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
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
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.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
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.
UNDER THE BONNET
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 CCW VIEW
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.