The Buick Roadmaster was produced in two incarnations—the first one was built from 1939 to 1958 and second one was produced from 1991 to 1996. It was considered as Buick’s flagship car from 1946 t 1957. The first incarnation of Buicks was built using the brand’s longest non-limousine wheelbase, and during that time, the Roadmaster shared this basic structure with entry-level Cadillacs and 1940s Oldsmobile cars. When the car was resurrected in the 90s, it became the marque’s largest vehicle due to its full size. Here’s a quick look at the two incarnations of Buick Roadmasters through the years.
1936-1937: Early years
In 1935, Buick created and developed several car series to celebrate the brand’s engineering and design advancements. In line with this, the Series 80 Roadmaster was created. It was a big sedan that weighed around 4,098 lbs. But despite its heavy weight, the Roadmaster was pocket-friendly. This made the model successful aside from its engineering and styling.
1938 -1939: Changes and upgrades
During this time, the Roadmaster was furnished with a longer hood that extended to a vertical grille and it was also equipped with taller bumper guards and redesigned hubcaps. Its rear leaf springs were also replaced by coil springs and its frame X-member was changed from an I-beam to those with a channel construction.
1940-1941: Shorter wheelbase
In 1940, the Roadmaster was produced under Series 70. Because of this, it was created based on the “torpedo” C-body, making it lighter, shorter, and less expensive. It shared this platform with other vehicles like the Cadillac Series 62, Oldsmobile Series 90, and Pontiac Torpedo.
1942-1948: Wartime vehicle
During WWII, Roadmasters were only available to those who needed them war efforts. But when wartime was over, the vehicle once again received several new upgrades.
After the war, the Roadmaster was upgraded in a major way in 1949. During that time, the model was furnished with a shorter wheelbase but it was heavier weight. The most noticeable change can be found on its windshield where two pieces of curved glasses were installed to form one.
In 1954, the Roadmaster adopted the ponton appearance after it was produced based on General Motor’s C-body platform. This made it bigger and longer in size, making it very comfortable to passengers.It was also funsihed with front Dagmar bumpers that changed its overall look.
1957-1958: The end
The 1957 Roadmaster model noticeably had a more panoramic windshield and it also had a lower body. It was also furnished with chromed rear fenders and it had Sweepspear-lined bodysides to complete its new look. The following year, Buick cars underwent a major restyling and the Roadmaster was dropped from production.
1991-1996: The comeback
The name Roadmaster was resurrected by Buick in 1991 for its B-body station wagon. This car replaced the Estate Wagon in the marque’s lineup and the new vehicle was called the Roadmaster Estate Wagon. In 1992, Buick released a sedan version, which had its very own distinct sheet metal. However, these models were short-lived because after 1996, General Motors dropped both them in favor of the Buick Park Avenue.