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Saturday CarToon: 1955 Buick Special and Roadmaster

One way to awesome – buy some one else's project.

Published on Aug 19, 2013 in /drive

Owner:  Harry Fisher

In stock form, the 1955 Buick Special could best be described as a "nice" car. It's not drop dead gorgeous like a 1959 Impala, nor does it have the panache of say a 1956 Chrysler 300. You see the '55 Buick Special was a working mans car. It had room enough for the whole family, a decent power-plant thanks to its 264 cubic inch V8, and style that was, well… above average. Harry Fisher or "Uncle Harry" as most people know him, saw the old Buick a bit differently though. He knew that with a few little touches (like a 502 cubic inch big-block, modern suspension, and a new set of wheels) that this old Buick had the potential to become one of the baddest hot-rods around.

Mike Musto mentioned that the Special was the least expensive of the 1955 Buicks, with the Roadmaster being the top-of-the-line.

Jay Leno's first love was his 1955 Roadmaster, that got a Big Dog Garage update in 2009:

From GM Performance press release

Everyone remembers their very first love. For many, it means a special car or truck. Rekindling the passion stimulated by a great street cruiser has inspired thousands to reclaim their past by restoring their first love. That's what happened when Jay Leno decided to rebuild and improve his vintage 1955 Buick Roadmaster.

He and Big Dog Garage shop manager, Bernard Juchli, turned to GM Performance Parts for the powertrain, suspension and braking components needed for the job. The result: a completely stock looking 1955 Buick Roadmaster that has the power, performance and handling characteristics of a serious street rod.

Leno purchased the Roadmaster in 1972 for $350 and had it restored in 1973. Jay drove it everywhere in the '70s. In fact, it was the car that he used on his first date with his wife. It also provided him a lift to his first Tonight Show appearance in 1977.

"It's special to me because it was my first vehicle here in California and it was with me during a number of other important 'firsts'," said Leno of his newly restored street rod. "Now its better than new because we've brought it into the 21st century. That means better performance, better mileage and better emissions."

Mike "FossilMedic" Ward

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