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1939 Buick Roadmaster Phaeton 80C


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#1 wasif

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 05:29 AM

Hi All.

I was wondring if you could help identify the differences between a 1939 Buick 80C Sports Phaeton and a 1939 Buick Roadmaster 81C trunkback phaeton.

They say only 3 80C 4 door phaetons were built compared to 364 of the 81C 4 door phaetons.

There are a few of these in India and we were interested to know what are the actual differences in both. Is there a diffenece in bodystyle or engine size ?

There is a claim that two of the 80C are surviving in India. One is pictured here.

I cant see any visual differences between this car and two other phaetons that I have seen personally ? Cant seem to figure out if they are all the same

The 80C is refered to a sports phaeton www.autogalllery.org whereas the 81C is mentioned as a "trunkback phaeton"

Does anyone have pictures of a 80C to comapre with this car ?

This car is in Pune, India with a well know collector. The other claimed 80C is in Bombay with another very well know collector. There are two to three more identical 1939 Roadmaster phaetons to be seen in India.

I was wonderingig the difference had anything to do with the trunk. As you can see in this picture this car has a trunkback and so do the two others that I have mentioned.

A discussion on this car is to be seen on the link below on India's largest auto forum.

The Zigwheels and Fort Jadhavgadh heritage drive 2010 - Team-BHP

Await some clarifications.

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#2 1939_Buick

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 06:13 AM

All 80 series are the same wheel base and engine. The 320 ci engine is the same for 60 80 and 90 series
If you could get the numbers of the firewall data plate more information can be obtained from the ever helpful and knowlegable Dave Corbins

On different threads in the Team-BHP - The Definitive Indian Car Community there are images of other open large series 39's. A blue car in a museum and a red car (Hyperadad?) as well as Rego BYF4854. I do not have the rego plate details of the first 2. They could be same car: just repainted

I also have an image of 1939 90L series blue sedan owned in Pune (from the web site above)

Searching for Buick 8 and 1939 Buick in the Team-BHP - The Definitive Indian Car Community forum brings up some intetesting Buicks in India

Edited by 1939_buick, 09 May 2010 - 06:38 AM.

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#3 wasif

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 06:20 AM

Can you confirm the differences, visual or otherwise, between an 80C and an 81C four door phaeton.

I will try to get the numbers from this car soon.

Is this car pictured above an 80C or an 81C.

Is ther any picture available of the 39 Buick 80C that is in the US with some British Royal Family connection.

Edited by wasif, 09 May 2010 - 06:22 AM.


#4 1939_Buick

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 06:42 AM

Is ther any picture available of the 39 Buick 80C that is in the US with some British Royal Family connection.

2 1939's were custom built on extended wheelbases for a 1939 Royal Tour. Both still exist in Canada. Look in 1939 - 1940 PreWar Buick Gallery - PreWarBuick.com

More: http://www.bcarchive...lee/transpo.htm

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Edited by 1939_buick, 09 May 2010 - 07:08 AM.

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#5 wasif

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 07:13 AM

There are actually two such 39 Roadmaster convertibles in Hyderabad and both are deep maroon. One is owned by a close family friend.

Given that there were only around 400 of these made all the survivors could be considered very collectable today.

What I am trying to learn is the visual or any other differences between an 80C and an 81C.

There must be some as there ia a difference in the weight of both these cars.

Any idea what the differences are ?

#6 1939_Buick

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 09:14 AM

My understanding is the 80C has a plainback (sloping) and the 81C has the trunk back

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  • 1939_80C_81C.jpg

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#7 wasif

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 09:29 AM

Thanks. This what what I was looking for.

Now lets see what the ID plate on the car says.

#8 Glassesguy

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 03:52 AM

Wasif: 39 Buick's pictures are perfect to show the difference between the 80C "Streamline Sport Phaeton" of which 3 were built ; and the Model 81C Sport Phaeton of which 311 were built for the U.S. and an addtional 53 were built for export. Your original posting defintitely shows a Model 81 C. Beautiful cars.
Dave Rex BCA 1649
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#9 wasif

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 04:03 AM

Wasif: 39 Buick's pictures are perfect to show the difference between the 80C "Streamline Sport Phaeton" of which 3 were built ; and the Model 81C Sport Phaeton of which 311 were built for the U.S. and an addtional 53 were built for export. Your original posting defintitely shows a Model 81 C. Beautiful cars.


Yes Sir.

The pictures and the comments from 39 Buick have been very educational.

The car is confirmed as an 81C from those pictures.

Are all the three 80C accounted for ? 39 Buick mentioned two of them, could the third be in India ?

#10 1939_Buick

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 09:23 AM

..could the third be in India ?

Very unlikely given no 80Cx are listed (x = export). In India expect they would be right hand drive.

4 only 80C are listed in the BCA 2008 membership roster, but suspect some are 81C or the same car is listed against different owners (after being sold) The roster is only as good as the information owners send to the BCA
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#11 Glassesguy

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 03:47 AM

Always found it interesting that many times in the past the BCA Roster has listed more 80C cars than the number actually built. How hard is it to read a Body Tag?? 1939 Buicks' comments are spot on.
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#12 DaveCorbin

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 03:02 PM

For info of all:
The correct build quantities for 81C's is 311 USA jobs and 53 export jobs. Number 364 is the state parade car of Norway and is owned by King Harald. Owned originally by his grandfather King Haakon and then by his father King Olaf it's a one family car in wonderful condition.
The 80C had only 3 built. I worked with the restorer as his documenter on the one shown. There were no export jobs. It was purchased in an estate sale about 20 years ago, the other cars were a 12 cylinder Packard and a 16 cylinder Cadillac, both custom open touring type cars. The Buick was a "throw-in" which the buyer had to take to get the other 2!
When I talked to the restorer, he told me the owner was going to restore them "rarest first". You can imagine his surprise when I said: "Oh, that's nice that he's going to start with the Buick!" His response was: "You're joking!" I wasn't and the owner did it first. Body number was 2, as I recall.
Regards, Dave Corbin

#13 wasif

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 03:33 PM

How interesting.

Any idea where the other two 80C crs could be now.

I would love to see somepics of the restroation of the 80C you speak of !




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