Parked For Over 50 Years! 1936 Buick Special

SOLD!

We have been working with Reader Don L to clear out the remaining cars in his collection. The next one that needs to go is this 1936 Buick Special and boy does it have a cool look to it! It’s been parked for a long time, so plan on doing some work to make it roadworthy again, but it definitely deserves to be saved. So, if you’d love to give this barn find a new home, be sure to bid. You can find it in Junction City, Kansas with a clear title. And if you have any questions about it, feel free to leave them in the comments or message us via the contact form below.

This Buick has been in Don’s barn for a long time, as you can tell by the layer of dust. His father purchased it back in the 1960s, drove it to the barn and that’s where it’s stayed ever since. It will take some work to get it looking its best, but that is the fun part of a barn find. Thankfully, all the brightwork is present and looks to be in decent shape. It’s amazing to think that this was Buick’s entry-level car with a big shiny grille like that! I also love that it is wearing an original 1936 Kansas license plate, you really don’t see that often.

A look at the interior reveals a highly original car that needs some TLC. Everything appears to be present and accounted for, but then again there wasn’t much there to begin with. You have a steering wheel, one large gauge in front of the driver, a clock in front of the passenger, some lovely trim, a shifter, a heater and a pair of visors. While basic, it has everything you really need in a car! It looks like there is some water staining on the upholstery, but some detailing should clean it up nicely. Just think of how comfortable this one would be, even with the whole family loaded up in it.

The car has some dents and road rash, but Don believes the car to be very sound throughout. He is confident that the car has never been restored and that it is in all original condition. Where it is positioned in the barn is proving to make it a challenge to photograph, but he is happy to answer any questions you might have.

Don really wants to see this Buick go to a good home. It looks like a great find and while it definitely needs work, it would be a cool old car to cruise around in. The 233 cui inline-8 offers just 93 horsepower but is one smooth engine. He hasn’t attempted to start this one, so mechanically it’s a bit of a mystery, but it ran when it was parked. If you’ve been on the hunt for an art deco classic, this one is definitely worth a look. Feel free to leave any questions below or message us and we will put you in touch with Don.

  • Asking: $4,500
  • Location: Junction City, Kansas
  • Title Status: Clean
  • VIN: 43054019

SOLD

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Comments

  1. CFJ

    No driver’s side windshield glass?

  2. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Now I turn my clock back to the 50’s. My dad and older brothers drove Buicks from the 30’s. A couple 38’s 39’s 40’s and a 42 road master, but I don’t recall a 36. My dad did have a 35 Oldsmobile, and my first car was a 35 Chevy. We lived in the country with 120 acres of land so we could have as many cars as we wanted, most were driven til they died then parked on a hill on the farm where they remained until my dad sold the farm in the mid 70’s.
    I’d love to get this car, but at 72 with a invalid wife to care for its all I can do to keep my 64 Buick Riviera up and running, which I’m in the process of replacing the motor mounts at this time, one bolt at a time.
    God bless America

    Like 23
  3. Jerrold berg

    Would be a beautiful car to have. Not far away either.

    Like 1
  4. Jeff Miller

    Something unique about the 1936 Buicks is that they are the last to have wood instead of steel interior framing. I hadn’t thought much about this until I was talking with a guy that had a beautifully restored one that had been restored through 3 generations of his family.

    His most insightful comment came when he talked about how grandpa was a meticulous wood worker that created new parts for most of the car. When grandpa’s eyesight and hands started to fail there were only a few wood parts left that needed to be recreated. Grandpa helped with those parts but ultimately others had to finish them to a standard not quite up to grandpas. The result was a very slight issue with one of the doors not aligning and closing just right.

    If you look at Buicks from the mid to late 30s you will see a preponderance of them from 37 well into the 40s but finding a 36 is much more rare. I believe it is the wood that is the issue. Luckily, this car looks like it is sitting well so hopefully the wood is in great shape.

    Like 7
    • Bellingham Fred

      The body wood is something shared by all GM cars of the era. What you said about Buicks applies to Olds, Chevies, Pontiacs, etc. I’m not sure about Cads.

      • Richard Kirschenbaum

        You can bet it was on Caddys Fred.

    • Richard Kirschenbaum

      Jeff Miller
      You really nailed it (pun intended). I got my baptism of fire on a 1929 Pontiac that required about 85% of its wood replaced. My father was a master craftsman and we had the whole new body sans the sheet metal mocked up in our basement before it was disassembled again and reassembled in the garage on the chassis and the sheet metal re-attached (summer ’63). I was a teenager and took on the project as a holy crusade, fool that I was and saw it through. Far wiser for the experience. I’m 75 and would still try it again, but NOT on a Pontiac

  5. Jeff Miller

    The special has the smaller but beautiful 236 straight 8 engine mated to a 3 speed transmission and straight cut gears. This thing was designed for a time where torque was necessary and can with a bit of encouragement haul the car from stop to speed in top gear; quite impressive. The special has very low gearing which made me nervous about driving much above 50 mph even though Buick claimed a top speed somewhere around 80 in the day. A common change was to swap the century rear end into these cars so that they can cruise a bit faster without stressing the engine too much. My McGlaughlin has this modification and although I have pushed it to 75mph it really feels at home cruising country roads at 50 to 55.

    Thinking about the wood, I’d pay special attention to the area under the center post of the rear window, the bottom of the back doors, and the area on the rear fenders just below the windows and down to the running boards. Also look to make sure the doors hang well, don’t twist, and that the windows roll without issue. These were all problem areas on my first Buick and to a lesser extent on my current McGlaughlin.

    Like 5
  6. Jeff Miller

    This Buick comes nicely appointed with optional spoke steering wheel, heater and glove box clock. Since there are keys in the steering wheel lock I have to believe that still works as well.

    The fender lamps are correct and unique to the 36. After 36 the divider runs down the horizontal section of the lamp instead of vertical like these. These lamps were options on the early production cars but became standard later along with some additional changes to the lighting circuits. The early buicks had a parking lamp in the headlight but in the later cars that lamp was replaced by lighting these fender lights. I love the fender lights; they really set the 36 apart from later years as well as the other similar looking GM cars from 36.

    The interior does look original or at least a very good reproduction. It is hard to see but there is stitching on the door panels that is supposedly homage to the empire state building. Also, that one big instrument is actually a composite of speedometer, odometer, fuel gauge, water temp, oil pressure, alternator, and high beam indicator.

    Another interesting thing about the 36 is that it was a huge seller for Buick that helped Buick recover from the depression.

    Like 8
    • Sal

      I agree, Jeff.
      I love those fender lamps.

      I used a little wire, a switch, and some ingenuity to wire up a toggle switch on my car so that I can either have parking lights or use them as front blinkers.

      Hope this car finds a nice home.

      Like 2
  7. garm

    Hey Don, I bought the grey Sunbeam Imp back at the beginning. Cool to see another one I want come up!

    Like 2
  8. madlad

    When I was 15 I bough a ’35 Buick almost a twin to this, it even had a dent in the same spot on the front right fender. An interesting thing was the radio aerials, they were under the running boards, three one in wide straps. Funny, but I think I still have the title for it. Back in 1960 I couldn’t find parts and ended up parking it on our farm like John said with his. A long time later it was scrapped to clean up the farm along with about 8 or 10 other cars and trucks.
    I’m really thinking about this one.

  9. Paul T Root

    We went to the local car show Friday night. East 7th in North St Paul. A lot of really cool cars out there. I found myself drawn to the older cars, 50s and older.

    There was a Buick just like this, straight 8 on display. Really cool.

    Coolest car there was a 32 (I think) Auburn boattail. Supercharged.

  10. Wayne from oz

    Anyone notice what seems to be a custom made insect screen on the grille of the 39 Packard beside the Buick?

  11. Alan Robbins

    My Dad had a 39 Convertible stunning car on the outside rode like a dream and there is NOTHING like a straight 8 be it in a Packard or one of these beauties.

    When I downsized him into assisted living I let it go, as it was like driving a tank out the front (terrifying to park you couldn’t see the fenders) and the only way to back it up was to open the door and look behind you. I’ve never driven a sedan, anyone here know if it is the same way?

  12. Jose Gianini

    Hi I am interested in buying the 36 Buick how I can contact the owner thank you

    Like 1
  13. John Barth

    I served in Fort Riley in 1973 and 1974. I met Don’s dad at the local car wash. He was towing a 42 Hudson thru the car wash as I was washing my daily driver 47 Chevy. Don’s dad asked what I did in the Army and during our discussion he asked if I could make some signs for some of his 120 plus cars. From then until I left Junction City, I made signs for probably 75 to 90 cars and helped get cars running that were in storage. Got to ride in a number of the cars and drive a few. Great people and great fun. I treasure those days. Returned to Wisconsin and while back in collage in 1975 made brochures for Don’s dad featuring some of the cars. I still have several. About 10 years ago when traveling thru Kansas had a chance to visit with Don and his mother. Spent an afternoon together seeing the collection and reminiscing. It was much appreciated.

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