Thursday, November 18, 2010

1938 Buick Special Four-door Touring Sedan

"The greatness of the 1938 Buick, as with the Buicks which have preceded it, is not founded on its surpassing beauty and glorious comfort alone. The merit of this car springs from the painstaking precision with which each part and element is designed for its appointed function, and from the equally meticulous care with which such designs are executed by the great army of craftsmen manning the largest self-contained automobile factory in the world."

When you visit Havana, the sheer number of vintage Detroit Iron will blow you away, but Cuba's real automotive jewels often hide far away from the trouble of the big cities. This beautiful 1938 Buick Special Series 40, for instance, resides in the small rural town of Zaza Del Medio in central Cuba.

The roots of General Motors lie essentially in Buick. William Durant, then the president of Buick, created GM in 1908 as a holding company for his car enterprise. Subsequently, more brands were added, and together they formed the General Motors empire. Buicks were the solid money-makers in GM's portfolio for a long time, but things really kicked off, when GMs styling director Harley Earl was approached by chairman Harlow C. Curtice: "Design me a Buick you would like to own". The result were the striking 1936 models, which looked very sleek and streamlined with their raked windscreens, long fenders and fully integrated trunk. Sales skyrocketed in this year. This success didn't imply big changes for next year's lineup, but Harley Earl wasn't satisfied yet. New horizontal chrome bars and even longer fenders made for a major styling upgrade in 1937, that was largely the work of Frank Hershey, who later would become a leading stylist at Ford. Already then, "longer, lower and wider" was the formula Harley Earl used to make his latest cars more attractive. The 1937 Buick was without doubt one of the best looking cars America had to offer. The 1938 lineup refined these horizontal looks, and under the hood mechanical changes made a good car even better: as first manufacturer in the U.S., Buick applied coil springs all-around, which made for a much improved ride.

The build quality of these prewar cars is impeccable, and any comparison with a tank wouldn't be much out of place. Even today, after more than 70 years in service, this Buick Special runs with its original Dynaflash engine, and the trim parts still shine through a thin layer of patina. Try to achieve this with your current car, and in 70 years we'll add your photo to our blog...

1 Kommentare:

Paulo Levi said...

Wonderful car, like most other cars shown in your blog. Congratulations to you and to all the dedicated owners of these cars - and keep up the good work!