From very early on, General Motors, as well as many other marques, have been trying to keep automobile buyers buying from the same family of vehicles. In the post World War II, GM's family of vehicles began with the low-cost Chevrolet vehicles. Next on the budget rung was the Pontiac, followed by Oldsmobile, Buick, LaSalle and Cadillac. Cadillac vehicles were the most expensive and prestigious vehicles produced by GM at this time, though some of the other GM companies provided some stiff competition in terms of style, prestige, cost, performance, and allure. Buick's lineup began at $900 and went all the way up to $2300. There were four series available, the Special, Century, Roadmaster, and Limited. Within each of these Series, there were additional bodystyles and options to select from. Within the Roadmaster Series, the car could be purchased as a phaeton, formal sedan, and trunk back sedan. Prices ranged from $1500 to $1850. The most expensive Roadmaster bodystyle was the six-passenger phaeton.
The Roadmaster was powered by an eight-cylinder overhead valve engine that displaced 320 cubic-inches and produced an impressive 130 horsepower. There was a three-speed manual gearbox with a floor-mounted gearshift. Hydraulic drum brakes could be found on all four corners of the vehicle.
This example has traveled nearly 79,000 miles since new. It has been treated to an engine rebuild with the rest of the vehicle being mostly unrestored and in original condition. It was given a repaint in navy blue with the interior being of gray wool. This car was offered for sale at the 2006 Bonhams & Butterfields auction held at the Quail Lodge in Carmel, California where it was estimated to sell between $18,000 - $22,000. That estimate proved to be nearly accurate, as the car was sold for $17,550. By Daniel Vaughan | May 2007
Sold for $57,200 at 2009 Gooding & Company. 1936 was the first year that Buick automobiles were identified by model name as well as number with the advent of Special, Century, Roadmaster and Limited. Hydraulic brakes also became standard equipment on the Buicks. America responded well with the new styling and sales began to escalate, tripling the prior year's total.
This 1936 Buick Series 80 Town Car wears coachwork by Brewster and Company. It rides on the chassis of the top-of-the-line Buick Roadmaster platform and fitted with an eight-cylinder OHV engine that produces 120 BHP. It is a one-off design and has been accepted as a Full Classic by the Classic Car Club of America. It won an award at the 2006 Newport Beach Concours d'Elegance and won a preservation class award at the Meadow Brook Concours.
In 2009, this Brewster Town Car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. The car was estimated to sell for $75,000 - $100,000 and was offered without reserve. The lot was sold for a high bid of $57,200, including buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2009
High bid of $50,000 at 2010 RM Sothebys. (did not sell) This Buick Series 80 is believed to wear a Brewster body and is highly original, including most of its exterior paint and the rear compartment and trim. The front compartment has been reupholstered. The vehicle is outfitted with vanities, including assist straps and radio controls in the rear compartment, jump seats, a sliding glass division window and a buzzer to alert the chauffeur. The car rides on wide whitewall tires, wheel trim rings, a trunk rack and dual covered side-mounts with mirrors.
The car has been shown at the Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance and is a Preservation Class winner at the Classic Car Club of America.
In 2010, this Roadmaster Town Car was offered for sale at the Vintage Motor Cars of Meadow Brook event presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $65,000 - $85,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $50,000, including buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2010
Sold for $82,500 at 2015 RM Sothebys. 1936 was the first year for the exclusive Roadmaster. It was designed to fill the spot between the top-of-the-line Limited limousine and the lower-level Buicks. The Convertible Phaeton body style was the most expensive and limited-production Buick convertible available in 1936, with just 1,064 examples built.
This particular example was completely disassembled and restored. It was finished in Touraine Green with Oriental Green trim. Options and accessories include a proper AM radio, a dashboard clock, and dual Trippe driving lights. The single side-mounted spare, with a full metal cover, was a standard feature on this body style. The 320.2 cubic-inch overhead valve eight-cylinder engine delivers 120 horsepower and is mated to a three-speed manual transmission. At all four corners are hydraulic drum brakes. By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2015
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