Beautiful restoration of an ultra-solid original car. One of only 670 built. Fantastic color combination. Power steering, power brakes, Dynaflow, so it’s wonderful to drive. Fantastic performance. Is this the ultimate woody wagon?
Experts suggest that perhaps 20 or 25 1953 Roadmaster woodies remain, but there’s no way to know for sure. What we do know is that this handsome Imperial Blue Roadmaster wagon is not only one of the prettiest wagons we’ve ever features, but also one of the best. Going over it carefully, we can find no evidence that anything serious has ever been replaced—the wood appears entirely original, there are no patches in the floor, no replacement body panels, nothing. So they started with an extremely good car when it was comprehensively restored about 15 years ago. It is worth noting that the color was changed from the original code 52 Verde Green to what appears to be code 53 Imperial Blue. The dramatic contrast between the dark blue paint and the light wood is simply beautiful, and it surely looks better today than it did when it was green. Another bonus is that you know the restoration was thorough, because there’s zero evidence of any green paint on the car. If you’re not checking the trim tag, you’d never know this car hasn’t been blue all its life. Someone invested another serious pile of cash restoring all that brightwork and today it presents beautifully with no demerits to mention beyond some light polishing marks that you could erase by hand if you’re really particular.
As with the exterior, the interior was changed from green to blue, another factory-correct combination that works quite well with the dark Imperial Blue bodywork. Everything that you can see or touch was restored or replaced during the restoration, and the rear carpets were just replaced this year so they’re as-new. All the gauges are fully operational except the clock, which is typical, and we strongly believe the 75,358 miles showing on the odometer are a correct, authentic reading. The original signal-seeking Sonomatic AM radio is sadly not operational, but everything else works like it should: lights, signals, heater, defroster, and even the emergency brake warning light glows brightly and I will personally vouch for the heater’s efficacy as we took it for a test drive on a rather brisk December morning (you can see the ride and drive video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9V8sjRVL4y4). There’s plenty of wood highlighting the interior, including the gorgeous tailgate, which is just a work of art. Lift the floor panel and you’ll find a full-sized spare tire and jack assembly underneath.
Buick’s all-new 322 cubic inch “Nailhead” V8 transformed Buick’s performance image. There’s massive torque available at any speed and it’s impeccably smooth, so this wagon gathers speed with surprising ease. The engine is correctly detailed with corporate turquoise engine enamel, a heavy-duty air cleaner, reproduction decals, and a fresh reproduction wiring harness. Roadmasters received a Carter 4-barrel carburetor to give it impressive performance despite its 4200-pound mass. It fires easily using the accelerator-mounted starter switch, idles well hot or cold, makes plenty of oil pressure, and seems to run nice and cool. Power steering and brakes are included, so it’s easy to handle for just about anyone and the 12-volt electrical system ensures bright lights, quick starts, and easy maintenance in the future.
Don’t be afraid of the Dynaflow transmission, either, because it feels rather remarkable when connected to the torquey Nailhead. The car simply accelerates—no shifts, no interruptions, just a smooth flow of torque that moves the car with ease. There are 3.60 gears in back, so this car will cruise all day at 65 MPH without any stress, and the aforementioned power brakes are quite powerful even with this much car and this much power. Please look carefully at the undercarriage photos and you’ll see ultra-clean original floors, unmarked rockers, and a frame bereft of pitting strongly suggesting zero winter drives in its past. Steel wheels with rather rare wire wheelcovers look great, and they’re fitted with L78-15 wide whitewall tires, but imagine just how spectacular this would look wearing a set of Skylark chrome wire wheels and some fresh wide whitewall radials!
This might just be the ultimate Buick wagon—it’s the fastest, most powerful, most exclusive, and arguably the most attractive of them all. With a beautiful older restoration that’s completely sorted and a joy to drive, this Model 79R justifies its position at the top of the Buick food chain. Just a spectacular car that shows very well and drives even better. Treat yourself to Buick’s best and call today!
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