Never Underestimate The Influence Of 1954 Buick Roadmaster | 1954 buick roadmaster

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The massive vertical-tooth grille makes this car recognizable as a Buick from half a mile away.  The headlights and parking lights are housed together in a downward pointing oval.  The wrap-around windshield was the beginning of a styling fad that swept through the industry from the mid to late ‘50s.  And the raised portion of the rear fenders foreshadowed the tailfin craze that dominated the rest of the decade.

Note also the wide whitewalls, the full wheel discs with red rims, the sweep-spear side trim, and portholes on the sides of the front fenders, a Buick trademark since 1949.  And under the hood of the 1954 Buick Special was a hot new V8 engine with 264 cubic inches and 150 horsepower, replacing the straight eight engine in Buicks since 1931.  The bigger Buicks had received a new V8 in 1953 and now the Buick Special had one.  

Gary Miller of Miller Shell service station just west of Leamington bought his Buick Special about ten years ago from a man in Jordan Station, Ontario, and the deal included a very rusty 1954 Buick Skylark convertible, so rusty in fact that the frame was almost broken in two.  That car donated its power steering unit to Gary’s ’54 Special and the Skylark later went to a collector in Sudbury who had six of them!    

The original 264 cubic inch V8 in Gary’s car has now been replaced by a 322 cubic inch ’56 Buick engine with 4-barrel carb that had been stored in a barn near Dorchester after being taken out of a ’47 Mercury hot rod 40 years ago.  The engine had been very carefully stored and the skeleton of a mouse was found behind the water pump housing.  After replacing the occasional gasket, Gary was able to fire it right up.  The Dynaflow transmission was rebuilt by a shop in Windsor.

The car was apparently repainted once and the interior is like new.  

There was no evidence of rust anywhere and no body work was required.  Gary repainted the black wheel rims red as a finishing touch.  The odometer shows around 60,000 miles, and judging by the car’s amazing condition, that mileage could very well be accurate.

I’m always looking for more stories.  Email billtsherk@sympatico.ca or write Bill Sherk, P.O. Box 255, 25 John Street, Leamington, ON N8H 3W2.  Everyone whose story is published in my column will receive a free autographed copy of my book: “OLD CAR DETECTIVE FAVOURITE STORIES, 1925 to 1965.”

Never Underestimate The Influence Of 1954 Buick Roadmaster | 1954 buick roadmaster – 1954 buick roadmaster
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