Big Bad Buick: 1956 Buick Special Wagon

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Despite the tilt-shift photography here making it appear like a model, this 1956 Buick Special wagon is a huge car, weighing in at 4,120 pounds! Ok, probably a little less due to the rust, but it’s not that bad. The big Special can be found in Hialeah, Florida, and is up for sale here on eBay, with an opening bid amount of $3,000 and no reserve.

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That’s a lot of car! The seller tells us that the car probably needs some floor refurbishment as it has sat for many years. It would be nice if they had shown us some of those floors, or even the lower part of the body sides. I’m guessing this is original paint, though, so at least what you see is what you get.

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I’m not sure it’s meant that way, but that big motif in the center of the grille looks like a huge bird flying out of the sun to me. The chrome is in pretty rough shape, but somehow it goes along with the general appearance of the car. I think I could live with making it roadworthy first and enjoying the car before I did anything cosmetic other than stabilizing all the rust.

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I’m guessing those tail light assemblies weigh as much as the bumpers on my ’67 Spitfire.

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The inside looks just like you’d expect for a car that’s been sitting for years. I really don’t understand why someone doesn’t clean up a car like this before selling it. I guess that’s up to the new buyer. I can’t imagine the original upholstery being this different from the front to the rear seat, so I’m guessing at least one of these isn’t original. The car has power steering, power brakes and the original radio.

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It also has period Frigidaire air conditioning!

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The seller tells us that the radiator and original air cleaner are missing, and that the 322 cubic inch “Nailhead” V8 is free, although its water pump has seized. I’m willing to bet that air conditioning compressor is going to take a rebuild or replacement as well. It does look quite original, though, so hopefully folks haven’t messed too much under the hood. Are you interested at $3,000?

 

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Comments

  1. Al8apex

    You already “featured” this exact same car on May 17th. It was in Iowa then and $1750

    • Andrew Brown

      sure did.. shows up on the related finds on my screen

  2. Bill

    Great looking car. Nothing like a longroof, and nothing like a Buick!

  3. Kevin

    One thing to note about these old Buicks is they came with a “Torque Tube” drive line, which is a closed driveline. There is no rear “suspension” to speak of, the torque tube drive line is actually part of the suspension. So if you intend to update the engine/transmission, be prepared to spend a lit of money because NOTHING will bolt up to the torque tube. Nobody makes conversion kits. You can convert them to open drive but you have to fabricate an entire rear suspension. I found this out when I bought a 1958 Buick Super. They went to open drive shaft in 1959.

  4. Jim C

    I want this pretty hard I have to admit .. good flip though, I think it’s worth about $2500.

  5. 68 custom

    too rusty IMO, love the Frigidaire setup though. maybe a rat rod?

    • Alan Brase

      The quality of those early GM factory air systems is like military spec. If the system stayed closed, It might just be functional. R12 was a little easier to contain.

  6. Robert White

    I’m smitten and the price is right.

    Bob

  7. Alan Brase

    When I was 18, in August of 1967, I bought a 1956 Buick special, 2 door, EXACT same color scheme, but pretty plain Jane model. Had a green rubber floor lining. When it got dirty, I’d blast it out with the garden hose! It did have a class 2 trailer hitch and Air Lift air bags in the rear coils. I carried a lot of engines in the trunk and trailered my first two Harleys home.
    It was little boring to drive, but it had perfect manners. The heater core needed cleaning, but then the heat was amazing.
    I also had inherited a 1955 Olds from my dad and the Olds was a LOT faster, with a 4 bbl and the 4 speed Hydramatic. But the cars were cousins for sure.
    It had the Dynaflow and that was a major disappointment. Apparently, like the Powerglide, it was a 1 speed, torque converter box, with available underdrive. But it normally started in High, with the nail head roaring along, and no perceptible acceleration. I had a friend in Norfolk , Nebraska with a 61 chevy, 283, and we would race side by side down the highway, perfectly matched.
    This would have been a great car with a stick. Maybe it was a great car, the Olds spoiled me.
    Oh, I paid $15 for it, with a flat tire. And $11 in parking tickets.
    Al

    • Owen McNamee

      Should have tried the Century variable pitch Dynaflow was kick ass and would give a lot of the competition grey hairs.

      • Alan Brase

        Tell me more! You are saying the Century models of the SAME YEAR had a higher spec transmission? Could this wagon be upgraded? Seriously, this wagon would be a sweet vintage ride/ trailer puller with the Hydramatic of the earlier Olds/ Cad/ Pontiac/GMC. With 4 forward gear and about 4:1 first, the car would really launch and the shifts were immediate.
        But retrofittin a Hydro into a Buick with the torque tube would be some kind of masochistic treat.
        Buick always got to sorta be a little more independent, engineering and design- wise from the rest of GM. But they were basically the company of William Durant and Harley Earl, so I guess that entitled them. They had the most outrageous show cars. Different transmission lines, Buick and Chevy got their own House designed automatics. All 6 companies had their own engines (except GMC borrowed Pontiac, Buick engines in the 1950’s.)

  8. Alan Brase

    I kinda remember, Kevin is RIGHT. Torque tube. The good thing about all that is that there is only 1 U-joint and it has lube around it all the time. They last a very long time.
    I bet over the years, I’ve had over 100 cars, and the engines out of all but 20 or so. That Buick was the best. Fuel pump was the only thing in 3 years ownership, besides fixing the heater core.
    Al

  9. Ron Engel

    Great looking vehicle when finished! Just to do the chrome will set you back a lot of “jing”! My Dad had a 55 Special and it was flawless! Switch on the side of carb,had to push throttle all the way to floor to start!

  10. John P

    Strange that it migrated from the Midwest to Florida for a re-flip..

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