Blown 840 HP Big Block! 1950 Buick Special

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Buick fans from 1950 never imagined this tire-roasting rendition of the entry-level Special. With chrome grille teeth biting the ground and a supercharged big-block jammed through the hood, this 1950 Buick Special custom in Gap, Pennsylvania came a long way from its origin as a shiny new six-passenger passenger coupe offering “the gentle comfort of Buick’s pillowy ride” espoused by Buick’s literature of the day. Speaking of “gap,” this beast will quickly gap nearly any car you meet. The heavily modified Buick could be yours here on eBay, where at least seven bidders cast their lot, but none with the cash and flash to click Buy It Now for $55,000.

Air ride gives that gravel-scraping stance with fingertip control of ride height from low and slow knuckle-dragging to drama-free driveway climbing. The Model 46 Jetback Sedanet came in several configurations, according to brochures on Lov2xlr8. Three ventiports on each side of the hood distinguish the Special and mid-range Super from the top-shelf Roadmaster which sported four.

The piano-hinge hood opens to either side for easy servicing. The original Fireball inline eight-cylinder engine displaced 248.1 cid (4.1L) version in the Special. While 115 HP sounds like chicken feed, you can bet the torque felt like more. I’ve wrenched on one specimen of this generation Buick, my Dad’s 1953 Roadmaster Riviera, from the only year mating the outgoing evolution of this 1950 body with the incoming “nailhead” V8.

A turn-key 496 stroker (based on a Chevrolet 454) topped with an 871 blower makes 840 HP on pump gas, and the build finished four years ago, according to the listing, so buyers may feel some reassurance knowing they aren’t strapping themselves into a purely experimental rocketship. A Corvette-style master cylinder and booster feed what we hope are better-than-stock brakes, though details on that element escaped the listing. That “bird catcher” intake promises to draw a crowd anywhere, though it may raise some eyebrows during the safety inspection in some states.

Myriad chrome details highlight the upscale appeal of this Buick; tip your hat to the builder for keeping much of the dashboard original. Nostalgia fans might like more retro styling in the handsome center console and controls, but the line lock, automatic transmission shifter, and air ride controller fall readily to hand ahead of a feature few cars of the Truman era boasted:  cupholders!

Scratch your family vacation plans if you’re driving this 840 HP classic, as the trunk barely contains the guts of the air ride, battery, and fuel cell. Nothing on this big block Buick suggests practical daily transportation, but a couple motorheads might enjoy a week-long power tour in this ride, perhaps not one with multiple days of autocross or road course racing. That said, 1950s Buicks did compete in the La Carerra Panamericana! While not everyone puts the shiniest parts of their classic in the engine compartment, this boosted Buick looks like a well-executed project poised to sell below its build cost. Do you have the nerve to pilot this high-horsepower big block Special?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Fahrvergnugen FahrvergnugenMember

    Wasn’t there a Betty or a Bomber built similarly to conquer the salt flats?

    Like 5
  2. Todd J. Todd J.Member

    Perfect for driving Grandma to church.

    Like 17
    • Jon

      You Betcha … LOL

      Like 1
  3. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    Wow what a wicked ride!!! I get the rust and old paint but.. if I brought this Buick. I would get cleaned up and paint it Black and call it Darth Vader!! And rechromed everything that needs it! Go to shows and win 1st prize!! ( Local car shows) And scare the poop out of the neighbors!! 😂😂🇺🇸

    Like 13
    • Howie

      The new owner might also get the poop scared out of them.

      Like 13
      • Big Bear 🇺🇸


        Like 3
  4. Grog

    Talk about tightening nuts! Wrench yourself in and strap up ’cause that’s one Great 8!! Price is right

    Like 3
  5. scott m

    Spawned in hell, hell bent for heaven! I’d keep it just like it is and smile all day long ;^}

    Like 8
  6. Mike

    Holy cow, what a monster. The only thing I would prefer is a more quieter, sinister exhaust note over the full bore drag strip decibel blaster.

    Like 5
  7. Steveo

    If only it had a bit of patina…

    Like 12
    • Alan Kieler


      Like 1
  8. Dave

    This builder gets it. Like he read my mind. Patina 9or rust if you prefer), but straight with no dents, a super clean and comfortable interior, and a wild engine with a drivetrain to handle it.

    Like 6
    • Tommy T-Tops

      my wife would start shooting at me before I got out of the car if I paid 55k for this..

      Like 9
  9. Robert Pellow

    That is a car and a half! Wow!

    Like 4
  10. CeeOne

    Reminds me of this one I saw at Bonneville:

    Like 1
    • Solosolo UK Solosolo UKMember

      Would have been great if we could have seen a competitive run on the Salt Flats.

      Like 0
  11. KurtMember

    Mad Max in a lowrider?

    Like 4
  12. Tom

    Drool worthy… Having the cash to buy this is one thing. Having the balls to drive it as it should be driven… consider me neutered…

    Like 2
  13. Joe Haska

    I could never build a car like this, but I am glad someone did!

    Like 2
  14. Steve

    I’m sorry. I don’t want to own a car that scares the bejesus out of me.

    Like 0
  15. Jon Hilker

    Cool !!! Love It. Now watch, someone will get their Undies in a Bundie over this.

    Like 1
  16. Greg GustafsonMember

    At the risk of losing 20HP, I’d have to air condition it. Then it would be a cool(er) ride!

    Like 4
    • Steve H

      You only loose it when it’s on!

      Like 0
      • Michael Berkemeier


        Like 0
      • Greg GustafsonMember


        Like 0
  17. Jack Quantrill

    In these trying times, we need a good laugh! This is it!

    Like 0
  18. Paul N

    normally I don’t like remakes of Hollywood movies. But how about a remake of Christine, but this car in place of the Fury.

    Like 0
    • KurtMember

      Christine could restore herself!

      Like 3
  19. CooterMember

    The only things this car is missing are Herman and Grandpa!

    Like 4
  20. 19sixty5Member

    Insane. I like it.

    Like 0
  21. MarkMember

    Wow! Gearheads still rule in this awful age of boring transportation units! I want to take this on a California road trip and visit Sacramento, Silicon Valley, and end in San Francisco during the critical mass rally. Muscle meets tech. Bicyclists fleeing.

    A great build. Someone is going to have fun.

    Like 0
  22. Heartbreaker AL

    I.m old but this guy’s older and has way more class. And will live forever, eventually in a museum.

    Like 0
  23. CarbobMember

    This is one of the neatest builds I’ve ever seen. Normally I’m not a huge fan of the patina look but this really rocks. I can only imagine how much fun this beast is to drive whether you want to tool around or get down the quarter mile. Personally I’d like to meet the builder. Projects like this are an extension of the builder’s skills and imagination and I think that they rang the bell on this one. Oh if only I had unlimited funds and storage space.

    Like 4
  24. John Traylor

    I live in PA and I think getting it inspected would be tough.

    Like 0

      I too live in PA. If you look you will see that this car does not have a PA inspection sticker on it. For those who do not know PA places the inspection sticker in the lower left corner of the windshield. The seller does say that the car is street legal so I believe that it has something to do with running the year of manufacture license plate. Pa offers several different license plate catagories including antique, classic and street rod. I know that the antique and classic tags do not require the vehicle to undergo the annual inspection and as such will not have an inspection sticker on them. I am not sure what the rules are for year of manufacture tags.

      Like 0
  25. Jim ZMember

    I WANT it!
    Checkbook (and wife) sez, “NO”!

    Like 1
  26. Griff

    Nice build, but I’m not into the junkyard look.

    Like 1
  27. rockin ron

    Hey,just say x-wife and go for it !

    Like 0
    • Brett Lee Lundy

      in the long run 1 will be a bad investment and the other will be a money pit, up to you to decide which.

      Like 0
  28. Erik

    The listing on eBay changed from a 1950 Special into a 1950 Roadmaster?

    39 bids.
    Reserve not met.
    Ended at: US $40,900.00

    Like 0
  29. Solosolo UK Solosolo UKMember

    I would take out the running gear, scrap the rest, find a decent body to replace it, and drive the wheels off it. I wouldn’t want to be seen dead in the car as it is.

    Like 0
    • Jon

      And I guess, to each his own.. Im not a big fan of the overdone patina look but it sure is super cool !!!

      Like 0
  30. KurtMember

    Imagine how it would look if it were restored to mirror like finish in a deep Packard blue.

    Like 0

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