Classic Auto Mall
6180 Morgantown Road
1952 Buick Roadmaster Riviera
"Roadmaster" - what a wonderful name for a car! It had emerged during 1936 and would last until it was foolishly removed for 1959. It was the perfect term for the top of the Buick line, a car bordering on Cadillac price territory, preferred transport for the up-and-coming professional - the doctor, the lawyer, and anybody else who could not quite afford a Caddy. Buick catered to this clientele with flashy styling-far and away the flashiest of the GM divisions-plus luxury and a host of novel design ideas: the famous pop-art grille, the gun-sight hood ornament, the hardtop convertible, the sweepspear, and the porthole. The latter three all arrived in 1949, when Buick sales correspondingly increased by 50 percent, and then doubled in 1950. In that long-lost halcyon era, this was the kind of car America wanted -and bought.
Here we offer up for consignment what could be best described as large and in charge. Not quite a Caddy, but who cares, it is from an era where the more chrome the better, make use of big rounded steel panels like the aircraft of the time, and add features that are decidedly Buick. A success story in this 1952 Roadmaster Riviera with a restoration from 20 years ago still showing well. Consigner states, and we can see its true for the excellent frame, and plenty of rebuilds recently to bring her up to snuff. " I'm an excellent driver, and this is an excellent car, I know this car, I know this car, I always drive on Mondays...UUhhh OH!!
With a seemingly open mouth and toothy smile this front bumper is worth the price of admission. Buick Eight script is carved into the top "lip" of the smile and just above begins the long journey of the hood on its way to the windshield. Prior to its rise, a cloisonn badge looks upward to the chromed gun sight hood ornament atop the bulbous shaped hood front. On the side front fenders which flank this beautiful hood, the famous Buick portholes chromed and styled with more aircraft influence lead the way for the large beautiful sweep spear which will run through each massive door then widen and dive down just before the rear wheel well. More shiny trim in excellent condition, makes a lap around the door sills, windows and rear roofline and has dual chromed mirrors hanging off on either side. A small bump out for the rear fenders which are topped with chromed fins and backed by vertically oriented oval taillights with shiny bezels. A large bumper frames the back lower and another beautiful big cloisonn badge adorns the center of the trunk. All lower steel panels are straight and rust free and painted in Mazda Maroon and the paint looks good. The hardtop is presenting in cream color and is a good contrast to the maroon. Polished dish styled wheels with a bump out dog dish center for the wheel covers and these are wrapped in wide whites to complete the effect. "Lights out at 11, right after Judge Wapner."
A swing of the doors and the hits just keep on coming! Snazzy broadcloth panels with horizontal piping bordering the tuck and roll, some chrome curved trimmings, power window toggles and still the wing window crank and chromed door actuator lever...this is awesome. Slipping inside more tan broadcloth inserts for the two benches which are surrounded by contrasting smooth maroon leather bolsters. The original looking two tone dash in maroon and tan, has round instruments and a large chromed center panel with the radio and just below all the control buttons. A big round bakelite maroon steering wheel with a chromed center horn ring shows just a few cracks and a nice center badge. Tan carpet floods the floors, and above is a beautiful vinyl headliner in maroon with chromed separators curved with the roofline.
A tilt of the hood and we shake hands with the Fireball inline 8 which is definitely original. 320 cubes sport an aqua valve cover and sit snugly into the restored and very clean engine bay. A single 2-barrel carburetor is on the side, and on back is the famous Dynaflow 2-speed automatic which has been recently rebuilt. As noted, the consigner has worked this engine, not a rebuild but new gaskets and seals, fuel pump, fuel lines, gas tank, rebuilt carburetor to name a few. "I only fly Quantas, Quantas Airlines, no Crashes, No Deaths."
Looking underneath there is surface rust and patina, but the X frame remains solid. Some invasive rust is noted on the interior underside skinning near the rear wheel wells, but this is not affecting the structure. New wheel cylinders, and a new fuel tank, and drum brakes for all 4 corners are noted. We also note some invasive rust on the inner rockers and prior floor pan repairs.
She started right up and on the test track worked swimmingly. Smooth acceleration, bias free stopping, and a wonderful cushy ride just like its name states.
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