SOLD 09/21

1936 Buick
Series 40 Rumble Seat Coupe

Elegant Great American Race Veteran. Dual side-mounts and rumble seat.

  • VIN2959894
  • Exterior ColorRed
  • Interior ColorTan Velour
  • MileageTMU
  • Engine3.7L straight-8
  • Transmission3-Speed manual
  • StatusSold
  • StockFJ2514


1936 Buick Special Series 40 - Rumble Seat Coupe

Chassis No. – 2959894
Exterior Color – Red
Interior Color – Black
Engine – 233 cu. in. OHV Straight-Eight
Transmission – 3-speed manual
Current Miles – 01,915 miles (TMU)
Current Owner – Purchased in 1988
Miles driven under current ownership – around 50,000

Highlights for this car

A delightful example of Prewar Vintage Americana
Long term ownership spanning 33 years
Great mechanical operation ready for events
Upgraded to 12V

General History

The Buick Series 40 was first introduced in 1930 as a mid-sized model. By 1936 the Buick Special Series 40 became part of the full-size line up. Offered as a Four-passenger Sport Coupe, the 118 in. wheelbase stretched out over a two-passenger cockpit with two rear seats offered in the rumble seat, formerly used as trunk space. The stylish dual covered side mounts and distinctly streamlined styling put the powerful 8-cylinder in-line ohv engine under a long hood flanked by teardrop shaped side mounted headlights and tapered front and rear fenders. A 3-speed synchromesh manual transmission, knee-action front suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic brakes were among the many features that led the industry in state-of-the-art engineering for contemporary sedans and coupes.

General Overview

Purchased in 1988 by the current owner, this Buick was restored many years ago by Los Angeles, CA Buick expert and original founding member of the Buick Club, Ed Jensen. The current owner carefully researched the car and embarked on a restoration that would be accurate, attractive, and mechanically sound to participate in driving events throughout the country. During his ownership, the owner became something of a legend in the 1980s and 1990s driving this Buick in numerous rallies and time/distance events including participating in four Great American Race events.

Among the highlights of the 1999-2000 Great American Race, the owner and his Buick received the “Fans Choice” award. Other events have included the Arizona Copperstate, California Mille, Colorado Peak to Peak, New Mexico Inaugural Rally, to name just a few of the many long distance driving events completed in his 33 years of ownership. During the many years of event participation, this Buick covered thousands of miles without mechanical failure and appeared on the TV show “Good Morning America”

Still running a factory in-line 8-cylinder engine, the smooth-running overhead valve power plant was ideally designed as a long and narrow block, which, unlike heavier castings, were far less prone to overheating. Additionally, the lighter weight coupe body made this car ideal for long-range tours and events. A true factory rumble-seat coupe, the covered side mounts and pocketed front fenders were distinctive touches offered only on this model.

General Condition

Today this Buick Series 40 offers very nice driver level cosmetics and excellent mechanical operation. Though the restoration has settled over time, the paint finish has been properly maintained over the years with good gloss and smooth uniform coverage. Given the age of the paint, the finish is still very pleasing, particularly as it enhances the contrasting chrome and stylish streamlined details. The chrome trim presents very well with consistent fit to the various body panels, very good bumper trim, and quality details with hints of age modestly revealed when viewed up close. The body panels fit very well with correct fender welting, nicely finished running boards, and contoured fenders. The doors, hood sections, and rumble seat lid open and close smoothly, with tight fit and solid latching. The dual side mounts are a handsome accent to the streamlined body and add a touch of elegance to this sporting coupe design.

Outfitted with matching body color slotted steel wheels, hubcaps, trim rings, and period correct white wall tires, the look of the car captures America at a sporting period of recovery, emerging from the Great Depression with hope and vision for a better future, before the dawn of the second world war. The suspended headlights, dual fog lamps, and tall waterfall grill, are topped with a sculpted hood ornament and enameled badge announcing the proud Buick name. The car is also outfitted with a period correct adjustable windshield visor painted to match.

The interior sports a cloth covered bench seat in very good condition, while the overall interior presents as a comfortable and usable driver level car with basic finishes consistent with original factory applications. The door panels, carpeting, and side panels have a very good quality feel overall, with only modest signs of use as time has marched on since the restoration was completed. The dashboard features very nicely detailed instruments, offered in art deco style including a glove box clock. These finishes offer excellent color and contrast to the beige cloth materials, while the gloss black steel wire-spoke steering wheel and center emblem is an excellent reminder of why GM was a style leader in American automobiles. The rumble seat area is finished in durable black vinyl, hinging open smoothly when needed, offering pleasurable open-air motoring for lucky rear seat passengers or inclement weather condemnation for overly critical in-laws.

Under the hood, the engine bay is correctly finished with engine block colors and vivid red markings announcing Buick engine features. The engine, while mostly period correct, has a few modern improvements from the original including the use of an electric fuel pump. The engine compartment has been nicely finished and still presents as a correctly restored car with proper fittings, period correct hardware, as well as the factory data tag and body tag mounted on the cowl. The undercarriage is consistent with the restoration showing a clean and dry car that has been stored indoors and properly serviced since the restoration was completed. And while some of the finishes are showing signs of use, there is no evidence of corrosion or structural damage to the chassis or body panels.

For anyone who has never driven a car of this period, this is an excellent example to reveal the joys of prewar American motoring. The car starts easily and delivers wonderfully warm sounds with a gentle, precise idle. The 3-speed manual transmission is smooth and easy to modulate through all gears. The quiet engine does a great job offering power in all gears pulling the coupe with dignity and keeping up with modern traffic. The hydraulic brakes are quite good overall and a vast improvement over earlier mechanical brakes. Under higher speeds, the ride is quite refined, enhanced by the tall white wall tires floating along in a sporting but comfortable seating position. After a few glorious miles, the result is a nostalgic driving experience that can be repeated with confidence knowing how well this car has performed over the past decades and will continue to do, defying the 85 years that have lapsed since being delivered new.

Items Included with the Car

The car is offered with a spare pair of Buick hubcaps, various spare parts, a spare hood ornament, an under-dash Buick branded radio and speaker unit, a spare dash center cluster stamping, a 1936 shop manual, and a spare set of keys.




The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.

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Fantasy Junction  •  510-653-7555  •  1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608