Classic Sports Car
UNTOUCHED BUICK GOES FROM BARN-FIND TO SHOW STAR
In the early 1900s, a Russian immigrant living in Sebastopol, California, was running a successful vineyard so in 1911 he purchased a new Model 33 Buick five-seat passenger tourer. Many years later the Horseless Carriage Club of America was made aware of the car, but the by-then elderly owner wouldn’t sell. After his death, leaving no heir, the car stayed in storage. When HCCA member Douglas Rich heard that the abandoned vineyard was coming up for sale, he was able to buy the car for just over its scrap value. Having looked at it closely, he felt that it was beyond his capabilities and sold it to fellow member Judd Houser.
At that time it is thought that the car had last run in the early 1950s; the engine was found to be in good condition, but the drivetrain needed repair and some items, such as the hood and windscreen, had been lost.
In 2009 the car was reassembled and, in ‘as found’ condition, won Best Original Car at the Utah Concours d’elegance. Since then it has hardly been used and has now been sold by Laferriere Classic Cars of Rhode Island. “The Buick is now ‘desert tan,’ a pigmented patina resulting from storage in a benign climate,” says Tom Laferriere. “Remarkably, the black leather, while brittle, is virtually intact and a 1915 Californian registration medallion remains on the dashboard.”