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Parts or Project? 1954 Buick Special Wagon

1954 Buick Wagon

Today might not be Wagon Wednesday, but when we saw this 1954 Buick Special that Doug M sent in, we knew we had to feature it right away. We love the looks of the ’54 Buick Special and especially in wagon form. It’s going to need a lot of work before it can be driven, but if the engine runs as the seller claims, we think the $1k asking price seems reasonable. Obviously we would recommend taking a closer look at it before making an offer. Be sure to check it out here on Vancouver’s craigslist. Thanks Doug for the tip!

1954 Buick Wagon Interior

Rust is the biggest issue we see with this wagon, but with any luck the only serious cancer is in the floors. You just never know with rust, it could be structurally sound or it could be rotted from the inside out. Looking at the condition of the floors, we have our concerns. Again, you just don’t know how serious it is without inspecting it in person. We wish who ever cut the floor pans out already would have left them alone, but having them removed already does make checking the frame out a bit easier. We are also curious to know what parts are missing, especially inside.

1954 Buick Wagon Motor

As we stated earlier, the seller claims that the motor currently runs. They also state that the transmission is weak, which we would assume means it isn’t working correctly and will need work. The 264 cui V8 looks to be the correct unit for this car. We would be sure to check the compression and make sure this nail head motor still has some life left in it, especially if the transmission has to be removed to be rebuilt or replaced. We don’t know much about the Buick 264, but we would assume it could easily be made to produce more than the original 140 horsepower.

1954 Buick Special Wagon

This wagon is going to be a big project, but the value of these is climbing so it could be a worthwhile project. Our primary concern is all that rust, but it could turn out to be less severe than it looks. Hopefully someone in the area can go take a look at it and let us know if it’s worth picking up. From what you can see, would you take on this project wagon or is it too far gone to be saved?


  1. Brad

    So happy that these are finally coming into their own, yet projects can still be had reasonably. They have as much nostalgic weight as their sedan counterparts… in many cases even more so.

    Their rarity from the outset, coupled with the way they were beaten up by everything from rowdy children to demolition derbys makes it amazing we have any left to enjoy today.

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  2. Gary C.

    Great project. 2dr htp doors, slant the back ala Nomad, fill in the side panels. Some Packard or other cool tail lights, cut the wheel wells out in back and get rid of the filler door. French in stacked headlights Stick in four bucket seats a long console. Nice cream paint job, wide whites and wire wheels. Too much?

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  3. danny andrews

    To me it looks like everything is there as far as chrome and such. The floor definitely needs attention. But that is the case with most of these old cars anyway. I’m was born in 58 and my floor also needs attention. I would restore the car definitely if most all the original parts are there.

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  4. Brian

    Early 50s Buicks have never been on my “bucket list”, but I can appreciate them. This one appears too complete and solid to be parted out. Honestly, I don’t remember seeing one of these wagons, anywhere, ever!

    There is a Buick collector somewhere who would kill for this. Is that $1000 American money?

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  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    Definitely worth a full restoration. I’d be willing to take on a project like this myself if I didn’t already have so many irons in the fire. I like the car.

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  6. jim s

    love the location of the brake master cylinder, would be hard to check the level. the cars/truck in the background are interesting also.

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  7. erikj

    Well here I go again. Love this wagon. It looks pretty good and if its running that’s a plus. The interior is at least complete since parts might be hard to find. $1000 ,im in! I live pretty close so I will try to get this one. If so that would be my 3rd vehicle purched through Barn Find.

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  8. paul

    Of course the damn thing is on the left coast, aren’t all the great deals over there. The long roofs are coming into their own & very strong. I like the 64 Skylark next to it as well.

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  9. barthman

    I live in Vancouver and saw the ad. Some easy internet research says… approx. 1650 produced, 225 nailhead / Dynaslow was likely to be correct, first year for Panorama windshield, US made floor patch panels on Ebay @$70 ish each… While I am rather poor, this seemed worth a hard look so I responded to CL ad header with my local phone #. NO REPLY. I also responded a day later with my email, restating my interest, location, and asking if the car was still available. NO REPLY.
    This car is apparently within 1 mile of my house. I even located an NOS transmission core for a reasonable sum, it is so tantalizing. I am not at all sure this would be a good idea for me right now. That being said, without the sellers cooperation, what is a person to do?
    Did anyone else have any luck raising this person??

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    • Doug Medeiros

      I have also replied to these ads on Craigslist…..and like you said and to no avail………I don’t get it,I have cash and leave a message and my phone number and I get nothing,I guess they are not serious or they already sold in and did not remove the ad?

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  10. andre

    i bought this car it was a hassle to get in contact with the seller
    but i was able to buy it
    it is on transport to the Netherlands for a complete restoration
    its now in abbotsford canada were he get some technical help
    motor runs the trans is shot
    but it is a good candidate for a resto
    it even have a name
    harley after the great harley earl

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    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Please keep us updated on your progress Andre. A photo of when it arrives would be great too. Good luck!

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    • Doug Medeiros

      Thank-You for saving the car,Have not seen one in years………..Very Cool……..

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