November 6, 2017

A closer look at the 1949 Buick Special Series 41 Sedan

There are numerous unique characteristics of every vehicle whether it's a classic car or your daily driver. It's not until decades later that any of these design details become very interesting. 
  • Power windows: Once an innovative luxury item and the reason your kids/grandkids don't know what "roll up the window" means. 
  • 2 sun visors: That was once an extra feature
  • Power steering: Now the only reason anyone can park in a city thanks to the design of the seemingly shrunken parking lots.
  • Turn signals: Can you imagine using hand signals on congested roads? Ouch!
Seems like a pretty basic list right? At first glance, it definitely is B.A.S.I.C. Things get's more complicated when replicating the early versions of these "options". Digging into the wire routing, mounting brackets, bulbs, wiring, wiper blades, specialty hardware, trim clips....well you understand. It's a different ballgame altogether when attempting to create a classic automotive time capsule that looks better than show room new. Oh and there's that minor detail of ensuring the old technology can safely carry people on today's busy roads.

Meet our latest challenge: 
1949 Buick Special Series 41, straight 8, 248 CI, 4 door sedan

The hood latches double as decorative trim on either side of the hood. The telescoping antenna has a knob above the rear view mirror to turn it from it's resting position, laying on the center strip of the windshield, to it's "on" position, upright and 4 ft tall!


We thought the interior of the car was tan. It appears to be tan. Even the headliner is tan! However, the body tag(discussed later on this post) and the smallest parts of the interior that escaped sun exposure tell us that the interior was in fact gray wool broadcloth with a dark gray metallic dash. The seat foam was so rodent damaged that the blankets on the seat are in place to cover the springs and the door panels are nearly missing all together. 

For the passengers, each seat has it's own ash tray and the glove box has a large clock front and center. Perhaps to allow well timed nagging of "are we there yet?" Sliding rear windows are a unique style and include a drain tube in the structure of the car to direct the rainwater from the window well , over the rear inner fender and to the ground through the rocker.