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Top : Buick Resource : Literature :
Buick's Fireball 8

A Buick 6 definitely ain't no Buick 8, as anyone who's driven a
vintage Buick can attest. Now, Bob could be referring to one of two
sorts of Buick 6's. The old straight-6, which Buick used into (I think)
the 20's, or the V-6, which debuted in 1962. Now, the V-6 was a pretty
radical engine for the time, since a 90-degree V-6 has an inherent
balance problem (of course, this being 1960's GM, that's not something
they necessarily would have seen as a serious enough flaw to keep it out
of production). Buick was the first to overcome that problem, but
because of the games they played with the firing sequence and the timing
to keep thie thing running, the Buick V-6 of the 1960's was one of the
strangest-sounding engines your ears might ever run into (parallel with
Bob). Now, if the Buick in Bob's song is a junk car, it would probably
be the old straight-6, a picture of faded decadence, society
hand-me-downs, etc.

Buick's Fireball straight-8 was in production from around the time the
straight 6 was dropped up until the mid-50's, when it was replaced by a
V-8 in the models that hadn't already been switched over to the more
compact engine. The straight-8, Dynaflow, portholes, and the bombsight
are the traits that dragged Buick from near-collapse in 1933 to becoming
the 2nd biggest division of GM (right behind everyman Cherolet) for
several years, and gave the marque instant recognition for a large chunk
of this century. King is not pointing to Bob's song when he names a
book "From a Buick 8". Different engines, and each has totally
different baggage as far as the appurteant images.


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