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1932 Buick Model 97 Touring Sedan *SOLD*

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I took this Buick in on trade about two months ago and I like it so much that I've been debating for those two months whether to keep it for myself. It has been my daily driver (sunny days only) and I have this confession to make: it does EVERYTHING better than my 1929 Cadillac. It's faster, more powerful, easier to steer with better brakes and doesn't ride like a 3/4 ton pickup, but rather a true luxury car. I have ultimately decided to sell it simply because there's no point to me owning two 1930-ish GM 4-door sedans, and I'm keeping the Cadillac simply for sentimental reasons--my family and I already have many, many wonderful memories in it and I do love it.

OK, with that said, this big, impressive Buick is a Full Classic that's expressly set up for touring. According to a homemade sign that came with it, it was discovered in 1980 powering a sawmill in Wisconsin and restored at that time. The car probably wasn't a wreck when they found it and the restoration is remarkably high quality given that it's now 33 years old and still looking good enough to earn a second in class at a recent show. I don't know how many miles it has on it since then, but the odometer says about 12,000 which is probably about correct, although it also has high-speed gears, so the miles aren't adding up as quickly as they should (it's about 15% slow if my GPS is to be believed). Other upgrades for touring include turn signals and a downdraft carburetor from a 1940 Buick (looks like a Carter to me), however it's important to note that all the original carburetor components, including air cleaner, are included if you want to go back to purely stock form.

The Admiral Blue paint is holding up very well and looks flashy with the black moldings and fenders and a red pinstripe that matches the wheels. All four doors fit well and close easily without the need for excessive slamming, and the hood latches tight and doesn't vibrate. I washed and waxed it, but otherwise it needs nothing to be an excellent tour car and as I said, it does show rather well. The chrome is also extremely good, with the only possible demerits being a very VERY minor ding in one of the headlights and the backs of the bumper ends are a little beat up from stones being flung from the tires over the years. The top insert looks brand new. The trunk looks great although when I tried to open it on day one, the leather belts crumbled so I'm going to have a new set made before the new owner takes it home. Otherwise it's ready to rock.

Inside, the gray broadcloth upholstery is correct for 1932 and shows only minor signs of use, most notably on the driver's side welting where, obviously, it sees a lot of action. Otherwise the seats are excellent, with the back seat looking virtually unused. The wood moldings for the windows are excellent but could probably be fluffed up a bit with an application of linseed oil, but they're not damaged, cracked, or faded. All the gauges work, but the gauge panel and glove box lid insert are reproductions made years ago by some well-known Buick guy, and apparently they ALL have a tendency to turn purple as these have. They're not deteriorated or cracked, just, well, purple. I'm told that new replacements are available that look right and they're not expensive. All the gauges are functional save for the gas gauge, which seems to show full all the time and then drops down to empty when you really need to know, so I figure that's good enough. It has been fitted with Guide Lights up front and an electric fuel pump, but I only use it for starting and there's a switch under the dash to shut it off (the mechanical fuel pump on the engine is new). It has great oil pressure (20-30 PSI on the gauge at idle, 35-45 at cruise) runs cool (160 on the gauge and the shutters work), and the generator is massively powerful compared to the one on my Cadillac--it'll power both those massive Guide Lights and the headlights and still show a positive charge. Both horns and the heater work, the wipers are merely mediocre, and you already know the clock doesn't work because they never do.

On paper, the 344 cubic inch straight-8 engine is only 9 horsepower stronger than the 341 cubic inch V8 in my Cadillac, but it feels like at least 40. This sucker is STRONG. It charges up hills and torques away from lights like a modern car, and with the high-speed gears, it seems quite content at 55-60 MPH. The transmission shifts easily, although the shifter itself feels a bit sloppy compared to my Cadillac, but who can say which is correct? Brakes are powerful, the steering is light at speed, and like I said, it just goes about its business so easily that I've been driving it to work every day. I recently had my non-old-car-guy father-in-law drive it to the CCCA show on Father's Day, which speaks to its user-friendly nature.

So color me very impressed by this big Buick. It was a hard decision, but it needs to go to a home where it won't have competition. I'm asking $37,900 but I'll always entertain reasonable offers. Thanks for reading and this is a really AWESOME car!











Edited by Matt Harwood
SOLD! (see edit history)
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Matt,Just wondered if you knew of Margus Sweigard. He is a friend of mine whose quest is to own every '32 Buick model.

Yep, Margus is a friend of mine as well and he was the first guy to come see the Buick when it arrived. He's the one who verified that the upholstery is correct and told me about the purple dash inlays and how that's pretty common with those particular reproductions. He's interested in the car, but he's got a lot of other projects going on so I don't know if he's ready to make a move on it.


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