Good ol' cars and trucks - Buicks

As we drive around the state, we spot some great reminders of the past, classic cars and trucks made out of "Detroit iron." We skid to a stop, and click ‘em. We’ll set this up by make, and each section will be chronological, oldest to newest, but always classics only.



Buick 96, 1931


Buick, 1937 Special Series 40. The styling of the Buick Special Series 40 was modified for 1937 with several noticeable changes, mostly to the front. There were eight body styles from which to select. Powering the Series 40 was an inline overhead valve Eight-cylinder engine that offered 100 horsepower.


Buick, 1954 4 door Special. Back in the day, this was marketed as "The Beautiful Buy" and it took nearly 10 percent of the market. She had a new 264 cube V8 capable of 143 hp or 150 hp depending on transmission. The front suspension was refined. The front grill had the waterfall design and new bumper guards looked like bullets. I found this one at Glen Ray Radiators on 6th St. in northeast Wausau, Marathon. It belongs to Raymond Schirmer.


The car had a new sweepline that took a "V" dip and continued aft rather than returning forward as in previous years. The Special outsold all other sister Buicks with a run of 190,8854 units.


Buick Estate Wagon 1957, with proud owner. Some would refer to this wagon as "the pace car for a brand-new line of Buick Estate Wagons." She was elaborately equipped. It turns out that four-door hardtop wagons were not as popular as hardtop coupes. That said, this fact has made wagons like this rare and therefore highly desirable from a collector's vantage.


I originally thought this to be the Caballero Estate Wagon, made only in 1957 and 1958. It was positioned by Buick at the top end, powered by a strong V8 which could have 364 cubes, with plenty of luxury throughout. My only worry about making this call is that I do not see the Caballero name on the rear door. This also has only three "Buick ventiports" up front, whereas Caballeros I have seen have four. Therefore I suspect this one could be the Buick Special estate Wagon which could have a 364 cubic inch engine as well. Whatever the case, she is sweet --- with significant Dee-troit Iron! I still love that Dee-troit Iron. I've never got used to all this plastic garbage.


Buick Limited Convertible, 1958. We found this beauty at Lloyd's Auto Repair Inc. at 1815 N. 6th Street in Wausau, Marathon County. You want Detroit Iron, you get Detroit Iron! This "pose" doesn't give you a real sense for the enormity of this Panzer. If this sweetheart hits you, say your prayers and goodnight. She'll roll over your modern car like a M-1 Abrams tank over and Iraqi berm. This next shot might help.


That's a machine! She has a 127 in. wheelbase, and is 227.1 inches long, just short of 19 feet. The Buick Limited was built in Detroit from 1936-1942 as a premium series car. It was reincarnated in 1958 as the "ultimate Buick," a response to Chrysler's forward look, and loaded with chrome. This "bad boy" deserves a few more views. There's nothing like it today. It has more chrome and stainless steel trim than any other car ever manufactured.


The company bragged about this grill, cast of 158 chrome squares, each, according to the company, "shaped in a design to maximize the amount of reflective light." Also note the "V" medallions on the hood and each fender, there are more on the trunk and on the side panels.


It is awesome standing at the car looking at the rear wheel, spokes, special hub cover, those mega-wide white walls, and all the chrome aft.


This is, perhaps, the most incredible part of the car, the rear. Designing the center of gravity for this car must have been a challenge, because that chrome and wheel hang pretty darn far behind the rear wheels. Totally awesome.


Buick Special, 1963: The same David Johnson near Edgerton, Dae County who has the 1948 Chevy shown above also has this swetheart, a convertible as you can see. Buick introduced this car in 1961. Like earlier models, the 1963 Special was made largely of sheet metal. The Buick Skylark would be an offshoot of the Special. the Special usually carried a 215 cubed V8 and came as a convertible, 2-door hardtop, 2-door coupe, and 4-door station wagon, the latter very rare to find these days.




Buick Special 1964. Buick brought out the Special in 1936 and ran it through 1958. By 1955 she was one of America's best-selling cars. Buick stopped making them in 1958 but brought them back in 1961, this time on a new unibody intermediate GM Y platform. The 1964 saw a major redesign with a separate body-on-frame construction, called the A-body, and she was marketed as an intermediate-sized car.


Again, I don't know what this baby has in her, but the versions produced by Buick in the day could have a V6 engine at 225 cubic inches, or an aluminum V8 with a new cast iron-block 300 cubic inch and aluminum cylinder heads.


Buick LeSabre convertible, 1975. The LeSabre was introduced in 1959. In 1975, there were seven variants of the LeSabre which sold 109,121. You could get 350 cube V-8 or 455. She was about a foot longer than a Mercury station wagon. We found this one "for sale" at 5th and Western in Mosinee, Marathon County.