Buick Electra: Reader ride
Ryan Gilliland's 1962 Buick Electra 225 Low-Rider...
Ryan Gilliland's 1962 Buick Electra 225 Low-Rider
I’ve been surrounded by car culture since I was a kid, when my dad dragged me along to speedway, drag racing and hot rod shows in Auckland, New Zealand, where I grew up. I used to drag race turbo Mitsubishis in NZ and I wasn’t into low-rider culture, but my heart was always into customs and hot rods. It’s easier to get those kinds of cars on the road in NZ.
I arrived in Australia in 2008 and my mates were into customs. A friend brought a two-door Falcon coupe in from Texas and did a mild custom job on it. That’s what started me off. I found the Buick online and fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. It was just so wild! It had just landed here and there was nothing else like it around; I had to have it.
The car was originally owned by a tattoo artist in California called Mike Jupp, whose brother has a shop in Chicago called One Shot Kustoms. Mike drove the car to Chicago three times to gradually turn it from a stock Electra into a low-rider.
I’ve only done some mechanical and electrical work on it and it needs more. It looks like a completed car but there’s still a lot of work to do under the bonnet. It’s got the stock 401ci ‘Nailhead’ V8 with a two-speed Dynaflow, and apart from the paint, interior and suspension it’s still basically stock. They actually did a bit of a slap-dash job in the U.S., which was kind of the charm for me. It’s one thing to buy a complete car and just drive it around, but I wanted to put some of my personality into a car. I think it’s still got a lot of potential left to unlock.
I had a lot of trouble getting it registered and I still get stopped by the police a lot, often just to look at the car. It probably couldn’t be registered today as VicRoads changed the rego rules in early 2012. It’s an amazing car to drive and a completely different world to cars I have owned before, including Austin Healeys. I love cruising around in it and I plan to keep it to pass on to my son.
We're giving away the last great Aussie Holden V8! Enter here for your chance to win!
Sign up to our free weekly newsletter for more unique car reviews and features plus see the latest unique and classic cars for sale.