SLEEPER '55 BUICK, STRONG 401 V8, DUAL QUADS, 4-SPEED, TAME LOOK W/LOTS OF POP!
If you're not a Buick guy, this 1955 Buick Special might get the drop on you at the next red light. Its unassuming two-tone '50s demeanor is pure Buick style, but underneath, it's got a thundering 401 cubic inch Nailhead with dual quads and backed by a 4-speed. Yeah, it looks cheerful, but it'll stomp you flat on the street if you're not careful.
I don't know that I'd consider a big red and white Buick with Ventiports to be a sleeper, but I can guarantee nobody will expect this car to move like it does. The red and white color combination works well, with the Buick's stainless sweep-spear trim acting as a natural break point on the body and the roof up top is painted to match. The effect is crisp, clean, and just what you'd expect from GM's near-luxury division. The paint on the body is fresh, although the roof appears to be an older repaint that's holding up well, and you'll be incredibly pleased by the sound those big doors make when they close. Gaps are good, and even that big hood fits well. On a '50s car, the big thing is chrome trim, and there's plenty on this big Buick, including a wonderfully ornate grille, the aforementioned stainless side trim and "portholes" in the front fenders, as well as the beautifully rendered taillight housings. The hood ornament has been shaved, but that appears to be the lone modification and by the time you notice, it'll already be too late anyway.
The stock-ish interior works equally well, lulling onlookers into a sense of complacency, as if they know this is just a boulevardier, not a hammer. The bench seat wears period-appropriate upholstery rendered in black fabric and red vinyl and there's a massive amount of space in the back seat for passengers. Black carpets and a gray headliner look great and keep things looking very OEM inside and the original gauges are still in the dash keeping an eye on things. Of course, that fat steering wheel and auxiliary gauges under the dash aren't how the General built this one, but they're appropriate additions, given the upgrades that live under the hood. There's also a 4-speed shifter on the floor, a decidedly non-stock addition, even though you could technically get a manual gearbox in your Buick in 1955. There's also an AM/FM/CD stereo under the dash, with the original Sonomatic AM unit in the middle where it belongs, and the trunk is neatly outfitted with a correct mat and full-sized spare.
The 1955 Special came with a Nailhead, so swapping in the later 401 cubic inch V8 was essentially a bolt-in. Topped by a pair of Carter AFB 4-barrel carburetors and a trick intake manifold, it's transformed into a torque factory that will get all that '50s sheetmetal moving in startling fashion. It's neatly detailed with finned valve covers, a matching air cleaner, and even a valley cover to make it look complete. Corporate turquoise paint helps with the disguise and there's even a generator making electricity to keep it period-correct. The 4-speed gearbox is an easy fit and spins a 10-bolt rear end that was a mandatory upgrade since the original torque tube wasn't compatible with the transmission. A clever dual exhaust system with a Flowmaster muffler and twin outlets provides just the right soundtrack and painted steel wheels with hubcaps and 205/75/15 wide whitewall radials complete the illusion.
This is a seriously cool Buick that delivers big power in a clean, spacious, and beautifully finished package. Call today!
- AM/FM Radio
- CD Player
- Vinyl Interior
- Rear End
- 10 Bolt
- Front Suspension
- Coil Spring
- Rear Suspension
- Ladder bar
- Front Brakes
- Rear Brakes
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