Buick Limited 80C Convertible Phaeton

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Limited 80C Convertible Phaeton





The origins of the Limited name date to 1936 when Buick added names to its entire model line-up to celebrate the engineering improvements and design advancements over their 1935 models. It shared its chassis with the top-level Cadillac D body vehicles. Buick had released a new line of cars that were technically superior to their predecessors by offering such features as all-steel passenger compartment tops (GM's Turret Top design), improved front suspension, improved hydraulic safety braking system, alloy engine pistons and an improved engine cooling system. Buick's Series 40 was named the Special, the Series 60 was named the Century, the Series 80 was named the Roadmaster, and the Series 90 — Buick's largest and most luxurious vehicle — was named the Limited. The engine was a 320CID 120 HP (89 kW) I8

Limiteds were the most expensive Buicks in production, riding on the company's longest wheelbase of 138 in (3,505 mm), and the best appointed cars that Buick built. All Limiteds were built at the Buick factory in Flint, Michigan, while all Cadillacs were built in Detroit at the Clark Street Facility. The name Limited was truly appropriate to the cars themselves which were limited to touring sedans and limousines.

In 1938, the wheelbase was stretched to 140 inches (3,556 mm), and the Limited, along with Roadmaster, lost its wooden structural members for steel, making them the last Buick passenger cars to rely upon a wood components.

In 1939 Buick products underwent a substantial redesign; however, the Limited's "limited" production merited it to continue using its 1938 body.

Behind the scenes, Cadillac executives lobbied to get the Limited out of production because it infringed on their market. While it was priced in the lower end of its Fleetwood series price point, the Limited almost equalled Cadillac's factory built Imperial Sedan (Limousine), which cost almost four times as much as the Buick, in its appointments. Buick executives fired back that Limited production averaged only 1,561 vehicles per year for model years 1938 through 1940, a drop in the bucket compared to Cadillac's production of its senior cars.

In 1940 the Series 80 was renamed Limited. The new Series 80, which offered seating for six-passengers in all its body styles, was known as the Limited and rode on the 133 inch wheelbase that had previously been reserved to the Roadmaster. At the very top was the Series 90; these cars shared the Limited moniker with the Series 80, yet differed with their 140-inch wheelbase, seating for eight and by only carrying closed coachwork.

The 1940 Buick’s features included an assembly-balanced engine in which the engine unit was assembled complete with a clutch and then checked for running balance on a special machine. They also had a redesigned smoother suspension and a three-speed synchronized transmission. Additionally, Buick also employed sealed beam headlights and “Fore-N-Aft-Flash-Way” directional signals for the first time on all of their cars.

Production of the Limited continued until the eve of World War II. Following World War II, Buick dropped its extended wheelbase models, and dropped the Limited nameplate.

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