Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Mailbag: Buick Sunday

Some letters are great and glorious and deserve to be kept for a lifetime. Below is a letter on the letterhead of Roland C. Withers, Buick's General Sales Manager and reports on an outing at San Fernando Dragway from the prior weekend. It brags about a very special day, February 21, 1965, in which Buick won every class in which they were entered.

Highlight of the weekend was B-Stock, where the brand new 1965 Reynolds Buick Gran Sport (car #1) earned its place in history. With Pop Kennedy behind the wheel, the factory-fresh GS turned in a 14.04 second run at 101.81 mph. This was the fastest Buick time of the day and demonstrated the performance potential of the then brand-new Buick Gran Sport. 

But the Buicks in the other classes turned in wins as well. Boulevard Buick in Long Beach won C-Stock with their 1965 Gran Sport convertible, turning a 14.56 at 88 mph. The Reynolds-sponsored 1964 Special V8 driven by Gil Labarge won class D-Stock turning a 14.76 at 97 mph- it just barely missed breaking the 100 mph barrier! And in class E-Stock, Bill Murphy Buick of Culver City won the class with a Riviera, turning in a 14.88 second run at 92.75 mph. Class F went to a privately entered 1961 Invicta coupe (okay, we admit it- it was OUR old trophy winning Invicta), winning the class with a 14.5 second run at 95 mph- not bad for the old girl. And even in Class K, Ted Baker Buick of Fillmore won the class with a V-6 powered Skylark coupe, turning in a 16.18 second run at 86.16 mph with what essentially amounts to an economy car!

Buick celebrated with a triumphant ad in the Los Angeles Times and a press release naming the day "Buick Sunday". It was the beginning of a very successful season for Pop Kennedy and the Reynolds Buick Team. After all, it's not every weekend racer that gets a tribute letter from the General Sales Manager of Buick sent not only to him, but to every Buick dealer. It was a fine day indeed.

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