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1938 Buick Series 90 Limited news, pictures, specifications, and information

Touring Sedan
 
For 1938 front end styling on Buicks changed slightly. The front line of the grille was now nearly vertical, which allowed for a longer hood. The graceful form of the headlights is mirrored in the shape of the fender mounted parking lights. The Series 90 came with a 320 cubic-inch overhead valve straight eight.
Limousine
 
Series 90 - Buick's largest and most luxurious vehicle - was named the Limited. The most costly Buicks in production, 'Limited' indicated that these models featured a high level of trim along with standard options. The line was produced between 1936 and 1942 and consisted entirely of touring sedans and limousines. 410 Series 90 Limited Limousines were built in 1938. They featured a vertical grille, a slightly longer hood, taller front bumper guards and more stylish front fender running lights than the previous models. 1938 was the last year Buick utilized wood in the body for the Roadmaster and Limited Series.

The Dynaflash valve-in-head straight-eight engine produced 141 horsepower and gave the Limited a 'smooth and thrifty performance unequaled by former models.'

Inside, one would find 'commodious luxury and magnificent appointments' all contained within 'the security of the Unisteel Turret Top Body by Fisher.' Cushioned seats, high-quality carpet, and an automatic dome light 'of iridescent glass' contributed to the ambience of the Limited Limousine. With a luxurious interior and a smooth ride, one could arrive in style and comfort in a Buick Limited Limousine, while one's chauffeur 'enjoyed handling ease characteristic of smaller motorcars.'

This right hand drive example was purchased in 19338 for 5,000 Rupees by the Maharajah of Jind in Haryana, India. it was bought by Ludwig Rydel in 1970 and exported to the United States. In 1995 it was restored and became part of the current owner's collection.
Considered to be the only Buicks that gained recognition by the Classic Car Club of America of Full Classics, the series 90 that were produced during 1931 to 1942 are also the most luxurious cars ever produced by Buick.

Only 3,006 of the total 369,831 automobiles produced in 1941 by Buick, were Series 90, and only 605 were limousines.

At the gargantuan weight of nearly 4760 pounds, 90 Series was built on a 138'(11.5 feet) - 139' wheelbase. With a completely odd body frame, the paintwork was done at a very high standard with excellent chrome finish. It featured an optional radio and clock with tan broadcloth upholstery with chrome and wood-graining accents.

Built by the Buick Motor Division of General Motors in Flint, Michigan between 1936 and 1942, the Buick Limited was a continuance of Buick's long wheelbase premium Series 90 automobile line. The Limited again resurfaced during the model year 1958.

The most costly Buicks in production, the ‘Limited' name was used to denote those models that featured a high level of trim along with standard options in its various model ranges.

The Buick Limited Sedan was showcase in the 1941 Roadmaster and Limited catalog issue by General Motors and was a continuance of the Series 90's.

Considered to be technically superior to their predecessors, these sleek models offered luxurious features that were incomparable on other vehicles.

All-steel passenger compartment tops that were fashioned from GM's Turret Top design, all improved hydraulic safety-braking system, adapted engine colling system, imroved front suspension and alloy engine pistons.

Achieving the lowest sales of Buick's entire model range, the Limited was an aptly appropriate title for the most prestigious of vehicles that were unfortunately limited to Touring sedans and limousines. In 1936 when production of the Series 90 began, sales reached 4,086, and by 1943 during a abreviated model year from September 1941 until January 1942, sales had plunged to 636 units sold.

The wheel base was stretched to 140' in 1938, and the wooden structural members were replaced with steel. This made the Limited and the Roadmaster the final Buick passenger cars that would rely on wood components.

A substantial redesign was occuring in Buick automobiles during 1938, however the Limited retained in 1938 body based on its ‘limited' status.

Cadillac exuctives were clamouring behind the scenes to remove the Limited from the market as it was infringing on their production. The Limited was priced at the nearly the same amount as the Imperial Sedan (limousine) produced by Cadillac.

The Limited's four-door hardtop sedan began at a base price of $5,112 which was $221 higher than Cadillac's extended deck Series Sixty-two four-door hardtop sedan.

However, Buick argued that the Limited production barely averaged 1,561 vehicles per year compared to Cadillac's production rate of 13,335 for the Series Sixty-two.

The Limited continued to by produced until the beginning of World War II. Following the War, the Limited nameplate was dropped along with the extended wheelbase models.

In 1958, the Limited series was resureccted in as the Ultimate Buick for the model year.

General Motors chose to update their 1957 Buick and Oldsmobile automobiles by decorating them in copious amounts of chrome. Featuring Buick's 'Dynastar' grille, the Buick Limited reflected the maximum amount of light with it a cast of 158 chrome squares.

Additional features were also added to the 1957 model included three emblems that bore a stylized 'V'. A medallion was placed on the hood, and the other two were placed as gun-sight fender-toppers. Quad headlights were added, along with broad chrome panels attached to the rear quarter panels that joined the sweep-spear side trim that had been a styling standard on Buick models since 1949. Truck lids also receivevd two chrome grips along with tail lights that were housed in massive chrome housings.

At the end of the 1958 model year, Buick dropped the Limited nameplate and replaced the vehicle with the Buick Electra 225.

In 1965 the Limited name resurfaced as a trim option for the Electra 225 Custome model as well as trim options for several other models for the year.

Buick continued to designate various models with the highest level of trim 'Limited' in a model range that continued until 2006.

By Jessica Donaldson

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