We seem to be cruising into a theme of sorts today, involving mostly Buicks along with a secondary one having to do with women. How about we combine them in a somewhat unexpected way? Of course, I didn’t know that when I gave chase to this old grizzled vet of a ’56 Special, as we crossed the Willamette River over into Springfield.
I just assumed it would be a guy behind the Buick’s giant wheel, and one looking maybe a bit like his car, which has more of an air of authentic blue-collar grit about it than a hipster’s car likely would. And which of course was only underscored by the fact that it was heading into Springfield at quitting time. It too suffers from being stereotyped.
But as we finally caught up with the Special at the light, it was time for stereotype-busting, once again. A smiling young woman was behind the wheel, perhaps getting a chuckle out of my expression of surprise and admiration? Cool! Wanna’ race?
I might have gotten the hole shot, but the Special’s roaring nailhead V8 soon came blasting by…passed on the right again, by a woman no less. What’s next; a woman writing at CC?
This is just too cool.NIce capture sir.
That’s an interesting rust line, running parallel to the lower chrome character line on the rear door. Perhaps from the direction of rain water hitting the “hop-up” while the car’s in motion?
I’m using some new vocabulary from the Ford design diagram the other day 🙂
Somebody polished the paint thin when this car was younger and wrecked the paint
if you want to have a female writer for CC, why not just ask the only commenter everyone here knows is female (Gem Whitman) to write?
Stay tuned…and if Gem wants to join the party, the more the merrier. But we never pressure anyone 🙂
Thanks for the invite but I’d probably bore most of you with my taste in cars,pony cars,compacts and woodies mainly though I also like the big English Fords & Vauxhalls.Bryce & Scott have re awakened my interest in Aussie cars and I’ve always liked American engined European exotics like the Bristol & Facel Vega
Gem, we have no real insight on big English fords and vauxhalls at CC. You could provide new (if any) insight into these cars.
Hey, what about something from your days as a bus driver? That’d be pretty interesting, I bet.
+1 on Edward and Mike’s comments. Between the cars that you have already mentioned and your bus driving experience, there is a lot of unique subject matter that you can contribute.
I read this site, without commenting, for several months before I realized that I had a few unique subjects to contribute, and since then, I have found more and more old photographs and other material that never occurred to me might be interesting to people.
Don’t forget C. C has a very low opinion of me, and I appreciate it.
If adding a female writer is an interest, have you thought about reaching out to this blogger? She is obviously quite occupied with her own blog, which has been around for several years and appears to have a considerable following, but she might know others who are looking to write about their car hobby.
Just out of curiosity, I had to check online to see if a Buick Special was ever represented as a Kenner SSP Smash Up Derby car. It seemed the Nomad and Ford were always the default cars, in the sets I saw.
Who could forget the poor Rambler American getting the tin knocked out of it in the TV commercials…
There is an early 60s Buick Special in the stock derby footage.
I forgot all about those. I was jealous of my friend with the smash up derby set. Though I had lots of different toy cars, I only had one regular SST. It was great for jumping stuff though. I recall trying to do the Evel Knievel thing over the basement of the new house being built behind mine.
A woman writing at CC? Sounds like a good plan, and the Buick driver would be a great place to start. I’m sure there’s an interesting story here! Like maybe a time warp from about 1961……
Nice part of Springfield Cuba! 😉
the car doesn’t look bad and neither does she. Shouldve gotten her number.
Agreed. But Stephanie, who was in the car with me, probably wouldn’t have approved 🙂
tell her its a community service for the recently divorced members (ahem) at CC
Caught Stephanie in the car mirror. Both have beautiful smiles and are truly enjoying the “situation”. What a great picture (yes, it’s the small things)! My faith in humanity is restored. Thanks!
Yeah, I noticed the same thing. That’s a great picture.
You wouldn’t believe how many folks smile and/or say “hi” when we’re on our regular walks around town. It’s why I’m so happy here, despite the gray winters. It really is an important thing, to encounter strangers with smiles or an exchange.
I’ve made it a point to always smile and say hi to all the many homeless folks we encounter on our walks; they really seem to appreciate it; got to keep passing it around. 🙂
And now we know why Paul has had such a way with the ladies: he’s a true gentleman, even going so far as to let them win those stoplight races. Nice catch, indeed; that is about my favorite Buick from that decade. I had always wondered why the last real Packards had a downward slope to the top of the “tailfins.” Looked kind of droopy to me, but your pictures show the Buicks doing the same thing.
The vehicular love of my life is my ’53 Special hardtop…I’ll have to write it up sometime…The olfactory sense is the one most closely tied to memory, and I remember the smell of 40s and 50s Buicks from when I was a younger guy walking around Sloan Museum in Flint. Mine has that same distinctive odor, a mixture of crankcase fumes and something in the interior.
Oooh; what other goodies are you still withholding from us? 🙂
It’s not just Buicks that have that heady smell, as I had the same experience when I had an invite to drive a ’51 Olds. Here’s how I described it:
My first impression upon entering is that highly familiar and distinctive old car smell, the polar opposite of today’s polymeric factory air. Understandable too, as almost all the interior ingredients other than steel and glass are organic: wool fabrics on the seat, headliner and doors; horse-hair stuffing; and over half a century’s of boogers stuck under the seat. Between the odors they’ve absorbed and those created by their subtle decay, it’s a mélange that induces nostalgia, melancholy and the desire to crack one of the vent windows.
The pre-PCV valve cars have the oily smell (the blow-by crankcase vent tube wafted hot oil smells into the interior) – which to me, are things I love – that ‘old car’ smell. Also, the smell of sun baked paint and chrome in the interior . . . .
Ha ha ha! I just noticed the second picture from the last #3 with the Nash Metropolitan advertising on the red brick wall! Almost the same scheme as on this Buick!
What a coincidence! 🙂
You just beat me to it!
Is the other half on the other wall?
And they make it sound like the 4-door coupe is a new idea. Very nice find. I remember my Dad showing me how these old Buicks had the model year in the rear emblem. I think only the 55s and 56s?
The 57’s had the year in the emblem, too, front and rear (only the Special had it in the rear emblem, though, I think).
A friend of mine just out of high school in 1965 had one of these ’56 Special 4-door hardtops, a huge old beast, a hand-me-down from his parents, seemed really ancient by then. He wasn’t very fond of it, and didn’t have it long before he got a ’61 Corvair Monza, much more suitable for a wild 18-year old. But, hey, it was wheels and got us around. I can recall pulling into gas stations and asking for a dollar’s worth of gas, pretty funny, even then.
Years went by.
She passed it in her grandparent’s garage many times, and many times the rust would leave her white OP shirts stained red.
But it was just always there, waiting, watching amidst the boxes and mouse droppings.
When she turned 21 her grandfather passed away. She’d forgotten about the old Buick. His last years were spent in the nursing home and the old brick rambler sat forgotten and dusty minus most of its furniture. The stale, sterile air mingled with vague urine smells and burned peas surrounded him, until he was nothing but a husk in a hospital bed, Fox News droning in the hallway.
Her father handed her the envelope after the funeral. It jingled. “He left you the Buick. I guess you could sell it and go back to school with the cash,” her father said. She was silent. She didn’t want to go back, nor did she want the sad heap of a car. So many things were anchoring her to her old life.
They cleaned out the garage and pushed the old car into the sun for the first time in years. One tire flopped, the others were vaguely green and cracked. But once she started washing it, the tired car didn’t look so bad. It took an entire canister of Armor All wipes to do the interior, but even that shone red after a while.
“You know, it’s not bad if you step back a little. A lot,” she said. She watched the tow truck pull away to the Goodyear shop down the street. Make it run, she told them.
Five days and a thousand dollars later, it did. She got behind the gigantic steering wheel and breathed in the old car’s scent. Let’s cruise, it seemed to say. I was a dream once to someone you loved.
The Buick slid roughly into gear and lurched out of the parking lot.
Very well done!
What a great car! I can only imagine the sound of that big nailhead droning through the Dynaflow as it gets underway.
I love the look of this early 4 door hardtop, when Riviera was a body style and not a model. So straight, too. Years ago, I saw one of these here in the rustbelt. It had developed a swayback, and the tops of the side windows overlapped about a inch.
A plus – it has it’s “as issued” ’56 Oregon tags (or so it appears) . . . . which is mondo cool. Nailhead power!
Had a friend in 1968 who bought a black ’56 Super sedan for a few hundred bucks from an elderly widow. Only had about 60,000 miles on it. Huge car, as the Super was on the bigger Roadmaster wheelbase. Recall the cool red ribbon speedometer and the huge steering wheel touting the presence of “Power Steering”. Ditto with the huge brake pedal emblazoned with “Power Brake”. Plenty fast, but taking even the gentle curves of the Baltimore Beltway at anything over 60 was adventure. Was short lived, as its prodigious appetite for premium Esso wasn’t compatible with poor college students.