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Closed Auction- Unsold

1952 Buick Special

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  • Mileage~37,488 on clock
  • TransmissionManual
  • Engine4.3L
  • LocationNorwich


1952 Buick Special

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Dom Ginn
Professional Consigner

How smooth is smooth, drive a Buick and see; the vintage marketing was subtly effective!

Beauty on a budget! In the 1930s, Buick was esteemed within General Motors, just below Cadillac. Positioned for affluent buyers not quite seeking Cadillac's luxury, Buick offered exceptional quality. Buick's introduction of the straight-eight engine in 1931 set it apart from rivals still using 4 and 6 cylinder engines. This innovation provided enhanced power and smoothness without the expense of a V8. The 45-series Buick Special was designed to offer the comfort of the Buick dream ride, the superb response of the straight eight valve-in-head engine, plenty of internal room, and featherlight handling, and it was priced low enough for any new car budget. In Buick's words, “If you want luxury—the luxury of room and fabrics, ride and power, style and silky smoothness at a Bedrock price—the Special is a very special price.”

This Special comes to market after ~8 months with the vendor, who bought the car from another enthusiast who had owned the car for many years. Take a look through the listing to see the details.

This listing was written from information supplied by Dom after meeting David 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

With a custom look but classic design, the Buick has a presence on the road that turns heads wherever you go.

David the owner, purchased this 1952 example from another enthusiast last year. He loves the look, sound, drive, and everything else that comes with owning a 1950s American classic. Unfortunately, a change in business and personal life since purchasing the car now means it is being reluctantly sold. David will be happy to answer any questions about the car in the comments section below.

Vehicle Owner

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The Special oozes coolness, with its chrome grille, bulging bonnet, and smooth flanks, it's a 50s icon.

Wheels and Tyres

The steel wheels look in good condition. There is some surface corrosion, but they would be easy enough to sand down and repaint. Three out of four chrome trims are in place. The white wall tyres are matching and have plenty of miles left in them.

Please see the image gallery to take a closer look at the wheels.


Looking around the Buick, the panels fit pretty well; some adjustments may be needed to the bonnet, but this is only a small amount we think. The car has had the door handles shaved for a cleaner and custom look. The rear arches do look to have received some body filler in the past, and this could be fettled a little more to a better finish.

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 of what’s on offer and for you to assess the condition of the car for yourselves.


In July 2022, the car was repainted in satin black, along with some body repairs, which cost ~£1,900. The paintwork is typical satin, and when clean, it looks brilliant, but it does show some marks now and again if you don’t have the time to fully prepare it.

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 Buick's windows do show some signs of age. The top-tinted windscreen has some signs of delamination, and the rear passenger-side quarter window is cracked. The seals have started to perish.

The chrome work looks quite good but has some light scratches, in keeping with the Buick's age.


With all the charm of a 1950s classic - Buick was ahead of the game in the luxury department.

Seats and Carpets

The seats are comfortable, as you would expect in this American classic. The material on both the front and rear bench seats has stretched a little. Both door cards are free from any damage; they just have some slight patina. David has also fitted new seatbelts.

The carpets throughout the cabin appear in good condition. The headlining also fits quite well with just some minimal sagging present. The boot has been trimmed in vinyl to the sides, the carpet looks clean and tidy, and the spare wheel is present. Please see the interior gallery for more detailed images.


The dashboard does have some patina, but it would also benefit from a deep clean and detail. The instruments have discoloured slightly, and the speedometer does not work. However, a GPS speedometer is fitted to keep you on the right side of the law. A new temperature gauge has been installed which is at the bottom of the dashboard.

Please see the interior gallery for more hi-resolution images.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

At ~72 years old, the steering wheel has signs of age with some cracking to the rim, and the column-mounted gear lever has an eight-ball attached to the end.

Please see the interior gallery for more detailed images.


From 1951, Buicks were fitted with the Fireball straight-eight, which produced ~120BHP and sounds fantastic.

Engine and Gearbox

The straight 8 fires up without hesitation, thanks to the electronic ignition David has had fitted; this gives a reliable spark, ensuring an excellent start. The engine also has a new temperature sender, a new battery and was given a full detailed health check in October 2023.

Fitted with a three-speed column shift, it does take a bit of getting used to but the gears do go in smoothly; however, it does benefit if you double clutch when changing. Watch the video to hear and see the engine in action.

Suspension and Brakes

At some point, the Buick has been lowered, bringing the car a little closer to Earth and improving road holding. This doesn’t really affect the ride; it still soaks up imperfections nicely.

David reported no issues with the brakes, which bring the car to a stop in a straight line.

The Drive

The 1952 Buick Special undoubtedly ranks among the finest when contemplating cars with remarkable road presence. Its striking design commands attention, standing tall among its peers. Behind the wheel, the experience is nothing short of exhilarating.

Admittedly, its left-hand-drive configuration and column shift may initially feel unfamiliar, but they become endearing features that enhance the driving experience with time. Once acclimated, navigating the road in this American classic becomes an absolute pleasure.

Electrics and Other

The Buick's switchgear is pretty minimal, as you would expect from a 1952 model. The original radio is in place, which is a nice feature to look at, and the main centre aluminium panel is in reasonably good condition.

History and Paperwork

Coming to ownership from ~8 months, the car recently had a detailed health check and maintenance carried out in October 2023 at a cost of ~£2,500, including upgrade to electronic ignition and ironing out some issues.

The paperwork includes many invoices from the previous keeper, who had purchased many parts for the Buick whilst in his ownership. There is also a wiring diagram, handy parts guide and useful shop manual.

The V5C shows that just two previous keepers have owned the car since it was registered in the UK on 21st June 2016.

This is a true 1950s American classic, ready to be enjoyed as it is or taken to the next level by the new custodian.

We've done all our usual seller checks, including photo ID, V5, and also actioned an HPI check on the vehicle.

We've summarised our view on the car based on information gained from the seller in the listing above. However, 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 to make your own assessment of 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 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
24.10.2023 Detailed Health Check And Repairs
12.08.2022 Brake Parts Ordered
05.07.2022 Respray
20.09.2021 King Pin Set
03.09.2021 New Alternator Fitted
Key Details
  • ModelBuick Special
  • TransmissionAutomatic
  • Reg. Date01.01.1952
  • CC4,337
  • Mileage~37,488 on clock
  • ColourSatin Black
  • Interior ColourGrey
  • Interior TrimFabric/Vinyl
  • Chassis #46627318
  • Engine #68464304
  • MOT ExemptYes
  • Road Tax ExemptYes
  • HPi ClearYes
  • Former Keepers2 Previous UK Keepers
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned~8 Months
  • Key FeatureUsable America classic with potential
  • Auction ID1829

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.

Ask Questions
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1 Comment
1 month ago

Dear Dave,why are you having to double de-clutch the Buick ?. John.


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