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Homepage. This page: An American street scene, featuring a sleek Buick convertible of 1947 and a tram.

1947 Buick Super 50 Model 56C convertible.

Prior to a re-vamp of the Buick Super range for the 1949 season, this is how the Buick Super 50 looked in 1947, in this instance in two-door convertible guise. The location of both street scenes isn't given, but perhaps the tram rumbling along behind the car in the first photograph might give some clues? The registration plate, 9M820, while a little fuzzy, may also yield a few clues. A young gal is posed with the sleek Buick here. If you squint, there are hints of Austin A90 Atlantic in the Buick's side profile, perhaps it was one of the cars that BMC used as inspiration when penning their A90 for, primarily, the American market?
(Please click the thumbnails to view the full-size Buick images.)
Front view of the Buick
The second photograph, which captures a rear three-quarter view of the soft-top Buick, is a lot clearer. The girl, stood with her mother presumably, is now wearing her jacket. In both photos she also appears to be holding a basic box camera. A circular instrument can just be made out on the car's dashboard - this is a clock, mirroring the speedometer that was situated ahead of the driver.
Street scenes from the olden days provide a great insight into the world in which today's classics originally operated, in this case rubbing fenders with pre- and post-war American cars, and the occasional tram just to spice things up.
Side view of the Super 50
The 1947 range was an update of the previous season's cars, although a new front grille arrangement differentiated old from new. The Super slotted in between the entry-level Special, and the more opulent Roadmaster. The Super's rear wheel spats were a standard fitment, and incorporated stainless steel mouldings that ran the full length of the car. A split two-piece windscreen remained. All of the Supers produced this year were propelled by a 110bhp 248 cubic inch straight-eight, provided with gasoline by either a Carter or Stromberg carburettor. Transmission was taken care of by a column-shift three-speed manual; the well-known Dynaflow automatic 'box came on stream the following year, 1948, and was only offered as an option for buyers of the Roadmaster in that year.
Four key body variants were offered. The car shown above is an example of the Model 56C Convertible. Most popular of all was the four-door saloon (Model 51), followed by the two-door Sedanet (56S). Rarest at the time, and probably now also, was the Estate Wagon (Model 59), which was bodied by the Hercules Body Company of Indiana. The remaining models were bodied by Fisher. Just as was the case with the E-Series Vauxhalls in Britain, the Buick's hood (bonnet) was side-opening, and could be opened from either side. The trim that can be seen on either side of the hood, at the rear, doubles-up as the lift handle. If major underbonnet surgery was required, two people could simply pop up both latches at the same time and lift the panel off entirely - very useful, if a little heavy.
In all, 25,796 examples of the wind-in-the-hair Model 56C variant were produced in 1947.
Return to Page 16 in the vintage car gallery.

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