– The 2000 Buick Blackhawk is not just any customized car –
it’s designed to emphasize Buick’s heritage of distinctive
design and outstanding power for the specialized audiences that
attend custom/hot rod shows. "This
is a very special show car," said Michael E. Doble, Buick’s
special vehicles manager: "It has classic styling combined with
contemporary proportions. If you’re talking about customized cars,
the Buick Blackhawk is the ultimate expression of Buick."
The Buick Blackhawk
is basically a 2-plus-2 convertible with a retractable top, and a
body that looks like it came out of the late 1930s or ‘40s –
because it did. Its face is a classic 1939 Buick grille, which has a
pattern of fine vertical bars, and its major sheet metal combines
the sleek bodies of 1941 and 1948 Buick Roadmasters. All
of this except the grille has been modified, and the final
appearance – featuring black cherry paint, doors without handles
and hidden headlamps – is of a streamlined yet retro head-turner
that looks like it was created specifically for the Woodward Dream
|| 463 BHP@
|| 7458cc (455 cu. in.)
|| 510 lb-ft @
Weight lbs (kg)
|| 3600 (1633)
Acceleration 0-60 mph
|| 4.5 sec.
|| Rear Wheel
power: 463-hp V-8
0-60 in under 5 seconds
performance goal is 0-60 miles per hour in under 5 seconds.
Its powertrain is a 1970-vintage
455-cubic-inch Buick GS Stage III V-8 engine, heavily detailed and
mated to the latest electronically controlled four-speed automatic
transmission. The naturally aspirated, overhead valve, fuel-injected
engine generates 463 horsepower at 4600 rpm and 510 lb-ft of torque
at 4200 rpm. Pasteiner had done major design work on a number of
Buick concepts over the years – such as Questor, Sceptre, Park
Avenue Essence, Signia and XP2000, all well-known names to students
of industry dream cars. He had also designed such production Buicks
as GS models of the late 1960s and Regals from the 1970s until he
left General Motors Design to create his own company in 1989.
Designer: 'This is
the ultimate Buick custom car.'
enthusiasm for the Blackhawk matches Doble's.
'This is the ultimate
Buick custom car,' Pasteiner said. 'We used the 1939 grille because
it is one of the most significant in Buick history. Those vertical
bars are hints of the grilles that became Buick icons in the ‘40s
and early ‘50s. The grille sets the tone for the Blackhawk. But we
also liked the ‘torpedo' body from the top-of-the-line Buicks of
Said Doble: 'We
wanted the best from Buick history, but also we wanted to create a
contemporary design. For example, the Blackhawk has a split
windshield, which is right for that era – yet the windshield glass
is curved, a more modern feature. Even the side glass is curved.'
Many of the
Blackhawk's major components are hand made, such as the frame, the
unique carbon-fiber top and the retractable system that lowers the
top into the trunk (leaving a small luggage area). As an
accent complementing the exterior design, a slightly different shade
of dark cherry is used to create a 'sweepspear' along the sides of
the body. The sweepspear is a decoration that first showed up on
some '49 Roadmasters and later became a shape sculpted into the
sides of ‘50s Buicks. It's basically a horizontal line that sweeps
in a downward curve along the doors toward the base of the leading
edge of the rear fender, then kicks up over the rear wheel openings.
It's a look that reappeared in the 1999 Cielo and 2000 LaCrosse
concepts, both Doble projects.
Type: 2-door convertible, concept car
Configuration: Front Engine/RWD
Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic
Length: 204.001 in | 5181.6 mm.
Width: 78.201 in | 1986.3 mm.
Height: 54.901 in | 1394.5 mm.
Wheelbase: 129.001 in | 3276.6 mm
SUSPENSION: Four-wheel independent
industry first for Buick: Lighted turn signals
While the Blackhawk
looks to be from somewhere in time, it's hard to pin down where.
Borrowed from the same 1939 Buick that donated the grille, a lighted
logo device in the middle of the trunk exterior incorporates turn
signals – a reminder that this particular '39 Buick feature was
the industry's first production turn signal. Borrowed from
contemporary technology, the Blackhawk is equipped with Global
Positioning System navigation tied to a liquid crystal display
And borrowed from a
1996 Buick Riviera – one of the most luxurious of all Buicks -- is
the heavily modified Blackhawk interior. That includes buff color
leather for the door trim and seats, plus design of the instrument
panel and center console (though the wood-rimmed steering wheel is
unique). The custom car was created in the spring of 2000.
Even the name is
borrowed. Buick introduced a subcompact Skyhawk for 1975 &
the hawk symbol became an icon for the entire Buick line through the
'I've worked on a lot
of great concepts for Buick, but this is No. 1 for me,' said Doble,
on the eve of his retirement after 35 years with GM. 'We'll drive it
– and I emphasize drive it – to custom and hot rod shows. In
this car, we'll be displaying design elements that gave Buick its