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Master Of The Barn: 1948 Buick Super 8

1948 Buick Super 8

This Big Buick seems to be having a bit of an identity crisis. The seller lists it as both a Roadmaster and a Super 8 in their ad, I can understand their confusion thought. The Roadmaster was Buick’s flagship model, it’s actually based on the Cadillac Series 62. It was just a step down from the Caddy price and feature wise. If you wanted similar styling and features, but didn’t want to spend extra for the flagship, Buick offered a slightly cheaper version called the Super. So in some ways this is a Roadmaster, but it is actually a Super. It’s a nice Super at that and has supposedly spent most of its life in a barn. It looks to be in amazing shape and can be found here on eBay in De Soto, Kansas with a current bid of $960.

1948 Buick Super

Living in a town named De Soto, you’d think the owner would have wanted a DeSoto, but I can see why they picked this Buick. Even being a massive 4 door, it is one sweet looking car! The body does have some dents and dings, but doesn’t look rusty.

1948 Buick Super 8 Engine

No word on the condition of the engine is given though and only one photo of it is offered. Hopefully this inline 8 is in good shape!

1948 Buick Super Interior

The interior is easily the worst part of this one. It’s definitely going to need to new upholstery and a headliner. I guess you could pull the remains of the headliner out, throw a Mexican blanket on the seats and just drive it. Personally, I’d splurge for some seat covers!

1948 Buick Super Project

I don’t think 4 door classics will never be highly sought after, although I could be wrong. That being said, if you want an affordable classic to work on and take to events, I think a 4 door like this Buick is a great option! They are comfortable, have tons of room and are typically easy to wrench on. Given how great the front end on this one looks, I wouldn’t mind having it. So what do you think of this Super? Would it make a good budget classic?


  1. Gary Gary

    I like the color combo, very bright colors, a trend begun after WW II. I have my eye on this 1950 Pontiac Silver Streak 8.

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    • Little_Cars Alexander Member

      Yes, and?

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      • Gary Gary

        Well Alexander, I just got off the phone with the owner. We’ve made arrangements to meet & discuss the possible purchase on Sunday. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this could be a major score since his closing comments were “be sure to bring a truck and get it out of here.” So in roughly 2 days I might be lucky enough to “get it out of there” for the right price.

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  2. Dolphin Member

    I Like straight 8s. I learned to drive in a straight 8 Pontiac with 3 on the tree, but it was a flathead, not an OHV like this Buick.

    The best pre-WW2 Alfa Romeo racing engines were straight 8s. They were all supercharged IIRC, with the drive taken from a large gear on the crank between cylinders 4 and 5.

    Peter Egan wrote a column many years ago in Road & Track talking about a plan that he and a buddy had when they were young for racing a big Buick sedan with a straight 8 like this car. They liked that it had this big engine, and I think 3 on the tree, but it was a big sedan, so they decided they had to lighten it to make it competitive. They took out everything that wasn’t necessary for racing, most of the interior, radio, heater, spare & jack, probably the big air cleaner, horns, and so on.

    Then they discovered that the car was riding high on its springs and would bounce up and down as they drove it on back roads. They never got it to a track.

    Peter Egan was the best columnist R&T ever had, and occasionally he still is when he does the occasional column.

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    • Dave Wright

      Many of the best cars in the world are straight 8’s, Dusenburgs, among others. The Pontiac and Packard straight 8’s were magnificent engines. I have told people for a long time that you can’t count cylinders for power but you can for smoothness and off course the old iron straight 8’s usually had huge heavy flywheels that also contributed to minimizing vibrations. I had 53 Pontiac convertible that was an incredible car in every way. and my 49 Buick Roadmaster convertible was equally impressive.

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    • That Guy

      I remember that article. I think I recall that they also removed the bumpers and grille, which on this car must weigh a few hundred pounds by themselves. It was a hilarious story of youthful learning by making mistakes.

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  3. Kevin

    I like four doors.

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  4. Fred W.

    My dad had one, a fastback ’49 and it was easily his favorite car. He has 4 stories I’ll never forget (condensed versions): 1) He once drove from Miami to Pensacola , fully across the state of FL in X hours. Don’t remember the exact figure but considering there were no interstates, it was a mind boggling average mph. 2) Left it with a valet a a parking garage in Mobile AL. Listened to the parking attendant screeching around the corners for several stories above him and when he got the car back, there was no reverse. Had to rebuild the Dynaflow himself! Fortunately he was an engineer with his own machine shop so was fully capable. 3) He drove it to work at a paper mill and the engine was so quiet he didn’t notice it was still running. Came back 8 hours later, wasn’t sure what to do so he shut it down and the engine locked up. Later got it back up and running and got lots more years out of it. 4) Maintained that you could balance a quarter on edge on the valve cover with the engine running, it was so smooth. Of course I believed him – he was my dad! Good memories. Based on his description, it looked like this one. Oh yeah, and his nickname for it: “A Running’ Piece O’ Plunder…”

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  5. Brian R

    The roof over the driver windshield looks badly damaged, like something large fell on it and it was poorly and hastily repaired. It also has a really poor quickie paint job as I can see bad overspray and drips on the side trim and gravel guard. Obviously trying to hide some body problems.

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    • Todd Fadely

      You are correct the car was hit by a tree. Easy fix actually. The car was painted by the original owner with a paintbrush so it is a terrible paint job. However the car has under 35,000 riginal miles. The car is mine now

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  6. Chris A.

    The ’49 Fastback design also showed up on the Cadillac of that time period. I’ve always thought that Bentley copied the rear end from these for their Bentley Continental R two door coupe.

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    • brakeservo

      When I was a kid in Burbank California, there was flamboyantly blond lady who drove customized Cadillac Fastback version of this car – only hers had been fitted with a Rolls-Royce grille and all sorts of other “cool” modifications. At the time I had no idea the driver was Pamela Mason, the wife of James Mason, I always assumed she was some sort of high-priced hooker by the car she drove! These were the glory days for custom cars and celebrities. George Barris, Dean Jeffries and Gene Winfield were all in their prime!

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      • Loco Mikado

        Custom cars in Hollywood go all the way back to the 20’s. The 50’s were the waning days, the heydays were the 30’s. The works of the people you mention couldn’t hold a candle to the true custom coach builders of the 20’s & 30’s. George Barris the Chip Foose. of the 50’s. All about outrageous and not class & style which is ageless. Didn’t particularly care for 50’s-60’s customs in the day and don’t like them any better 50-60 years later. Each to his own I guess.

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  7. Matt Tritt

    Terrible paint job. Notice the chrome script covered with paint?

    As wonderfully smooth as straight eights can be, they are kind of rough compared to a Packard V-12, which have to be the most unbelievably vibrationless engines ever made. I had a ’34 12 and my dad had a 39 12 limo that he balanced a quarter on edge on top of the dash to show how smooth it was. The only way you could tell if it was running was by the oil pressure gauge!

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    • Dave Wright

      I am sure you are correct………how smooth must have a 16 been? The 16 cyl diesels are incredibly smooth. They are almost like running an electric engine.

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  8. Jack Quantrill

    Had a ’47 four door super in Hawaii in 1960. $99 at Aloha motors! The inside controlled windshield visor was cool!

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  9. Jack Quantrill

    Forgot, in the late 50’s, at Long Beach Lions Dragstrip they had a group of straight eights called “Buicks Unlimited”. Those things would haul!

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  10. Bruce

    I had a 1953 buick Special with a straight 8 motor .Never had a problem with it.Bruce.

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    • Bob Lucas

      Bruce, was it the one you bought from me in 1990? Sorry if you’re a different Bruce! Bob Lucas

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    4-door cars are a good way to get into the hobby. A lot of 2-door vehicles are expensive, hard to find and being being shipped out of the country. Look what keeps showing up for sale, late 70’s- 80’s-90’s JUNK! Get your 4- doors before Cuba gets them for Taxis! Just sayin!

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  12. Steve

    I would need to understand what happened to that Buick’s roof before I would ever consider buying it.

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  13. Pinesebrine

    Whoever buys this car will face a very expensive job ahead of them. Don’t ask me how I know.

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  14. Jesper

    Doesnt matter if its a four door. Its cool.
    I dont wana pay dobb. For a two door.
    That damage on the roof look bad. Its a shame. With a bad paintjob, i cant help thinking, how much filler there is hidden under it :-(

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  15. Steve

    When Jesse says, “The interior is easily the worst part of this one,” I don’t necessarily agree. I think the damage to the roof is really bad and would cost a lot more to fix properly than addressing the upholstery issues. That roof looks baaaaaaaaaad.

    Like 0

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