£12,950 As stated
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Introduced in 1940, the new 50 Series Super was a full-size automobile available in four distinct body styles - coupe, sedan, convertible and station wagon - all featuring the same Art Deco styled C Body seen in the Series 70 Roadmaster as well as the Cadillac Series 62, Oldsmobile Series 90 and Pontiac Custom Torpedo. Fitted with a 248cui straight-8 Fireball engine from the previous model, the Super offered voluminous passenger space with reasonable power and fuel economy. However, within just 12 months, performance was somewhat enhanced with redesigned pistons and Compound Carburetion boosting power from 90BHP to 125BHP. Various detail changes featured over forthcoming years but the basic recipe remained the same. In 1949, the most obvious of these was the introduction of three chrome Ventiports on either side of both front wings, distinguishing the car from the more powerful Roadmaster. The sales brochure claimed that they assisted with engine cooling but the truth was much more interesting. The story goes that Ned Nickles, chief stylist for Buick, modified his own 1948 Roadmaster by installing four amber lights to each side of his car`s bonnet, wired up to the distributor. As pistons fired, the lights would flash on and off simulating the exhaust stack on a fighter plane! With the bombsight mascot on the leading edge of the bonnet, Ventiports put the driver at the controls of an imaginary fighter. Upon seeing this, Buick chief Harlow Curtice, loved the idea so much, he immediately ordered Ventiports on all 1949 cars.
Our car dates from 1949 and whilst very early history is scarce, it was sold in March 1953 by Cornthwaite Buick Co. of Rockville, Indiana to a local couple, a Mr and Mrs Burnett. Service tickets record annual servicing through to 1960 when the Buick was sold to a Lt. Col John Borders of the US Air Force. He retained the car through the 1960`s and whilst stationed in Alabama, the Buick was maintained by local dealer in Montgomery, Brewbaker Motors. By the early 1970`s, the car had returned to Indiana and became to property of a businessman in Indianapolis. Service tickets from 1972-80 again record regular maintenance. The trail then goes cold for a few years but at some point in the mid-1990`s, it was acquired by a film company who subsequently sent the car back to the Buick Division of GM where it was restored and repainted. In 1997, it was used in the comedy drama “Going all the Way” starring Ben Affleck and Rachel Weisz, a film set in Indianapolis in the mid-1950`s relating the story of two young men returning to middle America after fighting in the Korean War. The film was largely set in the City and when production was complete, the company moved back to Hollywood apparently leaving a number of bad debts behind. A local attorney in Indianapolis who had facilitated paperwork and licences for the film company was himself owed money and the story goes was given the Buick in lieu of his services. Needing his money, he put the car straight up for sale and it was purchased by a Mr Robert Condit of Clayton, Indiana. There is a copy of an email on file from Mr. Condit confirming this entire story. He retained the Buick for 5 years before selling to a gentleman in Rochester, New York where the car was a regular attendee at local parades and cavalcades (a programme from one such show has the car on the front cover). In 2005, the car was sold to an Italian in New York who subsequently sold it after just 12 months to an American car importer, Uncle Sam Motors, of Norwich. In early September 2006, the car left New York arriving in the UK at the end of the month. Photographs on file document the car being loaded for export as well as the importation paperwork and DVLA first registration Certificate. Just three weeks later, on 21st October 2006, the Buick was sold to a gentleman in Dereham, Norfolk for £7, 800 and the car started a fresh chapter here in the UK. Obviously loved and enjoyed, the Buick remained with its first UK keeper for some 13 years and there are many bills and receipts on file as well as MoT Certificates and annual insurance updates including photographs and Club Valuation Certificates documenting an almost immediate £12, 500 agreed value. From 2009-2012, the car was taken to many local shows including appearing in the Cromer Carnival several times and attending the NASC Street Rod Nationals in Ipswich. Notable receipts from Bob`s Automobilia in California document a replacement headlining, full set of brake parts, shock absorbers, thermostat and re-cored radiator in 2012 alone. Subsequent bills document wheel bearings (2013 and 2015), fuel pump, throttle repair kit and petrol cap (2014), head-gasket, exhaust gasket and valves, temperature gauge, filters and numerous bulbs (2016). After 2016, the car was used sparingly having covered almost 10, 000 miles since importation in 2006 and was ultimately sold in the summer of 2019. Retained for just 3 years, the Buick was sold again in July 2022.
The Buick today presents as shown in the photographs. Yes, some of the turquoise paint has faded and one or two small areas have flaked or chipped but none of this takes away from the almost outrageous Art Deco styling and detailing of this car. From the hooded headlight cowls with inset blue jewels to those fabulous Ventiports. Genuinely, this Buick isn’t from just a different era, it`s from a different world. Indeed, the patina, in my belief, is totally in keeping with character of the car and to re-paint it would be a great shame. The styling continues inside the cabin with a typical 1940`s dash, large steering wheel and a full set of dials and named buttons. The original cloth trim is showing some wear especially to the seat base in the front and as such has been loosely covered with Mexican blankets. To recover would not be a big or expensive job but obviously would be to personal taste and hence why I have not taken this step. The headlining was replaced 10 years ago and rear carpets more recently. Turn the key, push the button and the straight-8 fires up immediately sounding smooth yet purposeful. Select 1st and the beast glides forward sedately changing up easily via the column change to 3rd (top) and you are already cruising at 30-35MPH. On the open road, the Buick is quite sensational with great roadholding, positive steering and not surprisingly, huge road presence! It is a big car but even around the lanes of South Dorset is totally manageable with firm brakes and excellent all `round visibility. I have just returned from a 15-mile run along the coast and loved every second. It drives exactly as one would hope and this is testament to regular use and maintenance over the past 10 years or so.
The Buick comes with 4 files of history, various parts catalogues, a Workshop Manual, a Service and Construction Manual and 2 sets of keys.
A simply wonderful piece of classic Americana with amazing provenance.
Shore Classics is based on the West Dorset coast within easy proximity of both Weymouth and the County town of Dorchester. As classic and vintage dealers, we offer full brokerage facilities. So if you require some help and guidance with selling your classic car or motorcycle, just give us a call today.
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