Historic moniker is revived for 2008 Allure

The GM division of Buick will emphasize its premium and powerful sedans with the ‘Super’ badge.


Buick is re-introducing a famous name from a glamorous era — a designation that evokes memories of the elegance of travel in premium cars and trains of the 1930s.

The title is “Super,” and Buick is bringing back the historical moniker after 50 years. Beginning in the 2008 model year with the Allure and then the ’08 Lucerne, the GM division will emphasize its premium and powerful sedans with the Super badge.

“The Super name emphasizes luxury, power and performance,” said general manager Steve Shannon. “We’re taking a great name from our heritage to designate the most premium cars we have ever offered.”

In 1939, when Buick introduced the Super line for the 1940 model year, it was the latest example of a new pattern for naming Buicks. Under general manager Harlow H. Curtice — later chief executive of General Motors — Buick had returned to its traditional position as a brand of great elegance, style and premium value after the Great Depression.

To emphasize its recovery, Curtice announced interesting names for the new Buicks. Designations such as Model F and Model 10 and Master 26 were shelved. In the 1936 model year, a new, high-value car was unveiled as the “Special,” instead of the Model 41.

All models in the powerful 60 Series became “Century.” An upscale Model 81 became “Roadmaster” and models in the elegant 90 Series were labelled “Limited.” No one knows who originated the names, but historians presume they were dreamed up by Curtice, GM design chief Harley Earl or Buick advertising genius Art Kudner.

Over the decades, Buick has at times revived brand names, such as Century, Special and Skylark. Roadmaster returned briefly in the 1990s, after more than 30 years. But the Super name has stayed on the shelf for 50 years; the 1958 Buick Super was the last model to bear the name.

When the freshened 2008 Allure Super arrives in dealer showrooms this summer it will feature a more distinctive front end to go with the return of the new model name. The fascia, hood and chrome waterfall grille are all revised.

The Super name will also adorn Buick’s 2008 Lucerne. Both models feature elevated design and luxury, and bring fuel-efficient V-8 power to Buick. Pricing has not yet been announced.