Sinister Buick T-Type is a rare ride
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Jeff Boghosian was a big fan of the large, cushy land yachts of the mid-1970s.
"I always liked stuff like the Cutlass and Grand Prix," the Elgin resident says. "But then they downsized them and I didn't care for them that much anymore."
His feelings toward smaller cruisers changed in 1987 when Buick rolled out a T-Type variant of its LeSabre model. Attracting young shoppers was the goal. The automaker wanted this sporty ride to appeal to younger, nontraditional Buick buyers -- just like Jeff.
"It was monochromatic, all blacked out and just looked cool," Jeff says. He had seen them on the roads in the area for a few years and they never failed to turn his head. Finally, while leaving his office in the Loop one evening in 1989, he decided it was time to get serious and go look.
Jeff headed to a Buick dealership on Golf Road in Schaumburg. It had three in stock ready for delivery. The T-Types weren't offered in many colors, coming in Ruby Red, Sterling Silver, Arctic White and the most sinister -- Black Clearcoat. The dealer's trio were all the latter.
After a quick spin around the block, Jeff plunked down the cash to make one his. "I was a little disappointed I ended up buying the car I beat the heck out of on the test drive," Jeff jokes.
The coupe was put to somewhat regular use with one of its longer journeys being a road trip to Cape Cod on the East Coast. "I caravanned with some friends out there," Jeff recalls. "On the way home we drove straight back, which took a total of 21 hours. It was long but the ride was as pleasant as can be."
Under hood, the T-Type packs a 165-horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6. "It's not a real powerful car but it's a great cruiser," Jeff says.
The T-Type was only offered for three years (1987-1989) with production coming in at just under 16,000 units. It featured a front air dam, a Gran Touring suspension package consisting of firmer shock valving, higher-rate bushings, a larger stabilizer bar and fast-ratio steering. The car also received quartz analog gauges with red backlighting and special aluminum wheels with Goodyear Eagle GT tires.
The T-Type pioneered a first for Buick, using thermoplastic front fenders. The goal was to have them be lighter than steel. They were used on '87 and '88 models and then dropped for 1989. Another unique touch is the hood ornament. Instead of the brand's tri-shield logo being upright, on the T-Type it lies flat for a sportier, cleaner look.
Jeff has let his special ride sit dormant the last 10 years but he brought it out to our September Daily Herald Cruise Night in Bloomingdale this summer.
"Driving it brings back memories," says Jeff, who has some immediate plans to get it back in showroom condition. "It's finally time to get it going again; running and looking right."
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