1940 Buick Super 56C Convertible Coupe - $89,900
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The Carlsbad Black paint is miles deep, the bodywork is impeccably straight, and the panels line up properly.

Body-off restoration of a 32,000-mile car by the legendary Lewis Jenkins. 2023 AACA National First Prize winner. Beautiful color combination, impeccable interior. Everything works, runs and drives superbly. There are fresher restorations but there are no better Buicks than this.

If you’re a Buick guy, you know the name Lewis Jenkins. Famous for their interiors, Jenkins Restoration specialized in Buicks of the 1940s and consistently delivered show-winning results. As a testament to the quality of a Jenkins restoration, realize that this car was restored nearly 20 years ago, but just this year (2023) was still nice enough to win an AACA National First Prize award, which is no easy feat. That speaks both to the workmanship and the care it has received since it was finished, and if you want an exceptional Buick that works properly and looks fantastic, this 1941 Super 56C convertible coupe is the right choice. The Carlsbad Black paint is miles deep, the bodywork is impeccably straight, and the panels line up properly. Of course, starting with a 32,000-mile original car probably helped, and to their credit, the car still feels tight, solid, and well-assembled. The Super wore GM’s all-new “torpedo” styling that was longer and lower than before, and the Super perhaps balances it best with tidy proportions that look impressive on a 121-inch wheelbase. Some of the chrome was restored, but we believe the grille and hood latches are original, suggesting that this was a really nice car to begin with. If there are any demerits, it’s only that the silver paint isn’t quite perfect on the hood vents—an easy issue to rectify if perfection is your goal. Otherwise, we can find very few things to fault with this lovely convertible.

Interiors were Jenkins’ specialty and this one gets everything right. The red leather is exactly the right color, pattern, and texture for 1941—not too soft, not too shiny, but just right. The seats are firm and comfortable, and if you need any clarification about Jenkins’ attention to detail, just take a look at the carpets, which were created in his shop. Impressive isn’t the right word. The engine-turned panels that highlight the dashboard are just spectacular—even noted 1940 Buick expert Doug Seybold wondered how Jenkins got them so perfect. All the plastic was restored and is just the right shade of “cigarette cream” and all the gauges are fully operational. In fact, everything works, including the radio and clock, plus the heater under the seat. The woodgrained accents are accurately done and all the hardware is like new. Even the back seat looks like nobody has ever been seated there. The tan canvas convertible top is perhaps the best we’ve ever seen—taut and wrinkle-free. We did not lower it for the photo shoot simply because it’s so perfect we were afraid to wrinkle it, but we are assured by the car’s expert owner that the power top mechanism does function properly. The trunk is properly outfitted with the right burlap-style material, and is correct right down to the hardware that secures the spare tire. There’s also a matching tan canvas boot that has probably never been used.

Straight-8 Buicks are fantastic road cars and this Super is no exception. With 248 cubic inches, it may seem small by today’s standards but in practice, it makes the Super quick and light and easy to handle. Still starting with the accelerator pedal system (press the pedal to the floor and the engine fires), this Super is beautifully tuned and crisply turned out. It starts easily, idles smoothly, and has a prodigious torque curve that makes it enjoyable around town and never feels like a rolling roadblock in traffic. It’s correctly detailed in corporate gray enamel with bright red Buick decals and inhales through a Carter 2-barrel carburetor (which tends to run smoother than the also-available Strombergs). It has been driven a bit, so there are signs of use like paint burned off the exhaust manifolds, but there is otherwise nothing significant and it has no issues that will prevent a new owner from enjoying the car right away. Of course, everything around the engine was replaced during the restoration, including a new cloth wiring harness that’s just beautiful. The only transmission available was a 3-speed manual with column shift, and with new bushings and linkage, it feels tight and direct, not loose and sloppy like many cars of the era. Gear ratios are well-chosen and the Super accelerates cleanly from almost any speed. We believe there are high-speed 3.90 gears in the rear end, as this car cruises at 55-60 MPH without seeming to strain itself. You’ll note that the chassis is highly detailed, including the ultra-rare engine splash pans, and the single exhaust has the right Buick 8-cylinder hum. Ride quality is excellent, steering is light, and braking is effective, making this a fantastic road car for touring events. There’s some minor discoloration on the gas tank, but again, that’s the only demerit we can find on what is a beautifully finished undercarriage. Factory 16-inch steel wheels are finished in correct Dante Red and wrapped with 6.50-16 Firestone wide whitewall tires, as original.

This is the kind of car that doesn’t tell the whole story in pictures. We would strongly encourage you to see it in person, because the way the doors close, the feel of going down the road, and the tight precision of the controls just can’t be conveyed in photos. This is a superior car. Yes, it’s expensive, but like we said, there are fresher restorations out there that might be a bit shinier, but we doubt you will find a better Buick anywhere at any price. That was the kind of work for which Lewis Jenkins was justifiably famous and this is some of his very best work. Call today!

Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections of any vehicle in our inventory prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1940 Buick Super 56C Convertible Coupe
Price: $89,900
Stock Number: 120118
Odometer Reading: 36,051
VIN: 13830530
Engine: 248 cubic inch straight-8
Transmission: 3-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 3.9
Wheelbase: 121 inches
Wheels: 16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 6.50-16 wide whitewalls
Exterior Color: Black
Interior Color: Red leather
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