After looking for a couple years, I finally pulled the trigger on my dream car, a 1947 Buick Roadmaster convertible. I’d been looking all over, and checking out thousands of pictures of Buicks on the web as inspiration while I assembled the perfect Buick in my mind. A black car was a must for me, as I’m drawn to simple, solid colors (black and white) as I feel like, on the right car, those colors accentuate the body lines and draw an onlooker's attention to the unique curves of that particular vehicle. Also, as I’d come to learn, I settled on finding a “Roadmaster” as opposed to a Super as I prefer the longer hood (If you’re going to go big, I say go big) unique to the Roadmaster models, and the - unique to Roadmaster - largest displacement engine Buick reserved for that series, 320ci.
Fast forward to June 2022, I saw a listing on Ebay for a Roadmaster, and it was only 2500 miles away from me. Something in the listing caught my eye. Info in the listing was limited, though the seller did indicate that the car needed work and wasn’t running and driving. Despite only a small handful of blurry and grainy pictures taken in a dark warehouse, with what I assume was a Polaroid from the 70’s, I decided to reach out and ask the seller to connect on a call. The next morning, his number was in my received messages and I couldn’t wait to get to the bottom of this.
The older gentleman seemed very authentic, and from what I could tell at the time, honest about the car’s condition, including some details about the condition. He mentioned the brakes didn’t work. He also mentioned things like, “needs a gas tank”, “the wiring needs to be redone”, and “missing convertible top, carpet, and a trim piece” which didn’t scare me too much. There were many unknowns, however. Correct engine for the car? Not sure. When did it last run? No idea. What is wrong with the wiring? No clue.
I ended the call asking about the flexibility on pricing and it was indicated to me that he was open to offers. After hanging up, my mind started to race. Was this the car for me, or would this be the case of a person being burned from buying a car sight-unseen, online. There were a ton of risks, but ultimately, my heart won out and a deal was made. The video below documents the moment the car arrived, and my initial thoughts. You’ll see the surprise on my dad’s face as I coordinated him being at my house when the car was going to arrive, not knowing that I’d made the purchase until the trailer was in front of the house.
As I mentioned in the above video, I’m not 100% sure on the plan for the car yet. I was absolutely thrilled with the vehicle I received, and my grin could bee seen from space that day. The body on the car is, in my opinion, incredible. There is absolutely no rust on the car and the only deficiencies of the car were indicated to me pre-purchase, a rare treat. The dark green leather seats in the interior will need to be changed out to a color that matches the black exterior better, and as I decide the long term plan with the engine and trans, I’ll be learning everything I can about this car in my quest to see if I can get this old girl, in this configuration, to run and drive. That means, buying a 6 volt battery, a new fuel tank, and quickly troubleshooting the brakes, a prerequisite of a safely conducted test drive.
Part of me wants to modify the car to my liking, upgraded LS Engine, Air ride, power steering, and all modern underpinnings, but a big part of me (more than I expected, honestly) has felt the desire to keep this car as stock and original as possible. To what extent, I’m not sure yet. My plan will be to be able to drive this car, let it speak to me, and then decide the future direction I’m going to take with it.
My goal with the car is to make a reliable cruiser that I can enjoy with my family for years to come, and I can’t wait to make progress with this car toward that goal.