Buick Roadmaster Convertible Phaeton

Many factors contributed to Buick’s success in the late 1930s and early 1940s. An expanding model line, starting with the Special, which was priced at just $200 more than comparable Chevrolets, put Buick quality, prestige and a powerful eight-cylinder engine well within the reach of a broader market. Buick’s sales had grown steadily by offering a quality car to buyers with more conservative tastes. As a result, Buick enjoyed a very loyal following among doctors, lawyers and other professionals who wanted a quality car but did not want to appear ostentatious.

Buick also built a well-deserved reputation for engineering excellence. With their advanced overhead valve inline eight-cylinder engine, independent front suspension and hydraulic brakes, Buicks were quieter, smoother and more sophisticated than most contemporary cars. This carefully executed strategy proved very successful for Buick, with record production totals surpassing 310,000 units during the 1940 calendar year.

With a new Series 70 designation in 1940, the Roadmaster shared its basic body design with the Series 40 Super and was available in four body styles including Sedan, Sport Coupe and Convertible Coupe models, along with the rare Convertible Phaeton. Out of total 1940 Buick output, only 18,345 Roadmasters were produced, with just 235 examples of the handsome and distinctive Convertible Phaeton produced. Today, only a few survive intact and fewer still are as attractive as the example offered here.

Recently removed from nearly 60 years of dry storage in Kansas, this 1940 Roadmaster Convertible Phaeton was given a professional restoration to original specifications. The body was stripped and sandblasted to bare metal and refinished in a stately black, while the new camel leather interior was sewn to the original patterns. New chrome enhances the car and a new electrical wiring harness was fitted. Mechanically, the Roadmaster benefits from a professionally restored original engine and drivetrain, with only test miles logged since completion.

With its fresh, high-quality restoration, this elegant and rare Roadmaster Phaeton will provide many years of touring and showing pleasure for its next owner. It ranks among the most desirable prewar American motor cars.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Shotwell Gustafson Pavilion at Meadow Brook Hall, Rochester, Michigan.

141 bhp, 320 cu. in. inline eight-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, semi-floating rear axle with coil springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 126"

Source: RM Auctions

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