Nearly Finished: 1956 Buick Special 2-Door Hardtop

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With a fresh paint job and a new interior, this 1956 Buick Special is a restoration project that is virtually complete. It requires a few minor finishing touches, and the new owner will have a really nice car that is ready to drive and enjoy. Barn Finder Dan O spotted this Buick for us, so thank you for that Dan. If this Buick ticks the boxes for you, then you will find it located in Central Point, Oregon, where it is being sold with a clean title. The Buick is listed for sale here on Craigslist.

The fresh paint on the Buick certainly looks really good, and the combination of Laurel Green with the Dover White top works really well. It really looks like a lot of time and effort has gone into the restoration to this point, as in addition to the deep luster of the paint, the external trim and the glass also look to be in first-rate condition. One thing that I don’t believe to be original on the vehicle are the hubcaps. They don’t look like Buick ones but look like they might be aftermarket ones similar in style to the 1956 Oldsmobile “Fiesta” hubcaps.

The interior has also been the beneficiary of the restoration, with the interior being all new. Looking around the interior reveals a few minor detail tasks that need completing. A bit of work needs to go into fitting the carpet up behind the pedals and around the steering column, while the car is also missing the kick panels in both foot-wells. Still, there’s nothing major in those jobs. The rest of the interior presents very nicely.

A 322ci V8 and 2-speed Dynaflow transmission provide the power for this Buick. The owner doesn’t mention whether any work has been performed on the engine as part of the restoration, but the transmission has been rebuilt. He says that the car runs, and is confident enough to state that the new owner can drive it home. The engine bay doesn’t present as well as the rest of the car, and some of the rattle-can work is pretty ordinary. I think that I would be putting some time and effort into getting this area of the car up to the standard that has been set by the rest of the car.

With the restoration of this Buick almost complete, there is little for the new owner to do before they can hit the road and enjoy the car. Buying a 1956 Special in average condition will cost around $12,500 at present, while a nicely restored one will set you back anything up to $23,000. This one needs some detail work to finish it, but with an asking price of $16,000, that seems to be quite reasonable.

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  1. Kenneth Carney

    Yes I’d really rather have this Buick– even
    with all its flaws. Here, you have a car that you can drive anywhere–even back
    to my home state of Florida! I do think,
    however, that this car would look better
    if the area below the chrome center trim
    were painted white as well. That to me,
    woild make this car really pop. Add a set
    of Kelsey-Hayes wire rims, (optional for
    these cars) and you have a winner. One
    of Mom’s friends owned a ’56 ragtop
    equipped with wire rims and man did it
    look sharp with those huge whitewall
    tires wrapped around them. That car
    also sported an eye-popping red leather
    interior that looked fantastic with the car’s white exterior. All I can think about
    is how good this car would look parked
    next to Mom’s ’01 LeSabre Custom
    when parked under our carport.

    Like 3
  2. Frank Fitz

    Nice ride indeed. I have a 56 special 2 door and a century convertible both with “factory” wire wheels. Some purists debate wires were not factory options in 56 but I recall wire wheels did appear in some of the 56 literature/advertising. Very very smooth ride. “Horse shoe” on both sides of rear bumper are nice and difficult to source in excellent condition. Mustache chrome over grill is also very hard to source. Agree with Ken that hubcaps, while cool, are incorrect. Trim tag on right cowl identifies paint codes( 3 symbols- top/ above belt line/below beltline(side chrome). You could actually order with tri- tone. Dealers also could and did paint to customer preference after delivery. Exhaust tips should be rectangular and engine color should be turquoise I don’t see glasswasher “jar” and radiator hose has nasty kink but hey some under hood cosmetic projects for new owner. . Nice 56’s don’t come to market often. Curiously some trim parts are common with other GM cars of era ( ie exterior door handle; window cranks etc) but it looks like seller did much of the heavy lifting. 1956 was one of the few years that any manufacturer actually identified the year and model of the car within the trunk and grill chrome emblems. Gotta love the “jet” hood ornament .GLWTA

    Like 6
  3. stillrunners

    Sweet car ! Funny but there’s a black/white hardtop down the street from my house of 40 yrs that hasn’t moved off it’s concrete pad since then and …no….it’s not a family I want to approach – to ask if it’s for sale.

    Like 2
  4. Robert Rossi

    Looks to me this car might have had factory air. Aren’t those factory vents on the ends of the dash? Nice car!!

    Like 2
  5. Miguel

    That is a beautiful car, but too bad it is not a high model.

    If given the choice I would rather have the top of line rather that the bottom of the line.

    Like 1
  6. Kenneth Carney

    Hi Miguel! These days, I’ll take what I can
    get. Take care folks!

    Like 0
  7. Uncle Bob

    29 days old for this ad, makes you wonder why such a nice appearing car languishes. Somewhat remote location, but not that remote. Price not crazy high, but maybe, considering the real market today, a tad. Potentially a nice, stylin’ ride.

    Like 1
  8. Big_backyard

    I love this car. Back in the late 90’s I was in my 20’s living in San Francisco and bought a 1957 Buick Roadmaster 2 door to cruise the coast in ‘beatnik’ style. It had faded original paint and original interior. My only regrets are that a) I didn’t put disc brakes on it (imagine trying to stop quickly on a steep hill in SF), and that b) I sold it. Unfortunately I didn’t have a lot of money back then to upgrade it.

    This would make a great car to cruise around in. One of the coolest old Buicks I saw was a ’56 with original paint and lake pipes. Being almost 49 now I still dream of purchasing one of these with my sons and driving the hell out of it.


    Like 0
  9. Gay Car Nut

    Lovely looking car. I’ve always found the 1956 Buick to be the best looking GM car of the time. A dangerously close 2nd place would be the 1956 Chevrolet.

    Like 0
  10. Roy L Fuchs

    Ever notice how someone throwing up sounds like they are saying, BUICK……

    Like 0
  11. Del

    Nice car but lots avaiable.

    Price going to have to go way down.

    We have had 3 similar in a week ?

    Like 1
  12. Gay Car Nut

    I agree. I’d pay $12k for one in exceptional condition.

    Like 0
  13. Vincent Habel

    I wouat great.ld rather have these tri fives than Chevy. I had a 57 Chevy and did not think it was th

    Like 0

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