The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Buick Hotrods for Hotrod Hearts

Hotrod and Buick? In the same sentence? I know. Because of Buick's stodgy, "Old Folks" car image, it's almost an oxymoron. But take a gander at these pics, my friend, and see if you don't agree that there is such a thing as a Buick Hotrod.

The first Buick beauty is a 56 with a custom 58 grille. Being a child of the 50's (actually I was a teen then), I do love my chrome, and the 58 Buick grille laid on some serious amounts of the shiny stuff!

This looks like a chopped 51 fast back to me. Heavy chrome teeth! Sweet.

And the obligatory Buick load of chicks. A yellow 53 (Special? Super?) with its portholes shaved away.

Next, a hopped up Buick Nailhead V8 powering a big open rod. Wiki says,"Buicks first generation of V8 lasted from 1953 through 1956. It was an OHV/pushrod engine like the then new Oldsmobile 'Rocket V8' engine. This engine became known as the 'Nailhead' for the unusual vertical position of its small-sized valves—which looked like nails."

And if you listen to John Fogarty's "Hotrod Heart" carefully, you'll hear that he's singing about a Buick. Hearing a song like this makes you forget about all those "Bad Moon Risings." The beat and rhythm and lyrics make me want to pop the top on the Jag and hit the road. The sun's okay today, but it's a bit cool for drophead motoring.

Hey, there's one more custom Buick after the song. Don't miss this beauty.

Take a long look at a senusous custom car built in the late 40's by a mechanical engineer named Norman Timbs and featured in Motor Trend and Popular Mechanics magazines at the time. It has an aluminum body and a straight 8 Buick engine. This Buick, which was recently found and restored to its original condition, has been called a Muse to those who love cars. I can see why.


  1. Don't forget the Grand National! I SO wanted one of those cars back in the day, but dealers were getting thousands over list for 'em.

    Apropos of the subject... My very first car was a 1950 Buick two door hardtop, black over yellow, with a straight-eight and the ever-weird Dynaflow tranny. That straight eight NEVER changed pitch, regardless of how hard you hit it. I had some great times in that car as an 18 year old.

    It's too cold to drop the top here, too. I feel yore pain, Dan.

  2. One of many family cars was a 53 Buick 2 door hardtop, Yellow in color. I was 10 at the time, made allowance washing that bus on Saturdays!!

  3. Buck, You're right, those Grand Nationals were great cars and did a lot to change Buick's stodgy image. BTW, My friends always called the Dynaflow in those old straight 8 Buicks Dynaslush.

  4. Big Ed, Was your yellow family Buick a Special, Super, or Roadmaster? My 8th grade teacher had a green 53 two door Special. At a school picnic in the park, I was sitting on the front fender and turned around to slide off and my buckle put a nice scrape on it. I was devastated but he was very understanding and thankfully said no harsh words. The 53's always appealed to me. They seemed to still have some of the gravitas and substance of the older Buicks but their style (two bullet shaped taillights on each side, headlight nacelles, sweepspear chrome, etc.) looked to the future as well.

  5. Dapper Dan, I'm not sure. I recall it had the fake exhaust holes on the front fenders, and I can remember leather seats. They were sure cold to sit on in the winter. It was an eye catcher for sure.