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progoofoff

The first `55 4 Dr HT - Concept

135 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

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.

. 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

post-30661-14313832704_thumb.jpg

Edited by progoofoff (see edit history)

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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?

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Great find!

Would you mind posting the SO # ?

And do you have any info on there being an XP # assigned to the car?

Thanks!

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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

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'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!

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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

post-30648-143138462741_thumb.jpg

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Love that original color! Will it be put back that the "burnt orange"?

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Posted (edited)

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.

post-30661-143138469241_thumb.jpeg

Edited by progoofoff (see edit history)

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Bob, email me the numbers off that engine. The pictures I took that day didn't turn out clear enough

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

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No kidding! Mike, we've both been lapped:D

Very nice work...:cool:

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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.

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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

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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.

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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)

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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

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The 40-A series in 1941 / 42 was a Chev body. I don't see a model 42 in my book though.

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