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Lot 329: Buick Series 60 5-Passenger Sport Phaeton

The Scottsdale Sale, Bonhams & Butterfields (19 January 2012)

*Straight-eight power *Three-speed manual transmission *Original mileage believed to be just over 55,000

*The rarest 1932 body style *Only '32 Sport Phaeton known to survive *Subject of a frame-off restoration

Buick made headlines in 1931 with its new straight-eight engine, a design that would remain in production for more than two decades. Actually, there were three new engines, in three displacements and, amazingly, sharing few parts. For 1932, handsome new styling by Harley Earl graced all General Motors cars, from Cadillac down to Chevrolet. Other new features included Ride-Control, which adjusted the shock absorbers from the driver's seat, and Wizard Control, a device intended to simplify shifting by combining free-wheeling with a vacuum-operated clutch.

In single ownership since 1987, this Model 65 Sport Phaeton is one of 79 built in 1932. It is believed to have been sold new in New York, to a woman who drove it to Arizona and used it there until World War II, when she put it in storage. It later spent time out of doors, covered by an old parachute, until discovered by an Arizona collector in the 1970s .

The car was given a frame-off restoration, stripped to bare metal and repainted in the original black with red pin stripe. The seats replicated the original black leather with tan piping, and all brightwork was replated. A new tan canvas top was fitted. Interestingly, it retains the original wood-spoke artillery wheels, with black rims and varnished spokes, which are nicely set off by whitewall tires.

The engine was rebuilt and all mechanical systems checked and renewed as necessary. At the time of restoration, accumulated mileage totaled less than 55,000 miles, and it has covered but modest distances since.

It has been well treated by its current owner over the ensuing quarter century, and presents very well today. The paint exhibits a deep shine and the brightwork remains excellent, as does the dashboard woodgrain. Inside the driver's door is a handy compartment containing a tool kit, fitted with a key lock. The car was the subject of a driveReport feature in the former Special Interest Autos magazine in 1992, a copy of which is included, as is an original sales brochure.

With but 103 Sport Phaetons built in the 60 Series, including export models, it ranks as the rarest 1932 body style and is the only one known to survive. With only three known owners it is noteworthy, even among collector cars of competing makes. As one of the nicest 1930s Buicks, it will be a worthy addition to any collection.

Lot Details
Auction The Scottsdale Sale
Bonhams & Butterfields, Arizona, Scottsdale
TypeCar
Lot Number329
Estimate$100000-$120000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1932
Condition rating0
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number2651740
Engine number2801059
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors