How many 1948 Buick Streamliners were made?
I love old cars from the 1940s and I recently stumbled across a photo of the 1948 Buick Streamliner. I can’t believe I haven’t seen this amazing car before! Are they rare?
Jessica Gibson · Answered on Dec 19, 2022
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
The Streamliner is amazing, isn’t it? This car has a fascinating history. It was actually never designed or produced by Buick. Only one Buick Streamliner was ever made!
In 1948, Norman Tibbs—a mechanical engineer and designer—decided to make a car for himself. He was inspired by Auto Union streamliners of the 1930s and his model managed to be even more streamlined—no doors, no hood, no roof, and no fenders!
Tibbs spent $10,000 building his custom Streamliner, and it’s only called a Buick because he used a 1947 Buick straight-eight engine. The result was a 17-foot-long sleek vehicle made of hammered aluminum, finished with gold-flaked maroon and a tan leather interior.
Photos of the 1948 Buick Streamliner graced the cover of the October 1949 edition of Motor Trend. You might have spotted a picture of the Streamliner in another 1940s or 1950s auto publication, as well.
The one-off custom Streamliner fell into disrepair before it was sold at auction in 2002 to Gary Cerveny. Cerveny spent almost a decade restoring the roadster to its former glory. Unfortunately, a wildfire swept through Cerveny’s Malibu home where he stored the Streamliner and it was practically destroyed. Cerveny is hoping to restore the car a second time, saying, “If I did the car once, I will do it again.” Only time will tell!
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