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Closed Auction- Unsold

1951 Buick Super

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  • Mileage~7,003 on clock
  • TransmissionManual
  • Engine4.3L
  • LocationDidcot


1951 Buick Super

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Darren Rungasamy
Automotive Editor, Photographer and Consigner

Beautifully crafted with impeccable engineering - Buicks were up there with the best at the time.

Fitting within the norms of period American cars, where comfort was given priority over performance, the Buick Super was also noted for its combination of refined straight-eight power with the exceptional build quality. Adorned with the Buick-signature portholes on the side of the hood, the toothy grille and art-deco-influenced styling touches, the Super helped place Buick as one of the most popular brands in America during the 1950s. Highly collectable in the States, Buicks of this era are not only distinctively styled but are excellent cars to drive and to be in.

Unusual for its RHD configuration, this 1951 Buick Super was believed to have been imported into the UK by the Brazilian Embassy in London when new. Having spent the rest of its life in Oxfordshire, it was subject to a bare metal respray in the late '80s and has been treated to a charmed life ever since. Complete with a refurbished interior and a handful of mechanical upgrades to allow easier day-to-day running, this utterly unique and glamorous example of Americana could serve as the ideal hospitality car.

This auction listing was written from information supplied by Darren after meeting Jim the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

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Secure Auctions

We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Meet the owner

Recently, it's been used for a prom night and a wedding - it gets a lot of attention.

Jim is a talented engineer with a passion for restoring vintage commercial vehicles, but couldn't resist the opportunity to buy the Buick having been lucky enough to locate this unique RHD example around 4 years ago. During its time with him, it has seen leisurely use, attracting attention at classic car shows as well as serving as a prom and wedding car during the summer.

Aware of multiple projects and not having enough time to keep on top of each one, Jim has decided to reluctantly sell the Buick.

Vehicle Owner

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Subject to a bare metal respray in the past, the presentation holds up well.

Wheels and Tyres

The tyres are likely to be over 10 years old but show decent thread.

The chrome embellishments and trim indicate a level of wear in line with the car's age - please take a look at the photos.


The separate ladder chassis looks solid, with no immediate observations of issue. The inner wings, floor pan and bulkheads appear in good shape too.

The body is free of significant damage, with small signs of age blistering through under the paint at the back. The panel fit is of a good standard, with no issues with the opening and closing of the doors. Please note that in the video, the boot may appear not to be flush, but it wasn't closed properly during the shoot.

We've highlighted in more detail our observations through our hi-resolution images and videos, so please take time to look through all the media files for a detailed view at what’s on offer, and for you to assess the condition of the car for yourselves.


The car was subject to a bare metal respray in 1987, having once been finished in burgundy. The paint has lasted well in terms of coverage with a bit of flatness in places.

There are signs of paint crazing on the nose of the car, the lower section of the off-side front door, the roof and the rear valance. The boot lid was painted in recent years and displays a different shade of white, but the rest of the car has a matching hue.

The images are taken from a few different angles to show off the car as you would see it if you were standing there for yourselves. So please take the time to fully assess these hi-resolution images and videos of the car, for you to make up your own minds about the condition of the paint.

Glass and Trim

The glass is in good shape, with typical age-related marks but nothing significant. The rubber seals do show signs of age, particularly around the rear glass panels. Some of the side windows felt has also perished.

The chrome is complete and all correct for the model year, it displays well only the front bumper shows more in terms of its age. Some of the other fittings such as the wing mirrors and quarter light trim are lightly pitted.

There were no immediate signs of damage on the lenses and the door seals were in good shape.


Neatly retrimmed out to a high standard, there is easily enough room for six in comfort.

Seats and Carpets

The seats have been subjected to a professional refurb at some point and are free from any wear and retain a comfort that is akin to your favourite sofa!

The carpets are in good shape too and again, are likely to be part of the interior refit process. No fabric dampness was noted in the cabin or boot. The roof lining and door cards are clean and tidy.


Visually the wonderful art-deco influence styling has worn well, with typical age-related wear and patina but nothing that takes away the elegance of the cabin design.

Certain functions, such as the heater and windscreen wipers will need attention and the owner has also stated that the clock is not working at the moment.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The steering wheel is in good condition, with no outstanding damage other than a light chrome patina. The gear lever is in line with the originality of the dashboard.


The flexible straight-eight engine runs exceptionally well for a 70 year old car.

Engine and Gearbox

The cold start was a super cold start video in this recent cold snap! The car had been kept overnight on the driveway in sub-zero conditions, yet fired up after a little coaxing. The battery appeared strong. Once the straight-eight power plant fired up there were no unwanted noises coming from the engine.

On the move, the engine spluttered a little prior to it warning up but the owner suspects the combination of the extreme cold and the need for a service was the culprit. No smoke other than the cold engine condensation was noted, with no observations of leaks spotted on the day.

The manual gear change was smooth but during the drive, there were several occasions where it popped out of gear - but this may have been due to it being placed in the wrong gear. No reports of issues with the clutch were reported.

The engine presentation is pretty good for a car over 70 years old, with evidence of maintenance and upkeep noted. The owner mentioned that the engine was rebuilt at some point in its history. It has also been fitted with an electric ignition and electric fuel pump.

Suspension and Brakes

The car rode well at low speeds, the suspension was smooth and absorbent with no notable knocking noises. The brakes operated well, with no issues with their bite, and were free of noise or grinding.

The Drive

Obviously a heavy car, but graceful in the way it glides across the roads. It took numerous speed humps with no issues and once the car wanted up, the engine sounded robust. The oil pressure settled down after a high initial reading and no issues were noted with regard to the engine temperature.

The engine is torquey, with the car being able to move from a standstill in top gear, without problems. The steering remains true at low-level speeds, with no signs of vibrations.

Electrics and Other

The car has been fitted with uprated battery cables to maximise the starting process of the two parallel 6V batteries.

History and Paperwork

This American has spent much of its life in the leafy confines of Oxfordshire and is now looking for a new home.

The car comes with a fascinating provenance, having once been used by the Brazilian Embassy staff in London. It appears to have been originally built as an RHD car and imported into the UK from new. It remained in London until the mid-60s and has since spent the rest of its life in Oxfordshire towing either caravans or trailers, no doubt remaining in the minds of many locals throughout the decades. It comes with its original 1951 log book and subsequent V5c documents, which appear to document all of its previous owners.

The car also has its original user handbook and owner repair manual, as well as several photographs of the car taken in the '70s and '80s, including evidence of its repaint in 1987. A handful of spares are included such as a gasket set, wiper motor assembly and its original ignition kit. It also comes with three keys.

We’ve done all our usual seller checks including photo ID, V5 and also actioned a HPi check on the vehicle.

We've summarised our own view on the car based on information gained from the seller in the listing above, however, and as you can see, we go to great lengths to photograph and video the car in hi-resolution detail - this has been done for you to make your own assessment from the comfort of your sofa. So please sit back, have a cuppa and take your time to review everything on this listing in order to make your own assessment on the vehicle's condition. Viewings are also welcomed with all our listings, so please get in touch with us to arrange a suitable time - we just need to speak to you first and receive a valid photo ID before confirming.

If there's anything you're unsure about, no matter how small, then please first ask the owner in the comments area below before placing your bid/s, as bids can't be retracted and form a binding contract if you win the car - just like a traditional auction house.

Service History
Date Type Mileage
25-11-2013 MOT 4,120
11-10-2013 MOT 4,116
17-07-2012 MOT 4,012
26-09-2011 MOT 3,903
15-10-2010 MOT 3,335
30-10-2009 MOT 2,733
09-06-1990 MOT 744
Key Details
  • ModelSuper
  • TransmissionManual
  • Reg. Date29-10-1951
  • CC4316
  • Mileage~7,003 on clock
  • HistorySome
  • ColourWhite
  • Interior ColourBlack
  • Interior TrimLeather
  • Chassis #16340812
  • Engine #65442975
  • RestoredPaint and Interior
  • Engine RebuildYes - But Undocumented
  • MOT ExemptYes
  • Road Tax ExemptYes
  • HPi ClearYes - All Clear
  • Former Keepers2 in UK
  • # of Keys3
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned4 years
  • Key FeatureRHD American
  • Auction ID1081

Auction Closed

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This car didn't meet its reserve price and may soon be available as a private sale - please contact us for more information.

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1 year ago

Hi Jim . Fantastic video tour by Trade classics I’ve spent hours looking over your car but being old fashioned (or just old) I would still like to have look round her before I bid . Unfortunately the only day I have free before your auction finishes is New year’s day . Would this be possible .? If so I could be in Didcot for around 12 noon
Many thanks …Geoff


Vehicle Location

Didcot, Oxfordshire

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