Real Wheels: Fast and functional, Bluffton couple take advantage of deals


By Jim Krumel - [email protected]



When the original owner traded in this 1967 Buick GS 400 convertible shortly after he purchased it, Donna Morrison was quick to buy it. It’s the first car she ever owned.

When the original owner traded in this 1967 Buick GS 400 convertible shortly after he purchased it, Donna Morrison was quick to buy it. It’s the first car she ever owned.


Dennis and Donna Morrison each have classic cars.

Dennis and Donna Morrison each have classic cars.


Dennis Morrison purchased this 1992 Eddie Bauer Aerostar from the superintendent of the Lima Ford Engine Plant. The executive only had the Aerostar for a few months when he sold it.


With 340 horsepower and 440 pound per foot of torque, the 1967 Buick GS 400 was capable of ripping off zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds.


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The Lima News publishes photographs of vintage cars, 20 years or older, free of charge in Real Wheels. It is easy to get your car featured:

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Email: [email protected]

Include: Photograph of your car; year of car, make and model; how many years you have owned the vehicle; car’s history; best memory of car; your name, address and telephone number (the phone number will not be published).

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BLUFFTON — Two memorable things happened to Dennis Morrison after a young lady caught his eye when he returned home from Vietnam in 1969.

The best was getting a date with former classmate Donna McCluer, whom he will be married to for 50 years on Oct. 7.

The second had to deal with fast cars and her 1967 Buick GS 400.

“It is a fun car to drive, especially for those who think it doesn’t have much power,” Dennis said. “Little do they know about what’s under the hood. Buick kept the stated horsepower low to keep insurance rates lower. The 340 horsepower is likely a lot more.”

The 1967 Buick GS 400 was the first car Donna ever purchased. She bought it from Clark’s Buick in Bluffton after the original owner traded it in. He owned it just a few months after buying it new.

“At that time he said he didn’t know why he purchased it,” Dennis said. “Now he says he wished he had kept it.”

That’s true with many people who once owned a Gran Sport, according to Hot Cars magazine.

The Buick 400 was the result of General Motors’ efforts to create sports models during an era where muscle cars ruled the streets. The 400 was supposed to be the most splendidly equipped GM sports model of that era. However, the Gran Sport never claimed the “in-your-face magnetism” of GM cars like the Pontiac GTO or Chevrolet Camaro. They were referred to as “Jimi Hendrix cars” by Muscle Car magazine, while the Buick GS-400 was said to be more easy listening, more Herb Alpert.

That’s all changed now.

Today, the Buick Gran Sport is a classic car highly sought by muscle enthusiasts. Donna Morrison is one of the few who can say she has owned her 1967 model for 55 years.

“We enjoy taking it to car shows like the Lions Club Festival of Wheels in Bluffton or Pioneer Days in Kalida. It attracts a lot of attention,” Dennis says.

The Buick GS 400 isn’t the only classic vehicle the Morrisons own. The other end of the spectrum puts them in the seats of a 1992 Eddie Bauer Ford Aerostar minivan.

The Aerostar was Ford’s answer to the Chevrolet Astro during the 1980s. It was a time when the humble minivan turned out to be one of the automotive industry’s greatest success stories. Mini-vans opened an untapped market of affordable and efficient family transportation that continued into the 1990s. Ford produced more than 2 million Aerostars from 1986 to 1997.

Morrison’s 1992 Eddie Bauer Aerostar is now a show car for Dennis, who worked at the Lima Ford Engine Plant for 41 years. And like his wife did when she purchased her GS 400, Dennis got quite a deal when buying the Aerostar.

“I bought it from my superintendent at the Lima Ford Engine Plant. He only had the Aerostar for a short time. I’ve owned it all but two months of its life,” Dennis said.

And while there is no such thing as a “hot mini-van,” many people can relate with Morrison’s Aerostar when he takes it to car shows.

“We took it on many family trips to Florida,” he said. “It seems like many people our age once had a mini-van.”

When the original owner traded in this 1967 Buick GS 400 convertible shortly after he purchased it, Donna Morrison was quick to buy it. It’s the first car she ever owned.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/03/web1_BUick-GS-400.jpgWhen the original owner traded in this 1967 Buick GS 400 convertible shortly after he purchased it, Donna Morrison was quick to buy it. It’s the first car she ever owned.
Dennis and Donna Morrison each have classic cars.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/03/web1_Morrisons.jpgDennis and Donna Morrison each have classic cars.
Dennis Morrison purchased this 1992 Eddie Bauer Aerostar from the superintendent of the Lima Ford Engine Plant. The executive only had the Aerostar for a few months when he sold it.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/03/web1_FordAerostar.jpgDennis Morrison purchased this 1992 Eddie Bauer Aerostar from the superintendent of the Lima Ford Engine Plant. The executive only had the Aerostar for a few months when he sold it.
With 340 horsepower and 440 pound per foot of torque, the 1967 Buick GS 400 was capable of ripping off zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/03/web1_buick-engine.jpgWith 340 horsepower and 440 pound per foot of torque, the 1967 Buick GS 400 was capable of ripping off zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds.

By Jim Krumel

[email protected]

GET YOUR CAR FEATURED

The Lima News publishes photographs of vintage cars, 20 years or older, free of charge in Real Wheels. It is easy to get your car featured:

Mail: Real Wheels, Newsroom, The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, OH 45807.

Email: [email protected]

Include: Photograph of your car; year of car, make and model; how many years you have owned the vehicle; car’s history; best memory of car; your name, address and telephone number (the phone number will not be published).

If you have further questions, contact The Lima News newsroom at 419-222-6397 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.

ONLY ON LIMAOHIO.COM

Check out cars we’ve featured and discuss your memories on the Real Wheels page at LimaOhio.com/tag/realwheels.

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