Buick Invicta

The Buick Invicta is a full-size automobile produced by Buick from 1959 to 1963.[1] The Invicta was a continuation of the Buick Century concept that mated the standard size Buick LeSabre (pre-1959, Buick Special) body with Buick's larger 401 cubic inch Nailhead V8 engine, yielding what was referred to as "the banker's hot rod." The name was derived from Latin and signified 'unconquerable, invincible, unbeatable, unvanquished' according to Buick Motor Division sales training materials.

Buick Invicta
Buick Invicta Convertible 1961.jpg
1961 Buick Invicta convertible
ManufacturerGeneral Motors
Model years1959–1963
AssemblyDoraville, Georgia
Buick City, Michigan
Body and chassis
LayoutFront-engine, rear-wheel-drive
RelatedPontiac Ventura
Oldsmobile Super 88
PredecessorBuick Century
SuccessorBuick Wildcat

First generation (1959–1960)Edit

First generation
1960 Buick Invicta 2-door hardtop
Model years1959–1960
Body and chassis
Body style
Wheelbase123.0 in (3,124 mm)
  • 217.4 in (5,522 mm) (1959)
  • 217.9 in (5,535 mm) (1960)
  • 80.7 in (2,050 mm) (1959)
  • 80.0 in (2,032 mm) (1960)
Curb weight4,255–4,679 lb (1,930–2,122 kg)[3]

The Invicta series was introduced as a full line of body styles for model year 1959. Sales never approached that of either the entry-level LeSabre or top level Electra models, but were consistent with the traditional sales penetration of Buick's sporty mid-priced models (the 1954 to 1958 Century and 1963 to 1970 Wildcat). The Invicta continued the tradition of installing Ventiports on the front fenders from the Century.

In a survey of 1959 Buick owners in the March, 1959 issue of Popular Mechanics, 47.1% of owners like the ride comfort, though many (25.2%) said the drive shaft tunnel was too big.[4]

Starting in 1960, an Invicta Custom trim package was offered, featuring bucket seats and a 'consolette' in the hardtop coupe, convertible and wagon and a leather bench seat with a center armrest on some 4 door hardtops. Sales were nominal.

According to Robin Moore's 1969 book The French Connection, "the 1960 Buick Invicta had a peculiarity in body construction conducive to the installations of...extraordinary, virtually detection-proof traps concealed within the fenders and undercarriage" that made it a popular model for international heroin smugglers.[5]

Second generation (1961–1963)Edit

Second generation
1962 Buick Invicta convertible
Model years1961–1963
Body and chassis
Body style
Transmission2-speed Turbine Drive automatic
Wheelbase123.0 in (3,124 mm)
  • 213.2 in (5,415 mm) (1961)
  • 214.1 in (5,438 mm) (1962)
  • 215.7 in (5,479 mm) (1963)
Width78.0 in (1,981 mm)
Curb weight3,969–4,505 lb (1,800–2,043 kg)[6]

The Invicta received several updates for the 1961 model year. It was the last year the 364 cubic inch Nailhead V8 engine was offered before the engine was retired. The station wagon did not reappear until the 1962 model year.

1962 saw the debut of the Wildcat two-door hardtop within the Invicta series. The Wildcat featured most of the interior trim of the Invicta Custom, which included standard bucket seats and upgraded door panels. Instead of the Invicta Custom's short console, however, the Wildcat had a long console with a tachometer and a shift lever. Other Wildcat features included special badging and exterior trim, along with a vinyl top and Electra 225-like taillights, rather than those of the LeSabre/Invicta. These features placed the Wildcat well in step with the shift towards sports-oriented models.

For 1963, the Wildcat would replace the Invicta four-door hardtop, two-door coupe, and convertible. The Invicta series had a 6-passenger station wagon as its sole model. Only 3,495 Invicta station wagons were built for 1963, after which the name disappeared.

Buick Invicta concept (2008)Edit

2008 concept
Buick Invicta Concept 2008
DesignerJustin Thompson and Richard Duff
Body and chassis
Body style4-door sedan
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
Engine2.0 L LNF I4
Transmission6-speed Aisin AF40-6 automatic
Wheelbase114.5 in (2,908 mm)
Length194.2 in (4,933 mm)
Width73.8 in (1,875 mm)
Height57.7 in (1,466 mm)[7]
Curb weight3,750 lb (1,701 kg)[8]

The Invicta nameplate was re-trademarked by Buick in 2004[citation needed], a concept car bearing that name was unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show on April 19, 2008. The vehicle was designed in a collaboration between the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan and Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center in Shanghai, China.[7] The designers responsible for the exterior design were Justin Thompson and Richard Duff.[9]

The concept was equipped with a 2.0-liter direct injection turbo engine rated at 250 horsepower (186 kW) and 220 pound-feet (298 N⋅m) mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission, MacPherson strut front and independent rear suspensions, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, 20 x 8.5 inch polished aluminum wheels with P245/40R20 tires. Featured on the car are several traditional Buick design cues: the Sweepspear, VentiPorts, a tri-color Buick trishield, and the waterfall grille.

The vehicle's designs were later used on the second generation Buick LaCrosse.


  1. ^ The Auto Editors of Consumer Guide (19 August 2007). "1959-1963 Buick Invicta". HowStuffWorks. Archived from the original on 13 February 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2008. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  2. ^ Zal, Pawel. "1959 Buick Invicta 2-Door Hardtop full range specs". Automobile Catalog. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  3. ^ "1960 Buick Invicta Series 4600 Hardtop". Classic Car Database. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  4. ^ Popular Mechanics. March 1959 https://books.google.com/books?id=vtsDAAAAMBAJ. Retrieved 24 June 2019. {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Moore, Robin (1969). The French Connection: A True Account of Cops, Narcotics, and International Conspiracy. Boston: Little, Brown & Co. pp. 50, 54. ISBN 1-59228-044-7.
  6. ^ "1963 Buick Invicta 8 Series Estate Wagon - 2 seat". Classic Car Database. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  7. ^ a b Neff, John (19 April 2008). "Beijing 2008: Buick Invicta Concept debuts, say hello to next LaCrosse". Autoblog. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  8. ^ Zal, Pawel. "2008 Buick Invicta (model for China concept) specs review". Automobile Catalog. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Vehicle body". Justin J. Thompson, Richard S. Duff, GM Global Technology Operations LLC, GM Global Technology Operations LLC. 2008-04-18. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)CS1 maint: others (link)