This week’s feature car is a drop-dead gorgeous 1949 Buick Roadmaster Woody Wagon, Model 79R. One of only 653 built, it is a former Bob Turnquist car (owner of Hibernia Auto Restorations), and has been treated to a world-class restoration. Finished in its original Royal Maroon with 100% original mahogany and maple woodwork, it is a fantastic example of this rare, one-year-only bodywork. The burgundy leather interior shows only minor signs of use, and Buick’s famous 320 cubic inch straight-8 is paired with an ultra-smooth Dynaflow automatic transmission. Quite possibly the finest example in existence, this stunning Roadmaster is available for just $129,900.
As the station wagon evolved from its earliest beginnings as a luggage hauler for train passengers, buyers sought increasing levels of comfort and convenience. By the late 1930s, the station wagon had become more than just a commercial vehicle, filling a unique niche in our automotive landscape. For those customers with luxurious tastes and the means to afford them, Buick’s line of Roadmaster station wagons were perhaps the ultimate luxury/utility vehicle. They combined Buick’s largest and most powerful chassis with gorgeous wooden bodies by the Ionia Body Company, and filled them with every comfort and convenience item available at the time.
This 1949 Buick Roadmaster wagon, model 79R, represents the pinnacle of station wagon development in the 1940s. As a one-year-only design, the 1949 Buicks are unique machines, arguably combining the best of 1940s styling with a hint of what was to come in the following decade. The body featured more steel than wood, but the wood that remained in the upper body was hewn from old growth maple with mahogany panels that stood out in brilliant contrast.