1958 Buick Wagon: Mistaken Identity?

buickestatewagon

The seller of this 1958 Buick Roadmaster wagon here on eBay notes that it’s the first one he’s seen in years – and I have to say, I’m right there with him. I can’t find anything about a ’58 Roadmaster wagon, and Wikipedia doesn’t even list a wagon as an optional body style among 7th-generation models! After doing some digging, however, I think it’s safe to say this isn’t a Roadmaster but rather a Century Caballero wagon, which was made in limited numbers after it proved unpopular with consumers. For the most part, my internet sleuthing confirms that this is indeed a ’58 and has all the hallmarks of the desirable Century Caballero – big fins, lots of chrome and unique glass. What throws me off is I thought these were pillar-less, but it looks like this car has a solid B-pillar in place. Can any of our Buick experts confirm? Restored, genuine examples appear to be pulling sums approaching $70,000-$80,000, so this may be a coup for anyone who can confirm if it’s the real deal.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. RayT Member

    In my experience, a lot of people think any Buick is a Roadmaster. The model name seems as generic as “kleenex.”

    It’s too bad this wagon is so roached-out. With a restoration — probably not worth the money — it would be a real show-stopper. Almost all the ’58 GM cars were stunners, and this one’s no exception. It’s fortunate for me that I don’t have the time, money and space to take on so massive a project, as this Buick really appeals to me. I hope someone rescues it!

  2. don

    very rare car, but wow! it would take a lot of bucks to bring this back.

  3. David

    Looks like it’s a 1958 Buick Special Riviera Estate Wagon, as shown in this Hemmings article.

    http://www.hemmings.com/hcc/stories/2008/02/01/hmn_feature23.html

  4. Paul D

    Model 49 Special Station Wagon. From what I could find for the 58 year the only 4 door pillared wagon was the special.

  5. jeff6599

    The body tag number will confirm the series. Also, physically, the Special and Century had 122 inch wheelbases. The rest had 127.5 inch wheelbases (including Roadmaster).

  6. Blindmarc

    All I could find were a model 60 specs. But no pictures. Deffinently not a caballero.

  7. Dan

    I think that what looks like a B-pillar is simply the window frames. This is pillarless, and you are correct that this is a Century Caballero.

    • Vic Stein

      My father had a Century Caballero wagon for years. It hauled us and our boat to Baja California many times. My mother didn’t like driving it because she said it was as big as a tanker and took way much too room to turn around. While her Thunderbird was in the shop getting the transmission fixed, just as mom came off the freeway, the steering knuckle broke and bent both A arms beyond easy repair. Dad had it fixed with junkyard parts, just enough to trade it in on a new Chrysler New Yorker wagon.

      Vic

  8. Thomas K

    It looks to be a ‘Special’ Estate Wagon. That seems to be the only model with a B-pillar that year as the rest are listed as being ‘Rivieras’ or Hardtops in Buick speak. http://www.buicks.net/years/58.shtml

  9. James

    Thomas K is correct. It’s a “Special” or model 49 Estate wagon. Buick also produced a “Special” or model 49D Riviera Estate wagon which, like the model 69 Caballero produced on the “Century” line, was a four door “hardtop” design with no B-pillar.

    In summation; bottom of the line Buick wagon for 1958. Brochure pics:

    http://pics.imcdb.org/0ge22/225759-21.jpg

    There were no wagons among the larger cars (series 50, 75, 700 – Super, Roadmaster, Limited). Although the wheelbase of the large cars is 127.5 inches the Limited is 8 inches longer than the Roadmaster – 227.1″ vs 219.1″. The overall length for the 40 & 60 series is 211.8″

  10. randy

    Seems to be a lot of mixed opinions on this, I’ll stay tuned and learn something. This car is before my time.

  11. fred

    Looks like a parts car to me- since it only resembles a Caballero. If it were one, might be worth tackling.

  12. Brian

    All,

    This is in fact the Model 49 Estate Wagon, If you zoom on the data plate in the second engine picture you can just make it out. Fully restored versions are valued at about $30,000.

  13. Lee Hartman

    I expanded the picture of the engine compartment and read the body data tag. It’s a model 49, which makes it a Special Estate Wagon. Production was 3663.

  14. Grr

    Cool model I never knew existed. Great styling, the pristine examples I see are pretty amazing.

  15. George

    Base model wagon.

  16. MacVaugh

    Pretty easy to just read the tailgate in the photographs :). Estate Wagon.

    • JimmyinTEXAS

      My source calls the series 40 Special, the Series 40 Special Riviera and the Series 60 Century Caballero Estate wagons. So the tail gate may not be the definitive answer. I haven’t caught these guys in error, but there is plenty of room for there to be some…
      Check out this site, good info on most stuff and they are still expanding… From 1945 forward…
      http://www.automobile-catalog.com/

      I wish this car wasn’t in so bad of shape. I was looking for a wagon of some sort, but it would have to be in driver or better condition… LOL

  17. Mark E

    Oooookay then, all I was gonna say was that I thought the Caballero was Buick’s version of the Olds Fiesta wagon – ie: no pillar between the doors, curved pillar behind the back door. Also those 1958 Fashion-Aire Dynastar Grilles are expensive, both to repair and to rechrome all 160 pieces…

  18. Big Don

    Agree that it is a $60 – 70K car if restored. Unfortunately it would probably cost over $100k to do the restoration. It is a shame that it is so far gone.

  19. bruce R. Colbert

    Ruff !

  20. Frank

    It is possible that the B-pillar could just be an optical illusion – maybe. Both windows have heavy chrome frames and when both are raised, it could give the appearance of a B-pillar. This picture shows what it looks like when the windows are up.

  21. Brandyn Raduenz

    This wagon never got the love it deserved. It is for sale out in South Dakota on Craigslist.

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.