1929 Buick Seven Passenger Four Door Sedan

Here is a 1929 Buick Series 129 Sedan that really gives you good glimpse of a luxury car prior to the 1930′s. The year 1929 was special for Buick as it was the marquees Silver Anniversary. Not only was the first Buick for sale manufactured in 1904 but the marquee is considered the oldest American car brand still in production today. After all the car brands discontinued over the decades, this is significant.

1929 buick

1929 Buick 129 Series

The Buick 129 Series

In 1929 there were three series of cars offered by Buick. These were the 116, 121 and 129 Series. Each one of these series reflected the wheelbase length. The 129 Series, which includes the featured automobile in this article, came in a variety of models. These included the Sedan, Convertible Coupe, Standard Coupe, Phaeton, Limousine, both five and seven passenger Sedans and Touring models.

1929 Buick Styling

Buick was positioned by General Motors to be a luxury car ranked under the Cadillac and above the Pontiac. Chevrolet the the lowest and least costly brand.

The style of the 1929 Buick is a story in itself and takes us back to the early days of Harley Earl, one of the most well known of the twentieth century auto designers. Essentially, it was a difference of opinion between Earl and the Fisher Body people. Harley Earl designed a Buick which in 1929 meant mostly a lot of straight lines.

1929 buick dash

1929 Buick dash

When Fisher Body got a hold of the design they made a few alterations that resulted in a slight bulge just below the middle. The car was thus referred to as the “pregnant Buick” although noticing this difference from Earl’s design was not easily seen by the average observer.

The end result of this dust up was that Harley Earl obtained the support of Alfred Sloan, GM President, and in the future Earl’s design team would be consulted of any design changes prior to them being implemented. This was a big victory for Earl and helped his career quite a bit.

Many collectors know that Harley Earl has been called the father of the Chevrolet Corvette. From the 1920′s Buick to the introduction of the Corvette and beyond gives you a good idea of Earl’s career.

1929 buick silver anniversary

1929 Buick Silver Anniversary

1929 Buick Series 129 Sedan Specifications

The 129 Series Buick, the long model, was available with a choice of two engines. These were either a 239 or 308 cubic inch inline six cylinder engine. The 239 delivered 74 horsepower and the 308 delivered 91. Both engines employed a single downdraft carburetor.

As a comparison of engines in 1929, Henry Ford’s Tudor Model A had a four cylinder 200 cubic inch engine, the Chevrolet Sedan had a 171 cubic inch inline six and the 1929 Plymouth Sedan had a four cylinder 175 cubic inch power plant. The two six cylinder 1929 Buick engines packed good power for the era.

Transmissions for all three 1929 Buick models was a three speed manual.

All 1929 Buick models featured four wheel mechanical brakes.

buick 129 series

Buick 129 Series front end

The 1929 Series 129 had a 129 inch wheelbase as mentioned above. vehicle weight averaged about 3,800 lbs.

Front suspension were semi-elliptic leaf springs with the rear having cantilever springs.

The original base price of the 1929 Buick Series 129 Sedan was about $1,900.

1929 Buick 129 Series production totals were 26,390. The highest selling model was the smallest 116 Series with 84,119 produced. This was not surprising. Phaetons and Limousines were built  but a relatively few were built. Phaetons totaled about 1,400 and Limousines just under 1,000.

If you’re inspecting an original 1929 Buick and searching for the engine number it will be stamped on the engine block. This is the number generally used for registration in many states. The 1929 Buick Serial Number should be either a six or seven digit serial number depending on the model. Since many of these cars had engines switched over the years identifying the serial number and indexing it with the manufacturer’s records is important.

Links below are to additional AutoMuseumOnline articles featuring cars from the late 1920′s…

The 1927 Nash Sedan

The 1929 Nash Advanced Six Rumble Seat Coupe

The 1927 Studebaker

1929 buick engine

1929 Buick Sedan modified Chevy engine

1929 Buick Collector Cars

Any vintage automobiles from this era are collectible. The 1929 Buick was a milestone car commemorating Buick’s Silver Anniversary which is a plus. There are also several Buick clubs which work to preserve these vintage vehicles. They include the Buick Club of America with several chapters, the 1929 Silver Anniversary Buick Club, the Buick Car Club of Australia, the Buick Club of Norway and the Buick Club of Germany.

If you are planning on restoring a 1929 Buick I would check out the Buick Club of America forums where you can get a lot of questions answered by vintage Buick owners and possibly find sources for old parts. Bill McLaughlin’s Newsletter from the 1929 Silver Anniversary Buick Club is also an excellent source of information.

1929 buick sedan

1929 Buick Sedan two tone fenders

As of this writing, 1929 Buick auction prices for fully restored models range in the mid to high $20,000 range. These would be for 129 Series four door sedans however don’t be surprised to see some come on the market below $20,000. We’ve also seen a Buick 121 Series coupe with an asking price in the high twenties. Also a 1929 Buick Business Coupe with the smaller engine with a $15,000 price tag.

(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)

The Big V-8 1957 Buick Century

The 1957 Buick Century featured in this article has a heritage that goes back to the 1930′s. The production run for the earlier Buick Century’s lasted from 1936 to 1942 and was interrupted by the war. These were powerful Buicks being able to reach speeds of over 90 MPH during the late 1930′s.

1957 Buick Century Convertible

1957 Buick Century Convertible

After the model was dormant for years the name reappeared in dealership showrooms in 1954 as one of General Motor’s performance car offerings. The 1957 Buick Century’s would be noted for sporty design, luxury features and big powerful V-8 engines.

The Buick Portholes

One of the most remembered features of the Buick Century were the portholes on the /side of the front fenders. These were also called ventiports which really were their official name.

The portholes or ventiports would signify the engine. The Buick Century sported four portholes designating the V-8 engine. Four portholes on each side of the car. The portholes were also seen on the Buick Roadmaster models. The meaning of the portholes had to do with emphasizing the power output of the Buick’s big V-8. In regards to those Buick portholes, for those that might remember the old television series from the 1950′s, Highway Patrol, these were the cars you would have seen each week portrayed as California Highway Patrol cars.

1957 Buick Portholes

1957 Buick Portholes

The 1957 Buick Century’s all had four portholes on each fender which signified the  364 cubic inch V-8 putting out 300 horsepower. These were 100 MPH automobiles.

1957 Buick Century Advertising

Buick advertising for the 1957 model year stressed power. One of their motto’s during that year was “gives you the power to take it easy“. Another motto was “the dream car to drive“. Buick touted that the big V-8 gives you enough power to have some in reserve for those tall hills along with smoothness provided by their Variable Pitch Dynaflow automatic transmission. Dynaflow’s claim to fame was it’s smoothness and instant response time.

Another feature advertised in 1957 was a “buzzer” that would sound when you attained the speed you wanted. They called it a “built in conscience“. This was quite a unique feature in 1957. Today it’s offspring is the automatic speed control.

Buick Century side chrome spear

Buick Century side chrome spear

The 1957 Buick Century Design

Buick was known to have produced some of the most stylish and powerful cars of any nameplate during the 1950′s.

The 1957 Buick Century was a  sporty looking car and was a departure from Buick’s more laid back designs of the earlier 1950′s. Buick touted it’s low sweeping grace and fresh lines. Many say that the 1957 Buick Century was the best looking Buick ever produced. All Century models in 1957 had the eye catching chrome side spear which added a sporty touch with class. As the photos in this article illustrate, the 1957 Buick Century was a very good looking car.

The 1957 design was in many ways a continuation of the earlier 1950′s designs by GM’s Harley Earl. Probably the most popular model in 1957 was the Buick Century Convertible which remains a sought after collector’s car today. Their value has appreciated well over time. Don’t be surprised to see price tags for original 1957 Buick Century Convertibles, in mint showroom condition, with asking prices north of $50,000.

Buick claimed to have built the 1957 Century on the most level riding compact chassis ever built offering great maneuverability. GM also claimed the highest power to weight ratio of any Buick model ever built.

Buick Interior and dash 1957

Buick Interior and dash 1957

Also in 1957 Buick unveiled the Caballero station wagon using the Century body. The Caballero was produced for two years in 1957 and 1958 and then discontinued. Although Caballero sales didn’t meet expectations, this station wagon with the Century body and it’s side chrome spear trim is one of the sportiest looking classic station wagons you’ll ever see.

1957 Buick Century Models

Buick Century buyers had several models to choose from. There was the Sedan, the Riviera hardtop coupe, the ever popular convertible and the four door Caballero station wagon. The Riviera hardtop along with GM’s Oldsmobile of that year were the first four door hardtops built.

1957 Buick Century Specifications

As stated above, power meant a lot to Buick in 1957 and the Buick Century came with a 364 cubic inch V-8 engine delivering a big 300 horsepower. This was powering an automobile with a weight of about 4,200 lbs.

The 1957 Buick Century wheelbase was 122.0 inches which was about five inches shorter than both the Roadmaster and Special models.

Compare the 1957 Buick Century to the cars on the AutoMuseumOnline articles on the links below…

The 1956 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 Convertible

The 1958 Ford Fairlane Retractable Hardtop

To learn all about the Buick automobile and the company, an excellent book on the subject is The Buick: A Complete History by authors Terry B. Dunham and Lawrence R. Gustin.

Buick emblem

1957 Buick Century Collector Car

As mentioned in this article, the 1957 Buick Century is a popular automobile among collectors. Prices being asked have been increasing over the years and many collectors view this model as one of the most stylish ever produced by Buick. In addition to the styling, the 1957 Buick was in many ways a 1950′s muscle car with it’s big V-8 and 300 horsepower. If the vehicle wasn’t so large it could have competed head on against 1950′s European imports.

If you can find a usable body shell somewhere the 1957 Buick Century can be a terrific project car where restoration costs might be recouped and more.

Mint condition 1957 Buick Century Convertibles can command prices of $50,000 and above.

(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)