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Buick Borrows Features from 'Dream' Cars

Topics:  Buick

Buick Borrows Features from 'Dream' Cars

The Spartanburg Herald
March 4, 1954

1954 Buick RoadmasterThe majestic beauty of Buick styling for 1954 is exemplified in the four-door Roadmaster sedan, the luxury model in the Buick line. Completely new for 1954, the Roadmaster features such styling innovations as a panoramic windshield, built-in sun visor and a rain cove that permits a partial opening of the windows in a rain storm. Mounted on a 127-inch wheelbase, the Roadmaster is powered by a 200-horsepower V-8 engine. Power steering and Twin-Turbine Dynaflow are standard. Wire wheels are optional.
Many features of Buick's advanced new styling for 1954 were borrowed from the "dream" cars Buick has exhibited throughout the country during the last three years, according to Ivan L. Wiles, general manager of Buick and vice president of General Motors.

"We've always taken one or two features from our dream cars and adapted them to current models," Wiles said, "but this year we've borrowed so extensively from these futuristic cars that in the 1954 Buick we actually have the car of tomorrow today."

Wiles said there were more than a dozen features on the new Buicks that were taken from Buick's XP-300, the Wildcat and the Skylark.

Buick's new line for 1954 comes in four series with all new, roomier bodies, beautiful new exterior and interior styling, longer wheelbases, panoramic windshields that permit up to 19 per cent more visibility, and more powerful and efficient V-8 engines.

The Special Series makes its debut in the V-8 class in 1954 with a brand new 150 horsepower engine modified after the valve-in-head V-8 introduced in the Roadmaster and Super Series last year.

Horsepower in both the Roadmaster and Super Series has been increased, with the Roadmaster boosted from 188 to 200, and the Super from 170 to 182.

New also to the Buick line for 1954 is the Century Series, designed to sell in the price range between the Special and Super. The Century, which features a 200-horsepower Roadmaster engine mounted on a 122-inch wheelbase, has a very high power-to-weight ratio and is the outstanding performer in the Buick line.

All-steel estate wagons are available for the first time this year in the Century and Special Series.

"From both a styling and engineering standpoint, the 1954 Buick is the newest car on the market today," said Mr. Wiles. "Eighty-three major styling and mechanical changes have been engineered into our new line, more than in any other single year in Buick history."

Among the outstanding styling features Wiles listed the new panoramic windshield, full rear wheel fender openings and sloping door line on all two-door Rivieras and convertibles, built-in sun visit and rain cove on four-door sedans in the Roadmaster and Super Series, new high crown front fenders which permit the driver to see the right front fender at all times, and new instrument panel.

The new V-8 engine in the Special Series, new combustion chamber design which increases power and economy, new power brakes, new front end suspension which improves steering and provides better cornering ability, and cowl ventilation are among the top engineering advancements made in the 1954 models.

A finer, more artistic use of chrome trim is evident throughout the entire 1954 line. The sweepspear molding, so closely identified with Buick, has been restyled along the lines of last year's Skylark sports convertible.

The grille styling also has been refined, with 49 thin bars of chrome enclosed in a chrome frame. The traditional Buick emblem on the front of the hood has been replaced with the word B-U-I-C-K in narrow, delicate letters.

The new panoramic windshield, which has up to 184 square inches more glass area, eliminates the traditional rearward sloping front body posts. These posts have been relocated about six inches back of the leading edge of the front door. On the Roadmaster and Super Series the front body posts are in a vertical position. On the Century and Special they have a reverse slant. This permits much greater visibility of cross street traffic with a resultant increase in safety.

A distinctive sports car flair has been given all two-door Rivieras and convertibles in the 1954 Buick line by slanting the door-belt line and opening the rear fender to fully reveal the rear wheels, similar to last year's Skylark styling. To add an additional sports car touch, wire wheels are offered as optional equipment on all series except the Special.

Interior styling has been enhanced by a new, double roll instrument panel, similar to the one on Buick's experimental Wildcat. A new speedometer unique in the entire industry, is featured on the Roadmaster and Super Series. Speed is indicated by a solid red line that moves horizontally across a scale graduated from 0 to 120 miles per hour.

New styling is also featured throughout the interior with many new combinations of colors in nylon, broadcloth, cordaveen and leather.

The new V-8 engine in the Special has the same overall dimensions as the V-8 in the Roadmaster and Super. This permits the interchangeability of numerous parts to simplify servicing and maintenance.

The Special V-8 has a 264 cubic inch displacement and an 8.1-to-1 compression ratio in Dynaflow-equipped cars. In cars equipped with standard transmission, the compression ratio is 7.2-to-1.

A four-way power operated front seat adjustment is offered as optional equipment on all models in the Roadmaster and Super Series and is standard on the Skylark.

An electrically - operated radio antenna also is standard on the Skylark and optional on all other models.

Power brakes, optional on all Dynaflow-equipped cars, have been improved though the addition of an electrically - driven vacuum pump which supplies sufficient vacuum power for braking whenever thee ignition is turned on. The vacuum pump automatically cuts out when the engine turns up 300 or more revolutions per minute.

Both Dynaflow and safety power steering continue as standard equipment on the Roadmaster Series and optional on all others.

Swing-out front door hinges provide up to one and one-half inches more entrance room to the front compartment of all 1954 Buicks.

The new line comes in 15 models with six horsepower ratings and two wheelbases.

All Roadmaster and Super models are mounted on a 127-inch wheelbase. This represents an increase of one and one-half inches in the wheelbase of four-door sedans and a five and one-half inch increase in the wheelbase of two door models in these series. Special and Century models are mounted on a 122-inch wheelbase, an increase of one-half an inch.

The horsepower rating of the Special is 150 with Dynaflow and 143 with syncro-mesh transmission. Horsepower output of the Super with syncro-mesh is 177 and 195 in the Century.

The Skylark, which has been completely restyled for 1954, is powered by the 200 horsepower Roadmaster engine.

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