Mystery Machine – 1929 Buick Model 44 Roadster

Looking like it was ridden hard and put away wet, this 1929 Buick Model 44 Rumble Seat Roadster needs a new owner to refurbish or restore it to the status of “automobile.” Thanks to reader Matt W who spotted this stylish classic located in York, Pennsylvania and listed here on eBay where bidding approaches $8000.

Some Buicks of this vintage featured wooden-spoked wheels that looked great, but when I park a car and forget about it for decades I prefer steel wheels. The listing on this well-worn classic includes *zero* story… demonstrating a complete lack of effort to relate any tidbit of the car’s story beyond “This car has been sitting for many years.” With detective skills like that who needs Scotland Yard? Why yes, Ford Pinto fans, that *is* the fuel tank doubling as a rear bumper. What could go wrong there?

Buick celebrated its Silver Anniversary in 1929. This lovely low-mileage two-door sedan may wear this car’s original color scheme — nice! The dash-mounted electrical outlet reminds me of a friend who mounted an inverter behind the dash of his 1985 Honda Accord and found room on the center console for a household double outlet with ivory switch plate. Perfect for shaving on the way two work. Perhaps he was related to a former owner of this Buick.

The 309 cubic inch “121 series” inline six cylinder engine made over 90 HP for 1929, up from 77 the prior year (thanks to for some details).  The “Marvel automatic air valve, heat controlled carburetor” features low, medium, and high-speed jets. You have to respect a company that produced sales literature describing the number of teeth on each transmission gear! Would you prefer an immaculate restoration or a safe mechanical refurbishment preserving as much cosmetic history as possible?


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  1. Pebblebeachjudge

    Such a great condition. If this was any European car, it would be millions. Someone please preserve it.

  2. Fred w.

    Due to fuel tank location, this is one case where I couldn’t leave it 100% original. Lots of potential with this one.

  3. John Holt

    just make it safe to drive, no restoration, its a survivor, it should stay as original as possible

  4. 123pugsy

    Nice hot rod potential.

    Where’s the grill and rad?

    • Speedy D

      Look at the second-to-last picture. It is on the pallet with the roof bows. That said – I don’t see any of the hood pieces.

  5. 123pugsy

    You must have better eyes than me. I don’t see them.

    • Anthony Bult

      The gas tank in the twenties Buicks was well protected under the truck like frame plus the bumper that is about 12″ + deep. no comparison to a pinto. I know of one that were rear ended by a 18 wheeler on a turnpike. Car was horrendously damaged but tank was undamaged!

  6. Scott

    This place is just down the road from me. They have a huge inventory of truck caps and snow plows. They only have a few cars/trucks, but they are often classics in varying degrees of condition. I think they are known in the area as a place that will buy your classic at wholesale. I wonder what they gave for it?

  7. Chuck Cobb

    Instrument panel would look GREAT with an engine turned panel insert, restore the gauges with modern works.

    • Poppapork

      Get out with engine turned! Thats good for a 79 trans am. This needs a solid slab of brass…

  8. Dovi65

    As I’ve aged, I’ve come to really appreciate the cars from the 1920s-1930s. Tho this one would be a massive undertaking to restore to ‘as new’ standards, it is worthy of a refurb .. get it cleaned up, running, and [relatively] safe to drive.
    Cars of this era are fading fast, as are the folks that recall them from their early days.

  9. carsofchaos

    Phew! For a second there I thought we weren’t going to our mandatory 25 “ridden hard and put away wet” comments.

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