Centurion

Thrill of the Year -- 1955 Buicks in 1/43-scale (Nov. 19, 1954)

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Thank you, Mr Earl, for spearheading creation of this new forum, and I'll make my initial post here by sharing my collection of small-scale 1955 Buicks and a topic I had posted on a diecast car forum earlier this year.

 

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It was indeed a thrilling year for Buick, Buick dealers, and Buick customers. The marque had leapfrogged low-priced Plymouth to grab the number 3 spot in industry sales during 1954, and 1955 was poised to be a record-breaking year. Buick was the brand that threatened Chevrolet and Ford for sales supremacy, yet rivaled Cadillac, Lincoln, Packard, and Imperial at the luxury end of the marketplace. And 1955 proved to be a record-breaking year with delivery of more than 750,000 new Buicks -- a sales level not surpassed until 1973. 

With the arrival of Brooklin's excellent 1955 Buick Special 2-door sedan, it's time to roll back the calendar more than sixty years to November, 1954. An oft-repeated comment among members of the various diecast car forums is that the annual new car introduction galas at the local dealers are sorely missed. I'd love to re-create some of the excitement -- in 1/43-scale, so please join me now as we check in at Huling Brothers Buick, where the new 1955 Buicks have been unveiled to an eager public.

 

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I especially like the new Century sedan in Cherokee Red and Carlsbad Black, a fabulous creation by John Roberts, working with a mix of parts from Brooklin's '55 Special 2-door sedan and Brooklin's 54 Special 4-door sedan. The result is stunning, and we see it here with Brooklin's '55 Special 2-door sedan in Titian Red Metallic and Carlsbad Black:
 
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Here we see Brooklin's standard '55 Special in Titian Red and Dover White, flanked by two more John Roberts creations -- a Condor Yellow Century convertible and a Belfast Green and Dover White Century Estate Wagon:

 

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The '55 Century Estate Wagon was ordered for Mrs. LaVerne Huling, who was trading in her '54 Century wagon. (The new Century wagon was a perfect color match to LaVerne's new party dress from Frederick & Nelson.) The '54 wagon would, in turn, be purchased by dealership Parts Manager Mike Melowaukie, who would soon be selling his '52 Roadmaster Estate Wagon -- another Buick formerly owned by Mrs. Huling. ('54 and '55 Estate Wagons by Brooklin / John Roberts; '52 Estate Wagon by Conquest.)

 

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1/43-scale collectors of 1955 Buicks are fortunate to receive a broader range of models. Buick was unique among the General Motors brands at the time, in that Buick's car lines spanned two of GM's body shells. The Buick Special and Century shared inner body structures and greenhouses with Oldsmobiles; the Buick Super and Roadmaster shared inner body structures and greenhouses with Cadillacs. Very few body parts will interchange between the small and large Buicks, but, thanks to Brooklin's new offering and Conquest's older offering of '55 Super convertibles and 2-door Riviera hardtops, we have Buicks in both sizes. The Conquest Super Convertible and Brooklin/JR Century convertible exhibit some of the differences:

 

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Edited by Centurion (see edit history)
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A prominent local attorney, Stone Barrington, Esq., demanded that his new '55 Super convertible be fitted with a continental kit, and the dealership happily complied:

 

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The Century Estate Wagon and Super convertible illustrate some of Buick's new two-toning combinations available for '55, and the dealership even has some of the new triple-tone paint schemes on the way. 1955 marked the first year that Buick offered a contrasting paint color below the sweepspear -- from the factory:

 

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A special surprise showing for announcement day was one of the new model 68 Century 2-door sedans built exclusively for the California Highway Patrol. Another John Roberts creation, the CHP patrol car was a big hit with the public.

 

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Officer Matthew Marmaduke of the Highway Patrol was compelled to press the new Century patrol car into immediate service, as Stone Barrington broke all traffic laws to arrive at the dealership to trade his '54 Skylark on the new Super convertible, eager to begin his weekend getaway with a new Hollywood starlet.

 

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The scene would be reprised a couple of months later, when Barrington flew to Los Angeles for a weekend tryst, and borrowed a friend's red '54 Skylark. Artist Stan Stokes was there to record the incident:

 

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By the end of the day, Huling Brothers had written orders for twenty-two new 1955 Buicks. Everywhere you looked, the style, color, and brilliant new interiors attracted new car buyers. 

 

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It would be a very good year, and Huling Brothers was excited about the upcoming Special and Century 4-door Riviera hardtop, which was certain to be another tremendously popular body style.

 

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What a great display of '55's and fun story line Brian, thank you so much for sharing. Thanks also for helping kick start this new forum. Sure hope others will help keep it "running".

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Rich indeed!  And fun too!!!  I guess this sort of explains why I haven't seen many posts from the OP on this forum in a while.  :lol:  :lol:

 

And if I might add, all this action without one cent for federal road tax!   :o  :ph34r:

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HOLY COW ... I absolutely LOVE this collection ... how cool is that?  An awesome slice of heaven, I'd say.  So glad you shared those pics; thank you.

 

 

Cort :) www.oldcarsstronghearts.com

pigValve, paceMaker, cowValve | 1979 Caprice Classic (awaiting new owner)
"When's this fever going to break?" __ Carlos Santana __ 'Why Don't You And I?'

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