1934 Buick Model 90 news, pictures, specifications, and information
Club Sedan
Chassis Num: 2714839
Engine Num: 2923459
Sold for $150,000 at 2009 Gooding & Company.
Sold for $110,000 at 2011 RM Auctions.
Buick built a solid and sought after series of luxury cars during the classic era, of which this Series 90 is a prime example. Purchased by those desiring a less ostentatious luxury car during the hard times of the 1930s, Series 90 Buicks were lively performers and offered tremendous automotive value. This car is powered by a 344.8 cubic-inch straight eight and weighed just under 4,700 lbs.

There was little change for the Buick model line from 1933 to 1934. The two most prominent improvements were the knee-action independent suspension in the front and a ride stabilizer in the rear. This new suspension developed by General Motors soon attracted the attention of Rolls-Royce, who negotiated an arrangement to use both of these enhancements in their new Phantom III V-12.

The new Series 40 was introduced in mid-year and became a strong seller for Buick, with sales amassing 28,893 units accounting for over 40% of all 1934 Buicks delivered.

This 1934 Buick Model 91 Club Sedan has been given a full mechanical and cosmetic restoration. The cost of the restoration was close to $400,000 in documented expenses. It is a Full Classic as defined by the Classic Car Club of America (CCCA).

In 2008 it was shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance where it was awarded a class award, finishing third behind a Duesenberg and a Packard V-12. The car is equipped with a factory accessory trunk and dual side mounted tires.

In 2009, this Model 91 was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Scottsdale, Arizona where it was estimated to sell for $185,000 - $225,000. The lot was sold for the sum of $150,000 including buyer's premium.
Convertible Coupe
Chassis Num: 2770672
Sold for $187,000 at 2009 RM Auctions.
Engineer Walter Lorenzo Marr put Buick on a path that would become their hallmark, the Valve-in-Head engine with the valves placed directly above the pistons in what is generally known today as overhead valve configuration. The setup allows for better breathing resulting in more power and ultimately - better performance. The first Buick to be fitted with this design was the 1904 Model B.

The founder of the company, David Buick, lacked the business acumen needed to properly run the company. The savior was William C. Durnat who was the head of Durant-Dort Carriage Company, was brought it by bankers to straighten out the messy management. The company would later become the cornerstone of the new General Motors that Durant was building. This, along with the help of the popular Model 10 Buick, helped place Buick into second place in the industry 1908, after Ford, through 1910.

Durant was forced out by the financiers in 1910 and his position was filled by a young Charles Nash and later by Walter Chrysler. By 1914, the company was building six-cylinder cars, abandoning fours briefly in 191, and seemingly for good in 1925.

As the years progressed, the entire industry began to up the ante in terms of horsepower, meaning the number of cylinders continued to increase. Must of the industry went to eight-cylinder engines as Buick remained with their six. For 1931, Buick introduced three straight-eight engines with each of the units sharing almost no tooling or parts to each other. John Dolza and chief Engineer Dutch Bower were the individuals responsible for this new design. The entry level straight-eight unit had 221 cubic-inches of displacement and used for the 50 Series. The next engine in the line-up was a 272.6 cubic-inch engine used in the 60 Series, and the 80 and 90 series shared a big 344.8 cubic-inch powerplant that developed 104 brake horsepower. Over the next three decades, the Buick Company would produce only eight-cylinder engines.

Buick had introduced their new engines during the Great Depression, which meant that their sales fell, with their 1932 sales barely half those of 1931, with 1933 sales falling even more. For 1934, sales were aided by the introduction of the Knee Action independent front suspension and Harlow Curtice.

Harlow Herbert 'Red' Curtice was president of GM's AC Spark Plug division. He had joined Buick in October of 1933. He suggested that Buick needed a less expensive model that was smaller and lighter than other Buicks. For 1934, Buick introduced the Series 40. It used the Chevrolet-Pontiac 'A' body, and sold for as little as $795. The public responded, and sales rose 50 percent in 1934.

The Series 90 continued to reign as Buick's top-of-the-line model. Fitted with the overhead valve eight-cylinder engine that displaces 344.8 cubic-inches, it was capable of 116 horsepower. There were four-wheel mechanical drum brakes and a three-speed manual transmission.

This Series 96-C Convertible Coupe was purchased by Dr. Atwood in June of 1993. In 1995, it was given a restoration and upon completion, it was shown at the AACA Central Division Fall Meet, and awarded the AACA President's Cup for 1995. A year later, it took Grand National First honors at Huntsville, Alabama.

The car is painted in black and has a tan canvas top. The interior and rumble seat are beige leather, and the instrument panel is wood-grained. The odometer shows 43,322 miles and the undercarriage is painted in gloss black.

In 2009, this Convertible Coupe was offered for sale at the Automobiles of Arizona auction presented by RM Auctions. The car was expected to sell for $130,000 - $180,000 and was offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close the lot had been sold for the sum of $187,000 including buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2009
Sport Coupe
Engineer David Dunbar Buick made his fortune manufacturing plumbing supplies. He held 13 plumbing patents and is credited with inventing the process of annealing porcelain to iron, paving the way to modern bathtubs, sinks and other fixtures. Using that fortune, along with financial support from others and mechanical expertise of Walter Lorenzo Marr, developed a motorcar with an overhead-valve engine. Later, William 'Billy' Crapo Durant of Flint Michigan was put in charge and he instilled a new-found confidence in the Buick motorcar and its future. When Durant took over in 1904, only 37 cars had been built. Using Buick as his base, he formed a new corporation named General Motors. Unable to deal with the frenetic pace of his company as it became big business, Buick sold his stock and departed in 1908. By 1909, sales rose to 14,606 cars; doubling that in 1910. Only Henry Ford was selling more cars, so it was ironic that Durant was ousted when Buick was on top of its game.

In 1931, Buick introduced three straight-eight engines with each of the units sharing almost no tooling or parts to each other. The 221 cubic-inch engine could be found in the 50 Series, the 272.6cid in the 60 Series, and the 80 and 90 series sharing a 344.8 cubic-inch powerplant which offered 104 horsepower.

Introduced during the Great Depression meant that sales fell, with 1932 numbers barely half those of 1931, and with 1933 sales falling even more. For 1934, sales were aided by the introduction of the knee-action independent front suspension. The series 90 reigned as Buick's top-of-the-line model, with horsepower upped to 116. Included were four-wheel mechanical drum brakes and a three-speed manual transmission.

This car, designated the model 96S, retained for $1,875 and had a curb weight of 4,546 pounds. Unlike the lower series of Buicks, the Series 90 Buick coupe came standard with a rumble seat, with a special luggage space between passenger compartments accessible through a small door just forward of the rear fender.
Victoria Coupe
Buick - when better automobiles are built - Buick will build them! Unfortunately the founder of the Buick Motor Company, David Buick, was a better inventor than businessman. Enter William C. Durant, the head of the Durant-Dort Carriage Company, to straighten out the company, which would later become the cornerstone of the new General Motors that Durant was building.

In 1931, Buick introduced three straight-eight engines, each with units sharing almost no tooling with one another. In late 1933, 'Red' Curtice had just taken over the reins of Buick, and was orchestrating a turn-around of the divisions' sales slump. Buick built a solid and sought-after series of luxury cars during the Classic era. The Buick lines changed very little from 1933 to 1934. The luxury lines were powered by a Buick straight eight. In addition, the lineup was aided by the introduction of the Knee Action independent front suspension. This example is a Buick Victoria.
Convertible Phaeton
A new offering for 1934 was the 98C four-door Convertible Phaeton with a built-in trunk. The Convertible Phaeton, available in both the 60 Series and 90 Series, came with standard dual side mounts. The 98C was Buick's second most expensive car at $2,145, behind the 90L Limousine. A mere 190 of these luxurious convertibles were built for domestic sales and 19 were for export in 1934. Fewer than six are believed to survive today.
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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