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1938 BUICK Self Shifter


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Dave Corbin,

Do you have this picture? I am told it is from a factory service tour, probably intended to introduce dealers to the new self-shift transmission. I forget where I got it, maybe your're the guy who first threw it out there. If not, enjoy.

Jeff

post-41774-143137917983_thumb.jpg

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Dear jeff:

Thanks for the picture, which I do not have and had never seen. You are correct that it is indeed a self-shifter picture. Do you or anyone else have any idea where it was taken? I notice the letters F, R, A, and K on the slope in the background. Also, the black car is a Model 48, which is what my self-shifter is. I note with some interest the ties and the Buick emblem on the uniforms and also that the man in the center is an African American. An extremely unusual photo for several reasons !!

Regards, Dave Corbin

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Dear Jeff:

I did some more looking in my records on how many were produced by model for 1938. A Special cowl job, which is what is shown in the picture, is called in Buick records a Model 410, or if it is for export, a Model 410X. Total production of Special series cowl jobs in 1938 was 455 for USA and 109 for export, 564 in all. Based on the fact that only about 2.6% of all Specials were self-shifters, that would make estimated self-shifter cowl jobs about 14 cars total!! It is indeed a rarity to see one.

Regards, Dave Corbin

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Dave,

I agree with your comments about the picture - must be a story behind it. As for location, my guess is that the shot may have been taken at a county fairgrounds or racetrack, so with those letters (F,R,K,A) all we need to do is search for a town or county name which includes those letters. Simple! (any crossword puzzle fans out there?)

I used to enjoy working on my '38-48 with a good friend who would have been on the receiving end of this type of service tour in 1938. What a wealth of knowlege this guy was! Unfortunately, I didn't come across the picture until he had passed on.

Jeff

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I sent the picture to Jeff. The location is on Riverside Drive in Memphis. My guess is that the last two letters you see are the second and last letters of the word Park. Those first three letters look like E, R and S, more than likely RivERSide.

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