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As a (future) first time Buick owner, I've been doing a little research on the heritage of the company (interesting to read). I ran across this in Wikipedia on the history of "portholes" or "ventiports". These are the little vents on either side of the Enclaves hood. I hope you find it as fascinating as I do. -Greg

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A traditional Buick styling cue dating to 1949 is a series of three or four portholes or vents on the front fender behind the front wheels. The source of this design feature was a custom car (one not made by Buick, but personal car of stylist Ned Nickles), which in addition had a flashing light within each hole, each synchronized with a specific spark plug simulating the flames from the exhaust stack of a fighter airplane. Combined with the bombsight mascot (introduced in the 1940s), the ventiports put the driver at the controls of an imaginary fighter airplane. The flashing light feature was not used by Buick in production, but the portholes remained as nonfunctional ornamentation.

These were originally called "Ventiports" as they did allow air flow into the engine bay (later just "portholes"). Ventiports have appeared sporadically on several models since.

Lower cost models were equipped with three portholes, while higher cost models came with four. Often, people would denote their cars as "Four-Holers" or "Three-Holers" to assert the car's class. When the number of portholes was standardized across the entire model line, buyers of the higher cost models complained bitterly that they felt shortchanged. In 2003 they were re-introduced on the Buick Park Avenue. After the Park Avenue was discontinued, Buick salvaged the portholes to appear on the new Lucerne. In a break with tradition, the Lucerne's portholes refer directly to engine configuration: six-cylinder models have three on each side, while V8s have four on each side.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick


 

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GreginMD said:
As a (future) first time Buick owner, I've been doing a little research on the heritage of the company (interesting to read). I ran across this in Wikipedia on the history of "portholes" or "ventiports". These are the little vents on either side of the Enclaves hood. I hope you find it as fascinating as I do. -Greg

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A traditional Buick styling cue dating to 1949 is a series of three or four portholes or vents on the front fender behind the front wheels. The source of this design feature was a custom car (one not made by Buick, but personal car of stylist Ned Nickles), which in addition had a flashing light within each hole, each synchronized with a specific spark plug simulating the flames from the exhaust stack of a fighter airplane. Combined with the bombsight mascot (introduced in the 1940s), the ventiports put the driver at the controls of an imaginary fighter airplane. The flashing light feature was not used by Buick in production, but the portholes remained as nonfunctional ornamentation.

These were originally called "Ventiports" as they did allow air flow into the engine bay (later just "portholes"). Ventiports have appeared sporadically on several models since.

Lower cost models were equipped with three portholes, while higher cost models came with four. Often, people would denote their cars as "Four-Holers" or "Three-Holers" to assert the car's class. When the number of portholes was standardized across the entire model line, buyers of the higher cost models complained bitterly that they felt shortchanged. In 2003 they were re-introduced on the Buick Park Avenue. After the Park Avenue was discontinued, Buick salvaged the portholes to appear on the new Lucerne. In a break with tradition, the Lucerne's portholes refer directly to engine configuration: six-cylinder models have three on each side, while V8s have four on each side.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick


HEY, THAT OLD BUICK LOOKS :hot: I REALLY LOVE THE FACT THAT BUICK INTERGRATED SOME OF THEIR OLD IDEAS INTO THE NEW ENCLAVE.
 

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i remember when we were on a trip a few months ago we saw an old buick that had portholes, but they looked more like the ones on the enlcave and lacrosse.
 

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Gmoney_2010 said:
i remember when we were on a trip a few months ago we saw an old buick that had portholes, but they looked more like the ones on the enlcave and lacrosse.
THEY ARE VERY SHARP AND ADD TO THE UNIQUNESS OF THE BUICK.... I LOVE EM
 

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Now maybe if the designers today could use the thoughtfulness of the past and put in LEDs to each porthole. Then tie them to the side blinker and give off a European vibe.
 

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imgntht said:
Now maybe if the designers today could use the thoughtfulness of the past and put in LEDs to each porthole. Then tie them to the side blinker and give off a European vibe.
That could actually be very interesting. Have little LED's in there that aren't blatantly seen, but signal, and there's a nice little flash of some sort. Sounds very concept-car'ish, as a fun detail, but could easily be worked into production in different ways. Sort of bringing the design element into today.

The portholes are a great, classy detail that really does bring a classic touch to new Buicks--when done well. What isn't so great, though, is the aftermarket world that has run wild with different stick on port hole options...which aren't bad, mostly, unless you're one of the few weirdos who think they belong on a new Pontiac (I've seen it) :-\
 

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Chrysler 300.......Chevy Silverado ?? I've seen it.
 
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they had better not put it on the silverado, thats why i got a sierra insted of an esclade, i didnt like the bling bling of the port holes, the only thing that deserves port holes is a ship.
 

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Rollin Thunder + Black Bandit said:
they had better not put it on the silverado, thats why i got a sierra insted of an esclade, i didnt like the bling bling of the port holes, the only thing that deserves port holes is a ship.
The one's I saw was Aftermarket.
 

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imgntht said:
Saw them in the three oval hole style just today on...of all things...a HONDA CIVIC!
That's weird, I saw them on a Mazda 6 sedan as well today. Amazing to see import drivers trying to make their cars look like a Buick! I bet they would never admit that! :thumb:
 

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Isn't it amazing that others are emulating the "Buick Look"
Buick will have a bright future after all.

***GO BUICK***
 
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yea i saw THE NEW STYLE on an 02 lincoln conteneltial getting pizza :eek:hno: :eek:hno: :cheers:
 

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Yes...I'm clearly not the only one.

A few cars, okay...maybe like the square ones people use on 300's--but still not a fan. But start slapping them on a Pontiac G6 (which, by the way, then got stick on hood scoops the next week and chrome wheel-well lip molding...gosh, is it BAD), a Civic, etc. and I think you're beyond tacky.

Then again, some people just go by the motto that the more peel & stick stuff they can find and install...the better.
 

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I hate to burst a bubble or a porthole as the case may be, but Hot Rod Gramma means I have been around a long, long time. My parents first purchased a 1939 Buick Coupe with jump seats in the back of the front seats. Dad bought it when he came home from the war (the Big One) in about 1945. I do not remember portholes on that car, but--

The next Buick was a 1942 Super (they had 3 portholes). Buick stopped production after that for several years due to WWII and the materials used for cars was directed to the war effort. I remember this car well. We called it the Gray Ghost because it was gunmetal gray. Dad was an automobile mechanic at that time. The reason I remember so well, even though I was so young, was that the number of portholes was a status symbol and I was very conscious of status in my early years. The Roadmaster was the fancy schmancy Buick with 4, that's right, 4 portholes. The Special model which was the least special had 3 as did the Super model. The l942 and the 1948 models were identical in body style except that the fenders in the l942 model dropped the molded effect right behind the wheel well and the l948 extended the molded look at a downward slant right back to the rear wheel well molding.
That, believe it or not, was the last Buick I can remember riding in that was owned by my family until Dad bought a 1976 Buick hardtop convertible (I cannot remember the model name) Of course I was long out of the house by then. He now is driving his l984 and has almost 200,000 miles on it. He says they are growing old together.

Just a little trivia for you and a trip down memory lane for me. :cheers:
 

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That is so interesting, Htrdgrma!
Here is some interesting info about the 1942 Buicks:

For many years Buick held an enviable position as a favorite of discriminating people including The Duke of Windsor, later King Edward VIII. This example, produced in the interrupted production year of 1942, shows for the first time the front fender partially extended across the front door.


The 1942 model year began in September 1941. World War II started on December 7th and automobile production ceased on 2 February 1942. 5,439 cars were built. This car cost $1,465, weighs 4,150 pounds and is 217 inches overall on a 129 inch wheelbase chassis. The 'Fireball' 320 cubic-inch engine developed 165 horsepower at 3600 RPM. This was the largest and hottest passenger car engine in production anywhere in the world.


Despite the hardships imposed by lack of materials and uncertain production schedules, Buick made substantial changes in its 1942 models, and the near total redesign caught virtually all other auto makers by surprise. The new Buick was an extremely modern car, with its massive chrome grill and large bumpers. After 1 January 1942, the government prohibited the use of all chrome trim, and thus all trim pieces were painted in matching colors, primarily battleship gray. Known as 'blackout models,' production of these chrome-less cars stopped on 2 February 1942 when the government ended all auto production for the duration of the war. However, Buick did not have to resort to painted bumpers because it had enough pre-restriction chromed bumpers on hand to complete its 1942 model run.


The last Buick to leave the factory carried a sign reading: 'Until total victory we dedicate ourselves to the objective 'When better war goods are built, Buick workmen will build them.''


Here are some photos for memory lane:

A 1938 Buick


The 1942 Buick Super




and might this be your 1976 Buick (Electra)?
 

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:)Thanks, Enclave, for the trip down memory lane. The Coupe looks much like the beige 39 my Dad drove. How interesting that you have found all that information. I love the slogan on the last buick. Wonder how many companies would do that today?

I will relay this info to my Dad. He will love to hear it and probably have a few historical tidbits of his own. He remember so much of the past. He will be 94 on Christmas Day and still loves his Buicks. :clap2:
 

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That's great your Dad still loves Buicks! I found a 1939 photo for you:



"1939 was rough for Buick: production and reliability problems. A transitional year."
 

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Where do you find all of these wonderful photos? The '39 you posted looks like one in an old photo of my Dad's friend leaning against the side of the car with his foot on the running board. How fun.
 
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