On August 10, 2012 Bob was heading East on Curtis at Downers Grove Cruise Night when I noticed this paint scheme identical to John’s ’55 Buick Special coupe and Frank’s ’55 Buick Century wagon and I really wanted to get more shots. But I had to wait another week for photos and three weeks to meet Bob.
Bob bought this Buick in 2004 and the color scheme was a major factor in his choosing this vehicle. Also he got ‘more
bang Buick’ for the buck!. He’s the fourth owner of this car that spent most of it’s ‘career’ in North Carolina. The previous owner moved to Denver which is where Bob bought it and had it trailered to Chicago-land.
It has power steering, power brakes and an automatic (Dynaflow, affectionately known as “Dynaslush” because of the way it accelerated. The transmission started off in high gear and the driver had to downshift to low ) automatic transmission See_df. The gear selector is unusual as it goes (left to right) P-N-D-L-R. Dynaflow was used exclusively in Buicks until 1953 when GM’s Hydramatic plant burned down and Dynaflow’s had to be adapted to over 45,000 Cadillac’s and Oldsmobile’s.
The motor is a 322 cubic inch ‘Nailhead’ V-8 which was used by Buick from 1954 (264 ci) to 1966 (425 ci), the latter having been used in Riviera, Electra and Wildcat models. The four’ holes’ in the fenders indicate it has a bigger motor, 322 cubic inches delivering 236 horsepower (than the special). This Century has the same motor as a Roadmaster which was a larger and more luxurious car so the Century had better performance.
The Buick V-8 was originally called the “Nail Valve” by early hot rodders because the valves looked like nails since the stems were so long and the heads were small. At some point “Nail Valve” got replaced by “Nailhead.”
The cigarette lighter protrudes from the bottom of the dashboard and Bob thinks that was an afterthought. I mentioned this to John (1955 Buicks) and disagrees because there are two ash trays that fold out from the dash (and there’s a cigarette lighter in the rear seat ash fold out ash tray).
The interior was restored to the same pattern but the material used for the gray portion was not cloth as in the original. Enlarge the third picture on the third row and the ‘Body by Fisher‘ emblem will be visible.
This Century was a ‘radio delete’ car (delivered with no radio and no antenna). A radio was added but without antenna the reception is lousy. Turn the key and floor the accelerator is the starting procedure which was a selling point for women.The driver’s seat is heated. The vacuum wipers are problematic and they slow down at inopportune times See_vw.
Sure there are photos and I have linked a TV Promo from 1955 for a Buick sedan here.
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1955 Buick TV promo with Milton Berle