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$1,500 And One Photo: 1955 Buick Series 40 Special


This one was too good to pass up, even though it only has one photo in the ad. It’s a 1955 Buick Series 40 Special two-door hardtop sedan and it’s in West Wichita, Kansas. It’s on Craigslist for $1,500! In 1954 the famous Nailhead V8 was a standard feature and by 1955 the Buick Special was one of the best selling series of cars. The seller of this car says that it has the original 4.3L Nailhead V8 which would have had around 190 hp and 256 ft-lb of torque when new. This one is “not currently running but with a little work should fire right up.” One thing you’ll need to do is reinstall the gas tank which you can see is lying on the grass.

Also they say that the seats are missing, so you’ll have to hit a salvage yard or somehow try to find a set of original seats if you plan on doing a back-to-original-specs restoration. But, I’m guessing that a $1,500 two-door car like this is destined to be a resto-mod so you’ll put different seats in there anyway. There is a bit of rust on the rear quarters and the previous owner started to repair the floors and hopefully the rust isn’t too bad. It sounds like there are a lot of spare parts included, which is always a good thing. What do you think of this body style? Here is a photo of a ’55 Buick Century, a level up from the Special; what a beauty, eh?! Good grief that’s a gorgeous car! I’d want to restore this one back to original specs; how would you restore this car?




  1. Moparman Elliott Member

    Wow! My uncle had a car identical to this one, and I can remember as a kid being mesmerized by the “rolling” speedometer! :-)

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  2. DENIS

    Lowered, 455 Buick engine, all black, red leather..55-57 BUs are awesome……….bucket list

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  3. Fred W.

    Lots of potential there, but you’d better be able to do your own metalwork. Could be a real beauty when finished, restomod or original.

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  4. Pete

    Love Love it…….😊

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  5. Art Fink

    “not currently running but with a little work should fire right up.”
    He must be talking about the Weedwhacker……..

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  6. Jeffro

    Says it’s a good solid car…but has rust in quarters and previous owner started work on the floors. I must be confused on the definition of “solid”.

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    • Rob

      “Kansas solid”. It’s similar to “Chicago solid”, “Vermont Solid” or “New York Solid”

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  7. CrazyGeorge CrazyGeorge

    Concerning your Picture of the black 55 Buick… I thought 4 portholes was a Roadmaster…. Am I wrong ? Still it’s a beautiful car.. I wouldn’t mind owning one …

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    • jackthemailman

      I think, now, I’m old and … where was I? Oh, yeah, I THINK the first Buick Centuries were tagged that because, yes, they were supposed to be able to make 100 mph. Basically, they were Specials with Roadmaster engines. So when those crazy “portholes” came in, Centuries got four, like the Roadmasters, but the Specials got only three. Buicks and I go back a long way: My mom’s car (her first!) was a 1956 Roadmaster Estate Wagon (no mere “station wagon” for a Buick!) in “Bittersweet” (I thought it looked kinda orange) with a matching cream and bittersweet interior. Oooowheee, we were livin’ large! A/C, too, so we got to lord it over our family friends, who had a Cadillac (but no A/C). Hah! Anyway, I love those 1950s Buicks (except the 1958, they’re buttugly).

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  8. Brad

    Doesn’t look like much of a difference between the Special and the Century, trim-wise, save the extra Ventaport.

    Being an illustrator and typeface fanatic… all things being equal I would choose the Special just because I love the badge more. : )

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    • CrazyGeorge CrazyGeorge

      Thank You. So the Century ( guaranteed to do 100 mph ) had 4 port holes… It’s been so long I forgot .. I do remember they dont make much aftermarket for the 55 Buick, at least they didn’t 20 years ago. Thanks for the info Brad , it’s appreciated…

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  9. Don Foote

    The Buick Special came with a 264 cubic inch engine in 1955. The “big” engine was the 322 in the Century and Roadmaster. If this lowly Special has a standard shift that would be a good thing.

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    • John Deebank

      My ’56 was standard from the factory. My first car. Try finding another standard driveshaft, there is a 1 inch difference and an enclosed case to boot.

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      The CL ad says that it has an automatic transmission. Sorry.

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  10. stillrunners

    One just like it has sat down my street for maybe 35 plus years….at least on concrete…..going on a little over 40 yrs at this house…..getting ready for a move….

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  11. Bruce Fischer

    I had the station wagon.Nice car but I never will buy a closed drive shaft car again.Bruce.

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  12. Blindmarc

    My dad loved these cars. He had three in the driveway in the early 60’s in Oklahoma when he worked for a Buick dealer.

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  13. Joe Haska

    I have seen worse for the same money. No question this could be a way cool car, all it needs is work, and lots of $$$$$$!

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