Ridge Green: 1953 Buick Roadmaster Sedan 72R – Sold!
Unlike the fairly common black-painted examples we usually come across, the Ridge Green hue of this 1953 Buick Roadmaster Sedan we found listed on Craigslist in Ossining, New York for $16,000 really stands out from the crowd. A review of the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this seller has his Roadmaster optimistically priced between the #1 “Concours” appraisal of $19,800 and the #2 “Excellent” estimate of $12,700. A similar check of the NADA Guides Classic Car Online Valuation Tool confirms an asking price at the high end of the “Low”, “Average”, and “High” retail value range of $7,825, $12,100, and $19,500, respectively. Unfortunately, the higher asking price combined the lack of a license plate raised our guard a bit, and sure enough, a Google search of the phone number confirmed at a minimum this is likely a dealer owner posing as a private seller. Consequently, we think an offer of $12,000 for this Buick is more than fair.
After spending most of the 1940s largely unchanged, Buick finally had a chance to restyle its Roadmaster for 1949. Despite reducing the wheelbase and overall length, weight increased slightly. The biggest change was a much larger two-piece, curved glass windshield. 1949 was also the year Buick introduced “VentiPorts.” Four were displayed on each of the Roadmaster’s front fenders, with three on the fenders of the Super, Century, and Special. Buick sales brochures noted that VentiPorts helped ventilate the engine compartment, however, but sometime during the model year they became plugged and forever remained that way moving forward.
Fast forward to 1953 the Roadmaster straight-eight was 16 years old and had become seriously dated. All of Roadmaster’s major competitors had shifted to short-stroke V-8 engines, and if Buick wanted to continue to be the paragon of longer, lower and wider, it needed one of its own. The new engine was ready in time for 1953, Buick’s Golden Anniversary year. Although the Nailhead (as it was popularly called) was nearly identical in displacement to the straight-eight Fireball (322 versus 320 cubic inches), it was over one foot shorter, four inches lower, and 180 pounds lighter. The new V8 put out 188 horsepower and an impressive 300 foot-pounds of torque.
The compact dimensions of the V-8 engine enabled Buick to reduce Roadmaster’s wheelbase by nearly five inches for the 1953 model year, although styling differences behind the engine cowl were largely nonexistent. Buick also introduced a new “Twin-Turbine” Dynaflow as a companion for the V-8 engine. Estimated to increase torque at the wheels by 10 percent, the new transmission provided faster and quieter acceleration at reduced engine speeds. Both power steering and power brakes were made standard. Air conditioning was a new option and that year Buick became one of the first automakers to utilize a a 12-volt electrical system.
Here’s a 1953 Buick commercial placed during the Milton Berle show:
Other than colorfully describing how popular this Buick is when drives around town, the seller does not provide details of the history of this Roadmaster so you’ll need to confirm whether this 75K mile example is a very nice survivor or the benefactor of an older restoration. Despite the seller claiming power steering as a rare option, as note above, Buick made it standard across their product line for 1953. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“You must want to be a showoff to buy this Gorgeous light green Cruiser. only about 75k miles on this top of the line Roadmaster. Drives excellent and must have good brakes because wherever we go, people stop us to look and adore this exceptionally well preserved vehicle from a by-gone era. Brings smiles,whistles and stares on the road, at health clubs, shopping centers, malls, etc. People actually ask if they can take photos with family members posing in front of her massive grill. The great thing too is optional power steering…believe it was the 2nd yr for power steering for general motors and only top of the line cars had it. Located in Ossining, NY please call Mike at 914-282-1092“
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