One benefit to leaving cars unrestored and unaltered is that they more clearly tell the stories of the people who previously owned them. Take, for instance, this 1955 Buick Special Estate Wagon for sale on Hemmings.com, ordered in this specific configuration (loaded, but radio delete) by a fella who owned it only a short time. The story, of course, comes attached to a cleaned up, running and driving four-door wagon that continues to make itself useful today. From the seller’s description:
The single best way for me to describe this automobile is “archival.” This car not been altered from new in any way. One sympathetic chrome off, windows out paint job with full photographic records. I have owned this brilliant wagon for some 12+ years. Full ownership history from new. Very low genuine and original miles at 45K. Original invoice and most records dating to new.
Ordered new through Barger Buick of Keyser, WV for a prominent gentleman. He died shortly after receiving the wagon and the car remained with the original family until the mid 1990’s. It was then offered for sale at Hershey where a friend of mine bought it. While he owned the car for some time it was stored properly. My purchase came only from his desire to finish another car restoration. I brought the car back to my home in Ohio where I personally stripped the car. I removed all the windows, chrome trim and the like and sent the car to a painter. It was painted in the correct colors/period metallic. It is Nile Green with Mist Green. The interior is Code 96 which is actually a special order for this model.
This car is very well equipped with Dyna-Flow, power steering and power brakes. E-Z Eye tinted glass, Deluxe steering wheel, Safety Group, Deluxe wheel covers, Accessory group and oversize tires. Foam-Tex seats. Overall this car retailed for a massive $3,832.48
Sometime after I purchased the car I spoke to the daughter of the original owner and the seller of car in the 1990’s. She remembered the car with amazing clarity as it was her fathers last car. He had traded a 1952 Buick wagon in on this car. He ordered it specially as he wanted a well equipped car but was very specific about his dislike for the “red-line” speedometer. So he ordered a fully equipped Special that had a standard speedometer. And the gent did not want a radio. And this car has never had a radio. After he died the family used the car sparingly as it had only 34,012 miles in 1974 and 37,266 in 1978.
This car runs and drives extremely well. I have fitted a new steering box recently. Out of my numerous old cars the Buick is consistently the most reliable. Newer bias ply tires and brakes. It runs cool even here in the desert. This is a wonderful family car and I have even used it for airport runs as it hold a ton of luggage.
Palm Springs, California
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