Sunday, 16 October 2011

1948 Buick Streamliner-Ultimate American Rod

Mechanical engineer Norman E. Timbs created this breathtaking Streamliner in the 1940s. He designed the project himself which included a custom aluminum body and steel chassis. It took him over two years to finish and the resulting chic roadster was good enough for cover of Motor Trend as well as features in Mechanix Illustrated, Popular Mechanics and Motor Life.

1948 Buick Streamliner


Unlike the Grand Prix cars, the Mr Timbs’ Streamliner was built for the road. It used a 1948 Buick V8 to power the 2200 lbs car to 120 mph. The engine was mounted in a custom chassis that placed it behind the driver. The main chassis is built up from four-inch steel tubes which kick up over the rear axle.

The body was nod to the German GP cars which at the time mimicked aeronautical practice. Norm’s design was free of the over indulgences such as huge chrome bumpers and large tail fins that eventually dominated American design. In keeping with the aerofoil shape, no doors were are cut out of the body. A large one-piece rear panel opens hydraulically to reveal the entire rear end of the chassis.

1948 Buick Streamliner
Road & Track reported that it took Mr Timbs 2 1/2 years to create the car at a cost of $10,000 USD. The body was created entirely in aluminum by Emil Diedt for $8,000 alone. The shape was formed by hand over a traditional wooden buck.
At first the Streamliner was only used on the show circuit until Jim Davis of California bought it in 1952. He used it in and around Manhattan Beach, California and let Motor Life photograph it for a feature article. The car was discovered in the desert pretty much intact in 2002. It was bought at auction and restored by Dave Crouse at Custom Auto, Inc. in Loveland, Colorado for owners Gary & Diane Cerveny of Malibu, California. After its “complete and exacting” restoration, it debuted at the 2010 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in a class reserved for Motor Trend Cover Cars.
Not only is it unlikely you’ll ever see this beauty on the road, it’s likely that you’ll never see it on the auction block. A car like this is far too rare, too beautiful that any owner could ever want to sell it up, no matter the price.

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