1948 Buick Streamliner

From the front page just now:

Oh. My. God.

Stunning. Absolutely stunning.

I can’t make up my mind, somethings are really cool (the front bumper is amazing), some of the arcs are pretty, but something is almost a little repulsive about it, like a wet fish… the fenders also oddly flatten at points, and I wish the tail was a continuous arc but instead it has an odd break in profile.

That’s a sexy car. I agree Yo, that seam kills it. But I dislike any car that unfolds in the middle, for the most part (stratos, 917, f40 are alright).

It is stunning. Very uncompromising. I see what Yo is talking about near the back. You can tell this was not by a designer.

Kinda reminds me of an Auto Union Type C also:

I’m probably relating to it with my love of those Auto Union cars…

I see the break, too but I guess it doesn’t really bother me much.

the back end looks a lot like the Auto Untion racers from a formal standpoint… and the Auto Union racers predate this, so…

Yes I’m sure they “borrowed” some details from Auto Union. But as a whole, I really enjoy the kind of open cockpit aircraft feel it has. Almost like there should be some wings that bolt onto it some where. I’d love to see this in person, as this restoration appears to be impeccable.

I’ll take one centre shut-line if I can get rid of the door, bumper, hood, trunk shut lines and not have any plates. This is really a study of how good a car can look when you don’t have any practical constraints.

We don’t really see the context of it today, but this must have been a really old fashioned looking concept car for 1948. That streamlined, detached fender look would have been cool in 1935, but it probably looked pretty tired in comparison to what was coming out after the war. The Tucker went into production in 1948, as well as the first Cadillac with tail fins.

There are also massive aero stability issues with this. The upper body is a perfect wing profile that will generate lots of lift, and it looks like the lateral center of pressure is well forward of the CG, giving it an unstable aero oversteer tendency. Either one of those would be bad news on their own, together they would be lethal.

Perhaps that’s why it was tucked away hidden all these years.

Scott: aerodynamically horrible…indeed. It seems very few people’s brains can beat a good wind tunnel.

As for the design being out of date…perhaps. '48 was in that juicy transition period of American car design. The fenders were slowly being integrated with the body. Perhaps the design dates from before the war…just like so many of the production cars? Perhaps they were being retro before we knew what that meant?

1948 Ford

That 48 Ford was pretty old fashioned too- it was basically the 41 Ford that they started building again after the war. Here’s the 49 Ford, which was their first all new postwar car:

In 1949, this looked like The Future (and Ford was hardly considered a design leader then). Fully integrated fenders, acres of chrome, aircraft inspired details. And that’s a production car- concept cars from around 1950 looked like road-going F-86s.

good bit of context Scott.

Yes, but also don’t forget that the pre-war styling was still going by late after and not fully out of peoples minds. Witness the 1960’s Volvo Amazon/P120 in production until 1970.

An exception perhaps, but the concept car to me looks still relevant in context with the 60’s-70’s Jag E-type and still even more future looking. For 1 1948 construction you can bet this would be pretty amazing. I love it and even love the middle seam.


I prefer this little ebay find


There are still a few people who would love to have a completely retro design…albeit an older, more nostalgic generation. Probably the best modern interpretation of a streamline show-car of late: Holden Efijy

I prefer this little ebay find

Sweet little Boxer Twin, basically the same engine that’s in my R75/5 … shift point is around 4,500 rpm in OEM trim, but 5000-6000+ is possible with “race mods”.

I think that Holden is pretty killer!

if you like the classics, pics from my trip to the Presidio Concours yesterday: