Known as the “Silver Anniversary” cars, Buick’s models for 1929 celebrated the foundational GM division’s landmark 25th anniversary in fine style. Featuring a wide array of open and closed body styles across three model lines and 43 available color choices, Buick’s 1929 offerings were the first with handsome, LaSalle-influenced styling from Harley Earl’s legendary Art and Colour Department at GM. While the shorter Model 116 line was powered by a 239 cubic-inch 6-cylinder engine, Models 121 and 129 featured Buick’s robust 310 cubic-inch ‘six’ delivering 91 rated horsepower. Of course, both Buick sixes featured the GM division’s advanced “Valve-in-Head” architecture pioneered many years before by engineer William L. Marr. Comprehensive mechanical updates delivered a markedly improved driving experience and a wide array of detail improvements – both stylistic and functional – bolstered Buick’s reputation for outstanding value and consequently, strong sales.
As Buick’s image leader, Series 129 was offered in a range of eight open and closed body styles with prices that began at $1,550 and rose to $2,145. For Buick buyers seeking greater exclusivity, Buick models were available with bodies produced by Flint, Michigan’s W.F. Stewart Co. Inc., which began as a carriage maker in the 1880s and progressed to automotive body production for such Detroit marques as Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Dort, Flint, Oakland, and Peerless, eventually specializing in work for Buick through the 1920s until GM’s purchase of Fisher Body greatly reduced the company’s business.
Stewart-bodied Buick models were obviously quite rare in period, not appearing in the usual lists of models and body styles in reputable published sources. This Stewart-bodied 1929 Buick Series 129 Model 55-X Phaeton is rarer still, being based upon an “Export” chassis with right-hand drive and understood to have been shipped new to South America. While subsequent history is unknown at present, it benefits most handsomely from a quality restoration resulting in 2014 AACA National First Prize honors. While a few minor imperfections are visible upon close inspection to the paint and the chrome finish on the radiator shell, the vehicle’s cosmetics were nonetheless fully restored and finished to high quality standards. The interior compartment is inviting, trimmed in Burgundy leather upholstery and equipped with weather gear including very attractive removable side curtains and a four-pane folding rear windshield evoking images of the glamorous speedboats of the era. Other thoughtful amenities include a handsome wood-rim steering wheel and courtesy lamps mounted within the rear seatback. The 309 cubic-inch inline 6-cylinder “Valve-in-Head” engine is clean, nicely finished and well detailed with proper components in place.
Numerous features and accessories include dual side mounted spares with polished metal covers and chrome mirrors, cowl lamps, a chrome passenger-side spotlight, wind wings, a rear trunk rack and commodious luggage trunk. Complemented by a set of Cream wire wheels with chrome rims, mounting period style White sidewall tires, this unusual and handsome 1929 Buick Series 129 Phaeton by Stewart is accompanied by an informative set of photos documenting the restoration. Featuring wonderful LaSalle-influenced styling, this unique and rare coach built 1929 Buick Series 129 Phaeton is an excellent and unusual find that exemplifies Buick value and excellence on every level.
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