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1952 Buick Super Woodie

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Home : Scrapbook : Roamin Angel Corner Index : 1952 Buick Super Woodie

1952 Buick WoodieSurfin’ Safari

If you were a teen-aged male growing up in Southern California in the early 60's, your dream was to throw your board in the back of your woodie, pick up your surfer girl and cruise to Surf City while you listened to the Beach Boys on the radio. The “woodie,” a station wagon with wood on the sides, was one of the few cars big enough to haul the gear and one of the very few “cool” station wagons of the era. As a teen-aged, Southern California male, Dennis Teague’s was no exception to the dream. Although his older brother had a woodie, Dennis could not afford one then, but he never forgot his dream. In 2002, he started to actively search for a woodie. He chose a Buick because they are less common and, even though more expensive when new, cheaper than the more popular Fords (like the one in the Jan and Dean song, “Surf City”). He found it on the internet in the private museum of the Ionia-Mitchell Furniture Manufacturing Company of Lansing, MI. They had done the woodwork for all the GM woodies and had one of each year and model they had built. They needed some room and were selling a 1952 Buick Super woodie and Dennis bought it. It was all stock and restored, so he could just hop in and drive it. He takes it to woodie shows all over California. Since he and wife Margaret are both surfers, now he can throw the boards in the back of his woodie, pick up his “surfer girl” and cruise to Surf City while he listens to the Beach Boys. If he can find them on some “golden oldie” station on his stock AM radio.

This Buick Super woodie was one of 1,643 built in 1952. The “three-hole”  Buicks (having three rather than four fake portholes on each side) were the less expensive models. The color is Terrace Green Sympho. Dennis split the single exhaust into duals and changed the wheels to wire spokes from a ‘53 Buick Skylark so he can run radial tires, but made no other changes.

1951 Buick woodie interior & engine

This Buick has a clock, a heater and the original tube AM radio, but no other extras. That includes no P/S or P/B, so wife Margaret enjoys riding in rather than driving the heavy car.

‘52 was the last year for the in-line 8-cylinder engine, replaced by a V-8 the next year. This engine is 263.3 CID and produces 128 HP. It is matched to a two-speed Dyanaflow auto trans that Dennis says is so smooth you can’t tell when it shifts. The 4:11 gears in the rear end limit top speed, but it cruises comfortably at 65 MPH.

Story & photos by Ron C. @2008

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