What Is It?

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The photo last week showed the 2014 Buick LaCrosse, the automaker’s largest sedan. For a better photograph and information, read this week’s road test.

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Chosen randomly from the correct entries was Neil Ghingold, of Augusta, who told us he recognized the Buick by the portholes on the side of its hood. Moreover, he said, he drives a 16-year-old Buick Riviera.

Ghingold wins a prize from The Augusta Chronicle. Other readers identifying the vehicle were:

AUGUSTA: Craig Kerins wrote: “This one is a 2014 Buick LaCrosse.”

Kathy Hughes wrote: “The answer is a Buick LaCrosse.”

Bernard Hughes wrote: “This is a 2014 Buick LaCrosse.”

CANTON, GA.: David Anderson wrote: “ ‘Wouldn’t you really rather have a Buick?’ That’s what the advertising of old asked our fathers, or, maybe for most of the What Is It? readers, their grandfathers. If Buick were to have a similar slogan today, I think it would be, ‘Wont you please buy a Buick?’

Actually, friends of mine, still mystified as to why GM killed off Pontiac instead of Buick, are surprised when I tell them that it is because of Buick being a sales leader in China. Buick is an ultra premium brand in China, and when the time came to make the painful decisions of what to keep and what to toss out, the sales of Buicks (primarily Regal and LaCrosse) in China was the deciding factor.

“Today, domestic sales for Buick are up more than 14 percent and up, I think, around more than 40 percent since those decisions had to be made. Maybe they can resurrect that original slogan before long.

“Aside from my single Buick purchase of a 1982 Century and my older sister’s dance with a 1955 (I think) Buick sometime in the late 1970s or early ’80s, where she literally had to carry a case of transmission fluid in the trunk to fill up the transmission every time she topped off the gas tank, my immediate family has always been more the Chevrolet, Ford or Pontiac family.

“An uncle was a little more classy, with a Buick Riviera and then a Buick Estate Wagon. By the way, that 1982 Century – ‘The year of the Century,’ the marketing hype touted – turned out to be the worst car I ever owned, seeing the business end of a tow truck more times than all of the other cars I have owned combined.

To this day I will not even consider any car that is even in the same color family as the Dark Redwood (burgundy, really) of that Century. I tell myself that experience does not keep me from considering a modern Buick today, but since I have never bought another, that sadly might not be true.

“I know today that we have generations of families that have never owned an American-branded automobile. In this area, I see a lot of young drivers driving Camaros, Mustangs, Challengers and even Chrysler 300s. I also see a lot of young men driving full-size Chevy, Ford and Dodge pickups.

“I hope that these young drivers lead the way for others to try today’s American brands and not let a past family experience from a generation ago keep them from even considering something like the LaCrosse instead of a Lexus or Mercedes. Today’s cars, foreign and domestic are a far cry from those of our fathers and especially our grandfathers.

“The slogan ‘This is not your father’s Oldsmobile’ holds true today regardless of the brand, so come on, wouldn’t you at least like to try a Buick?”

EVANS: Jerry Paul wrote: “My guess is a Buick LaCrosse. I would like to actually see Shaquille (O’Neal) get into and out of this auto on an advertisement!”

Wayne Wilke, whose entry was inadvertently omitted last week when the Kia Cadenza was featured, said of the LaCrosse: “The base model, which is very nicely equipped, sells for $33,100.”

MARTINEZ: Jim Muraski wrote: “This week’s car is a 2014 Buick LaCrosse.”

SHAWANO, WIS.: Karen McKenna wrote: “This week’s What Is It? is the 2014 Buick LaCrosse.”

THIS WEEK'S CONTEST

This week's What Is It? is a What Are They? You get to guess on four vintage vehicles. Tell us the year and make of these cars: the photo showing the back ends of three cars with their trunklids closed (all three in that photo are the same make and year, by the way); the wagon with the hood raised; the cars with their trunks open (they're all the same, too); and the convertible with its hood raised. So, in total, we need four answers. See if you can get them all.

Send your e-mail to glynn.moore@augustachronicle.com or leave a message at (706) 823-3419.

Please tell us your name and telephone number and the city you live in. It helps to spell your name if you call.

You have until midnight Tuesday. A winner will be chosen randomly.

Thank you for playing the game.


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