1937 Buick Boattail Roadster  Chassis no. 3086477
Lot 315
1937 Buick Boattail Roadster Chassis no. 3086477
US$ 100,000 - 140,000
£60,000 - 83,000
Lot Details
1937 Buick Boattail Roadster
Chassis no. 3086477
• 320ci inline eight-cylinder
• Three-speed manual transmission

• Stylish period custom boattail body
• Interesting history
• Older high quality restoration
• Great potential for shows or tours

Once upon a time, this striking Buick left Flint, Michigan, as a Series 60 Century. As such, it was built on a 126-inch wheelbase.. Available in six body styles, the Century offered comfortable accommodations and good performance at an upper middle class price.

Much happened to this unusual and striking Buick in its early years.

At some point its original engine was replaced with a similarly sized, but much more powerful 165 horsepower, dual-carburetor, 1941 Buick straight-eight. The most obvious part of the transformation came in the form of what is believed to have been the rear body section from an Auburn Speedster. The grille, hood, bodywork forward of the cowl and fenders all appear to be original to the 1937 Buick. The modification was so tastefully completed that it's hard to believe this was not a factory body or one modified by one of the many Los Angeles custom body builders active just before and after WWII.

The car was discovered in a LA used car lot and in 1968 was sold to Art Lifferth of Bountiful Utah. The unique Buick Speedster was then purchased by classic car collector and dealer Colin Crabbe, who exported it to England. The car was then sold to Sir Charles Edward Chadwyck-Healey, a prominent publisher and more recently the High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire.

While in the United Kingdom it was treated to an extensive restoration in 1995 that included a new wooden body frame, top, wiring, upholstery and paint.

By the middle of 1997, the car had returned to its native country and the ownership of John Kunkel. At this time, the engine was completely rebuilt and many details attended to. All the electrical components were also converted to 12-volt electrics and a correct steering wheel and new fuel tank were fitted. Mr Kunkel drove the car in the 2003 Copperstate 1000.

The most recent owner, a noted collector in the Pacific North West, bought the car from Bonhams May 2006 Brookline, Massachusetts sale. He claims the car is much quicker than any of the many early Ford V-8s he's owned.

Finished in two shades of red and trimmed in grey with dark red piping, this Buick is as attractive as it is unique. It rolls on correct period Buick wheels fitted with wide whitewall tires.

While tastefully re-bodied, period photographs illustrate that this car has carried this coachwork for many years. It is a fine-looking car and distinctive to such a degree that it will no doubt garner invitations to car shows, concours, Classic Car Club tours, and any number of other automotive events. It might have made quite a splash at the 2012 Pebble Beach in the new Sports Custom class! This car is offered with an Oregon Certificate of Title.
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