1954 Buick Special
Roadside America is flashing past your eyes as the wind whips through your hair; your chin sitting on your folded arms on top of the rear windowsill as you stare out the open window. The images of neon-lit diners, catchy-named motels, and split-window coupes become lost in the back of your mind as your youthful thoughts drift into the realm of the future. But something far off to the east catches your wondering eyes; a flash from the setting sun bouncing off the nose of the car traveling at you in the other lane. Lifting your head off your arms, and leaning out the window for a better glance, it becomes apparent that the mirror-like finish is the chrome on a new Buick, reflecting anything that it sees. It flashes past you like Buck Rogers on his way to another mission, and you quietly slip back to your own little world.
For consignment a survivor, a barn find, an original with some dents and dings, surface rust, and faults, but a driver, mechanically OK, newly rebuilt transmission (1,000 miles on her), and a good interior. Mid 50's Buick styling never looked so smart.
Slimmer “teeth”, and more of them, grace the waterfall design, while bumper guards take on the bullet design. Turn signals reside under the headlamps, surrounded by decorative teardrop chrome trim similar to that found on the XP-300, while a new, slim sweep spear design takes a 'V' dip, then continues aft rather than returning forward as in previous years. Panels are fairly straight and gaps a little inconsistent. Front ventiports don't show rust on the surrounding body, which is good because this is a tricky fix. The swoop spear is bordered in two tone green on the bottom and yellow on top. This was an earlier respray, and is showing signs of surface rust, and plenty of chips and scratches and some bubbles on the rockers. All chrome is fair to poor and contains pitting, dulling and rusting. Hard to find BUICK badged moon caps, a bit dulled, are wrapped in wide whites and are seen on all corners of this car.
A two-tone cloth and Cordaveen — Buick's name for vinyl — combination is seen on this car in green color way. Fronting the front split bench is the dash, which sports dual circular instruments. Between the two is the Buick shield separating the turn signal indicators, with the marque name above, and the model name below. The radio is centered in the dash, with radio controls and dash-mounted ashtrays on either side. One further step to the right of the radio and you'll find the optional electric clock and the glove box at the far end. Below the right-side ashtray is the lighter poking out from the rounded metal mesh speaker cover and dash bottom. Under the left ash tray are the airplane-inspired controls for the vents and fan. Ignition and wiper controls straddle the steering column, and the light switch is located to the left side of the dash just under the speedometer. Interestingly as the dash background aluminum covering, moves from driver to passenger right on the center of the radio, the faded square pattern changes from horizontal fades to vertical fades. Restoration or factory error? Headliner is tight, and green carpet is slightly faded and shows wear.
All original under the hood with a well patinad bay and a Nailhead 264ci 8-cylinder showing paint chipping surface rust and corrosion. A single 2-barrel carburetor is atop and a Dynaflow 2-speed automatic transmission is strapped to the back of the engine. 3.60 gears spread the power to the rear wheels.
Surface rust abounds although there really is only 1 area of concern as to invasive rust and that is on the rear part of the rockers where they meet the frame. Surface rust has also invaded the bottoms of the doors on the inside. 4-wheel drum brakes, and Independent front and rear coil springs are seen in this underneath environment.
A running project car, all original steel showing some signs of distress, but definitely in the realm of salvageable. In fact, doing so would give you a real classic that only a bit over 9,100 examples exist for this Buick year and model.
4-Series 40 Special
4-Kansas City MO Assy Plant
05867-Sequential Unit Number
MODEL NO 46R
STYLE NO 54 4437-1954 Buick Special 2 Door Riviera
BODY NO BK 7864-Kansas City Body #
TRIM NO 26-Dark Green Nylon Surrey Seats With Light Green Cordoveen Bolsters
PAINT NO 20L-Condor Yellow Body (Roof Code L is N/A)