The 1948 Buick Roadmaster Convertible was a pre-war design but it received the famous Dynaflow transmission, which was the first torque-converter automatic transmission on an American-built car. The engine is a 320.2 cubic-inch, in-line eight with a power rating of 144-150 hp.
Known for interior luxury and quiet operation, there were few other cars like them of this era. The sleek styling of these particular two-doors elicited an emotional response from the motoring community that surpassed the expectations of GM.
This is a low mileage car that has benefited from a frame-off restoration. It is equipped with hydraulically operated push-button controls for the top, windows and front seat.
Buick Roadmasters, produced between 1936 and 1958, were built on Buick's longest wheelbase and shared its basic structure with the higher end Oldsmobile's. Between 1946 and 1957, the Roadmaster was Buick's premium and best appointed model. The Estate Wagon 'Woody' body was built at the Hercules Body Company in Indiana which accounted for most Buick Estate Wagons as they were called rather than 'Station Wagons.' This car was once owned by the Harrah Collection and is in original color paintwork and original wood.
Sold for $45,000 at 2014 Mecum. The 1948 Buick Roadmaster was a Harley Earl design featuring a 320 cubic-inch engine mated to a 2-speed Dynaflow automatic transmission. This convertible was purchased in May of 1998 by the current owner.
In 1948 a series script appeared on the front fenders and the white Tenelite steering wheel that had been used previously was traded in for a black one, in order match the change from a two-tone woodgrain instrument panel to a two-tone gray instrument panel, with silver tone instruments. A new optional Custom Trim option was offered, consisting of cloth upholstery with leather bolsters with the robe cord cover and lower door panels done in leatherette. The convertible models received power windows, seat and top as standard equipment.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2014
Convertible Coupe Chassis Num: 44897500 Engine Num: 51136117
Sold for $70,400 at 2015 Bonhams. Prior to World War II, the hierarchy at General Motors began with Chevrolet, followed by Pontiac, then Oldsmobile, Buick, LaSalle and Cadillac. Although Buick was positioned between Oldsmobile and LaSalle, it was a high quality car that was neither inexpensive nor lacking in power or amenities. As the 1930s came to a close, Buick adopted an all eight-cylinder range that would continue for years to come. The Buick Roadmaster range was available in three distinct series through 1941. The fourth-generation Roadmaster was ready for the 1942 model year, but the onset of war meant that only a few thousand were produced before production came to a close. Production did not resume again until 1946.
For 1948, the Roadmaster Model 76C Convertible Coupe was very well equipped, with power windows, seat and top. New for this year was GM's Dynaflow transmission, the first torque-converter transmission fitted to a passenger car. It could be added as an option on the 1948 Roadmasters; many buyers had the option installed which convinced GM to make it standard equipment for the 1949 model year.
This Buick Model 76C Roadmaster Convertible was formerly a part of the collection of Charles Cawley. While in the collection, the car was restored in-house to show condition. It is currently in period color combination of dark blue over red upholstery, and rides on period-correct wide-whitewall BF Goodrich Silvertown bias-ply tires. It has a black top with red piping.
The car is powered by Buick's 'Fireball Dynaflash Eight' with correct style lettering on the valve cover promoting the 'valve in-head' engine design. In the trunk is a spare tire and jack. Inside is an original tube-type radio, 120 mph speedometer, and a clock.
Sold for $42,560 at 2014 Barrett-Jackson. Sold for $40,700 at 2016 RM Sothebys. The Dynaflow was Buick's first automatic transmission. A $244 option on Roadmasters like this Sedanet, it used a torque converter developed by Buick during the war while producing the Hell-Cat tank destroyer. It appeared as an option only on Roadmasters this year, but the demand for the new torque converter type of transmission was so great that production facilities were at first doubled, then tripled, and finally quadrupled.
This particular Roadmaster Sedanet is finished in two-tone with a contrasting cloth interior. Options include auxiliary driving lights, dual outside spotlights, whitewall tires, clock, deluxe heater, and Sonomatic radio.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2016
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.
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