Buick super

1942-1948

The 1942 Super coupes adopted the appealing Sedanet fastback style that had been the sensation of 1941 on Century and Special. New wider and lower bodies were offered and «Airfoil» front fenders that flowed into the lines of the rear fenders were introduced on convertibles and sedanet models. The Super had new front fender trim featuring parallel chrome strips. Also featured for 1942 was a handsome new grille with a lower outline and thin vertical strips. A feature shared with other Buicks was a new interior air intake positioned near the front center grille that eliminated the old cowl-level ventilator. The number of body styles was reduced to three with the elimination of the one year only Business coupe.

After the government prohibited the use of chrome on January 1, 1942 a number of body styles were dropped and most trim was now painted. Cast iron pistons were used in the 248 cu in (4.1 L) Fireball I8 engine. The last of the 1942 Buicks were completed on February 4, 1942. Only 33,034 Supers were built in the abbreviated model year.

In 1946 Buick once again combined the large Series 70 Roadmaster body with the economical Series 40 Special powerplant to create the Series 50 Super line. Basic styling was continued from 1942 now sedans had the front fender sweep across the doors to the rear fenders as did the Sedanet and convertible styles. A stamped grille with vertical bars dominated the frontal ensemble. Single stainless body trim lines began on the front fenders and ended at the rear edge of the standard rear wheelhouse shields. Standard equipment included an automatic choke, clock, ash receiver, turn signals and woodgrained instrument panels. Exterior series identification was found on the crossbar between the bumper guards front and rear. Cloisonne emblems carried the Super emblem. Compound Carburetion was eliminated and the compression ratio was reduced to 6.30:1. As a consequence the 1946 Super’s horsepower fell from 125 to 110. Torque on the other hand was hardly affected. The number of body styles increased to four with the return of the Estate wagon after a six year absence. A total of 119,334 units were sold. The front suspension was independent with coil springs. 76.98% of Buick sales this year were Supers.

Combining big Roadmaster room with an economical Special engine continued to make the Super an American favorite in 1947. The Super was little changed from its 1946 counterpart, except for new stamped grille that had separate upper bar and new emblem. Stainless lower body moldings made a single line along the body and continued onto the standard wheelhouse shields. A white Tenite steering wheel was standard while the instruments were round and set into a two-toned dash panel. Exterior series identification was found on the crossbars between the standard bumper guards. A chrome emblem was used with the series script embossed and filled with red. Sales reached a record 159,588. The height was 64.9 inches. Brakes were 12 inch drums.

The main external change to the 1948 Super from its 1947 counterpart was the Super script on each front fender. Other series identification continued to be earned on the bumper guard crossbar. The car was a bit lower than in 1947 rolling on new 7.60 x 15 tires mounted on wheels with trim rings and small hubcaps. Super script was also found on the center crest of a new black Tenite steering wheel. New cloth interiors featured leatherette scuff pads and trim risers. The instrument panel was redone, using silver-tone instruments on a two-tone gray panel. The sedan was carpeted in the rear with a carpet insert also found in the front rubber mat. The convertible also featured cloth and leather interior trim with power top, seat and windows standard. Total sales were 108,521.

1942–1948

1947 Buick Super Sedanet rear

Second generation
Overview
Model years 1942–1948
Assembly South Gate, California, USAAtlanta, Georgia, USAKansas City, Kansas, USAFlint, Michigan, USALinden, New Jersey, USA
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan2-door Sedanet coupe2-door convertible4-door Estate wagon
Related Cadillac Series 62Buick RoadmasterOldsmobile 98
Powertrain
Engine 248 cu in (4.1 L) Fireball I8
Transmission 3-speed sliding shift manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 124.0 in (3,150 mm)
Length 1942: 210.0 in (5,334 mm)1946–47: 212.4 in (5,395 mm)1948: 212.5 in (5,398 mm)
Width 78.6 in (1,996 mm)
Height 66.7 in (1,694 mm)
Curb weight 4,000–4,400 lb (1,800–2,000 kg)

1948 Buick Super convertible

1948 Buick Super

The 1942 Super coupes adopted the appealing Sedanet fastback style that had been the sensation of 1941 on Century and Special. New wider and lower bodies were offered and «Airfoil» front fenders that flowed into the lines of the rear fenders were introduced on convertibles and sedanet models. The Super had new front fender trim featuring parallel chrome strips. Also featured for 1942 was a handsome new grille with a lower outline and thin vertical strips. A feature shared with other Buicks was a new interior air intake positioned near the front center grille that eliminated the old cowl-level ventilator. The number of body styles was reduced to three with the elimination of the one year only Business coupe.

After the government prohibited the use of chrome on January 1, 1942 a number of body styles were dropped and most trim was now painted. Cast iron pistons were used in the 248 cu in (4.1 L) Fireball I8 engine. The last of the 1942 Buicks were completed on February 4, 1942. Only 33,034 Supers were built in the abbreviated model year.

In 1946 Buick once again combined the large Series 70 Roadmaster body with the economical Series 40 Special powerplant to create the Series 50 Super line. Basic styling was continued from 1942 now sedans had the front fender sweep across the doors to the rear fenders as did the Sedanet and convertible styles. A stamped grille with vertical bars dominated the frontal ensemble. Single stainless body trim lines began on the front fenders and ended at the rear edge of the standard rear wheelhouse shields. Standard equipment included an automatic choke, clock, ash receiver, turn signals and woodgrained instrument panels. Exterior series identification was found on the crossbar between the bumper guards front and rear. Cloisonne emblems carried the Super emblem. Compound Carburetion was eliminated and the compression ratio was reduced to 6.30:1. As a consequence the 1946 Super’s horsepower fell from 125 to 110. Torque on the other hand was hardly affected. The number of body styles increased to four with the return of the Estate wagon after a six year absence. A total of 119,334 units were sold. The front suspension was independent with coil springs. 76.98% of Buick sales this year were Supers.

Combining big Roadmaster room with an economical Special engine continued to make the Super an American favorite in 1947. The Super was little changed from its 1946 counterpart, except for new stamped grille that had separate upper bar and new emblem. Stainless lower body moldings made a single line along the body and continued onto the standard wheelhouse shields. A white Tenite steering wheel was standard while the instruments were round and set into a two-toned dash panel. Exterior series identification was found on the crossbars between the standard bumper guards. A chrome emblem was used with the series script embossed and filled with red. Sales reached a record 159,588. The height was 64.9 inches. Brakes were 12 inch drums.

The main external change to the 1948 Super from its 1947 counterpart was the Super script on each front fender. Other series identification continued to be earned on the bumper guard crossbar. The car was a bit lower than in 1947 rolling on new 7.60 x 15 tires mounted on wheels with trim rings and small hubcaps. Super script was also found on the center crest of a new black Tenite steering wheel. New cloth interiors featured leatherette scuff pads and trim risers. The instrument panel was redone, using silver-tone instruments on a two-tone gray panel. The sedan was carpeted in the rear with a carpet insert also found in the front rubber mat. The convertible also featured cloth and leather interior trim with power top, seat and windows standard. Total sales were 108,521.

1954-1956

Using the new larger General Motors C-body, with vertical windshield pillars and the new Panoramic windshield, the Super for 1954 was a big Buick for the budget minded buyer. Identified by its three VentiPorts per fender, the Super script on the quarters and the series designation within the deck ornament, the Super shared other brightwork with the Roadmaster. Interiors were nylon and were plainer than in the Roadmaster. The Super did have the more expensive car’s horizontal speedometer instrument panel. The convertible was upholstered in leather and had power-operated windows, seat and top, along with an outside rearview mirror on the left, as standard equipment. The Estate wagon was discontinued. Total sales fell to 118,630.

In 1955 Buick’s popular Super continued to combine the large C-body interior expanse with medium bracket interiors and performance. Supers had four of the new round VentiPorts per fender this year, with additional series script found on rear quarters and within the deck emblem. The side Sweepspear was unchanged from 1954. The larger bodied Buicks were readily identified by their more rounded contours, straight up windshield pillars and sedan rear quarter windows. Series 50 Super and 70 Roadmaster headlamp bezels also housed parking lights. Inside, a new Red Liner speedometer lay horizontally across the instrument panel. Interiors were trimmed in nylon/Cordaveen combinations, except for the convertible which featured leather seats. Standard Super equipment included trip mileage indicator, electric clock and, on convertibles, a power horizontal seat adjuster. Super sales rose to 132,463.

In 1956 although the Super was larger Buick, with vertical windshield posts and four VentiPorts per fender, it had a deep Sweepspear similar to the smaller Series 40 Special and Series 60 Century cars. Series script was found on rear quarters and within the deck and grille emblems. Interiors were Cordaveen and patterned nylon, except for convertibles which were all-Cordaveen trimmed and had power windows, horizontal seat adjustment, and a power top in its standard form. Dynaflow was now standard on all Supers, along with foam seat cushions, a trunk light, electric clock, directional signals, front and rear armrests, sliding sunshades, cigarette lighter, glove compartment light, map light, dual horns, Step-On parking brake, Red Liner speedometer and trip mileage indicator. A new body style was the 4-door Riviera hardtop Sales of the Super fell to 80,998.

1940–1941

Buick Eight 4-door convertible

First generation

1940 Buick Super coupe

Overview
Model years 1940–1941
Assembly South Gate, California, USAFlint, Michigan, USALinden, New Jersey, USA
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan4-door convertible2-door coupe2-door convertible2-door Business coupe4-door Estate wagon
Related Cadillac Series 62LaSalle Series 52Buick RoadmasterOldsmobile 90/96/98Pontiac Torpedo
Powertrain
Engine 248 cu in (4.1 L) Fireball I8
Transmission 3-speed sliding shift manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 121.0 in (3,073 mm)
Length 1940: 204.0 in (5,182 mm)1941: 210.4 in (5,344 mm)
Width 1940: 75.8 in (1,925 mm)1941: 76.5 in (1,943 mm)
Height 66.0 in (1,676 mm)
Curb weight 3,800–4,200 lb (1,700–1,900 kg)

1940 Buick Super convertible interior

1940 Buick Super coupe rear

1940 Buick Super

When introduced in 1940 the new Series 50 Super featured the cutting-edge «torpedo» C-body. The new C-body that the 1940 Buick Super shared with the Series 70 Roadmaster, the Cadillac Series 62, the Oldsmobile Series 90, and the Pontiac Torpedo featured shoulder and hip room that was over 5″ wider, the elimination of running boards and exterior styling that was streamlined and 2-3″ lower. When combined with a column mounted shift lever the cars offered true six passenger comfort, changes that had clearly been influenced by the Cadillac Sixty Special.

The basic formula for the 1940 to 1952 Super was established by mating the Roadmaster’s longer behind the engine cowl body to the Series 40 Special’s smaller straight-eight engine (and consequently shorter engine compartment). This led to an economical combination of voluminous passenger room and relatively good fuel economy. (In contrast the Series 60 Century combined the smaller Special body with the larger Roadmaster engine.)

The new Super temporarily shared its 121.0 in (3,073 mm) wheelbase dimension with the 40 Special. Initially four body styles were offered: a 2-door coupe, a 2-door convertible, a 4-door sedan and a 4-door convertible. In the middle of the model year a 4-door Estate wagon was added which was exclusive to the Super. Interiors of Bedford cloth (either tan or gray) were offered. The engine was the same 248 cu in (4.1 L) 107 hp Fireball I8 as used on the Special which was equipped with an oil filter. The Super was equipped with sealed beam headlights and with Fore-N-Aft Flash-Way directionals. 1940 was the only year the Super could be equipped with sidemounts. A total of 128,736 units were sold in its first year.

The styling changes for 1941 were modest, but the changes under the hood were major. The compression ratio was raised from 6.15:1 to 7.0:1, the «turbulator» pistons were redesigned, smaller spark plugs were substituted for the previous type and “Compound Carburetion” was introduced, as it was on all Buicks except for the Special. Compound Carburetion was the forerunner of the modern four-barrel carburetor, and consisted of twin two-barrel carburetors. One unit operated all of the time, while the other operated only under hard acceleration. The new engine delivered 125 horsepower. All cars available with a choice of axle ratios and with two-tone color combinations with 19 selections at no extra charge. A new feature was a two-way hood that could be opened from either side. The 4-door convertible and the Estate wagon were gone but a new one year only body style was a 3-passenger 2-door Business Coupe which sold 2449 units. Overall sales fell to 92,067.

1957–1958

1958 Buick Super Riviera coupe

Fifth generation

1957 Buick Super 2-Door Riviera

Overview
Model years 1957–1958
Assembly South Gate, California, USAWilmington, Delaware, USAAtlanta, Georgia, USAKansas City, Kansas, USAFramingham, Massachusetts, USAFlint, Michigan, USALinden, New Jersey, USAArlington, Texas, USA
Designer Harley Earl
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door Riviera hardtop2-door Riviera hardtop2-door convertible
Platform C-body
Related Cadillac Series 62Buick LimitedBuick RoadmasterOldsmobile 98
Powertrain
Engine 364 cu in (6.0 L) V8
Transmission 2-speed Dynaflow automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 127.5 in (3,238 mm)
Length 1957: 215.3 in (5,469 mm)1958: 219.2 in (5,568 mm)
Width 79.8 in (2,027 mm)
Height 60.0 in (1,524 mm)
Curb weight 4,500–4,700 lb (2,000–2,100 kg)

The Super used the new General Motors C-body for 1957. Larger than the Series 40 Special and Series 60 Century B-body, the Riviera body styles had different roof treatments as well. Supers had a group of three Chevrons on each rear quarter or door for series identification, in addition to the normal wording within the grille and deck emblems. Four were used on each front fender. Closed models were upholstered in Nylon/Cordaveen combinations while the convertible had an all-Cordaveen interior and featured power windows and seat controls as part of its equipment. Standard Super equipment included foam rubber seat cushions, automatic trunk lamp, Red Liner speedometer, glovebox lamp, dual horns, trip mileage indicator, directional signals, dual sunshades, color coordinated dash panel, and on the convertible, outside left-hand rearview mirror. The 4-door pillared sedan body style was gone. Engine displacement was increased to 364 cu in (6.0 L) on the V8. Nevertheless, sales fell to 70,250, the lowest level with the exception of the abbreviated 1942 model year.

The once most popular Buick line was reduced to two body styles for 1958 with the elimination of the convertible. Side trim was similar to lesser series, except for the Super lettering on the rear fender flashes, but Supers were longer than the Series 40 Specials and Series 60 Centurys. The Super name was also lettered across the deck lid. Standard equipment included Variable-Pitch Dynaflow, power steering, power brakes, a safety-cushion instrument panel, fully carpeted floor, courtesy lights, full wheelcovers, foam rubber cushions, electric clocks, dual horns, ignition key light, glovebox, cigar lighter, trip mileage indicator, geared vent panes, bumper guards, variable speed wipers, Step-On parking brakes, and, on convertibles, an outside rearview mirror. Interiors were trimmed with gray cloth and vinyl or Cordaveen and vinyl. A plusher Custom interior was available at extra cost. Sales fell further to 42,388, the lowest with the exception of the wartime 1942 model year.

1954–1956

1954 Buick Super Riviera coupe

Fourth generation
Overview
Model years 1954–1956
Assembly South Gate, California, USAWilmington, Delaware, USAAtlanta, Georgia, USAKansas City, Kansas, USAFramingham, Massachusetts, USAFlint, Michigan, USALinden, New Jersey, USAArlington, Texas, USA
Designer Harley Earl
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan4-door Riviera hardtop2-door Riviera hardtop2-door convertible
Platform C-body
Related Cadillac Series 62Buick RoadmasterOldsmobile 98
Powertrain
Engine 322 cu in (5.3 L) V8
Transmission 3-speed sliding shift manual2-speed Dynaflow automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 127.0 in (3,226 mm)
Length 1954: 216.8 in (5,507 mm)1955: 216.0 in (5,486 mm)1956: 213.8 in (5,431 mm)
Width 79.8 in (2,027 mm)
Height 62.6 in (1,590 mm)
Curb weight 4,200–4,500 lb (1,900–2,000 kg)

1956 Buick Super Riviera coupe

Using the new larger General Motors C-body, with vertical windshield pillars and the new Panoramic windshield, the Super for 1954 was a big Buick for the budget minded buyer. Identified by its three per fender, the Super script on the quarters and the series designation within the deck ornament, the Super shared other brightwork with the Roadmaster. Interiors were nylon and were plainer than in the Roadmaster. The Buick Super has a design resembling the 1955 Buick Century and Buick Century Riviera. The Super did have the more expensive car’s horizontal speedometer instrument panel. The convertible was upholstered in leather and had power-operated windows, seat and top, along with an outside rearview mirror on the left, as standard equipment. New features included a lighted ignition key slot, electric windows, and a roof rail cover. The Estate wagon was discontinued. Total sales fell to 118,630.

In 1955 Buick’s popular Super continued to combine the large C-body interior expanse with medium bracket interiors and performance. Supers had four of the new round VentiPorts per fender this year, with additional series script found on rear quarters and within the deck emblem. The side was unchanged from 1954. The larger bodied Buicks were readily identified by their more rounded contours, straight up windshield pillars and sedan rear quarter windows. Series 50 Super and 70 Roadmaster headlamp bezels also housed parking lights. Inside, a new Red Liner speedometer lay horizontally across the instrument panel. Interiors were trimmed in nylon/Cordaveen combinations, except for the convertible which featured leather seats. Standard Super equipment included trip mileage indicator, electric clock and, on convertibles, a power horizontal seat adjuster. Super sales rose to 132,463.

In 1956 although the Super was larger Buick, with vertical windshield posts and four VentiPorts per fender, it had a deep Sweepspear similar to the smaller Series 40 Special and Series 60 Century cars. Series script was found on rear quarters and within the deck and grille emblems. Interiors were Cordaveen and patterned nylon, except for convertibles which were all-Cordaveen trimmed and had power windows, horizontal seat adjustment(Six-way power seats were optional), and a power top in its standard form. Dynaflow was now standard on all Supers, along with foam seat cushions, a trunk light, electric clock, directional signals, front and rear armrests, sliding sunshades, cigarette lighter, glove compartment light, map light, dual horns, Step-On parking brake, Red Liner speedometer and trip mileage indicator. A new body style was the 4-door Riviera hardtop. Sales of the Super fell to 80,998.

1957-1958

The Super used the new General Motors C-body for 1957. Larger than the Series 40 Special and Series 60 Century B-body, the Riviera body styles had different roof treatments as well. Supers had a group of three Chevrons on each rear quarter or door for series identification., in addition to the normal wording within the grille and deck emblems. Four VentiPorts were used on each front fender. Closed models were upholstered in Nylon/Cordaveen combinations while the convertible had an all-Cordaveen interior and featured power windows and seat controls as part of its equipment. Standard Super equipment included foam rubber seat cushions, automatic trunk lamp, Red Liner speedometer, glovebox lamp, dual horns, trip mileage indicator, directional signals, dual sunshades, color coordinated dash panel, and on the convertible, outside left-hand rearview mirror. The 4-door pillared sedan body style was gone. Engine displacement was increased to 364 cu in (6.0 L) on the Nailhead V8. Nevertheless, sales fell to 70,250, the lowest level with the exception of the abbreviated 1942 model year.

The once most popular Buick line was reduced to two body styles for 1958 with the elimination of the convertible. Side trim was similar to lesser series, except for the Super lettering on the rear fender flashes, but Supers were longer than the Series 40 Specials and Series 60 Centurys. The Super name was also lettered across the deck lid. Standard equipment included Variable-Pitch Dynaflow, power steering, power brakes, a safety-cushion instrument panel, fully carpeted floor, courtesy lights, full wheelcovers, foam rubber cushions, electric clocks, dual horns, ignition key light, glovebox, cigar lighter, trip mileage indicator, geared vent panes, bumper guards, variable speed wipers, Step-On parking brakes, and, on convertibles, an outside rearview mirror. Interiors were trimmed with gray cloth and vinyl or Cordaveen and vinyl. A plusher Custom interior was available at extra cost. Sales fell further to 42,388, the lowest with the exception of the wartime 1942 model year.

The Super name has been resurrected on the new special-edition LaCrosse and Lucerne models.

1940-1941

When introduced in 1940 the new Series 50 Super featured the cutting-edge «torpedo» C-body. The new C-body that the 1940 Buick Super shared with the Series 70 Roadmaster, the Cadillac Series 62, the Oldsmobile Series 90, and the Pontiac Torpedo featured shoulder and hip room that was over 5″ wider, the elimination of running boards and exterior styling that was streamlined and 2-3″ lower. When combined with a column mounted shift lever the cars offered true six passenger comfort. These changes had clearly been influenced by the Cadillac Sixty Special.

The basic formula for the 1940 to 1952 Super was established by mating the Roadmaster’s longer behind the engine cowl body to the Series 40 Special’s smaller straight-eight engine (and consequently shorter engine compartment). This led to an economical combination of voluminous passenger room and relatively good fuel economy. (In contrast the Series 60 Century combined the smaller Special body with the larger Roadmaster engine.)

The new Super temporarily shared its 121.0 in (3,073 mm) wheelbase dimension with the 40 Special. Initially four body styles were offered: a 2-door coupe, a 2-door convertible, a 4-door sedan and a 4-door convertible. In the middle of the model year a 4-door Estate wagon was added which was exclusive to the Super. Interiors of Bedford cloth (either tan or gray) were offered. The engine was the same 248 cu in (4.1 L) 107 hp Fireball I8 as used on the Special which was equipped with an oil filter. The Super was equipped with sealed beam headlights and with Fore-N-Aft Flash-Way directionals. 1940 was the only year the Super could be equipped with sidemounts. A total of 128,736 units were sold in its first year.

The styling changes for 1941 were modest, but the changes under the hood were major. The compression ratio was raised from 6.15:1 to 7.0:1, the «turbulator» pistons were redesigned, smaller spark plugs were substituted for the previous type and “Compound Carburetion” was introduced, as it was on all Buicks except for the Special. Compound Carburetion was the forerunner of the modern four-barrel carburetor, and consisted of twin two-barrel carburetors. One unit operated all of the time, while the other operated only under hard acceleration. The new engine delivered 125 horsepower. All cars available with a choice of axle ratios and with two-tone color combinations with 19 selections at no extra charge. A new feature was a two-way hood that could be opened from either side. The 4-door convertible and the Estate wagon were gone but a new one year only body style was a 3-passenger 2-door Business Coupe which sold 2449 units. Overall sales fell to 92,067.

Series 50 (1930–1935)

1932 Series 50 coupe

Originally the Series 50 had a 331.4 cu in (5,431 cc) six cylinder engine developing 99 bhp of power at 2,800 rpm, and Buick manufactured 28,204 cars. In 1931 the model remained almost unchanged, aside from minor appearance changes. Optionally, the model was equipped with a new 220.7 cu in (3,617 cc) straight eight-cylinder and 77 hp. With the temporary disappearance of the Series 40, Series 50 became the entry level model for Buick.

In 1932 the engine displacement increased to 230.4 cu in (3,776 cc), producing 82.5 bhp. In 1933, the aesthetics of the car was completely redesigned. The power delivered by the engine was increased again and now it was up to 86 bhp, and in 1934, the model power increased to 88 hp. Buick re-introduced the Series 40, which once again became the entry level model. In 1935 the Series 50 remained unchanged and the following year went out of production, having produced 127,416 examples. The model was reintroduced in 1940 under the name «Super».

References

  1. ^ Flory, Jr., J. «Kelly» (2008). American Cars, 1946-1959 Every Model Every Year. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7864-3229-5.

Buick, a marque of General Motors, automobile timeline, United States market, 1940s–1970s — next »

Type 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s
6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Subcompact Opel
Skyhawk
Compact Apollo
Skylark Skylark
Mid-size Special Special Century Century
Skylark Skylark Regal Regal
Full-size Special Special Special Special LeSabre LeSabre LeSabre LeSabre LeSabre
Century Century Invicta Invicta Wildcat Centurion
Super Super Super Super
Roadmaster Roadmaster Roadmaster Roadmaster Electra Electra Electra Electra Electra
Full-size station wagon Estate Estate Estate
Personal Skylark Riviera Riviera Riviera Riviera Riviera Riviera
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