Parked Since 1986: 1940 Buick Special Business Coupe

The owner of this 1940 Buick Special Business Coupe purchased it in 1970, and it seems that it saw some use in the following few years. In 1986 it was parked in this garage, and it hasn’t moved under its own power since. It appears that some restoration work has been undertaken, but now is a chance for someone to grab this old classic, and to bring it back to life. Barn Finder Ikey H has referred the Buick to us, so thank you so much for that Ikey. You will find the Buick located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, and listed for sale here on Craigslist. The asking price for the Coupe has been set at $6,500.

The owner of the Buick says that it is solid and that it has no rust. Looking at the photos, it certainly shows a lot of promise. The paint is looking a touch second-hand, but if the car could be made to run and drive again, it could certainly be used as it is. I like the styling of this car, and you can see why this style of coupe has been such a popular choice for street rodders for decades. They do have a tough and sleek look about them.

The interior of the Buick is also the home of some pretty decent news. There are a couple of small holes in the seat upholstery, but these really are quite minor. The steering wheel has multiple cracks, but I think that it might be possible to restore it. Apart from what looks like a pretty stained carpet on the floor, the rest of it looks pretty good, and there’s no reason why it couldn’t be used as it is. By 1940, art deco design was just beginning to fade, but the Buick still has some nice touches of this style on the dash, which gives the car a luxurious feel.

The engine in the Buick hasn’t fired a shot since 1986, but the good news is that it does turn freely. This is the 248ci straight-eight engine, which produces 107hp. The power from this engine is sent to the rear wheels via a 3-speed manual transmission with a column mounted shifter. The key to this car is less to do with outright horsepower than it was to do with low-end engine torque. Maximum torque in these engines is produced at a mere 1,000 rpm, meaning that they can pull away from very low speeds in top gear with ease. I’d like to think that it won’t take too much to get this car operating again, as the rest of the car shows a lot of promise to be able to be used as it stands.

There’s a lot of promise locked up in this Buick Special, and it also opens up a lot of options for the next owner. It could quite easily undergo a full or partial restoration or could serve as the basis for either a street rod or rat rod project. If I was going to rank these options in order of my own personal preference, then I would plump for a restoration first, a street rod as my second choice, and would put the rat rod idea as a distant last. Why a distant last? To me, it just looks too nice to head down that road, but others might disagree with me on that. What would you do with it?


  1. karl

    I’d start with a good wash – why cant sellers clean these cars up ?

    Like 10
  2. Al

    Because sellers like the pristine patina of dirt.

    If not that, I have no solution.

    Like 6
  3. Kenneth Carney

    Restoration all the way! This car is much
    too solid for a street rod or god forbid, a
    rat rod. If the engine turns freely, just add
    spark and gas to get things going again.
    Once the mechanicals are sorted, you
    could drive it as is while you restore it.
    Next to the ’37 and ’38 models, I like
    the ’40 model as well. While restoring it,
    I’d add a radio too. Sorry folks, gotta have my tunes!

    Like 9
  4. dave brennan

    Guess I should have kept my 40 olds bus. coupe. Sold it for 1200 in the early 80’s

    Like 2
  5. dave brennan

    BTW, I’d go with an 8 and 4 or 5 sp

    Like 1
  6. Sal

    Posting deleted…

    I pick none of the above…I would rebuild the wheel cylinders and master, do a tune up, rebuild the carb, clean out the gas tank, give it a nice bath, and then just drive the h*ll out of it.

    Like 6
  7. David Frank David F Member

    I’m with Sal but I’d drive it a bit more gently. I drive a ’38 Special on occasion and that straight eight is really smooth and quiet. This old coup would make a wonderful driver after just mechanical restoration. It would be tempting to at least finish up the primered areas and paint them to match as close as possible.

    Like 6
  8. Gregicon

    Posting deleted – someone got a good project!

    Like 1
  9. Tort Member

    Bought a 40 Buick business coupe that had been in a Buick/Pontiac dealership’s showroom along with a 30 Buick sedan as display and conversation pieces. I would restore this one or drive it as is as though they resemble a 40 Chevy they look better stock than made into a street rod.

  10. Johnmloghry

    My dad (rest in peace) had two tone 40 Buick Special 4 door sedan back in the early 50’s. It had knee action shocks that became impossible to find and the back of the car would bounce so bad my dad became afraid to drive it, so it was parked on the farm. Then two of my older brothers started driving it to high school until someone poured sugar in the gas tank ruining the engine. So there it sat on the farm for another two decades, until my dad retired and moved to Hawaii.
    God bless America

    Like 1
    • John Deebank

      Finding out who was responsible for adding sugar to sweeten the gas would have been high on my list. A lifetime gift of sweetened gas would be left anonymously to show there were no hard feelings.

  11. Del

    Nice Coupe.

    Price good.

    Hopes it gets a full resto not rodded

    Like 1

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