27 Years In The Barn: 1950 Buick Special

I usually go for 80’s cars and trucks. That grill though! The Special was Buick’s entry level offering in 1950. This one is available for $4,500 or best offer through craigslist in upstate New York. Specials featured a big Buick grill up front but, aside from that, there wasn’t much more luxury baked into these cars. Still, there was something special about them.

I have a soft spot for Buicks. My dad drove a ’65 Skylark convertible into the early 80’s, I learned to drive in a LeSabre, and later crisscrossed the country in an ’87 Century wagon. To me, this Special looks a little more “special” than any of my past rides.

Though the seller doesn’t mention the specific model in the ad, this one looks to be a 41D sedan. The “D” stands for “Deluxe”. Given the current state of the car, it could also stand for “Dirty”. The deluxe model included chrome trim around the windows, a chrome body-side molding, and not much else. I love the lines of this sedan. Though mostly identical in looks to its more expensive Super sibling, the toned down trim gives it a cleaner look in my book. I like that split windshield too.

According to Hemmings, Buick sold over 140,000 Special 41D sedans in 1950. Though an automatic was an option, this one has a manual transmission with a 110 horsepower straight-8 driving the rear wheels. The seller claims that this car runs, drives, and has very little rust. The exterior is all there with a nice daily driver level of patina. Though we don’t get to see the interior, I would say that the car appears to be in “fair” condition overall. As such, Hagerty values it at around $4,100 — pretty close to the sellers asking price of $4,500.

I’m not in the market for a classic daily driver. If I was though, this one would definitely bear consideration. That being said, I’d drop it in a second for a similarly priced Special Jetback Sedanet like this one that recently sold through Mecum. Just let me dream for another minute…

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  1. PatrickM

    Basically, I like the car. But, no underside or interior pics. (Subjects not even addressed). Question: Title? (Not mentioned.) Either the owner isn’t familiar with selling cars this way or didn’t get the right help. Additional pics would be very helpful. I’m gonna have to pass on this one.

  2. Miguel Member

    The word imposing always came to mind when seeing the front of this car.

    A friend of mine had a 1951 Roadmaster he had me drive him around in. I really did like driving that car.

  3. Jack Quantrill

    Love that green “ Torpedo-Back”!

    • 71FXSuperGlide

      Yes, great fastback styling.

      The 4 door, meh, but for a few grand getting you what appears to be a complete auto, not too bad.

  4. dave brennan

    No title in n.y. until 73.

  5. Spark Plug.

    The grill would be the cost of the car. Own a 1950 and can not locate any of the grill and would be a small fortune to straighten and chrome. The grill was subject to hitting low objects.

  6. Vincent Habel

    We always called these the BUCKTOOTHED Buick.

  7. Kenneth Carney

    Yes, I’d really rather have this Buick! But
    I must agree with PatrickM regarding
    the lack of info surrounding this car. Just
    too many questions for me. Oh sure, the
    exterior pics look good, but I would’ve
    liked to see more. As a kid growing up
    in the late ’50’s, I saw them almost
    everywhere. In fact, our family doctor
    owned a black one just like this one. I
    saw it every time he made a housecall!
    There was also a friend of Mom’s who
    was a mechanic that drove a ’50 Special
    hearse he used as a shop car/mobile
    repair vehicle. I recall riding in it when
    he took my sister and I to daycare before
    school. Was 6 or 7 back then, and I can
    still see both of these cars in my mind’s
    eye today. Too bad I can’t afford this

  8. DayDreamBeliever Member

    The killer car in that last photo sold for $12,100 last month.

    How in the hell could anyone restore the feature car for anywhere near that figure? Redoing that awesomely classic front grille and bumper would take thou$ands alone.

    The cars produced (mostly by GM, it seems) in that era were so over the top with front-end treatments, huge, heavy grilles and bumpers, crazy chrome. How times have changed.

  9. Rosko

    It reminds me of a popular design cue found in today’s cars the where the grille is exaggerated to extend over and hide the bumper. I like it here better than I do on the new models.

  10. hatofpork

    Love this Buick. I think USAF had a fleet of these for staff car use. Saw one in a Rock Hudson movie about Dean Hess. Need more info on this one though! If it checked out I’d drive as is!

  11. Kenneth Carney

    That woild be the film “Battle Hymn” from
    1956, and yes, the Army had them too.
    Check out 1955’s “West Point Story” with
    James Cagney. You’ll even see one in
    “The Birdman Of Alcatraz” with Burt
    Lancaster. Think I saw one on “Strategic
    Air Command” with Jimmy Stewart.
    And don’t forget “Your Cheatin’ Heart”
    with George Hamilton. The police
    car at the very end of the movie was
    a ’50 Buick Special like this one. These
    cars were movie stars in their own
    right. Keep the Buicks comin’ folks!

  12. LEMAN

    in 1956&1957 i was a usaf v.i.p. driver at tafb ca. i drove a 1950 buick like this one from the base to all over the bay area and to all the air force bases in northern ca. it was a dream to drive and every general that rode in it always had nothing bad to say about the car i can only wish i had one like it now.

  13. Metal Man

    Just the grille alone has got to be worth 4 1/2 grand hasn’t it? Find another complete ‘good one’, most are long gone into rods and/or rust.

  14. Ken Member

    Now this is more like it. For every fifty Corvettes featured here, we get one early ‘50s Buick. I’m tired of seeing all the ‘Vettes, so I just pass them by.


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