Left-hand drive 1927 Buick Opera Coupe Coachwork by Fisher Registration no. BSK 396 Chassis no. 1709958 Engine no. 2223940
Inventor David Dunbar Buick built his first automobile in Detroit, Michigan in 1903. More designer than businessman, Buick's lack of talent in the latter role led to a number of changes of ownership in the firm's early years before its founder was eventually eased out in 1908, his departure from the Buick Motor Company coinciding with its establishment as the cornerstone of new owner William C Durant's General Motors. Under Durant's stewardship production rose dramatically from 750 cars in 1905 to 8,802 in 1908 when Buick's most popular model was the four-cylinder Model 10, priced at $900 and a direct competitor for Ford's Model T. The four-cylinder Buicks were replaced by smaller sixes for the 1916 model year but the 'four' was back for 1917 in the shape of the D-34 two door roadster and D-35 four-door tourer, both powered by a new 170ci (2.8-litre) overhead-valve engine with detachable cylinder head.
The company had introduced its first six-cylinder car in 1914 and for a period in the 1920s the range would consist entirely of sixes. A detachable cylinder head, strengthened chassis and axles, and four-wheel brakes were new introductions on the six-cylinder line for 1924, the last year of Buick's base-model four. Replacing the latter for 1925, the Standard Six boasted a new, overhead-valve engine displacing 191ci (3,131cc) and producing 50bhp, while the larger Master Six came with a 255ci (4,180cc) 70bhp unit. The duo were restyled for 1926 and given larger engines of 207ci (3,393cc) and 274ci (4,492cc) respectively, and continued almost unaltered throughout 1927.
Purchased at auction in 1996 by the current vendor, this left-hand drive Buick Master Six had been imported from Arizona, USA. The state's dry climate had preserved the body in very sound, rust-free condition but mechanically the car was worn out, though this was not a problem as the vendor already had a wealth of spare parts. Retired by this time and with more than one similar restoration behind him, he was able to make rapid progress with the rebuild. The Buick was totally restored to original specification, colour scheme and interior configuration, as the accompanying photographic record shows. Unused since completion in 1997, the car is described as in generally very good condition and offered with Swansea V5.