Chas­ing Cars

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - THIS WEEK - Andy Tal­bot

ENGINE 4065cc/8-cyl/OHV POWER 124bhp@3600rpm TORQUE 220lb ft@2000rpm MAX­I­MUM SPEED 88mph 0-60MPH 16.7sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 13-22mpg TRANS­MIS­SION RWD, three-speed au­to­matic MoT July 2019 ODOME­TER 29,903 miles


The mo­tor comes to life with no com­plaint and quickly set­tles into a strong idle. Buicks have pres­ence and the size of the car on UK roads is no­tice­able. You need to saw on the unas­sisted steer­ing wheel to keep the car out of the gut­ter on nar­rower roads, but the han­dling is smooth, and the car stops well for its age. The au­to­matic gear­box is smooth and the straight-eight engine quiet. This com­fort­able and rel­a­tively re­lax­ing 1950s Amer­i­can is free from rat­tles and noises.


This Buick was re­sprayed around 20 years ago and still looks ex­tremely pre­sentable. The rain gut­ters to­wards the rear of the roof have been touched up a lit­tle, but might need fur­ther work where they have started to scab. They don’t re­flect the rest of the car, how­ever, which is bod­ily ex­cel­lent. There are no other no­tice­able signs of rust and the body pan­els and lines are straight and dam­age-free with very good shut lines. Bright­work is good across the car, with only slight ar­eas of pit­ting on the rear wind-down win­dow frames. The door bot­toms are clean and free of rust. The un­der­side has been un­der­sealed black and looks solid fore and aft.


The in­te­rior vinyl and velour are in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion and have likely been re­stored at some point. The head­lin­ing and door cards are free of holes and scrapes and the car­pets are fresh and clean. Some con­trols are sur­pris­ingly dainty for such a large car. Nei­ther the clock nor the built-in ra­dio work, but the chrome is in fan­tas­tic con­di­tion. The steer­ing wheel boss is eye-catch­ing and the sense of orig­i­nal­ity pro­found and tan­gi­ble, de­spite the pass­ing of the decades.


The oh-so Fifties ‘Buick Fire­ball’ moniker faces you when you open the side-hinged bon­net. The enor­mous engine bay swal­lows the tidy-look­ing straight-eight Buick lump and all is tidy, eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble and ser­vice­able. The engine ap­pears to be free of ma­jor leaks of oil and fluid, with the ven­dor re­port­ing only a slight drop of gear­box oil over a pe­riod of time in his garage. There is some sur­face rust on the man­i­fold, but this is noth­ing par­tic­u­larly un­to­ward and the ex­haust sys­tem it­self seems to have plenty of life left in it. The owner has plenty of bills for work done dur­ing his own­er­ship, but says that he will re­tain the cur­rent reg­is­tra­tion num­ber.


The ven­dor has cher­ished this car for 19 years. It’s a very good­look­ing ex­am­ple of a 1950s two-door coupé from Buick and used to be owned by a Lon­don wed­ding car op­er­a­tor. A very solid and pretty ex­am­ple, this is a big car that raises big smiles from ev­ery­one when on the road. Highly rec­om­mended.

Huge straight-eight engine has been well main­tained.

Orig­i­nal-look­ing in­te­rior has prob­a­bly been re­stored.

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