Low Mileage Daily: 1956 Buick Special

Brian BirknerBy Brian Birkner

Driven daily this Buick Special is described as having only 56,000 original documented miles. Parked in 1974, this Buick slept until the current owner purchased and revived this nice looking driver. Having recently received a great deal of maintenance and new parts, this Buick is ready to roll! Offered up with an opening bid of $3,000 there are still several days left till the auctions end. Check out this shiny four door here on ebay out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Appearing quite original and untouched the 322 nailhead V8 is relatively clean. There is surface rust present and some minor paint chipping in the engine compartment, but as a whole it’s not too shabby. A little touch up work would really spruce up this engine bay giving an even “younger” appearance. The recent maintenance has converted this car from a derelict garage find, to an every day driver.

Fairly tidy, minus the seats, the interior of this Buick has aged rather well. The blues are still vibrant, but the seat upholstery is extremely weathered. The door panels have some minor waves and wrinkles that could probably be smoothed out with a little elbow grease, and some thin padding. Perhaps a miracle, the dash is not cracked, offering a great cockpits view of originality. Reupholster the seats and this interior will be of a nice survivor grade appearance.

While I can appreciate and look past some of its minor imperfections, the wheels for me just simply won’t do. I would prefer a classic or modern steel wheel, or even perhaps a matte finish type of “Torque Thrust” wheel on this classic. Although I suppose the current wheel are round and roll well enough, so to each their own. With a lovely curb appeal this Buick does have some minor imperfections that would certainly be missed from the 20 foot mark. Likely the most serious issue is the minor rust developing the bottoms of the quarters. Appearing solid with no rot through, it would seem this rust is more visual than structurally harmful. There is also some rust peppering on the driver side rocker as well as a subtle dent in the rocker as well. Perhaps it could be jack damage? Surface rust can be seen in the jamb area around the windshield as well. The only apparent rot is on the passenger corner of the rear bumper. Overall the bright work is shiny and decent, with minor peppering that could be polished up a little better than its current state. I would dare to say that about 95% of the paint is present, although there is a fair amount of wear on the trunk section. One not so great let down about this car is the glass. The windshield has some delaminated areas and some cloudiness. It would seem that both passenger side windows suffer from cloudiness as well, and on top of that the rear passenger window is cracked. All in all this is a nice survivor that could still use a little elbow grease to make it as nice as what it can be. Would you daily drive this low mileage Special?

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Comments

  1. dan

    only 4doors I like

    1+

  2. Fred W.

    4 door hardtops- both affordable and great looking. I’d reverse the white letter tires and see how it looks.

    2+

  3. Brandon

    1995 Called. They left a message. They want their wheels back…..

    5+

  4. Miguel

    The car is 62 year old, and it is driven every day but still only has 56,000 miles on it.

    Keep in mind the car was 18 years old when it was parked.

    Even if we discount all the miles that have been put on it recently, that would have only been 3000 per year.

    Who did that back then?

    It is amazing how many original mile cars are around these days when they didn’t exist back in the ’80s.

    4+

    • Jeffro

      My grandmother’s car is 22 yrs old and has only 21000 miles. Dr office, grocery store, pharmacy, and beauty shop.

      5+

    • JCW Jr. Member

      Everyone thatcomplains about low milage cars must not have driven back in the 60s and early70s. I cannot comment on the 50s and back. I will say up untill the mid to late 70s whrn the interstates and more 4 lanes came into being people did not drive like they do today. So if a car has been parked and not driven much since then yes the milage could be correct. Engines needed rebuilt around 50,000 miles most cars considered worn out at that milage.

      2+

    • waynard

      Seller does say the speedometer has
      worked intermittently. May he means the odometer as well.

      2+

  5. Scot Douglas

    “While I can appreciate and look past some of its minor imperfections, the wheels for me just simply won’t do.”

    Slowly clapping. Not sure what wheels I would go with, but you’re spot on – these detract from the class of this car.

    4+

    • Steve

      Stock hubcaps and wide whitewalls. Anything else is trying too hard.

      8+

  6. David

    Except for the wheels, this looks like my favorite future for a barn find, a driver. Perhaps one day it will be worth restoring, but meanwhile drive, enjoy and restore as the wallet and spouse permit. As to the 1980s, there were a lot of low miles cars around like this gathering dust. No one was interested.

    3+

  7. DrinkinGasoline

    Love the Tu-Tone and that it’s a mordoor hardtop.
    The wheels………..crickets……
    Factory steelie’s (widened) , dogdish caps, beauty rings and wide whites.
    So much prettier than the ’56 Chevy, IMO.

    6+

  8. Gay Car Nut

    Beautiful looking car. IMHO, 1956 was the best year for car makers in terms of styling and appearance. Two of my favourites are the 1956 Buick and the 1956 Chevy. There may be a few imperfections on the car, but as long as the car runs and it drives safely, everything on the car works like it should, then that’s all that matters. All that it needs are new upholstery, and a new paint job, and you’re all set. 🙂

    1+

  9. charlie

    Like driving a mattress. Floats along the road. Plenty of power. 80 all day. But watch those corners!

    2+

  10. 64 bonneville

    looks like the clear bubble type plastic seat cover, popular in the late 50s’ and early 60s’ to protect the interior, is on the back seat. Blanket covering the front seat is a toss up as to what is under it.

    as far as the mileage is concerned, my wife and I are retired and don’t do much driving, grocery store, church, doctor or drug store, maybe 20-25 miles a week. Our 2001 grand Marquis is just now breaking the 100K mark mileage wise, so about 6200 miles a year on average, however that is somewhat misleading, as I drove it back and forth to work 5 days a week for the first 5 years we owned it.

    1+

  11. PAPERBKWRITER

    Grandpa car. As a newlywed I replaced my worn out Chevy conv. with my father’s old ’57 Buick. You had to blow on the windshield to get going but at about 80 mph hang on to your hat. (364 cu)

    2+

  12. olddavid

    I would bet $1000 that I could take 50 people off of the street and none of them could start it. With the keys. Think there would be one outlier?

    1+

    • olddavid

      I should preface that previous comment with the fact that after buying a ’56 Century, I had to walk to a pay phone and ask the previous owner the starting instructions. Of course I was 16 and convinced I knew everything. That was the beginning of my real world education.

      1+

      • Miguel

        The same kind of thing happened to me when I bought my 1963 Plymouth Fury.

        I was 15 and I thought I knew everything.

        Who knew the left side of the car had left hand threads on the wheels?

        I fought with it for 30 minutes before taking the wheel and drum to a gas station who zipped them off in no time flat.

        I just thought all 5 were rusted after the car having been parked for 5 years.

        1+

      • Trickie Dickie

        Who buys a car without at least starting the engine or even driving it?

        0

  13. John Deebank

    My 1st car was a 56. Standard on the column. Starting it with the gas pedal was a novelty for me. I didn’t put a lot of miles on mine either. A lot of farmers had these and were low milage when sold.

    0

  14. JimmyinTEXAS

    Speaking to the writer being amazed about the uncracked dash, IIRC the lesser cars of this era had a steel dash and only the upper-class cars had vinyl covered dashes and not all of those. Nice car anyway and It would serve well as a DD if it wasn’t far….lol
    Looking closer at the pictures, I see what appears to be a covered dash pad. I guess IDRC (I didn’t remember correctly)

    0

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