Special Estate Wagon
Documented Three Owner Special Estate Wagon Nailhead 8
- *1 of 1650 produced
- *Willow Green/Artic White
- *264cid Nailhead V8
- *Dynaflow 2-speed auto
- *Numbers matching
- *Unrestored survivor
We've all heard the 'Cinderella stories' about survivor cars that are fully documented time capsules which someone had the rare opportunity to fastidiously preserve and turn into gold. The problem is, most of these fairy tales involve models which are very common in collector car folklore and, when sold, usually bring high five or even six digit price tags. At RK Motors Charlotte, we specialize in both the rare AND unique; and every once in a while, we'll find an incredibly cool car like this numbers matching 1954 Buick Special Estate Wagon. Spending most of its life in the hands of one owner, this highly original, 100% correct '54 Buick head turner is the perfect car for any collector who is looking for a first rate classic with an outstanding history. And best of all, it's a documented, well-preserved car that costs about a fifth of those typical 'Cinderella stories'!
As one of only 1,650 1954 Special Estate Wagons produced, this well-preserved Buick spent the majority of its life in the warm and dry town of Rolla, Missouri under the possession of Edwin Mooney and Peter Hansen. Its story begins in 1954, when Vance Motor Sales sold the car new to Mr. Mooney who would keep it for only two years before trading on a brand new model. Mr. Mooney's loss was Mr. Hansen's gain, as he purchased the car for the sum of $2,040 and would keep it immaculately maintained and documented for the next 54 years. In 2010, Mr. Hansen passed away and the car was added to the family here at RK Motors Charlotte.
Few color combinations pay homage to the classy 1950s better than this Buicks correct code 13 Willow Green and code 02 Artic White paint. And fewer still are finished to the great drive and show level that this car currently exhibits. In 2010, when the time came to freshen the car up in preparation for a sale, it's all original and extremely hard to find body panels were sanded down and re-sprayed in a durable and great looking basecoat/clearcoat finish. Today with a glowing two-tone paint job and high quality factory gaps and panel fitment, this classic wagon presents exceptionally well and is a fantastic example of why vintage Buicks have become design icons.
In the 50s General Motors was really on a roll with its expressive styling. And even though this '54 Special Estate Wagon was originally designed as a relatively utilitarian vehicle, it's not hard to see why Buicks 1954 ad campaign was “The Beautiful Buy”. At the front of the car, a showroom fresh body-width bumper props a newly detailed '54 Buick waterfall grille between large bumper bullets and great looking chrome tear drop headlights. At the top of that grille, pristine chrome “Buick” letters and a like-new 'scoop and bulls eye' hood ornament ride on a sculpted hood which flows past an optional power antenna to a curved and stainless trimmed windshield. At the sides of the car, traditional stainless Buick 'sweep spears' run the length of the front fenders and doors only to level off and trace '54 Special wagon and sedan exclusive flat rear fender openings. On the front fenders you'll find three pristine chrome Buick portholes, which denote the cars status as a Special. At the top of the doors you'll find like-new stainless trim, chrome door handles and a correct chrome driver's side mirror; and on the back fenders, show worthy red and chrome “Special” emblems align at the visual intersection of the horizontal line created by the portholes and an angled line created by subtle rear fins. At the back of the car, bullet-style tail lights hang above a chrome wrap around bumper which is complete with vertical guards. Between those tail lights, clear, chrome trimmed reverse lights sit below a split tailgate which wears a new chrome handle, more dent-free stainless trim and an airplane inspired red, white and blue “Buick Special” emblem.
Pop the long green hood and you'll find the car's original 264 cubic inch Nailhead V8. Considered virtually indestructible, Buicks first V8 received the nickname 'Nailhead' because its long, small and vertically positioned valves bear an uncanny resemblance to nails. The engines combination of smaller valves, hydraulic lifters and a camshaft with greater lift and duration create a hefty 8 to 1 compression ratio which results in excellent low end torque. While the Nailheads official horsepower rating is a modest 150, it produces a very impressive 240 lb./ft. of torque which, at the time, almost achieved Buicks ultimate goal of one pound of torque per cubic inch. The engine wears a correct Stromberg AAVB-267 2-barrel carburetor between a correct satin black air cleaner and a clean coat of Buick Green paint. Behind that carburetor, a points distributor sends power through Delcore Suppression wires which snake into cool green heat shields above correct cast iron exhaust manifolds. At the front of the motor, a correct radiator feeds fresh hoses, and fresh belts spin a correct generator, a correct water pump and a correct fan. Aesthetically, the clean satin black engine bay is sparse by today's standards with a correct Willard battery, a jar for windshield washer fluid and reproduction hood insulation providing the bulk of detailing. And mechanically, the reliable engine fires immediately, idles well and is a joy to drive short distances or long.
The bottom of this stunning Buick Special is characterized by solid original floor pans and a straight, newly lowered for 1954 General Motors X-frame. Dubbed 'the million dollar ride' the 1954 Buick Special's drivetrain and suspension was built with comfort in mind, and even today it's the perfect place to spend a Sunday afternoon taking in the sights. At the front of the car, a refined front suspension utilizes an upgraded steering linkage and double A-arms and coil springs that are wound around direct acting shock absorbers which have been attached directly to the frame. And behind the engine, Buicks twin turbine Dynaflow 2-speed automatic transmission sends power to an original rear end with tall 3.60 gears. Extremely smooth, almost unbreakable, and by far the most popular Buick transmission offered in 1954, the Dynaflow allowed for the higher compression Nailhead V8 as well as better rear end gearing to create a solid and swift ride that help catapult the brand to record sales. Exhaust from the proven motor flows through a correct factory system that, if not original, has been on the car for quite a while; and braking is supplied by calf crunching manual drums at all four corners. All this classic Buick goodness rolls on 15 inch Willow Green steel wheels which wear factory Buick hubcaps and fresh 225/75 Goodyear Custom Super Cushion wide white wall tires. This awesome Buick wagon is in outstanding original condition and drives just as good now as it did when it rolled out of its Missouri showroom. Heck, it's hard to find an original 1984 car that's this rust-free, let alone one thirty years older!
Climb inside this timeless Buick wagon and you'll find a completely original Willow and Baffin Green interior which features enough space to haul around half the guys from the local chapter of your favorite car club. Covered in two-tone green Cordaveen (Buick speak for high quality vinyl), the cars firm bench seats are comfortable, solid and provide spacious seating for at least six. Above the seats, you'll find a tight green headliner, and below the seats like-new green carpet runs from the firewall to the tailgate. At the sides of the car, original two-tone door panels feature upscale stitching, new stainless trim and good looking chrome handles. And in front of the driver, a new for '54 upscale metallic green and silver dash features stainless trimmed Buick Special gauges, aircraft inspired knobs, an original Sonomatic AM radio and a correct passenger's side clock. Connecting the driver to the road is a great looking original steering wheel which sits in front of a correct column shifter and prominently displays an old school Buick centerpiece in the middle of a pristine chrome horn ring. Behind the cockpit, the cars clean cargo area features stitched wheel well covers, a separate storage compartment for a full size spare and enough room to haul a couple of small pieces of furniture.
Documentation for this rare Buick Special includes an original owner's manual, an original title, an original 1956 dealer invoice, original registrations, a framed 1954 Buick Special Estate Wagon advertisement, and service receipts which span the cars entire existence
If you're a fan of 50s Detroit metal that showcases the pinnacle of automotive design, it just doesn't get any better than this awesome Buick! Pristine, 100% correct '54 Specials are hard to find, and this numbers matching Estate Wagon is the one of the rarest of the bunch. If you're in the market for a rare and unique car that will be a blast on the road and a hit at the show, we have your car!
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What Customers Are Saying
After hearing good things about the people at RK Motors, I contacted them regarding consignment of my street rod. I found Tony Klein to be a pleasure to work with. He was very professional and forthcoming in our communications. He evaluated my vehicle and made suggestions of enhancements which would help ensure the desired result would be achieved in the marketing of the vehicle. We agreed on an acceptable sale price. Following the completion of the recommended items, I brought the vehicle to RK for consignment. After a thorough inspection and correction of some minor issues at what I considered a fair price, the vehicle was offered for sale. It sold quickly with me receiving the agreed value. I would have to repeat the recommendation that I received. RK Motors does what they say they will do, and obtains for the seller a fair and agreed value. What more could you ask for?Doug C.