1938 Buick Business Coupe Custom

Sold For $24,640

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Sotheby's - ARIZONA 17 - 18 JANUARY 2019
The Torque Collection - Offered on Friday

Chassis No.
Body No.
  • Offered from the Torque Collection
  • 1950s-style mild custom
  • Warmed-up straight eight
  • Beautiful paint and interior
  • Modern upgrades and period options

Business coupes were offered by many automakers before and after World War II, catering to the needs of traveling salespeople. The area behind the front seats held storage shelves for sample cases and other items. Buicks of 1938 were quite fast and comfortable, offering for the first time full coil-spring suspension. A big straight eight fed a three-speed manual transmission, although a new automatic was available.

This beautiful Sahara Silver Metallic 1938 Buick was owned for many years by a noted Minnesota collector. While a restoration began in 2002, the project was completed by Regal Roadsters of Madison, Wisconsin. This unusual mild custom presents a very period flavor with many modern conveniences. What is believed to be its original “Dynaflash” engine was slightly modified with an overbore and a pair of Stromberg carburetors mounted on a split intake manifold. Atop the engine is a prototype “Du Rousseau” finned cast-aluminum valve cover manufactured by the owner of a foundry who was a supplier to Crosley. It is the only one of its kind. The electrical system, including the windshield wipers, has been upgraded to 12 volts throughout, including a single-wire alternator. This intriguing Buick has been equipped with power steering from a 1975 Buick LeSabre, power brakes from a 1963 Ford Ranchero, and a Walker radiator with electric fan.

A Vintage Air heater warms the interior, which reveals delightful Art-Moderne touches in the fully equipped dashboard and interior. There is a custom-built rear seat which replaced the original storage shelf; the seats and interior panels are trimmed in cranberry leatherette; the floor and trunk carpeting is charcoal German loop; and there is a new English broadcloth headliner. Stock-appearing winding handles operate the electric windows. A modern, high-end stereo entertainment system has also been installed.

Tasteful body modifications include grey-tinted glass, bumpers moved closer to the body, and custom turn signals. New running boards from Hunley Acuff were fitted, and rear skirts carry chrome deco spears. The suspension was upgraded with modified coil springs and GM progressive bump stops.

A detailed build sheet, restoration and service invoices, and component manuals are included with this delightful business coupe, which enjoyed a full service and fluid change in April 2018.

Suggested lots


Open Roads, March

19 - 26 March 2021


Amelia Island

22 May 2021