To be offered by Silverstone Auctions as part of the 'Silverstone Classic Live Online Sale' on Friday 31st July. Please see our website for full listings and to find out more on how to register for bidding.
Lot No. 320
Estimate: 58,000 - 68,000
Buyers Premium 12.5% + VAT
When it comes to ‘Woodies’ the Roadmaster is the absolute pinnacle of desirability
One year only styling – 1949, 653 produced (21 exported)
150bhp Fireball Dynaflash straight-eight with Dynaflow automatic transmission
With its first owner, Offield L. Herbert in Los Angeles for 28 years
Subsequently VIP transport at a Dude Ranch
A head-turning land yacht that demands your attention
Your earliest inspection is encouraged and welcomed
This car has formed part of a large collection with little or no use. An element of recommissioning is to be expected to return it to the road once again
For fans of genuine wood-bodied wagons, the 1949 Buick Roadmaster (Model 79K) is the absolute pinnacle of desirability. One year only styling is arguably the most successful blend of the dramatic sweep spear fenders introduced in 1942 and modernization that would carry Buick into the 1950s.
1949 is also notable for the introduction of Buick’s famous "Ventports" in the front wings and this car proudly wears four of them, denoting the top of the range Roadmaster. If family outings were your thing then this particular Buick Woody represented first-class accommodation that was unmatched by anything else in period. In short, the Roadmaster was the finest, most luxurious ‘wagon’ built in America at the time. Only 653 were built in 1949 (just 21 were exported) and allegedly fewer than twenty are known to exist today.
This is one of the few remaining Roadmaster Statiowagons and is powered by a 5.2-litre Fireball DynaFlash straight-eight engine mated to Dynaflow automatic transmission. The car was sold new to Offield L. Herbert in Los Angeles in November 1949 and remained in his ownership until the car relocated, then with 91,680 miles, to Arizona in 1977 to be used as a welcome car at a 'dude' ranch owned by the Hoffman family. The requirement to transport these gentlemen in comfort and style has no doubt contributed to it being kept in fine condition. It's finished in a dark Midnight Blue with matching leather and magnificent chrome and woodwork, both outside and in, all of which seems to remain in 'darned good' condition. It still retains a driver side spotlight, the wooden roof-rack and the period air conditioning was probably added sometime in the 1960s. We understand that in 2009 almost $15,000 was spent bringing the mechanical aspects up to the car's cosmetic standard then, in 2010, over £2,000 was spent when the Dynaflow gearbox was completely stripped and fully overhauled with 90% of all the moving parts being replaced for new.
These exceptional Buicks rarely come to market in America so to have one on offer in the UK is a rare thing indeed! If ’40s/'50s Americana is your thing then this particular Buick presents a very rare opportunity indeed and one that is unlikely to be repeated in the near future. A head-turning land yacht that clearly demands your attention.
In recent years this car has formed part of a large collection and as such has received little or no use and an element of recommissioning is to be expected to return it to the road once again. Your inspection pre-sale is welcomed and encouraged to appreciate the potential of this rarely offered motor car.
You can now book a one to one appointment (up to one hour) to view this lot at our central location between 16th and 30th July. Please contact us on 01926 691 141 to secure your appointment or [email protected]
to discuss the car in more detail. The health and safety of both our customers and team remains the utmost priority, we are therefore operating to strict COVID-19 guidelines and full instructions for arrival and inspection protocols will be given when making your appointment.