1937 Buick Sport Coupe Model 46Buick Sport
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Buick president Harlow H. Curtice believed in “more speed for less money,” and backed it up with an all-new 117-inch-wheelbase Series 40 for 1934. The result was a sales upturn aided by more modern, streamlined styling that broke sharply with “Roaring ’20s” squarishness. Also featured linewide in ’34 was GM’s new “Knee-Action” (Dubonnet-type) independent front suspension, then a great step forward.
Though the 40 omitted flashy soft tops to emphasize far more popular coupes and sedans, its masterful blend of an inexpensive, Chevrolet-size platform and “important” Buick styling helped boost the division’s 1934 output from some 47,000 to over 71,000. Buick then jumped way over 100,000 for model-year ’36, and would reach even greater heights a few years hence.
More extensive changes occurred for 1936, as Buick adopted GM’s all-steel “Turret Top” construction that eliminated the traditional fabric roof insert, gaining sleek all-new styling with it. The division also boasted more-potent engines with aluminum pistons. Series numbers began giving way to names that would last all the way through 1958 — from the bottom, Special (40), Century (60), Roadmaster (80), and Limited (90). Respective wheelbases were 118, 122, 131 and 138 inches.
Mechanically, the bigger eight returned unchanged, but a longer stroke boosted Special’s engine to 248 cid, horsepower to an even 100. Factory figures suggested a ’37 Special could scale 10-60 mph in 19.2 seconds — fine performance for the class and only a second behind the hot Century. New for all ’37s were hypoid rear axle, improved generator, standard windshield defroster, front/rear antiroll bars, and a claimed industry first: a steering-wheel horn ring (Cord introduced it in ’36).
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