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Original And Cheap: 1940 Buick Super Model 50

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What is there not to love about a 76 year old car that is in original condition? Sure the paint isn’t going to be perfect, the interior may be a little tatty, and the chrome may not be as bright as it once was. Although for many of us that is a ’okay in our books. This 1940 Buick is in solid original shape, looking as if it could be a preservation vehicle. This Buick isn’t running at the moment, but looks as if it would be a fun project, and the price seems quite fair at $6,000. Find it here on craigslist out of Portland, Oregon.

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The 248 cubic inch Fireball inline 8 appears complete and original.  There is no mention of condition of this 107 horsepower engine. But with a little hope and some elbow grease perhaps the engine could be revived to be a runner yet again. This Buick features a 3 speed column shifted manual transmission. The exterior of this Buick has an appealing patina and look, even with having 4 doors. The bright work looks awesome and the ever so important body trim appears to be all there. We can see many options of what could be done with this Buick. Preserved, restored, “resto-modded”, you name it. We personally would love to see the patina maintained and perhaps lower the car ever so slightly for a fun low key cruiser. Maybe even throw a “swamp cooler” on the passenger window as well.

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Upon viewing the cockpit, it looks promising. Appearing mostly complete, and not totally roached out, we think you could put a little work into the interior and have a nice presentable interior for cruising. For those of you who are super minimalistic, a blanket for the front seat would suffice. But it would be nice to do a little preservation work on the interior and maybe even reupholster the front seat to really clean up and organize the interior.

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There just aren’t that many opportunities to jump into a cheap, completely original car. This car looks like it would be a fantastic father and son project, and the price is just right. It is a four door, so it’s not particularly the most sought after Buick, so modifying it just a little doesn’t seem like that much of a sin. We would certainly hope that whoever buys it has “preservation” in the front of their mind, as this one is just nice enough to leave as is. What would you do with this original 1940 Buick? What do you think would be best for this car?


  1. Mitch

    So it’s a 4 door, big deal! In those days that didn’t take away from the lines & design. Restoration candidate for sure.

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  2. Chris in Nashville

    Deep clean the interior, get it running and enjoy. Wishing it were not on the opposite coast or I would be all over this!

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    • David Frank David Member

      I was on the “opposite coast” a couple of days ago and can see from the lack of old cars how cool this would be! (There don’t seem to be any cars over 10 or 15 years old) It would indeed be great to “Deep clean the interior, get it running and enjoy.”

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      • grant

        Lol there are lots of old cars out here, they keep them hidden away for the nice weather.

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    • MG'zer

      I think Jamie fetures cars on the opposite cost so his new bride doesn’t have to worry!

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      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        I think you’re talking about Josh! My bride of 6 years calls almost half our collection “hers”!

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  3. Yellowjax Member

    If you were in your 20’s and drove this you would look like a cool hipster. At my age I would look like a pathetic poor old man.

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    • Brad

      You’d just have to remember as the young folks are laughing at you… that your Barn Finds pals are giving you a big thumbs up. : )

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      • grant

        Totally. I’m past trying to be cool for other people. This is cool.

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    • Roselandpete

      I used to work with a guy who rode an old bicycle to work. One day I noticed that it had a new tire–only one new tire. Instead of thinking that this guy was “poor,” I figured he must have been loaded. Like Jack Benny who rode around in an old Maxwell, I figure anybody who drove this probably had his mattress stuffed with cash.

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  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    Where I tend to condemn anything to do with the P-word, when it comes to cars like this, it’s an upscale car so anything short of a proper re-spray won’t qualify. The straight eight will take you anywhere you want to go and bring you back but I’ve seen a couple of units like this one sporting Nailheads and THM 400 (or equivilant) transmissions that almost looked like factory installations. One had stock-looking wheels while the other was running mags. They kept all the stock appearances otherwise and were obviously driven a lot. I wouldn’t do that but they still looked great.

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  5. Loco Mikado

    Trying to figure out if this is really in Portland. House and yard do not fit as most of Portland’s housing is at way over $3-400,000.00 mark. This does not look like it unless in the undesirable part of town in which case I would be carrying a gun and no money in my wallet. And the pictures are not recent as we have been having 100 degree days since May, today is another one.

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  6. Allen Member

    I hate to say this, but my only regret with this car is that it is not a ’39. There was something about the ’39 Buick that reached a zenith in prewar production car design. The ”40 and ’41 models were great cars, but that ’39 model was truly spectacular.

    But if I had this car… if that’s original paint and interior, I’d clean it up as well as possible and keep it that way. Any car can be restored… Restomod drivetrain? Why? The original can be made totally reliable, and as for acceleration – hey it’s a Buick!

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    • nessy

      Yes Allen, the 39 was better looking although many people thought the 39 front end looked like an ugly frog. I like the 39. However, the 38 Buick, has often been rated by far, the best looking 1938 model car built that year. The 38’s are stunning with the 37 Buick a close second. I’m an Olds guy but oh boy was the 38 Olds front ugly. The 37 Olds had a very nice looking front. As for this car, again, I can not understand why so many sellers refuse to wash a car before putting it up for sale. Look at those filthy wheels and big dirty whitewalls…. That would be the very first part of the car I would clean. Wash your cars before you try and sell them….

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