CHASSIS NO: 2651170
• Distinctive styling; Golden Era of design and innovation
• Exceptional condition; award-winning restoration by Hibernia Auto Restoration
• Valve-in-head engine superiority; original wood spoke artillery wheels
• Low production numbers; wonderful driving experience
230 cid OHV inline eight-cylinder engine, 85 HP, single-barrel Marvel carburetor, three-speed Synchromesh manual transmission with vacuum clutch, solid front axle with hydraulic shock absorbers, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel mechanical drum brakes; wheelbase: 114”
In the early 1930s, the automotive industry was just eking by with sales having dropped by as much as 50%. General Motors was no exception but encouraged each division to continue to make progress in performance, styling, and comfort for their customers. While each marque had its own engineering and development team, in 1932, under the direction of Harley Earl, GM cars started to develop a family look. Buick was treated to a stylish updating with the windshield being raked back ever so slightly while up front the radiator shell was trimmed down in size and the ventilation for the hood panels switched from traditional louvres to bright plated hinged doors that improved air flow around the engine. Entry level Buicks were designated as the 50 Series. Just because these were the lowest priced vehicles from Buick, they were still treated to all the latest innovations. One of the newest advancements was Wizard Control which allowed drivers to shift through all forward gears without having to use the clutch pedal. This action was now accomplished through a vacuum system. Other features included thermostatically controlled radiator shutters and an adjustable driver’s seat which was a welcomed relief for many.
The most economical Buick for 1932 line was the Model 56 Business Coupe which saw just 1,726 units produced for the model year. According to our consignor, this coupe was found and rescued from a field in rural New Jersey in the early 1980s by enthusiast Phil Plachs. Able to see the diamond in the rough, he employed the services of Hibernia Auto Restoration in Hibernia, New Jersey to undertake a full frame-up rebirth to this car. Hibernia did not take any short cuts in the frame-off restoration which included a full mechanical rebuild, with the suspension and all brake components being brought back up to factory specs. The body and sheet metal needed minimal work and were sprayed in a classic Guardsman Blue accented with gloss black for the fenders and body highlights which were then pinstriped in red to bring out the feature lines of the attractive body. 1932 marked the last year Buick used wooden artillery wheels and this set of five, with one for the rear-mounted spare, was brought back to their original appearance and fitted with a set whitewall tires. Up front, the massive chrome plated headlights are accompanied by a set of matching trumpet horns that let others know when you have arrived. Over $90,000 was invested in this superb restoration. Those efforts were rewarded in 2003, when this Buick was shown at the Hamptons Concours d’ Elegance at Sayres Park in Bridgehampton, New York. So impressed with this car were the judges, that according to our consignor, it was awarded Best in Show honors. Shortly afterward, our consignor acquired this beautiful Buick and campaigned it at several shows often walking off with Best in Show honors. It won rave reviews during the 100th Anniversary of Buick in Flint, Michigan and was featured in a photographic article in Autoweek magazine in November 2003. Today, while this Buick is still thing of beauty and has aged gracefully, it could benefit from some freshening. There are a couple of areas that have developed lacquer checking which the seller tells us can be remedied, while the engine would benefit from attention. The original odometer shows just over 77,300 miles which is believed to be from new; it is still equipped with such items as a rare adjustable steering column, and the Wizard Control is reported to be in excellent operating condition. It also had a crank-out front windshield and roll-down back window for flow-through ventilation to keep things comfortable on those pleasant day drives.