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The Roadmaster was the flagship automobile of Buick for over two decades. Introduced in 1936, the Roadmaster evolved through several series; and, by 1948, it featured some unique detail. The Harley Earl design epitomized elegance and prestige with its sweeping curvaceous lines, a dramatic chrome grille and celebrated gun-sight hood ornament. Additions included the series script on the front fenders; a black steering wheel replacing the white Tenelite example; and, the convertibles acquired power windows, seats, and top as standard features. Most significantly in 1948, Buick offered the Dynaflow transmission as an option, its first ever automatic, which provided truly shiftless driving at an added cost of $206. This option soon became so popular that of the 11,503 built, the vast majority were requested with the Dynaflow transmission.
In 1948, this Roadmaster was a sensation. In 2013, it is even more sensational, capable of cruising with a grace and panache rarely seen on the road today. In 1948, this magnificent Buick rolled off the line in spectacular Sequoia Cream with a black top and red interior – the same color combination you see today and confirmed in the factory Buick brochure that accompanies the sale of the car.
The convertible was first purchased by a Roadmaster enthusiast, who is believed to have lived in Woodside, California. Several years later, the car was bought by the editor of Bay Area’s Convertible Connection magazine, who then sold it in 1984 to the current owner. In the ownership of its new caretaker, the Roadmaster immediately underwent a scrupulous two-year restoration, including the paint, upholstery, wiring, and other mechanical work. Attention to detail soon paid off as the car earned multiple awards at various California concours over the next several years, including First in Class at Hillsborough in 1987, Monterey in 1988, and Silverado in 1990, as well as three additional class placements.
In 2004, a partial overhaul of the engine was completed, along with a complete brake rebuild and the installation of new suspension components. The Roadmaster shows 89,000 miles on the clock. The consignor states that the Roadmaster’s Fireball Dynaflash 8 engine runs well with good compression and can cruise the freeway at 70 mph, and it never fails to turn heads. With the top up, it is stylish and suave; down, it is truly stunning. Today, the Roadmaster presents as a carefully maintained concours veteran, its condition belying the true age of the restoration. A glance underneath reveals a well-detailed undercarriage that underscores the quality and completeness of the restorative work performed.
According to some devotees, there is no finer touring automobile than the 1948 Roadmaster with its super smooth Dynaflow transmission and sublime styling. This automobile is truly one of the great Buicks of the post-war era and deserves a position in the most prestigious automobile collection as well as on any American road.