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Homepage. This page: An assortment of American automobiles are presented in this photo from the 1950s.

Buick Super Series 50 four-door sedan.

If this next photograph had been taken in the UK in the early 1950s, the driveway and road behind would no doubt have been witness to cars such as the Morris Minor, Austin A30, Humber Hawk and a Ford Consul. On the other side of the Atlantic, this is how a typical suburban street may well have looked in a comfortably-off area.
In the foreground is a glistening Buick Super of 1949, in four-door sedan configuration. The "Super" badge can be seen fitted to the front wing (fender), in between the lower body moulding and the three "port holes", or "Ventiports", a feature introduced for the '49 model year and something that would become a Buick theme over years to come. They became a feature after a Buick stylist decided to equip his own private car with similar "holes", each of which was fitted with a small lamp. At night they flashed away, reminiscent of the exhaust stubs of a wartime fighter plane. The Ventiports, minus illumination, were introduced onto production models, initially with the thought of them being open, allowing warm under-bonnet air to exit through them. This idea though seems to have been short-lived, and soon they were simply added as ornamentation rather than with a functional rationale behind them, blanked off rather than open to the engine bay. The Buick Super had three Ventiports, while the larger-engined (also straight-eight powered) Roadmaster, with its longer front panels, was readily identified by having four rather than three fitted to its front fenders.
(Please click the thumbnail to view a full-size version of the Buick photograph.)
1949 Buick car
Behind the Buick, facing towards the camera, is a 1946 two-door Chevrolet Stylemaster, while ahead of it is a 1948/1949 Chrysler.
The '49 Super Series 50 was powered by a 248 cubic inch 90bhp straight-eight, kept under control by four-wheel hydraulic brakes (plus the StepOn park brake), and Buick's Permi-Firm steering arrangement. Manual transmission was standard fitment on the Super, but for extra cost the Buick motorist could opt for the Dynaflow ("Smooth as a bird's flight") transmission, something that Roadmaster buyers benefited from as standard. Benefits of the Dynaflow were described in glowing terms within period sales brochures of the day...
  • No clutch pedal, no gearshift lever ... no gears ever shift
  • Swift, silky-smooth acceleration from zero to maximum without lag, halt or hesitation
  • Getaway from standstill to cruising speed in a handful of seconds. Instant, positive pickup from crawl to passing speed
  • Power delivery to rear wheels unfailingly right for every condition of load and speed
  • Infinite number of gear ratios without using gears. Driving effort is reduced to absolute minimum; just step on the gas treadle or foot brake, and steer
  • Wear on driving mechanism is practically eliminated since all propulsion is through fluid and all parts are in a constant bath of oil
  • Effective engine braking through fluid cushioning ... positive parking lock. Safer driving in slippery going through liquid-smooth power delivery - and instantly-correct driving ratio
Modifications to the Super design for 1950 would include revised chrome trim, and more importantly, a switch from a two-piece to a one-piece curved windscreen.
Find more early motoring photos on Page 16 of the vintage gallery.
Two photos of this car's immediate predecessor, in convertible form, can be found on the 1947 Super 50 photo page. A later, 1953-season convertible, may be found here.

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