Dr. David Chabot – The Ultimate Buick “Roadmaster”
April 28, 2012 12:00 pm ET
Guest post by Dr. David Chabot – Buick Collector & Enthusiast
Photos by Jennifer Chabot
I have been a General Motors guy my whole life – in fact, it runs in our family…
Starting with my grandfather, the Chabot’s have been loyal General Motors owners for four generations now. And it doesn’t look like the line will end there – our next generation (the 5th generation) of General Motors family members are only ages 6-10, but they are already asking me if I will give them one of my “special cars” when they are old enough to drive.
And I certainly have a few special cars for them to choose from when they are ready. I currently own 11 General Motors vehicles, most of them from the Buick line-up. In addition to the 11 that I currently have in my garage now, I also have had several other Buick and Chevrolet cars through my life, some of them handed down to me from my father and grandfather.
So what General Motors cars have I had in the past? I previously owned a 1976 Skyhawk – a car that I wish I still owned… even when I go to Buick meets, I never see them! I also used to own a 2002 Regal GS, a Chevrolet Vega, a Chevette and an Oldsmobile Bravada. While I don’t have any of those to ride around town anymore, I do have quite a few others, with a great story behind each.
In my garage right now are:
- 1936 Special, model 41, 4 door sedan – a total of 77,007 of this model were produced for the 1936 model year. As such, it is the model that was mainly responsible for saving Buick from extinction after years of low sales due to the Depression and previous products that needed modernization. A bit more about me – this is the same model on which my grandfather taught me to drive when I was 13 years old. My car has been fully restored and has been awarded Senior-Gold status by the Buick Club of American (BCA). Senior-Gold status can be awarded if a car is judged at a National Meet and has earned at least 390/400 points for (a) authenticity, (b) workmanship, and (c) condition.
- 1965 Buick Riviera GS – this was the first y ear Buick got into the recent muscle car race of that time, by producing a Gran Sport option for their Skylark and Riviera models. Total production for the Riviera GS was 3,335 for 1965 (approximately 10% of the total production of the 1965 Riviera). In addition to the great performance of these cars, they have been repeatedly recognized as one of the most beautifully designed cars ever produced. My car has been totally restored and has also achieved Senior-Gold status from the BCA.
- 1969 Riviera – this car was purchased new by my father. It also has been totally restored and is another Senior-Gold car. After I spent about a year restoring this car, I showed it to my father, who had the reputation of taking excellent care of his cars. As he looked the car over, a funny look came over his face. He turned to me and said “Isn’t this the condition the car was in when I gave it to you!?!” Recently this car won an award at the New England Concours D’Elegance.
- 1971 Riviera – this car was very controversial when it first came out. People either loved the design or thought that it was somewhat strange because of the size of the car in contrast to the tear-drop trunk, which had previously appeared on the Chevrolet Corvette. My restored car has been awarded Senior-Gold status.
- 1971 Skylark GS 455 Convertible – only 165 of these cars were produced, when you counted those that had the 455 cubic inch engine and were a convertible (the standard engine for the GS in 1971 was the 350 cubic inch, and most of those who wanted the optional bigger engine did not want it in a convertible because of the extra weight). My car was award Senior-Gold and also received an award for “Best American Muscle Car” at the 2003 Greenwich Concurs D’ Elegance.
- 1986 Regal Grand National – a total of 5,512 of these muscle cars was sold in 1986. The air-to-air intercooler, changes in the turbo charger, manifolds and exhaust system made this a very fast car and a very appealing add to my collection. This is another car that I have that has received Senior-Gold status.
- 1999 Regal GS - this car was produced with a very reliable, smooth and powerful supercharged engine. I purchased this car new and it is in the completely original condition with 103,000 miles on it.
- 2009 Buick Enclave CXL AWD – I bought this car new and have enjoyed driving it since.
- 2010 Buick LaCrosse CXS – I also bought this car new and enjoy driving around my area with it.
In addition to the Buicks listed, I also currently own a 2007 Pontiac Solstice and a 2010 Chevrolet Equinox. I plan to continue to collect and restore cars and show them at meets and Concours around my area. I live in Connecticut with my family and hope that my grandsons will continue the General Motors family tradition.
To see photos of my Buick collection, click HERE.