1939 Buick Special Convertible

In the late 1930s and into the early 1940s, Buick enjoyed a renaissance of sorts as it solidified its position in GM’s hierarchy above Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Oldsmobile. While Cadillac led the way as the flagship, LaSalle was not long for this world, and Buick was poised to take up the supporting role as the leader in value, luxury, and quality. Since the early days of the marque, Buick relied on its refined and robust overhead-valve engines, which remained true for the 1939 model year. The ’39 Buicks also featured independent front suspension, coil springs all around, and hydraulic brakes for safe, stable handling. A handsome “waterfall” style grille highlighted the revised styling, which was all around more elegant than the previous year. Buick continued to offer a wide variety of body style options across the range, and sales were quite strong – topping 200,000 units for the model year, putting Buick on solid footing for the future.

Featuring the stylish and sporty Convertible Coupe body by Fisher, this Series 40, Model 46C is a lovely example of a late-30s Buick. This charming Buick was restored to a very high standard in the 1980s and has been exceptionally well-maintained and freshened as needed since then. Presented in its original shade of Glacier Blue, it is a lovely and delightful car that encourages regular use on the road. The blue paintwork is remarkably good and displays a slight careworn patina that contributes to its honest and appealing character. The color is nicely complemented by a tan convertible top and red-painted steel wheels. Exterior trim and brightwork are all in similarly fine condition, having been properly maintained over time. It proudly wears an AACA Senior National 1st Prize badge, reflecting its well-detailed restoration.

The quality and attention to detail continue to the interior, trimmed in tan ribbed broadcloth with dark blue vinyl panels and dark blue carpets. Period-correct woodgrain-effect dash and door trims are in fine fettle, along with proper controls and switchgear. Behind the front bench is a pair of folding side-facing jump seats for occasional rear passengers. With the upholstery and fittings in excellent condition, the cabin is inviting and attractive, indicating a cherished life since the car was restored.

Under the hood sits Buick’s proven and robust overhead-valve inline-eight. For the Series 40, it is rated for 107 horsepower from 248 cubic inches of displacement. Noted for their refinement and quiet operation, Buick Eight is one of the great American engines of the period. Consistent with the rest of this car, the engine bay is authentically detailed to a high standard, with good quality finishing, period-correct hardware, and proper labels, including the bold “Dynaflash” decals on the valve cover. It shows signs of use, yet the detailing has been kept fresh, and the car still appears worthy of casual show and display.

Thanks to its well-kept restoration, this attractive Buick Special will be a most enjoyable choice for relaxed touring or participation in AACA-sanctioned events. Well detailed and offered in appealing colors, this handsome Buick is sure to delight its next custodian well into the future.


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