2008 Shannons Sydney Autumn Classic Auction

1946 Buick Special Series 40 Sedan (RHD)


Passed In


Engine In-line eight-cylinder, 248-cid
Gearbox 3-speed manual
Body Work Sedan
Colour Black
Interior Red
Trim Leather
Wheels Steel disc
Brakes Drums


This lot is no longer available

In the early post-war years, Buicks were most often seen in black and usually transporting a businessman, politician or some other VIP and produced a range of fast, stylish and well-equipped cars that appealed to the upwardly mobile through clever advertising and flash ornamentation, including the vertical bar grille and famous 'gunsight' hood mascot. All post-war Buicks were powered by straight eights and in the case of the Series 40 model this meant a 248-cid unit developing 110 brake horsepower at 3600 rpm, driving through a three-speed column shift transmission with synchro on second and top. Although the American Buicks came in various series, the choice for Australian buyers was limited to the Special (8/40) four-door sedan assembled by Holden with imported chassis/body panels. The Special rode on a 121-inch wheelbase with an X-frame with four coil springs with 12-inch drums all round, a 4.45:1 axle ratio and 6.50-16 tyres. In Australia, local manufacturing was slower to return to full production than in America due to insufficient right-hand drive export chassis from Canada and it wasn't until December 1946 that Holden-bodied Buicks began rolling off the line once more. With a choice of leather or cord upholstery, the cars were now virtually identical to their American-assembled counterparts, differing only in having electric wipers instead of vacuum-operated ones. With a starter switch under the accelerator pedal, six-volt electrics and the option of an Air-Chief radio, the 1946-1947 Buick was certainly well equipped and an estimated 2,000 were sold in Australia during this period. Holden ceased building bodies in 1948 and their own product, the 48-215, was clearly inspired by the styling of the 1946-1947 Buick. With lovely art-deco inspired styling, toothy grilles and streamlined looks, the early post-war Buicks are design classics and remain popular with collectors today.

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