Skip to main content

1938 Buick Series 80 Roadmaster news, pictures, specifications, and information
Sport Phaeton
Chassis Num: 13383019
 
Sold for $72,600 at 2009 Worldwide Auctioneers.
The 1938 Buicks included the Special, Century, Limited and Roadmaster. This was a very diverse range of vehicles on several different platform lengths and in many different body styles. Customers could certainly find a vehicle with the Buick model range that would satisfy their needs. Part of the success of the 1930s Buick's were due to the increasing influence of Harley Earl's Art & Color Department, Buick's General Manager Harlow Curtice, and the Engineering Manager at Buick, Charles Chayne.

The 1938 Buick's were given several refinements, including to the Dynaflash overhead valve straight eight engine. The chassis was strengthened with an X-member frame replacing the I-beam and suspended in place by a full coil spring suspension. This was the last year that the Roadmaster and Limited Series would use wood in body construction.

There were only 350 examples of the Roadmaster Model 80C four-door sport phaetons produced in 1938. This example was previously owned by the president of the Buick Club of America. It has had a complete, body-off restoration that was done several years ago. There are dual side-mounted spare tires with body-color cases, as well as front and rear triple bumper guards, fog lights, and body-colored steel wheels with bright hubcaps and trim rings surrounding the wide whitewall tires. On the inside, there is a woodgrain dash that is complemented by an accessory faux ivory steering wheel with full horn right along with the electric clock, Master heater and Ceterline radio. Under the bonnet is the Chayne-designed straight eight motor that is rated at 141 horsepower and is more than capable of carrying this 4,325 pound masterpiece.

In 2009, this Sport Phaeton was offered for sale at the Houston Classic Auction presented by Worldwide Auctioneers and held in Seabrook, Texas. The lot was estimated to sell for $70,000 - $90,000. As bidding came to a close, the lot had been sold for the sum of $66,000, not including the 10-percent buyer's premium. Bidding had begun at $50,000 and would receive seven more bids before reaching the high bid of $66,000.

By Daniel Vaughan | May 2009
Opera Brougham
Coachwork: Fernandez & Darrin
Chassis Num: 83486795
 
Sold for $275,000 at 2004 RM Auctions.
Sold for $506,000 at 2009 Gooding & Company.
This one-of-a-kind Buick Opera Brougham is the creation of the design house of Fernandez and Darrin of Paris, France, and is mounted on the Series 80 Roadmaster chassis. First displayed at the 1938 Paris Auto Salon, it was the property of several proud owners, including the Countess Max de Polaska, of Poland. She used it to drive between her summer home in Long Island and her winter retreat in Pebble Beach. To keep an eye on what her chauffeur was doing while commuting, it has a matching clock and speedometer repeater set in the luxuriously appointed rear compartment. Outside, the blue paintwork is finished with complementary cream faux-canework on the rear doors while the Buick Series 80 front end with the dual side-mounted spare wheel cases is more or less intact.

Powered by a 320-cuibic inch, overhead-valve, inline eight-cylinder engine, the chassis rides on a 140-inch wheelbase. Suspension was independent 'knee-action' coil springs in front and coils in the rear. Top speed for production models was about 80 mph.

This one-off Buick has sweeping early 1930s-style fenders, has no running boards, a very raked windscreen, Marchal lenses, caning, oversized rear-hinged doors and many luxury features in the passenger compartment. There is a proper Buick cowl, bumpers and headlamps.

During the 1990s, the car was given a frame-up, cost-no-object restoration.

In 2009, the car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held at Pebble Beach, CA. It was expected to sell for $200,000 - $325,000. The lot was sold for the sum of $506,000, including buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2014
The Roadmaster named first appeared on Buick automobiles in 1936 as a celebration of their engineering improvements and advancements in design. The Buick Series 80 became known as the Roadmaster. The Roadmasters were built on the longest wheelbase Buick had to offer. From 1946 through 1957 they were the most elegant and prestigious automobiles that Buick sold.

From 1936 through 1948 the Roadmaster appeared in coupe, sedan, convertible and station wagon bodystyles. A hardtop coupe was added in 1949 and dubbed the Riviera.

The Roadmaster named reappeared in 1991 and continued in production until 1996. It served as a replacement for the Electra model line and offered as an Estate Wagon. A sedan was introduced in 1992.

The end of the 1953 Buick Roadmaster station wagon meant the end of the last wood-bodied station wagon to be mass-produced in the United States. In 1996, the end of the Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon meant the end of the full-size family station wagons.

By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2006
For more information and related vehicles, click here

CONCORSO D'ELEGANZA VILLA D'ESTE 2014 CELEBRATES THE SPIRIT OF ECSTASY
Munich/Cernobbio . Historic automobiles of the Rolls-Royce brand are among the highlights of any classic car event. At the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2014 these eternally fascinating ambassadors of British automotive prowess will take centre stage in a rather special way. The 110th anniversary of the Rolls-Royce brand will be celebrated from 23rd to 25th May 2014 as part of the tradition-swathed Classic Weekend held on the shores of Lake Como. It was in December 1904 that the company – fou...[Read more...]
MERCEDES-BENZ 2014 G63 AMG: THE ULTIMATE G-CLASS
 The latest technology for the AMG off-road icon: the new 2014 G63 AMG impresses with a state-of-the-art powertrain, expressive new design and improved efficiency. All this is largely attributable to the AMG 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine delivering 536 hp and the AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7-speed automatic transmission. Every new AMG high-performance vehicle offers an outstanding mix of 'more power from less fuel' – and the G63 AMG is no exception. The 'strong man' in the AMG model range has been furt...[Read more...]
Mecum Set To Auction Off Steve Mcqueen's 'Last Ride' 1952 Chevrolet 3800 Series Pickup Truck With Custom Camper
Los Angeles, CA - July 16, 2013 - Mecum Auctions have announced they will be auctioning off the legendary late actor Steve McQueen's last known personal vehicle at the Mecum Celebrity Items Auction: Celebrating the Legendary History of Hollywood at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, CA July 26-27, 2013. While much is known of McQueen's antique motorcycle collection, he was also an avid collector of vintage cars and trucks. Throughout his lifetime, he owned more than 60 rare vehicles inclu...[Read more...]
BUICK TURNS 110: MOST SIGNIFICANT BUICK OF EACH DECADE
DETROIT – Remaining in business for 11 decades requires constant innovation, so choosing one model to represent a decade of significance can be a catalyst for debate. Among the hundreds of models designed and engineered for Buick, the 11 below stand out as the most significant for their respective decades since May 17, 1903. Let the debate begin. ◾1903-1912: The first Buick ever is quite significant, so Buick's first decade honor goes to the 1904 Model B. The first one of the line was so...[Read more...]
Corvette Shines in the Big Apple
All-new Corvette Stingray comes to New York City 60 years to the day after Motorama debut 2013-01-16 Sixty years ago tomorrow, spectators lined New York City's posh Park Avenue, waiting to get a glimpse of the ground-breaking Chevrolet Corvette on display at the General Motors' Motorama show. On Thursday, the Corvette will be back in The Big Apple, marking the historic milestone with the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. The all-new Corvette Stingray debuted earlier...[Read more...]

C25
Centurion
Century
Electra
Enclave
Enclave SEMA Edition
Encore
Gran Sport
Invicta
LaCrosse
LeSabre
Limited
Lucerne
Master Six
Model 10
Model 70 Roadmaster
Model F
Model G
Park Avenue
Rainier
Reatta
Regal
Regal GS
Rendezvous
Riviera
Roadmaster
Series 40
Series 50
Skylark
Sportwagon
Standard Six
Terraza
Verano
Wildcat

Image Left 1937 Series 80 Roadmaster1939 Series 80 Roadmaster Image Right
© 1998-2014. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.