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2004 Buick Velite Concept

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Buick Builds an Image Enhancer

I can't remember the last time I lusted after a new Buick, if ever. I'm too young to have been aware of the '63 Riviera when it came on the scene, having been born the same year, but nevertheless I've since slotted it in as one of my favorite domestic cars of all time. The 1988 to 1991 Reatta caught my attention when it debuted, but unlike the first Riv, it wasn't one hundred percent right. Not like the new Velite Concept.

For the first time in my life I find myself lusting after a new Buick. (Photo: General Motors of Canada)

The new Velite is one hundred percent right? Well, being that I couldn't get close enough to it after its introduction to make such an all-inclusive statement, I won't commit that far. Still, for the first time in a long time Buick has captured the spirit of motoring in a very intoxicating way.

After all, when General Motors announced that Oldsmobile was to be fazed out of production, a common joke being bantered about the office went something like this: While none of us would be able to buy our fathers' Oldsmobiles anymore, at least we'd still be able to purchase our grandfathers' Buicks.

For the first time in a long time Buick has captured the spirit of motoring in a very intoxicating way. (Photo: General Motors of Canada)

Now that a couple of years have passed, for some unexplained reason it's still possible to buy a new Oldsmobile, and despite new SUV and crossover models bearing the Buick badge it's still the nameplate of choice by the octogenarian set. Even the new Allure is about as conservative as any new car in its class. While it's very nice, and sleek for Buick's standards, the brand's designers didn't exactly stray too far from convention.

But the same customers the Allure is designed to attract were those who once saw the GM division as one of the most desirable domestic brands, back when Roadmasters, Rivieras and Wildcats ruled the roadways. Such were the last of the glory days.