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Rather have a Buick

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Home : Scrapbook : Roamin Angel Corner Index : 51 Buick Model 52 Super Riviera

1951 Buick Model 52 Super RivieraRather Have a Buick

Although Russ and Dee K. have owned a number of Buicks through the years, when Russ started looking for a classic car a few years ago, for some unknown reason he did not look at Buicks. The cars he found were too rough, too expensive or too customized for Russ. Then one day, while he was perusing cars for sale in Hemmings, Dee suggested he check the Buicks. He found a ‘51 Buick Model 52 Super Riviera for sale for a fair price not far away, so they went to check on it. They had owned a ‘51 years ago as their commuter car and had liked it. As soon as Dee saw it, she said, “We’ll take it.” Just like that, with no test drive or hard negotiations. But Russ was happy to get it. It was a 95% original, two-owner car with only 28,000 miles on it, with the original paint and upholstery. Most of the problems it had were just from sitting so much, something that is especially hard on rubber seals and gaskets. Fellow Roamin Angels Duke at Gin’s Little Valley Auto Care took care of leaks from the engine and trans and Van’s Auto Body repainted a fender that had had brake fluid dripped on it. Eric from Sierra Upholstery installed seat belts, verifying the originality of the upholstery. Russ did all the rest, including repairing the optional windshield washers and clock. Although it does not have options like power steering and brakes or air conditioning, Russ and Dee enjoy their car and have put 13,000 miles on it in the year and a half they have owned it. Their answer to the old advertising slogan, “Wouldn't You Really Rather Have A Buick?” is a resounding. Yes!”

In 1951, the Riviera package was a 4-door sedan with upgrading interior trim and a 4" longer wheelbase than standard Super. Buick was known for its sweeping body lines, big “toothy-grin” grill and portholes on the fenders. The paint is Carlsbad Black.

1951 Buick Model 52 Super Riviera interior & engine

This 263 CID “straight-8" engine puts out 128 HP. It is mated to a 2-speed Dynalflow trans that normally starts out in high gear. Low is only obtained by manually shifting.

Interior options are a clock, a signal-seeking Wonderbar radio and a chrome tissue box. Russ had to replace the clock's workings with a quartz movement to get it to keep time.

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