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Thread: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

  1. #1
    BOB progoofoff's Avatar
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    The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    After the 1955 Motorama tour, it spent the next 17 years in CA as a driver. Then back to MI and driven two more years. The last 37 years it has been in a warehouse. It has been in the same family since the tour.

    Now, in NC and is being disassembled for complete restoration.

    One photo shows the original color scheme. The photo was taken for the 1955 Motorama show. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pYIpZAwFz8. GM required that it be repainted before selling it to an employee.

    It has all the factory options and appears to be identical to the 63 series that went into production with the exception of the rear quarters being a bit longer. It has a series designation of 68.

    Bob
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    Last edited by progoofoff; October 17th, 2010 at 07:08.
    `35 - Hudson Terraplane
    `54 - Buick Landau - Motorama concept
    `55 - Series 61
    `55 - Buick series 68 - Motorama prototype
    `55 - Buick series 66C
    `55 - Buick series 66R
    `55 - Buick series 69
    `66 - AH 3000
    `62 Honda Dream 250
    `62 Honda Dream 305
    `71 Vespa 150 Super

    AACA - 5097
    BCA - 35775

  2. #2
    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    That is a gorgeous color! I'm looking at this on my phone right now, are those crazy portholes anywhere or am I seeing things?
    Mike Middleton

    http://www.midtownrestorations.com
    Regional Co-Director South Central Region BCA
    Vice Director Alamo Chapter BCA
    Assistant Chairman BCA Driven Class

    1955 Special 2 dr. sedan (BCA Gold Senior Driver)
    1955 Century convertible (Updates at Me and My Buick http://forums.aaca.org/f163/55-centu...ct-272999.html)
    1955 Century Estate Wagon (Driven Hard and Fast)
    1948 Buick powered hot rod
    1931 Model A hot rod

  3. #3
    BOB progoofoff's Avatar
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    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    crazy portholes

    Already removed them
    `35 - Hudson Terraplane
    `54 - Buick Landau - Motorama concept
    `55 - Series 61
    `55 - Buick series 68 - Motorama prototype
    `55 - Buick series 66C
    `55 - Buick series 66R
    `55 - Buick series 69
    `66 - AH 3000
    `62 Honda Dream 250
    `62 Honda Dream 305
    `71 Vespa 150 Super

    AACA - 5097
    BCA - 35775

  4. #4
    Driver Owner JohnD1956's Avatar
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    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    Whats a "crazy Porthole" look like? Any pics?

    John C. De Fiore BCA # 3757
    56 Super 56R: acquired September 1974 :D
    69 GS 400: Convertible Added in 2003 :rolleyes:
    69 Electra Limited 2 dr. bought 1995 or so. Sold March 2009!
    78 Estate Wagon: added 10-2008 :cool:
    95 Riviera Supercharged: added May 1998. Sold September 2006
    06 Lacrosse CXL Purchased July 4th 2006. Traded in Aug 2013
    2013 Regal GS acquired Aug 2013 ( thanks to the La Crosse)

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  5. #5
    Senior Member Thriller's Avatar
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    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    Sounds like the beginnings of a Motorama museum in NC....
    Derek Thille
    BCA #39416, MBCC #1984, BGR #11
    88 Reatta Coupe / 76 Century Pace Car - "Spirit" / 75 Electra Limited 2 door HT / 66 Wildcat Custom Coupe - "Ellie" / 62 Special Convertible / 61 Invicta Convertible - "Vicky" / 56 Special 4-door Sedan / 54 Century Estate Wagon / 52 Roadmaster 4-door / 41 Special 41SE / 29 McLaughlin Buick Model 51 / 23 SD-4 Combination Passenger & Express (replica)

    2006 Buick Rainier - "Ruby" / 2005 GMC Sierra K2500 - "Max"
    Thriller's Out of Date Buick Page

  6. #6

    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    Great find!
    Would you mind posting the SO # ?
    And do you have any info on there being an XP # assigned to the car?
    Thanks!

  7. #7
    BOB progoofoff's Avatar
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    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    WQ59B

    Please explain XP#

    Cowl Tag:

    STYLE NO. 4631
    SHOP ORDER CW 62 5 7 2
    Eng Dept NO. 55 68
    DATE 10-6-54

    VIN #2667341
    Engine #I007211

    Any help decoding these number is appreciated.

    Bob

  8. #8

    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    'XP-' numbers are General Motors 'eXperimental Production' codes given to special projects, pre-production engineering programs, and the concept cars built over the decades. For example, the Motorama concept car; the 1955 LaSalle II Roadster was XP-34 and SO# 2220.

    To my knowledge, there is no comprehensive XP list, even at GM... tho I have a pretty good list going after some years of research. Some well-known concept cars I have been unable to document the XP# for... others seemingly cannot escape theirs.
    Also, I believe some SO# cars did NOT get an XP number.... which is why I inquired about your vehicle.

    Tho some sources define 'SO' as 'special order'... your car's plate spells it out 'Shop Order' tho, causing me to wonder if that's meaningful or not. I've seen references to other cars with a stamped SO plate, tho to date I've never heard tell of any XP stampings.

    To coincide with 1950s numbers, which were in the 19xx - 2xxx range in mid-decade, I wonder if your SO# --if consistent with the other known SO #s-- is '2572', and the 'CW 6' is a prefix with other meaning. Either it is... or a 'Shop Order' & 'Special Order' are 2 different things.

    Good luck with your project, Bob!

  9. #9
    BOB progoofoff's Avatar
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    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    Some progress, finally
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    `35 - Hudson Terraplane
    `54 - Buick Landau - Motorama concept
    `55 - Series 61
    `55 - Buick series 68 - Motorama prototype
    `55 - Buick series 66C
    `55 - Buick series 66R
    `55 - Buick series 69
    `66 - AH 3000
    `62 Honda Dream 250
    `62 Honda Dream 305
    `71 Vespa 150 Super

    AACA - 5097
    BCA - 35775

  10. #10
    Driver Owner JohnD1956's Avatar
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    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    Now that's the way to work on these things.

    John C. De Fiore BCA # 3757
    56 Super 56R: acquired September 1974 :D
    69 GS 400: Convertible Added in 2003 :rolleyes:
    69 Electra Limited 2 dr. bought 1995 or so. Sold March 2009!
    78 Estate Wagon: added 10-2008 :cool:
    95 Riviera Supercharged: added May 1998. Sold September 2006
    06 Lacrosse CXL Purchased July 4th 2006. Traded in Aug 2013
    2013 Regal GS acquired Aug 2013 ( thanks to the La Crosse)

    "Yes! I'd really rather drive my Buick!"

    Member of the UPSTATE NY CHAPTER
    check it out at
    http://unybca.com

  11. #11
    Senior Member old-tank's Avatar
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    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    Now I see the difference in the rear quarter length. Does it have the same trunk lid as the 66R?. Frame differences at the rear? Don't lose the trim for that quarter...probably one of a kind.
    Willie
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    http://forums.aaca.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=30648&dateline=124664  3804
    55 Centurys: 63; 63; 66C
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  12. #12
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    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    Love that original color! Will it be put back that the "burnt orange"?
    lancemb
    57 Roadmaster 75 4dht
    58 Limited 4dht

  13. #13
    BOB progoofoff's Avatar
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    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    Good eye, Willie. The trunk lid and quarter trim appear to be the same as the 63 series.

    When completed, it will have the same color and scheme as it did on day one.
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    Last edited by progoofoff; March 3rd, 2011 at 06:52.
    `35 - Hudson Terraplane
    `54 - Buick Landau - Motorama concept
    `55 - Series 61
    `55 - Buick series 68 - Motorama prototype
    `55 - Buick series 66C
    `55 - Buick series 66R
    `55 - Buick series 69
    `66 - AH 3000
    `62 Honda Dream 250
    `62 Honda Dream 305
    `71 Vespa 150 Super

    AACA - 5097
    BCA - 35775

  14. #14
    BOB progoofoff's Avatar
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    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    Progress
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    `35 - Hudson Terraplane
    `54 - Buick Landau - Motorama concept
    `55 - Series 61
    `55 - Buick series 68 - Motorama prototype
    `55 - Buick series 66C
    `55 - Buick series 66R
    `55 - Buick series 69
    `66 - AH 3000
    `62 Honda Dream 250
    `62 Honda Dream 305
    `71 Vespa 150 Super

    AACA - 5097
    BCA - 35775

  15. #15
    BOB progoofoff's Avatar
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    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    More progress

    It is the true definition of "0" rust.
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    `35 - Hudson Terraplane
    `54 - Buick Landau - Motorama concept
    `55 - Series 61
    `55 - Buick series 68 - Motorama prototype
    `55 - Buick series 66C
    `55 - Buick series 66R
    `55 - Buick series 69
    `66 - AH 3000
    `62 Honda Dream 250
    `62 Honda Dream 305
    `71 Vespa 150 Super

    AACA - 5097
    BCA - 35775

  16. #16
    BOB progoofoff's Avatar
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    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    And more progress
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    Last edited by progoofoff; April 12th, 2011 at 07:11.
    `35 - Hudson Terraplane
    `54 - Buick Landau - Motorama concept
    `55 - Series 61
    `55 - Buick series 68 - Motorama prototype
    `55 - Buick series 66C
    `55 - Buick series 66R
    `55 - Buick series 69
    `66 - AH 3000
    `62 Honda Dream 250
    `62 Honda Dream 305
    `71 Vespa 150 Super

    AACA - 5097
    BCA - 35775

  17. #17
    Moderator Me and Robert E MrEarl's Avatar
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    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    Bob, email me the numbers off that engine. The pictures I took that day didn't turn out clear enough
    Lamar in Athens, Georgia BCA- 39474
    1954 BUICK - THE BEAUTIFUL BUY
    1954 Roadmaster 76R, 2 DR HT - DoraB
    1954 Roadmaster 72R 4 DR - Buttercup
    1954 Century 66R 2 DR HT 3 Speed - Morning Glory
    1954 Special 41D 4 DR Deluxe Sedan-The Blue Bird






  18. #18
    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    Heck yeah! Talk about a dude who could make it to Danvers.
    Mike Middleton

    http://www.midtownrestorations.com
    Regional Co-Director South Central Region BCA
    Vice Director Alamo Chapter BCA
    Assistant Chairman BCA Driven Class

    1955 Special 2 dr. sedan (BCA Gold Senior Driver)
    1955 Century convertible (Updates at Me and My Buick http://forums.aaca.org/f163/55-centu...ct-272999.html)
    1955 Century Estate Wagon (Driven Hard and Fast)
    1948 Buick powered hot rod
    1931 Model A hot rod

  19. #19
    We have bigger avatars! Smartin's Avatar
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    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    No kidding! Mike, we've both been lapped

    Very nice work...
    Adam Martin
    BPG# 1358
    BCA# 39765
    1958 Buick Roadmaster Four Door Riviera
    http://www.antiqueautomotiveservice.com/images/logo_top.gif

  20. #20

    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    Hi Bob,
    I don't get on the Buick forums too often although I regularly contribute to the Centurion forum.

    I've been meaning to put a post on here because of the amazing cars you own. The Landau is an incredible piece of Buick history that really hasn't received its due recognition and now this incredible '55 Century 4 door hardtop concept car has found its way into your stable.

    Something has really made me wonder though. I've noted that it is called a Model 68 and yet a Model 68 already existed in the '55 Buick line-up. That was the Century 2 door sedan that was solely built for the California Highway Patrol and Buick production records show that 270 of them were built.

    It seems odd that they would put the same model number on a concept car. I wonder if they actually pulled one of those 2 door sedans and reworked it into a 4 door hardtop? Considering how different the cars are, that seems highly unlikely but it seems equally unlikely that the two totally different cars share the same model number.

  21. #21
    BOB progoofoff's Avatar
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    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    I wasn`t aware of the series 68 number being used on different vehicles.

    It is unlikley a 2Dr Sedan body was used. It is more likely a 2Dr HT body was modified for it`s creation since the windshields are the same on the 2 and 4Dr HTs.

    The 68 number was replaced and 63 was used in the production models.

    Thanks for pointing this out,

    Bob
    `35 - Hudson Terraplane
    `54 - Buick Landau - Motorama concept
    `55 - Series 61
    `55 - Buick series 68 - Motorama prototype
    `55 - Buick series 66C
    `55 - Buick series 66R
    `55 - Buick series 69
    `66 - AH 3000
    `62 Honda Dream 250
    `62 Honda Dream 305
    `71 Vespa 150 Super

    AACA - 5097
    BCA - 35775

  22. #22
    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    The prototype would have definitely been it's own body, but that is a great point about the CHP cars being model 68's. The CHP cars are arguably the most famous (to a mainstream audience) 55's due to the TV show.
    Mike Middleton

    http://www.midtownrestorations.com
    Regional Co-Director South Central Region BCA
    Vice Director Alamo Chapter BCA
    Assistant Chairman BCA Driven Class

    1955 Special 2 dr. sedan (BCA Gold Senior Driver)
    1955 Century convertible (Updates at Me and My Buick http://forums.aaca.org/f163/55-centu...ct-272999.html)
    1955 Century Estate Wagon (Driven Hard and Fast)
    1948 Buick powered hot rod
    1931 Model A hot rod

  23. #23

    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    You're absolutely right, Mike. Highway Patrol utilized a number of the 55 Century 2 door sedans in the program and good, close-up shots clearly reveal them as Centurys. I have often wondered how these unique cars were actually utilized unless the CHP leased or rented some of these cars to the production company. They sure weren't going to get them from the local Buick dealers!

    Buicks certainly received a lot of air play in that series and I was astounded to see Chief Dan Matthews (Broderick Crawford) driving a '56 Super 4 door hardtop in one episode. I never remembered that happening.

    While you probably won't remember me, I talked to you at Batavia in the car wash area as my Aunt and Uncle owned a '55 Model 48 such as yours and it was a real bare bones Special with three on the tree, no power options and even black wall tires and hubcaps. The only extras were: tinted glass, Sonomatic and the very unique tri-tone paint scheme -- bright yellow body, white roof and cocoa brown beneath the sweep spear. Your beautiful car brought back a lot of memories and it was a real pleasure talking with you.

    And I feel certain that you're right, Bob, that a Century 2 door sedan would not have been used for your concept 4 door hardtop. They must have assigned the Model 68 to it prior to building the Model 68 2 door sedans for the CHP. It just looked very strange to know that two entirely different Model 68s DO exist and apparently nobody at Buick ever realized it.

    Bob Alberini (BCA 3038)

  24. #24
    BOB progoofoff's Avatar
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    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    There`s another somewhat strange series number. 42. I heard but without proof it was a Chevrolet body on Special chassis. I think around 1949.

    Anyone familar with the series 42?

    Bob
    `35 - Hudson Terraplane
    `54 - Buick Landau - Motorama concept
    `55 - Series 61
    `55 - Buick series 68 - Motorama prototype
    `55 - Buick series 66C
    `55 - Buick series 66R
    `55 - Buick series 69
    `66 - AH 3000
    `62 Honda Dream 250
    `62 Honda Dream 305
    `71 Vespa 150 Super

    AACA - 5097
    BCA - 35775

  25. #25
    Senior Member Thriller's Avatar
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    Re: The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

    The 40-A series in 1941 / 42 was a Chev body. I don't see a model 42 in my book though.
    Derek Thille
    BCA #39416, MBCC #1984, BGR #11
    88 Reatta Coupe / 76 Century Pace Car - "Spirit" / 75 Electra Limited 2 door HT / 66 Wildcat Custom Coupe - "Ellie" / 62 Special Convertible / 61 Invicta Convertible - "Vicky" / 56 Special 4-door Sedan / 54 Century Estate Wagon / 52 Roadmaster 4-door / 41 Special 41SE / 29 McLaughlin Buick Model 51 / 23 SD-4 Combination Passenger & Express (replica)

    2006 Buick Rainier - "Ruby" / 2005 GMC Sierra K2500 - "Max"
    Thriller's Out of Date Buick Page

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