this unit, which was rebuilt for me by my friend Ron Nettle. This clock has perfect chrome and was in excellent cosmetic condition. It now keeps great time as well!
|Doors & Dog Legs|
Armrest design for 1960 LeSabre (except 2-dr sedan) and Invicta models was upgraded significantly over the 1959 version. LeSabre convertibles with red interior had three white insert panels like this, while non-convertible LeSabres with red interior used either all black or black & white insert panels, depending on whether they were early or late cars. (See website topic on production changes.)
Notice the heat-embossed LeSabre script on this original door panel. This used to be a tell-tale mark of an original, although I have been told that scripted door panels are now being reproduced.
An oft-criticized feature of all 1959-60 GM cars was the knee-bashing "dog leg" created by the wrap around windshield. (A small price to pay for such a COOL styling feature!)
|Keen observers will note this photo is not from my car, but is actually a 1960 LeSabre sedan.|
|COPYRIGHT 2005 by Gregory L. Cockerill. All text contained herein, including interviews/recollections of other parties, is my original work and is owned by me. This also applies to all images of my white 1960 LeSabre convertible. As such, the aforementioned material may not be used without express written permission. Other images presented herein are either from the public domain or used with permission of the owner(s).|