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Ready To Cruise: 1948 Buick Super Convertible

As car buffs, we not only dream about cars, but we fantasize about the roads we would drive them on as well.  In the East, many dream of taking the Great Smoky Mountain Parkway through to the terminus of Skyline Drive.  In the Central and Western United States, we all want to drive the fabled Route 66.  In California, the dream road is the Pacific Coast Highway.   This 1948 Buick Special convertible for sale on Craigslist in Montecito, California may be the perfect car sitting near the perfect road for someone who wants to embark upon the pinnacle of coastal cruising.  This regularly used and beautifully restored Buick packs a straight-eight engine and awaits a new owner at an asking price of $37,500.  Would you consider purchasing a postwar beauty such as this and driving it back home with a detour down the Pacific Coast Highway?  Thanks to T.J. for this dreamboat find!

If you have never heard of the Pacific Coast Highway, you surely have seen it on TV or at the movies.  Hollywood has a long history of filming portions of movies somewhere along this very long stretch of mostly coastal road.  The broadest description of this rather confusing combination of coastal roads is that it is a stunningly scenic stretch of road that makes up an amazing jaunt of 1,675 miles from Olympia, Washington to San Diego, California.  All along the route are famous cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Monterey, Carmel, and a host of other locations that are notable for one reason or another.  The route is perfect for driving a classic car, especially one with a convertible top.  In a Yugo, there would be too much to take in.   In a convertible of the caliber of this Buick, you would be on sensory overload after the first mile.

Coincidentally, the 1948 Buick Super convertible you see here is located within a couple of miles of the Pacific and the aforementioned Pacific Coast Highway.  The seller tells us that the car was restored to its original condition years ago and has been in use since then.  While it has been cared for by the same owner for fifteen years, the belief is that it has always been a Western car.  That seller is now unfortunately at a point in their life where driving a stick shift has become difficult.  At a current age of 84, it is safe to say that the seller’s use of this Buick in their waning years is quite the touch of class.

The frequent use of the car is made possible by the very smooth powertrain that Buick put in these cars back in 1948.  With 248 cubic inches, this smaller eight-cylinder in Buick’s lineup still produced 110 horsepower and 206 lbs. ft. of torque.  It is that torque from the rebuilt engine and its highway-rated rear-end gears that enable the car to travel at highway speeds without issue.  The car is said to run smoothly without issue, and the transmission shifts with ease.

As for continued maintenance, the car has been well tended to.  It is currently rolling on brand-new Vogue 235/75/15 white wall radial tires that were added after these photographs were taken.    A newer Optima battery has been cleverly hidden inside the shell of an original type long black case battery.

The most tantalizing part of the written ad is the assurance that the buyer could count on this car to be ready and reliable for a long trip.  With the Pacific Coast Highway just a few miles away and a price that seems to be quite reasonable, it seems that this car should sell itself.  Who wouldn’t want to take the long way home in a car like this?


  1. Avatar photo Paul R.

    Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise come to mind.
    Rain Man.
    Definitely want that car , definitely.

    Like 12
  2. Avatar photo Jack Quantrill

    Buick, was famous for those toothy, great white shark grills!

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo Harry

      Famous? I don’t know about that. Maybe simply recognized or associated with might be more appropriate.

      Like 1
  3. Avatar photo RMac

    Nice car not for me but nice
    There is no such thing as great Smokey mountain parkway
    I think you mean the Blue Ridge Parkway which turns into skyline in Virginia
    I live only a couple miles from it and have done the entire length from Georgia to Virginia in both a mustang convertible and on a Honda night hawk
    Lots of other super roads in the appalacians like take of the dragon

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo JimmeeDGeek

      The Great Smoky Mountains Parkway is a highway that travels 23.4 miles between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Interstate 40 in Kodak, Tennessee

      YOU MEAN ” TAIL of the dragon”, correct?

      Like 4
      • Avatar photo RMac

        Yup tail I have been on the road from 40 to Smokey national park many times and never realized that was the name!! Thanks Jimmee!
        Also one of the best roads is through Dahlonega gorge

        Like 0
    • Avatar photo Bill McCanless

      I don’t think I would take this car on the Dragon.

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo RMac

        Yeah this car might get you seasick on tail of the dragon but would be fun on a slow cruise and piss off all of the super cars and sport bikes backed up behind you LOL

        Like 1
  4. Avatar photo Driveinstile Member

    Beautiful drop top Buick, and yet again….
    Another beautiful opening shot!!! I’ll tell you what…… At this point Barnfinds may need to think about becoming a magazine!! And nice artice too.
    On a side note, thank you all for all the work you do, finding these cars and writing them up and all the research. I know Im not alone in saying that all of you do a great job. And I enjoy all your work immensely. Keep those Barnfinds coming!!!

    Like 15
  5. Avatar photo Steve Hartz

    Love looking at all the great finds you have produced. Some of them bring back wonderfull memories. Great job writing about each vehicle.

    Like 6
  6. Avatar photo Al

    What happened to the whitewalls? Like them much better.
    This is the exact first car I can ever recall. I was waiting to cross a street with my mother and this baby blue Buick convert turned the corner right in front of us. Top down so it was easy to see the female passenger who looked to be slumped against the driver seemed unconscious. The windshield was cracked on the passenger side but I noticed no other body damage. The driver looked very concerned. They turned and were gone. But for whatever reason the image of this blue ’48 has been in my mind for over 70 years. Damn, I’d love to own this. I’m keeping these pictures.

    Like 5
  7. Avatar photo Mountainwoodie

    The black walls are an interesting choice……makes the car mas manly. But…..white walls and a different color top would change the feel altogether. Kudos to the owner for such a good job stewarding this car for the the years he owned it. I wish certain cars weren’t so expensive :) Love the rear end.

    Like 1
  8. Avatar photo David Parker

    That’s not a car, that’s a rolling piece of art.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo RMac

      Art deco!

      Like 0
  9. Avatar photo Bali Blue 504

    How easy it would be to blow over $37K on something that draws little attention now, and will have no value in ten years. This Buick will never lack for neck-twisting moments, or bank account reviews.

    Like 0

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