From 1936 to 1996 Buick manufactured eight generations of Roadmaster, with an interruption from 1959 to 1990, Roadmasters were Buicks flagship model from 1946 to 1957 sharing underpinnings with contemporary entry level Cadillacs and senior Oldsmobiles.
The car seen in Geoffrey Horton’s photo’s seen here at the 2012 Ranchero Mirage Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance feature a 1949 Roadmaster from the first year of production of the fifth 1949 -1953 generation which were the first to feature a two part curved ‘observation car’ windscreen. Note the bombsite mascot is a feature of all post 1946 Roadmasters.
The three Ventiports on front wing / fender of this Roadmaster indicates that is probably powered by a 5.2 litre / 320 cui ‘Fireball’ straight eight motor originally good for 165 hp, which following a change in carburation dropped to 144 hp in 1946 but was raised again in 1949 to 150 hp by increasing the compression ratio.
New for 1948 was a two speed Dyna Flow transmission developed from Buicks tank manufacturing program during the Second World War, making this the first model ever to be sold with a torque converter. For 1949 Dyna Flow became the mandatory transmission on all Roadmasters.
When the Roadmaster was first launched in 1942 the Coupé featured the same fastback Sedanette styling that had been a sensational feature of the 1941 Buick Century and Special models.
During 1949 the Roadmaster accounted for 27% of Buicks production with around 88,130 units sold.
My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sending me his photographs.
Thanks for joining me on this ‘Fireball Dyna Flow’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !
Errata this vehicle was originally incorrectly identified as forth generation 1948 model, however since then it has become apparent that 1948 Roadmasters had a flat windscreen and did not feature the VentiPorts in the wings / fenders. This text has been updated to reflect details of the ’49 Roadmaster. Apologies for any confusion caused.