The 1937 Buick Special / Specs, Photos, More

Featured in this article is a great looking 1937 Buick Special. Production of the Buick Special ran from 1926-1958 and from 1961-1969. During it's years of production the Buick Special changed from a full size model to a compact model and then to a mid-size model.

1937 buick special

1937 Buick Special

The Buick Special was introduced in 1936 and was Buick’s full size entry level car. Some might say that the 1937 and 1938 Buick Specials were the best looking automobiles during those two years.

Big Innovations at Buick During the 1930's

Setting aside the fact that the 1930's are known for the Great Depression which placed millions of people out of work and caused car prices and production to decrease significantly, the were big changes on the design and mechanical departments. Prior to the 1930's, car design coach works were very angular. The 1930's saw an emphasis placed on streamlining and graceful curves.

Competition was obviously intense during the difficult 30's and innovation could help sell cars. The year 1933 was particularly disastrous and is often recognized as the worst of the Great Depression. As an example, Buick sold a bit over 250,000 vehicle in 1927. For the 1933 model year Buick sold just under 50,000 units. The Buick division was hurting but General Motors was determined to keep Buick afloat and the fact the Buick was a part of GM helped save the day.

1930's buick

New grille on the 37 Buick

The innovations brought into the market from Buick during the 1930's included the introduction of the famous 320 cubic inch, straight eight engine that was put into their big series cars. This occurred in 1936. This new designed engine would continue to be used through 1952. Also in 1936, Buick emploted hydraulic braking for the first time.

To mention a few more innovations brought out by Buick in the 1930's, these included a self shifting automatic transmission, aerobat carburetors, turbulator pistons and knee action independent front suspension.

The 1937 Buick Advantage

Buick promoted many advantages of their 1937 models. This included a powerful engine in it's OHV Straight Eight. Also, a Uni-Steel body by Fisher...Anolite pistons...a sealed chassis...hydraulic brakes...large trunk space...safety glass and more.

Buick also touted the fact that prices were some of the lowest in the automaker's history. The country of course was still caught up in the Great Depression which put some automakers into bankruptcy.

Styling Changes

There were styling changes for the 1937 Buick Special. Most notable was the change in grilles. The 36 Special sported a single grille and vertical bars. The 37 model had horizontal bars and a vertical divider bar down the middle.

Fenders were altered to have squared off ends and the height was lowered almost two inches along with the floor. As a result the space in the passenger compartment remained the same.

The 1937 Buick Special was available in eight different styles. These included a convertible phaeton, sport coupe, business coupe, convertible coupe, a two and four door touring sedan with an optional trunk

1937 Buick Special Specifications

The 37 Buick Special was built with a Overhead Valve 248 Cubic Inch Straight 8. The engine delivered 100 HP.

buick special late 1930'sThe gear box was a three speed manual floor shift.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drums.

Some of the options available on the 1937 Buick Special included a heater, dual side mounted tires, defroster, white side wall tires plus a grille guard. A buyer could also pay for a  dash installed radio with a built-in speaker.

Additional Auto Museum Online articles can be found on the links below...

The 1955 Buick Special

The 1960 Buick Invicta Wagon

The 1948 Buick Super Sedanette Fastback

The 1937 Buick Special Collector Car and Values

The kind of innovations that Buick introduced during the latter half of the 1930's make these automobiles highly desirable among antique auto enthusiasts.

The years of 1936, 1937 and 1938 and the innovations from Buick during those times represent  the division’s return to being a real market leader. These were new designs and new engineering that were truly progressive. More innovation was seen in 1939 but those three years from 36 through 38 helped keep Buick popular for many years to come. As a result of the progress that Buick made during those years, the division in 1938 moved up to fourth place among American production cars with about 174,000 vehicles.

buick special historyThe 1936-38 Buicks are relatively rare. Values and asking prices for those for sale differ greatly due to overall condition and degree of originality and restoration. As of this date we see a 1937 Buick Special Model 49 with an asking price of $19,000. A 1937 Buick Special Restomod at $35,000 and a 1937 Buick Roadmaster at $27,500. All vehicles mentioned have been restored to varying degrees. Also a 37 Buick Coupe at $26,000.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)

1955 Ford Fairlane Victoria Hardtop / Specs and Photos

The great looking classic automobile featured in this article is the 1955 Ford Fairlane Victoria. The Fairlane replaced the Ford Crestlines as Ford's top of the line model for full size vehicles. The Ford Fairlane was produced in the United States for the 1955 through 1970 model years. At first, the Ford Fairlane was a full size vehicle but later in 1962 became a mid size model.

1955 for fairlane victoria

1955 Ford Two Door Victoria Hardtop

The Fairlane model name was used in Australia through the 20th century. Up until 1964 the Fairlane was built locally there identical to the American version. Australia brought back the Fairlane in 1967 as a very different vehicle and changed several times during the next several decades.

The Ford Victoria was produced in several models. These were a two and four door sedan, a two and four door hardtop (featured car is the two door), two door coupe, two door convertible, and a two and four door station wagon.

The automobile was named after Henry Ford's 56 room, 31,000 square foot Fair Lane estate in Dearborn, Michigan, a Detroit suburb. The year 1955 was also the year Ford restyled the entire Ford line with new bodies due to it's fierce competition with Chevrolet that had been making some significant changes.

old ford fairlaneThe 1950's

The decade of the 1950's was an exciting time in the automotive business. Changes of course were made a few years after the end of World War Two. When we entered the 1950's, modernization was really taking hold. The modernization was both the mid 1950's mechanical and design. During the mid 1950's,radically new American automobiles came to market such as the Chevy Corvette and the Ford Thunderbird. Both the Corvette and Thunderbird were in many ways an answer to the European sports car which had been gaining popularity in North America.

As always, Ford and Chevrolet were locked in heated competition, mergers were going on involving Nash, Packard and others, and styling changed so frequently that buyers were always looking for the newest model with updated engines.

New for 1955

Ford buyers had the option of purchasing their new cars with air conditioning which was named Comfortaire. This was a great new feature for some but the unit was very costly and it's estimated that Ford produced less than 500 cars in 1955 with Comfortaire. There were two engines offered for the new Fairlane, a 223 cubic inch straight six and a 272 cubic inch V8.

Ford's new Crown Victoria was lower and longer than any fixed roof cars that Ford had ever produced. This was touted quite a lot in their advertising. New wider view panoramic windshields were on all Ford cars beginning in 1955.

1955 Ford Victoria Specifications

As mentioned above, there were two engines availablefor the Ford Fairlane in 1955. These were the 223 cubic inch straight six and a 272 cubic inch V8.

Specs include a wheelbase of 115.5 inches, an ove200 units. Perall length of 198.5 inches, a width of 75.9 inches. Shipping weight was 3,190 lbs.

1950's ford fairlane

1955 Ford Fairlane newly designed dashboard

Total production of the 55 Fairlane was 622,200 units. Production for the 55 Fairlane Two Door Victoria was 113,370 units.

Base price for the 1955 Two Door Victoria Hardtop was about $2,100 new.

See additional Auto Museum Online articles found on the links below...

 

The 1955 Chevy Bel Air

The 1957 Ford Fairlane Convertible

References for this article included...American Cars of the 1950's : by the Editors of Consumer Guide...Fords of the Fifties by Michael Parris...Collector Car Price Guide.

1955 Ford Fairlane Collector Cars

As we have said before, automobiles from the 1950's make excellent collector cars. In many ways, the decade of the 50's was a period where real modernization took place, both in design and style and in mechanics. Rear tail fins took hold during this decade and as you know there was a wide variety of fins. They started out modest and as the decade progressed became ever so large as Cadillac clearly showed at the end of the 50's.

first ford fairlane

Rear view shows modest tail fins

The 1955 Ford Fairlane represented the first year of the model and represents milestone status. The production in the United States lasted from 1955 to 1970 although production did continue overseas for much longer in a variety of styles as mentioned above.

There were many different trims for the Ford Fairlane in the U.S.and current price ranges for restored models cover a wide range. As for the Hardtop Victoria featured in the article top prices for museum quality models may be in the $30,000 plus range. The Ford Crown Victoria Plexi Glass Top and Convertible models are the highest valued and may be in the $60,000 range. The Two and Four Door Sedans are at the bottom of the range with top prices in the $18,000 to $23,000 range. All of the current valuations are for pristine condition, highly original models. Values are obviously less for high mileage, non restored models.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)

1956 Ford F-100 Half Ton / Specs, Photos and More

Featured in this article is a fine looking 1956 Ford F-100 Half Ton Pickup. This is a milestone vehicle which incorporated some new styling and more options.

1956 ford f 100

1956 Ford F-100

The F-1 Becomes the F-100

The second generation Ford F-Series were redesigned for 1953 with a more integrated look. The second generation F-100 also had a longer wheelbase, with longer front and rear leaf springs to improve ride smoothness. The front suspension was moved back to give a tighter turning radius.

The year 1953 also was Ford's 50 Year Anniversary. On the F-100, it was the horn button that designated Ford's Golden Anniversary with a special gold rim that was lettered with "50th Anniversary 1903-1953." Of major significance for 1953, Ford changed the names of the various pickup models. The F-1 became the F-100, the F-2 and F-3 now became the F-250, and the F-4 now became the 1-ton F-350. The second generation F-Series offered options such as a dome light, lighter, arm rests, sun visors and even a radio.

The 1953 new second generation model offered a much better windshield area which was some fifty-five percent larger. Also, the glass was curved rather than flat. The rear window stretched the entire width of the cab adding a greatly improved rear view and the side window ledges were lowered to better help drivers during parking. You could also have the choice of the Standard cab or the Deluxe cab. The Deluxe offered stainless drip rail molding, a sun visor on the passenger side, driver and passenger armrests, a cigar lighter, chrome vents window moldings, twin horns, foam padding for the seats and chromed grille "teeth."

1950's ford trucksThe 1956 Ford F-100

The 1956 F-100 is of the second generation which went from 1953 through 1956. The 1956 F-100 is a one year body design which was made to compete against Chevy's Task Force Pickups.

Chevy's new trucks were good looking vehicles and offered a new V-8 adding big competition to Ford. . The 1956 F-100 was built with vertical windshield pillars and wrap around windshield. This differed from the sloped pillars and angled windshield of the 1953-55 models. The 1956 F-100 also offered a larger wrap around back window as an option. Also, in 1956, seat belts became an option and beginning that model year Ford offered the very rare "Low GVWR" (gross vehicle weight rating) versions of each of it's models.

The 1956 F-100 also had electric windshield wipers as opposed to the vacuum operated and the electrical system went from six to twelve volts. The 1956 model had a redesigned dashboard and a Ford Lifeguard Steering Wheel which placed the center hub further away from the driver's chest which added to driver safety.

1956 Ford F-100 Pickup Specifications

The 1956 F-100 was built with a standard 223 cubic inch Mileage Maker Inline Six which delivered 137 horsepower. There were three engine versions of the 272 cubic inch V-8 offered as an option. These were a light-duty with a 2-barrel carburetor, a heavy-duty with a 2-barrel carburetor, and a heavy-duty with a 4-barrel carburetor putting out 167 horsepower.

Three transmissions were available for 1956...a three, four or five speed manual and an automatic. The automatic, the "Ford-O-Matic" option for 1956 was the first time in history a Ford truck was available with an automatic transmission.

second generation f series trucks

More window visibility for the 1956 F Series Trucks

Front  suspension were an I Beam front axle and leaf spring and rear were a semi-elliptic six-spring design.

Front and rear brakes were hydraulic drum.

Total Ford F-100 production for 1956 was 137,000 units.

Please see the additional Auto Museum Online articles found on the links below...

 

1946 Ford Half Ton

1939 Ford Half Ton

1937 Diamond T Pickup

Reference material for this article includes...Pickup Trucks : A History of the Great American Vehicle by Justin Lukach.....Ford Truck Chronicle by Auto Editors of Consumer Guide.....Ford Pickup Trucks, 1948-56 : Development History and Restoration Guide by Paul G. McLaughlin.

1956 ford f series truck specs

56 F-100 dashboard

1956 Ford F-100 Collector Values

All pickup trucks from the 1950's are popular collector vehicles. Many changes occurred especially during the early 1950's as with the second generation Ford F-Series Trucks. Designs were more modern looking and new more powerful engines were being introduced.

Values for the 1956 Ford F-100 range all the way from $20,000 to $50,000 depending on overall condition, originality, mileage and degree and date of restoration.

(Article and photos copyright 2017 Auto Museum Online)