valk

1941 Roadmaster coupe

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Hi Folks,

Thinking of purchasing a 1941 Roadmaster coupe an aquaintance of mine has and am doing a bit of research. Seeking informed opinions of the car, particularly the twin carb set up, and anything else informative like desirabilty, how it compares to other years and models, what to look for when assessing condition, etc.  There are also a couple of beautiful '41 sedanettes for sale (46S) in Hemmings so I am torn between all three!

Valk

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Take a look at the '41 Buick Buyer's Guide that Matt Harwood put together -- it's a little out of date on valuation (2005), but there's a lot of great information there:

 

http://www.harwoodperformance.bizland.com/1941buick/1941_buick_buyers_guide.htm

 

I have a Super rather than a Roadmaster, but I am very happy with my '41.  The dual carb set up supposedly had some problems accounting for Buick's decision to discontinue it after only two years ('41 and '42), but I have had zero issues with mine.  The Roadmaster, of course, will get you the larger engine, which is very smooth and powerful -- the most powerful engine, I believe, to come out of Detroit in 1941 with 165 hp.  For me, one of the most important considerations on a '41 is the condition of the dash panels.  The original factory "engine turned" finish is beautiful, and panels in good original condition are a big plus.  If they are rusted or the "engine turned" finish has been polished or sanded off (quite common), you will never get it back quite the way it was, even if you spend the $1500 or so to have them redone.

 

The bottom line on buying a car of any year, of course, comes down to what you are willing to pay and the condition of the car you are buying.  Matt's guide has good information on particular things to look out for in a '41.  Good luck!

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Thanks Neil. I've been told '41 Roadmaster coupes are far and few between. Are they considered rare and what would you pay for a good one? 

valk 

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Did you look at Part 4 (Values) of Matt's guide?  He gives pretty good ballpark figures for values, but I think they have increased slightly since 2005.  Yes, the Roadie coupes are rare, which Matt acknowledges, saying "When was the last time you saw one?"  He uses three grades: restorable, driver, and perfect.  By a "good" one, I'm guessing you mean somewhere between "driver" and "perfect," depending on the condition.  So using Matt's figures, I'd say you are talking about $20K to $30K for a "good" one.

 

What would I pay?  That's pretty much impossible for me to say without seeing the car.  If you're thinking of getting a '41 Buick non-convertible, you are buying a "hobby" car, not making an investment.  What it's worth to you will depend completely on your emotional attachment to it, in my opinion.  If you are expecting to make money on it, you are looking at the wrong category of car.

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Thanks again, Neil. Yes, I have read Matt's guide - very helpful. While I am not in it for the investment, I am trying hard not to loose money as  I've done many times in the past! Here are a few pics...

 

1489.jpg

 

2435.jpg

1323.jpg

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Shoot - they appear for me. Let me post just one and see if that helps..

 

INBOX&id=470534&attachment=4&user=2&cont

 

 

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Nope.  Maybe someone can help.  Can anyone else see these photos?

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1 minute ago, valk said:

Let's try this.....please tell me this works. 

41buick5.jpg

41buick3.jpg

41buick4.jpg

BINGO!!

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Wow, I'll say it works!  What a gorgeous car!  I see a lot of things I like.  Number One: Factory skirts, including the little piece of stainless trim joining the trim on the rocker panels to the bottom trim on the skirt.  These little pieces are basically impossible to find and are missing from many cars.  Number Two: The dash panels (which I mentioned earlier) look great.  They are either well-preserved originals or they have been restored very nicely, and the gauges look to be in great shape, too.  Sometimes, the ivory colored plastic pieces are badly discolored or melted from the sun.  Number Three: Wood graining on the dash -- also either original or restored very nicely.  Number Four: Steering wheel looks to be in excellent shape.

 

It's hard to tell about the paint (which commonly looks better in photos than it is), but it looks good.  Do you know if that's a correct factory color scheme?  Post a pic of the data plate if you have it.

 

So let's put it this way: I don't know what the asking price is, but I sure don't see any reason NOT to buy this car from the three photos you have posted.  Other questions, of course, concern what kind of mechanical shape it's in, what the engine compartment looks like, etc.

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Thanks Neil. Does $30k seem about right? We haven't really gotten into asking price ye (gulp). The engine I've been told is very strong but don't know yet if it has been totally rebuilt . New interior and older repaint in factory color combo but not originally this color. 

 

41buick9.jpg

41buick7.jpg

41buick8.jpg

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I don't know what the asking price is or what your budget is so I'll refrain from naming what I think it's worth so the process isn't tainted. That said, my advice is that if you can get it for $30,000, do it and don't hesitate. That's a $10,000 interior, easy. Plus these cars were just named CCCA Full Classics, and if the guy selling it hasn't noticed the 20% bounce because of it, don't remind him. 

 

The color combination is close to Lancaster Gray over Monterey Blue--not quite exact but quite attractive. That's the color combination I plan to paint my Century.

 

Be prepared to reach if the car is as good as it appears. People regret the one that got away. They rarely regret paying extra for a car they love. If the price is something you can afford, go for it.

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You guys have been great. If all goes well, we'll be getting to know each other. Thanks so much for your help and opinions.

Peter

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I've said my piece, and with Matt involved, you are getting the best advice about '41 Buicks you can get, so I will bow out at this point.  I hope you get the car -- I would love to have it myself!

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30,000 is very reasonable. I am currently restoring a 1940 76S that is Monterey blue and silver French grey, very similar color combo. Everything for these cars are expensive. Cloth alone for the interior was 1700. They are beautiful driving cars. I have only seen two other 1940 roadmaster  coupes in all the shows I have gone to in the last forty years. Buy it and enjoy.

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What a beauty!  That extra Roadmaster length up front really adds something.  I have a '41 Special sedanette and I kinda wish it was just that much longer up front.  Hope you're able to get this one!

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It was a close call, but I managed to get it.  I'm about to pee in my pants...(I'm 65 so I do this anyway)

 

Now to get it from Colorado to Maryland.

Peter 

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Congratulations, remember it is downhill more than half way from Colorado to Maryland.

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If you got it for anywhere close to $30,000, that's a BIG win. My gut said that was a $45,000 car and there's one currently for sale for nearly $70,000. You also got one of the most road-worthy of all pre-war cars. You're going to love it. Welcome to the club!

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28 minutes ago, valk said:

Now to get it from Colorado to Maryland.

Check the tires, change the fluids, fill it with gas, and drive it.

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1 hour ago, valk said:

It was a close call, but I managed to get it.  I'm about to pee in my pants...(I'm 65 so I do this anyway)

 

Haha -- Congratulations, Peter!  I'm envious, I have to admit.  Welcome to Buick land, you're going to love this car!

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On your way back to Maryland drive by Chambersburg PA. So I can wave at you as you drive by in that Roadmaster....

 Wonderful thought.

 I know when my friend Dave and I were going to go to Michigan to drive back his 1941Special Sedan other considerations came up. They were meant to be driven right? We fully intended on driving it back to Silver Spring MD. considering the evaluation it had. Reality was that we would not have not probably been able to make it. Plus the cost of driving a vehicle up and 2 back with meals and a nights stay etc.

 The cost of a carrier was about 1/2 of our estimate. So the carrier brought it to Dave's door in promised time and in great condition.

 But we missed out on an adventure...

 Best of luck with the Roadmaster! 

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I thought about driving it home  - and the seller suggested it too - but I'll take the safe route and ship it here. This car is not going to be thrashed about but coddled and hugged for as long as I have it.  I'll have to clock into local Buick events now that I have one (I had a '55 Buick Century and a '50 Packard coupe in my 20's but no way near the calibre of this '41).  Car has some good upgrades too like electronic ignition, electric fuel pump (as well as the original set up), new wiring harness and quarts clock internals. 

 

Thanks again all for your encouragement and advice, particularly Neil and Matt. I think I got a good one based on your comments.  Regrettably, I don't have many good pics of it (yet).

 

I'll keep you guys posted. Is there a registry where I can get a sense of how many '41 Roadie coupes are out there? Or how to contact owners of the same car? 

Peter

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