Wonderfully Preserved and Enthuisastically Maintained Roadmaster Woody, One of 670 Built. Last Year of the Real Woodie, First Year of the OHV Engine.
1953 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon
Two-Tone Osage Cream and Majestic White with Tan and White Interior
Few symbols of American prestige and pride can exceed that of the iconic coachbuilt wooden bodied estate wagon. Offered with style and country charm, the woody wagons of the 1950s are among the finest and last of their kind, none more so than the Buick Roadmaster.
First restyled in 1949, the Buick lineup featured some of the industry’s top advances in design and technology. But if you wanted top of the line features, it was the Roadmaster that featured the very best in style, performance, and unique configurations. By 1953, the venerable straight eight engine bowed out, allowing placement of the all-new 188hp, 322 cu. in. V8 “Nailhead” engine. The dramatic single piece curved windshield, 12 volt electrical system, four “Ventiport” air vents, chrome features, and of course handmade wood siding, made the Roadmaster Estate among the most sought after models available. The elegant wood bodied construction, drop down tailgate, and ample room for growing families made the Estate not only desirable, but pricey, second only to the Skylark. As a result of their high cost, only 670 were built. 1953 proved to be the last year of Buick’s mass-produced wood body station wagon (constructed at Ionia Manufacturing), ending a long-standing tradition of coachbuilt estate wagons. That 1953 is the only year of the overhead valve engine in a woody makes it all the more significant.
This particular Roadmaster Estate Wagon truly lives up to the history and grandeur of the era it represents. The stunning two-tone exterior is highlighted by the hand formed wood construction, vividly contrasting the iconic Buick Sweep Spear running the length of the car, just below the trademark Ventiports on the front fenders. Owned for many years and thoughtfully maintained by a master fabricator and California resident, this car has been serviced and detailed to a high level with both mechanical and cosmetic details tended to. The Dynaflow transmission was rebuilt with careful attention to the torque ball seal at the rear of the transmission, which was upgraded to prevent the often-seen seal leaks in this area. The engine recently received a valve job using stainless steel valves and new lifters. During this engine work, the owner elected to install 1957 rockers and shafts, which allow for much better oiling to the top end of the motor. Also at this time, the engine compartment and chassis were rewired. The suspension was tended to with new kingpins and ball joints, and both the front and rear lever-action shocks were rebuilt. The brakes were rebuilt all around with new hoses, brake shoes, slave cylinders, and master cylinder. All engine hoses have been recently replaced and the carburetor has been rebuilt. The ignition system has also been rebuilt, along with new spark plug wires, a fresh set of spark plugs, and other required tune up details as needed.
With attention to detail throughout and a beautiful combination of original interior finishes and handsome wood and body restoration, this Buick Roadmaster Estate today presents in excellent condition. The paint is very nicely done with high gloss in wonderful fifties era colors, showing a few minor chips along the edges, and some minor surface scratches. The correctly finished honey-toned structural wood trim and dark mahogany inserts have been properly finished with excellent seams and fit on the sides and rear of the car. The wood on this car remains original throughout, a rarely seen attribute which is a testament to this car’s careful ownership and mild climate. Doors open and shut with confidence and exhibit very nice seams throughout. All chrome and stainless trim, emblems, and plastic lenses are wonderfully restored or reconditioned with excellent finishes, occasionally showing small signs of mellowing, minor pitting on hard to find die cast parts, and light hazing, none of which take away from the fine look of the car. The stance is very nice, sitting proudly on wide white wall tires and proper hubcaps. Emblems, lenses, and trim are all further in excellent condition, delighting the eye as you view each section of the car. Captivating details continue throughout the exterior including the drop down tailgate and hinged rear glass. The open tailgate allows for ample access to a spacious rear cargo area rich with wood and chrome finishes.
Inside the car is a delightful trip down memory lane. The beautifully designed dashboard features a centrally located radio with a chrome-plated panel of switches and knobs reminiscent of jukebox designs. Instrumentation is nicely laid out with colorful vintage dials and details. The condition of the interior is all the more remarkable when you realize you are looking at a largely original interior. Original seat upholstery, headliner, and nearly all trim have been properly preserved on this wonderful piece of vintage history. Carpeting, door panels, and supporting interior wood paneling are all in very nice condition throughout, displaying satisfying warm tones, very nice stitching, and correct trim.
Under the hood the engine has been correctly finished and properly restored with only minor allowances for improved service via mechanical updates. The correct engine paint color, various components, finishes and wiring have all been tended to with attention to detail and originality in mind. The underside of the car appears to be in excellent condition, owing in large part to the many years the car has spent in California. The car starts easily and idles smoothly with a quiet purr from the well-balanced V8. The column shifter engages easily and once underway, driving is very pleasant and relaxing. The Dynaflow transmission shifts smoothly and the recently replaced brakes stop the car with authority. Road manners are stately and appropriately masterful, as one might expect of a car from this grand and comforting period of history. The car comes with service records and ownership documentation as well as the year of manufacture black and yellow California license plates.
The Roadmaster Estate follows a long tradition of great hand-crafted wood bodied estate wagons, built with a high degree of opulence and sporting style, unique to a bygone era of motoring. Presented in wonderful two tone colors, this Buick Roadmaster Estate is wonderfully original, structurally exemplary, and carefully dialed by its enthusiastic owner. It ready to delight the next new owner with endless years of charm and relaxed motoring, as a gentle chariot to the simpler, quieter days of yesteryear.
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.
Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608