1972 Buick Silver Arrow III concept

1972 Buick Silver Arrow III concept

In the world of automotive innovation, the 1972 Buick Silver Arrow III concept stands out as a visionary masterpiece. Designed by the legendary Bill Mitchell and introduced at the 1972 Detroit Auto Show, this concept car showcased a blend of futuristic design elements and advanced technological features that were well ahead of its time.

Design and Styling:
The Buick Silver Arrow III was based on the production Riviera but featured a host of unique modifications that set it apart. One of the most striking changes was the lower roofline, which gave the car a sleek and aggressive stance. The redesigned quarter windows added to the streamlined look, enhancing both aesthetics and aerodynamics.

Advanced Features:
The Silver Arrow III was not just about looks; it was packed with cutting-edge technology. It boasted high-level warning lights that doubled as secondary turn signals, a feature that improved visibility and safety. Up front, six halogen headlights were integrated to provide superior nighttime visibility, a significant advancement for its era.

Innovative Safety Systems:
Safety was a key focus for the Silver Arrow III. The concept car was equipped with four-wheel anti-lock brakes, a pioneering feature that greatly enhanced braking performance and vehicle control. This system was a precursor to the advanced ABS technology commonly found in modern vehicles.

Max Trac System:
One of the most remarkable features of the Silver Arrow III was the inclusion of Max Trac, an early form of traction control. This system helped prevent wheel spin and maintained traction, improving the car’s handling and stability under various driving conditions. The Max Trac system was a forerunner of today‚Äôs sophisticated traction control systems, highlighting Buick’s forward-thinking approach.

1972 Buick Silver Arrow III Concept Shortlist:

  • Designer: Bill Mitchell
  • Debut: 1972 Detroit Auto Show
  • Base Model: Production Riviera

Design Features:

  • Lower roofline
  • Redesigned quarter windows


  • High-level warning lights doubling as secondary turn signals
  • Six halogen headlights

Safety and Technology:

  • Four-wheel anti-lock brakes
  • Max Trac system (early traction control)

Engine and Performance:

  • Engine: 455 cubic inch (7.5-liter) V8
  • Power: 250 horsepower
  • Torque: 375 lb-ft
  • Transmission: 3-speed automatic

The 1972 Buick Silver Arrow III concept was a testament to Buick’s commitment to innovation and design excellence. With its futuristic styling and advanced technological features, the Silver Arrow III not only captivated audiences at the Detroit Auto Show but also set the stage for many of the safety and performance advancements we see in modern cars today. Bill Mitchell’s vision and the groundbreaking features of the Silver Arrow III continue to inspire automotive designers and engineers, cementing its legacy as a true icon of automotive history.

Source: GM Heritage
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