dWRENCHED SPECIAL



     Ever since I know myself I've been a choppers and a hot rods guy; but...

    But not so long ago I started to appreciate the beauty of the custom cars as well. It took me only a few years to come around (....) Lead sleads, mild customs... customs. It takes a certain eye to spot and better yet, appreciate the modifications on a custom car I think. Just like a gent appreciates a good wine.

   Artists like the photographer Marc Wöltinger from Lowtech ''helped'' me see the true beauty of such a car and respect it. By the way, if you don't have it yet, you should definitely buy his book , go here.  
What we have here though is the next level of what a custom car should be. Or how it should look like; to be honest.



     It's called the Buick Special Sport Coupe Streamliner. And it was built by Norman Timb in 1948. With what intentions... It's name already gave away that secret. Although Norman worked as an engineer for Preston Tucker for several years, it was his dream to build a streamliner sports car with the looks of a 30's car.
   NT first built the wooden frame on top of which he molded the aluminiun body. The frame is made from special tubing, used in aeronautics at that time. The car is 17.5 feet long/5.30 meters, with a wheelbase of 9 feet/3 meters and a weight of only 1,136 ton !
The Buick Special was powered by an Buick 8 inline cylinders. And to get to them... this is the ''fun'' part... you had to lift the huge 2/3rds of the body panel. Cause you see, to make is smooth and as ''aerodynamic'' as possible, Norman made the body out of two unequal halfs. So yeah, to work on the motor or to change a tire would have been quite ''fun'' . Although I don't think this car saw too many repair shops if you know what I mean...
   The driver's seat/couch, steering and brakes came from an Mercury while the rear lights came off a '39 Ford. 








    The build costed Norman 10.000 $ in '48. So yeah, that's a crazy price tag alright ! Just like we feel (shocked) when we see the xx.xxx$ price tags on modern customs or hot rods. Buick Special got a lot of attention at that time. In '49 it was covered by Motor Trend Magazine. In '54 it was feat. in Motor Life. At that time the car was white and owned by Jim Davis; an officer in the Us Air Force.
   In 2000 the car reappeared after many years of storage; in the Gone in 60 Seconds movie. In 2002 it was sold at an auction at the Petersen Museum- Barret Jackson to Gary Cerveny. He collected it for $ 17,600 $ (but I think the numbers I found are wrong...or so I want to believe).
     The Buick Special Sport Coupe Streamliner was also a big hit at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, California, in 2011. And in 2012, after a full restoration it appeared at the Contest of Elegance in Amalia Island, Florida. It took home the ''RM Auctions Trophy For the Best Open Car'' award. 






     Sucha weird shape... sucha crazy design. And yet, so beautiful...

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