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1936 Buick Roadmaster Model 81 *SOLD*

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*SOLD* I've known this car for about 20 years, as it was owned by a friend of my father's. We toured with the late owner for many years and this car was a fixture here in the northeast Ohio area. I acquired it from the late owner's estate, and I want to be extra sure it goes to a good home simply because Morrie was such a good guy. It was restored by the great Jim Capaldi about 20 years ago and still looks fantastic, although it's not a show car any longer. It has been laid up for about three years, but we detailed it, tuned it, changed fluids, and man, does it look good! The black paint is in excellent condition with no real demerits other than some minor signs of age--no dents, scratches, or other issues. Capaldi's work was always first-rate and it shows in the way the doors close and the high gloss on the finish even after to decades of touring. Dual sidemounts make the big sedan look like the Full Classic that it is, and Morrie loaded it up with accessories, including senior Trippe Lights, a grille guard (removed, but included), dual spotlights (driver's is operational, passenger is a dummy), and sidemount mirrors. The chrome is holding up well, including the pot metal grille, which shows almost no pitting or distortions and only light signs of age in the brightwork that could be erased with some dedicated polishing. The thing still looks like money.


The tan Bedford Cord interior is very correctly restored as well, offering factory-style patterns and materials throughout. Morrie always sat on a blanket when he drove it so even the driver's seat is nicely preserved. There are a lot of accessories inside, as well, including the electric fan on the steering column (functional), heater, turn signals for touring, and a factory AM radio that powers up but I have not been able to tune any stations likely because the antenna is being used by a modern AM/FM radio (curiously called the "Roadmaster") in the glove box and powered by a 12V inverter hidden behind the dash. All the factory gauges are fully operational except the clock. Lights, horn, wipers, etc. are all operational, so it's ready to tour. Modern floor mats were cut to fit in place and while they look a little awkward, they have kept the carpets clean and fresh. The back seat is incredibly spacious and looks almost completely untouched, and the headliner is awesome. I'm afraid I don't have any shots of the trunk, which remains locked and the estate does not have the key, but we will have a locksmith open it up and I expect it to be as nice as the rest of the car.


1936 was the first year for the 320 cubic inch straight-8 and this one runs like it should. It starts quickly and easily thanks to an electric fuel pump for priming (switch hidden in the glove box), and it runs great. Smooth, quiet (no exhaust leaks!), and effortless. I'll admit that the weather here in Cleveland has not been conducive to driving, but given that this car can and did run with my Limited on tours, I have exactly zero concerns about its mechanical health. It has a great Buick straight-8 hum to it and settles down to a near-silent idle. It's correctly detailed with Buick Green paint, red decals, correct air cleaner assembly, and even proper Buick script hoses and Rol-lok clamps. Morrie never complained of overheating and this car did drive to Colorado and back and climbed Pike's Peak without incident while it was there. If you want a powerful tour car, it's hard to do better than this. The chassis shows 20 years of tour use but nothing significant beyond dirt and grime. It appears Capaldi added a power brake system--looks like a '50s Ford setup--that includes a reservoir tank, but I can't vouch for its efficacy. The exhaust dates to the restoration and is crusty but not failing and those areas that look like holes are actually just paint so it sounds right and seals up just fine. The tires probably also date to when the restoration was finished, and if I were going to continue touring with this car, I'd probably look to replace them--they're not falling apart or even cracked outside of some checking on the whitewalls, but a set of radials would make this car a superb high-speed cruiser.


Morrie called this car "Bradley" but I don't know why and I regret that I never asked him. However, the car was beloved to him and he treated it with as much care and respect as any enthusiast possibly could. He spent the long dollar to make it run and drive right and the workmanship throughout is very well done, making it a great choice for an entry-level Full Classic that can tour at the front of the pack. Price is $27,900. Thanks for looking!


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Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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SOLD! Thank you! Going not only to a fellow message board reader, but a fellow BCA member. A great tour car that I hope to see on the road again sometime very soon.

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  • Matt Harwood changed the title to 1936 Buick Roadmaster Model 81 *SOLD*

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