Sharps45-70

Resource for 1941 Buick Trim/Model Specifications?

Recommended Posts

I have had a good read through Matt Harwood's Buick Limited thread and decided a 1941 Buick would be a wonderful car to own. The style, drive-ability, and comfort really appeal to me, especially as I plan to drive it as much as I possibly can both day-to-day and on extended tours -- something that I can gently modify into a bullet-proof driver. I definitely want a larger series car, Century up to Limited, and love all of the body styles, with no real preference to anything particular. I enjoy the idea of a Limited, as the comfort, features, and rarity appeal to me. 

 

My question is: for 60-90 series of 1941 Buicks, is there a resource aside from sales brochures that provide detailed breakdowns as to what each model has over other models? By this I mean, what features does a 90L have over a 91F or 90; or a 61 vs a 66s in terms of standard features, optional extras, etc. (I understand the obvious body style differences, mostly concerned with interior appointments).

 

Thanks for any insight!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the kind words. If you want an old car to drive, I don't think there are many better than a large series Buick. There were more expensive cars but I don't think there were many that were better engineered.

 

This brochure shows up on eBay pretty regularly and will give you a pretty good overview of each model. I have one framed on my office wall.

 

img2847_164215.jpg

 

There was a slightly scruffy but rust-free and usable Limited for sale not too long ago for a very reasonable price. Does anyone know what became of it? He kept trying to sell it without success.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a 1940 Buick, 90 series for sale in Ca. a while ago.

No jump seats or divider glass.

It was black and looked real nice.

I think the price was in the low 30's

 

Specialty sales in Ca. has a '41 56s coupe in black for $32K (a bit much) but they say it has just a tad over 23K on the clock.

Found it on  www.carsonline.com

 

Mike in colorado

Edited by FLYER15015 (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the recommendation Matt. As I said, I really enjoyed your thread and follow closely the insight you and others like edinmass have regarding classics. At 21, I still have a lot to learn both in history and hands-on mechanics, and am consuming the information as much as I can as it is all massively fascinating. 


I had a look at that brochure and some other sales brochures, and it all goes fairly basically over what was available. Does anyone have an option sheet/build sheet for these cars? Matt, in your thread you mention how fogs were dealer installed in some cases, but is there a document on the different features factory/dealer installed? I know it would be nice to all have in one place, but I am beginning to suspect this knowledge is largely piecemeal - with hints and clues that will be picked up by myself as time goes on.

 

Mike, I have been following Buick sales closely, and see the overwhelming majority of 1941's for sale are Specials and Supers (to be expected) but these cars do not interest me as much as the three larger series for actual ownership. I still would however like to learn the technical information about all series. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You refer to the "larger" series, but I'm assuming you understand that you are actually referring to the cars with the larger engine  -- the Century, Roadmaster, and Limited.  The Super is the larger-sized body with the smaller engine.  As a happy Super owner, I would suggest that you might want to consider broadening your search.  You might find that you would be just as happy with a Super.  The interior trim of the Super is identical to the Roadmaster.  The Limited (of course) is in a class by itself because of its larger wheelbase, and if you're set on a Limited, then you will be "limiting" yourself (pun intended) to a very small sample.  The Century is what everyone wants because it was the first factory hot rod to come out of Detroit, but keep in mind that it actually has the smaller body and is not as spacious on the inside as a Super.

 

PS:  I agree with Mike that the Super currently offered by Specialty Sales in Pleasanton is grossly overpriced.  If you're looking for a nice Super, you should be able to pick one up for a much more reasonable price.

Edited by neil morse (see edit history)
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, neil morse said:

You refer to the "larger" series, but I'm assuming you understand that you are actually referring to the cars with the larger engine  -- the Century, Roadmaster, and Limited.  The Super is the larger-sized body with the smaller engine.  As a happy Super owner, I would suggest that you might want to consider broadening your search.  You might find that you would be just as happy with a Super.  The interior trim of the Super is identical to the Roadmaster.  The Limited (of course) is in a class by itself because of its larger wheelbase, and if you're set on a Limited, then you will be "limiting" yourself (pun intended) to a very small sample.  The Century is what everyone wants because it was the first factory hot rod to come out of Detroit, but keep in mind that it actually has the smaller body and is not as spacious on the inside as a Super.

 

PS:  I agree with Mike that the Super currently offered by Specialty Sales in Pleasanton is grossly overpriced.  If you're looking for a nice Super, you should be able to pick one up for a much more reasonable price.

 

Yes, my apologies for the possible confusion there. Interested in the cars with specifically the larger engine. As much as I like the idea of the Century and owning "the banker's hotrod," I fully intend to drive it often, and will be looking for either a Roadmaster or Limited with the larger interior, unless of course a perfect Century comes along to sway me otherwise.

 

PS: I also found your Buick thread Neil! between Gary W's, Matt's, and now your thread, I feel set for life! :D

 

Thanks everyone,

Fox

Edited by Sharps45-70 (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I'll just add few cents worth here too. I have a '41 Roadmaster (McLaughlin) coupe, which I restored, and it took a bit of time to get it all sorted out. There is a thread about it here, if you to look for it.

 However, all I want to add, is that I agree with Matt, that my Roadmaster really is a great driving car. Powerful enough to drive modern speeds, and comfortable as well. I give rides to people who like the look of the car, and everyone is impressed with the quality of the it. During its' long restoration, I did a few "under the skin" improvements to mine. Slightly higher compression, insert rod bearings, and the biggest being going to a 3.4 rear gear ratio, instead of the stock 3.9. The speedo was recalibrated for the different rear gears, and additional under carpet modern insulation helps with noise somewhat. This contributes to very little engine or road noise at 50-60 MPH.

Suffice to say, I'm a big fan of these cars!

 I can also second what Neil has said, that the Super's, are much like a Roadmaster, though a bit smaller and lighter, but really all '41s are fine cars, and were finished well. The relative rarity, and exclusiveness of the upscale models can be a draw for some. Matt's car and mine were parked together, and the Limited certainly has some presence beside my still large coupe. The lighter body makes up for the lower output of the smaller engine to some extent.

 The biggest thing would be to do your best to find one that is fairly well sorted out to start with, rather than one that needs a lot of work.

 Keith

Edited by Buicknutty (see edit history)
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should probably point out that my father drove a '41 Super 56S to work every single day, 5 days a week, winter and summer, for more than seven years in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was bulletproof reliable and he drove it on the highway at 60 MPH without issues, and he might still be driving it today had it not been creamed by an errant drunk. Traffic today is different, of course, but any 1941 Buick should not be a liability on today's roads. The upsides to the small series cars are many--they drive just as well and maybe better simply because they're lighter (they certainly steer better), they get better fuel economy, parts are far more plentiful and the truly rare/expensive parts (manifolds) are less likely to break. They made far more Specials and Supers so prices are extremely reasonable (you can get a flashy fastback Special or Super coupe for the price of a Roadmaster sedan). The only possible downside is that they seem a little busier on the highway, but that's probably more perception than reality. Neil's Super probably cruises as easily as my Limited simply because the Limited does have 4.20 gears, so it spins pretty fast at highway speeds. I don't believe it does any harm to either engine to drive at 60 MPH.

 

If you're just starting out, a small series car will have a cheaper buy-in and lower ownership costs with better parts availability. It isn't a bad place to start and I have to admit that I desperately miss my 1941 Super 56C convertible, which was just delightful to drive and FAR less work than the Limited to hustle down the road. My wife drove it often and was also unhappy to see it go. It did not feel like a step down in either quality or comfort and in many ways worked better as a car. Just a thought...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You'd better have a large, long garage if you want a 90-series Limited!

The Sept. 2019 issue of the Buick Bugle has an extensive article on the 1937-42 Limiteds, production, model numbers, body style differences, etc. I have extra copies if interested.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

Leonard, Texas

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Neil's Super probably cruises as easily as my Limited simply because the Limited does have 4.20 gears, so it spins pretty fast at highway speeds. I don't believe it does any harm to either engine to drive at 60 MPH.

 

My Super has the optional 3.9 rear end, so what Matt says about its cruising speed is accurate.  I routinely drive it at 60 mph.  I have had it up to 65, but I prefer to drive at around 55 to 60, where it seems very comfortable.

 

Good luck with your search -- Buicks are great cars, no question.

 

Neil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, neil morse said:

 

My Super has the optional 3.9 rear end, so what Matt says about its cruising speed is accurate.  I routinely drive it at 60 mph.  I have had it up to 65, but I prefer to drive at around 55 to 60, where it seems very comfortable.

 

Good luck with your search -- Buicks are great cars, no question.

 

Neil

Thanks for the information everyone. I know I want something prewar. While my ultimate goal is an early 30's full classic, the funds won't be there for a while, and realistically it won't be as reliable or capable as a driver as an early 40's car. Really, my main debate right now it whether I want a 1941 Buick or a 1939-1941 Cadillac (60 special or 62). I like the uniqueness of the inline 8, and the extra power, though I know the Cadillac's are excellent cars for long distance cruising. Such a hard choice with no real wrong way to go!

Edited by Sharps45-70 (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Sharps45-70, or Fox if you prefer. It is great to see young people with so much sense as you have here. Although I am who I am, I think you would be best served by the OHV straight eight Buick rather than the flathead V8 Cadillac at this stage of the game. There are other reasons, but if only for the help you will get from the many fine Buick guys and girls here, that asset is sufficient to tip the scale towards the Buick. Make sure you have a real emotional love attraction to what you eventually buy. Get the very best car you almost can't quite afford. In the end, that car will actually save you time and money, and is more likely to be a more satisfying car over your ownership. And that is what it is all about. Don't hesitate to keep everyone here in the loop as you go on the hunt ! Best of luck in all you pursue !   -   Cadillac Carl 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now