17 May 1999
1948 BUICK SERIES 50 SUPER EIGHT CONVERTIBLE
Chassis no. 14921636
Engine no. 512 224 845
Powder blue with blue cloth and leather interior
Engine: straight eight, 248cu.in., 115bhp; Gearbox: manual three-speed colomn - change with synchromesh, Suspension: independent front by wishbone and coil spring, live rear axle with half elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: four wheel hydraulically operated drum. Left hand drive.
The Buick Motor Company was one of the founder members of General Motors. Forty years on, Buick had a secure position in the corporation's armoury, below the flagship Cadillac line but above Chevrolet, Pontiac and Oldsmobile in GM's carefully graded product ranges. There was no doubt of Buick's appeal to the American upper middle-classes, for through the 1940s the make generally held second place in the Corporation's sales league. The Buick customer always got value for money. Styling was never far behind that of the Cadillacs; there was independent front suspension from 1934. Excellent - in some cases quite potent - pushrod overhead valve straight eight powerplants underpinned the range from 1931 and could power the sedans to a genuine 100mph maximum. Convertibles were something of a Buick speciality, the marque selling a higher proportion of open cars than its rivals. It was a trend continued in the 1940s, with Buick convertibles outselling those of every other maker. The Series 50 Super range was introduced in 1940. In 1948 the convertible, built on the 121in. wheelbase frame, became Buick's most popular open model. By now independent front suspension was by the very effective and much imitated wishbone and coil spring system.
This well presented example features the standard three-speed synchromesh gearbox with column gearshift to facilitate accommodating three abreast on the bench seat. Although the car has been repainted, it still has original chrome in largely good order. Seats are in dual cloth and leather. The correct period radio is still in place and the top is power operated. It was last used about three years ago, so some fettling is recommended. The car is Swiss registered.
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