1953 Buick Special Convertible (RHD)
Like all the American auto manufacturers, Buick essentially rehashed their 1942 models when production resumed in 1946 and their early post-war offerings have become sought after collector’s cars in recent years, thanks largely to their curvaceous, Art Deco-inspired styling. The last years of the straight eight years, from 1950 to 1952, somehow lost some of the excitement and glamour of the earlier models but big changes were in store for the Golden Anniversary year of 1953, with the unveiling of a brand new 322-cid overhead-valve V8 engine for the mid-range Super and luxury Roadmaster model lines. All Buicks built in 1953 shared the same new frontal styling, characterised by the waterfall chrome grille and teardrop vents on the tops of the front guards, along with bright spears and rocker panel moldings. The entry level Special (Series 40) shared its 121.5-inch wheelbase with the Super (Series 50) and Roadmaster (Series 70) models, all of them available as sedans, hardtop coupes or full convertibles. A new addition to the range was the expensive (at $5,000 it was twice the price of the Model 46C convertible) Skylark Sport Convertible, with unique styling and a bespoke interior – just 1,690 were made in 1953, making it one of the most collectible Buicks of all time. The Model 46C featured leather upholstery in place of the usual cloth while options included a power hood, power steering and Buick’s Dynaflow transmission. Widely regarded as the market leader for convertibles in the early post-war period, Buick combined flashy good looks with excellent engineering, smooth ride and fine build quality.