Grand Old Sled: 1948 Buick Roadmaster


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When automobile production resumed after the war, the prewar designs were continued for 1947 and 1948. In 1949 car makers introduced new designs with mostly flat sides. The 1947 and 1948 Buick retained Harley Earls prewar design with the “airfoil” fenders. The design is said to be based on the “Y Job”,  a concept car that became Harley Earl’s personal car. This 1948 Roadmaster has been hidden away in a barn for years. It’s listed now here on eBay in Weslaco, Texas with a BIN of $5,500. It runs and drives, is said to have little rust and is complete and original, except for the paint, of course. The two tone paint brings out the body lines, but they were not painted this way from the factory.


The rodents haven’t been too hard on the interior. The new owner might prefer a poncho over this Afghan or even new upholstery.


It is rather messy under the hood but it’s complete and the engine runs. Is that duct tape?


You’ve got to love the face. It looks like a sad puppy pleading to be taken home. This old Buick could be a great driver with some work. There are lots of possibilities, of course, from driving it as it is to a custom hot rod. I hope it stays as original as possible.  It will be interesting to read your comments.

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  1. Alex

    My dad and I looked hard at one of these in an old man’s back yard when I was younger. Probably around 1996. It was silver and in slightly worse shape than this one (lower Alabama rust). The fellow wanted 3800. It wasn’t the right one that day, but the design has always stuck with me. I can’t believe these aren’t worth more. Must be all of those extra doors.

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  2. trey

    I think the price is a little high for what it is. It’s not exactly desirable, or rare. With a lower price, I’d be happy sorting the mechanicals, cleaning up the interior, and drive as is.

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  3. JW454

    You have to do all repairs/restoration, search for all the parts you’ll need, get a title, transport it, plus, pay too much for it to start with. Sounds like a “DEAL” to me!

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  4. packrat

    Agreed, trey & JW454. The market will decide, but I think starting out at about half this would be more in the ballpark, and a lot of fun/work for idle hands at that.

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  5. Roselandpete

    What! No speed holes??

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    • doc

      The “portholes” were introduced on the 1950 model

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      • Dave

        Buick introduced the portholes in 1949, not 1950.

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  6. guggie

    Dad had one of these , what a big load , tons of room in back seat for my brother and I, we would stand on the back seat and when Dad would stop we would free fall grabbing the lap robe hanger on the back of the front seat , try that with the cars of today . oh wait they don’t have that lap robe hanger option !!

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  7. Texas Tea


    I appreciate your story and can relate. We had an old Ford wagon (40s or 50s) and I was about five years old, and was standing up behind my Mother (driving) with her sister in the front passenger seat (Aunt Dorothy). Mom made a hard right hand turn into a grocery store parking lot and my door flew open and out I went. Pretty much like a plane with no landing gear and got banged up, but not run over. A trip to the hospital, and several stitches later I was okay. I got some nice toys out of the ordeal. :) I was a pitiful sight.

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    • Lion

      That’s funny, Tea. I had a 51 Merc. 4door with the suicide rear doors when I was in highschool. My girl was shotgun with another couple in the back seat. I took a fast left through a major intersection and the right rear door flew open. our friend’s purse flew out into traffic but she stayed in the car, thank god.

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  8. Peter

    I have always remembered how one of my work colleagues described a young girl who had just arrived to work with us. He said ” she had a smile on her face bigger than the grill of a 48 Buick”. I thought it was so funny.

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  9. Doc

    I had a 48 Roadmaster when I was 18, bought it for $5 it had been rear ended many years before while stopped at the at the bottom of a hill in San Francisco by a bread truck that had lost it’s brakes! The trunk lid was smashed flat up against the back window. Hence, $5. Darn thing was sitting under a big tree for 20 years We put a 12 v battery in it and it fired right up! got it home did some brake work, pulled of the trunk lid, got it as close as possible to what it had looked like with a sledge hammer, bolted it back on and drove it as is for about 5 years. Heck, I met my wife while I was driving that car. I sold it in about 1986 24 years after I got it for $1000.00 to a guy from Reno who converted it into a cab over camper.. Pretty good.. The Roadmaster is 8 inches longer than the Super, it has a larger engine. The hood on these cars come off! It takes 2 guys to do it but when these cars were popular the kids would swap hoods with each other.. 2cents. ok so the duct tape is for, duh, the heating duct hoses that have disintegrated.

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  10. MikeK

    You can fix anything with duct tape..

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