Spotless Survivor: 1940 Buick Special

Finding classic cars that are essentially ready to be enjoyed and are being offered for sale at relatively affordable prices might be becoming harder, but this 1940 Buick Special 4-Door Sedan proves that they do exist. It is a clean and tidy vehicle that not only appears to be rust-free but is also said to run and drive. If you are looking to dip your toe into the waters of classic car ownership for the first time, or even if you are a seasoned hand in the scene, then this is a car that is worth a serious look. Located in Euclid, Ohio, you will find the Buick listed for sale here on eBay. The owner hs set a BIN price of $8,499, which would certainly seem to place it in the affordable category.

Finished in English Green, the Buick presents very nicely. The panels are straight, and there are no signs of any rust issues. The owner provides a great array of photos, and the underside of the Special is clean of anything beyond a light dusting of surface corrosion on some components. For a vehicle of this age, the external trim and chrome, all of which appears to be present, looks to be very good. Some of it could definitely use a treatment with some polish, but I don’t see anything that would warrant full-blown restoration or replacement. The Buick is part of a significant collection of cars that are owned by a true enthusiast. This collection numbers in excess of 100 vehicles, and he has decided to part with the lot. The vehicle has been sitting for a while, which explains why it currently looks so dusty.

For 1938, Buick introduced a new straight-eight engine into its range with a capacity of 248ci. That is what we find under the hood of this Buick, and it produces 107hp. This finds its way to the rear wheels via a 3-speed manual transmission. Brute horsepower wasn’t this engine’s strong point, but it produced a very healthy 203ft/lbs of torque, making it extremely flexible. Rowing through the gears was not a necessity, because these were well and truly capable of pulling away from low speeds in pretty high gears. The owner says that this particular Buick runs and drives nicely and that the engine sounds really good. The owner also indicates that the Special has a genuine 71,500 miles on the odometer, and given how meticulous he appears to be with his vehicles, I wouldn’t be surprised if he holds evidence to verify it. What he does says is that in spite of the fact that the Buick runs and drives, he would be very inclined to have it thoroughly checked before attempting any extended journeys. The Buick hasn’t seen a huge amount of activity in recent times, so this is probably pretty sound advice.

The interior of the Buick is a real highlight, but the next owner will have a few tasks to attend to. The radio is missing its control knobs, but these should be easy to source. More difficult will be addressing the issues with the factory clock, because this looks like it has either fallen apart, or it has been dismantled. If it can’t be repaired then it probably isn’t the end of the world. There are a number of companies that offer reconditioned units, and these are priced at around the $160 mark. The rest of the interior presents nicely and needs very little beyond some pretty basic cleaning. Even the wheel appears to be free of any cracks, which is a minor miracle in itself.

As I said, this 1940 Buick Special looks like a very competitively priced vehicle that would need very little to return it to active duty. It is possible to find reasonable examples today for around $12,000, but really nice ones sell for figures in excess of $20,000. This one is not perfect, but it is a car that promises plenty of enjoyment. If it checks out as well with a personal inspection as it seems to in the photos, then it could potentially be one of the real bargains of 2020.

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  1. David Frank David Frank Member

    Oh my, what a beautiful car. I took a bunch of museum visitors for rides in the museum’s ’38 yesterday. The only weak point in these is the “clutch start” but replacing the system with a simple toggle switch works fine. The ignition switch is a little confusion for some but it’s easily mastered. (You turn the key and flip the lever up) Visitors love the Buick’s soft ride and plush interior. As one kid said yesterday “Look, there’s a couch in here!”
    The $8,499 seems way too cheap if this Buick is as nice as it appears.

  2. TimM

    Beautiful survivor car!! 4 doors doesn’t take away from tha appeal of this ride!! It makes it better in my opinion!!!

  3. Del

    Nice car

    Reasonably priced

  4. FordGuy1972

    Another beautiful classic American car for a bargain price. The outstanding condition of this 80 year-old car is amazing! I just hope it finds a good home with someone who will appreciate it for what it is. Just do not modify it. It’s earned the right to be preserved exactly the way it is.

  5. Bob McK Member

    What a deal!! I so wish I could buy this and bring her home. This is probably the best deal I have seen.

  6. John Calabro

    I would buy it just so I could sound those twin horns.

  7. Johnny

    Very nice beautiful car. Sure wished I had a nice garage and money to get it now. Hope whoever buys it. Takes care of it and don,t change anything about it.

  8. SG

    I love this grand old lady! Suicide rear doors, great original condition (even if it was refurbished at one time or another), I can’t find a thing to not like.

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