Lot 240 - 1939 Buick Viceroy Series 40 Special

Lot 240 - 1939   Buick Viceroy Series 40 Special

Lot 240 - 1939 Buick Viceroy Series 40 Special

Lot Number 240
Registration HPE 881
Chassis Number 9449191626
Engine Number 3421681
Odometer reading 1,700 miles
Result Sold - £23,600

‘In the name of the King’ is the literal meaning of Viceroy although latterly it has come to mean an official who represents the monarchy in an overseas territory. It is of little surprise that this grand saloon generated such a moniker given its dimensions and styling. Built in Ontario by General Motors’ Canadian coachbuilding subsidiary McLaughlin exclusively for GM’s export division, they were favourites of the British Royal family, with King George VIII and Mrs. Simpson owning one each while the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were also Buick fans taking delivery of new models in 1936, ’38 and ’39. All were built by McLaughlin and all purchased from London Buick dealers, ‘Lendrum and Hartman’, the last arriving in Europe just as war was declared. 

The Viceroy boasts its signature twin, wing-mounted spare wheels and forward opening rear doors and was extremely advanced, mechanically, for its time. Powered by a four litre overhead valve, straight eight motor with a three speed column change and independent front suspension, performance was good with a lazy 107bhp on tap and the model proved popular on both sides of the Atlantic. Right hand drive export versions, as this is, were made in Canada by the Buick-McLaughlin subsidiary and can easily be distinguished by its stylised ‘Catwalk Cooling’ front end inspired by the contemporaneous Auto Union grand prix cars. 

Since the arrival of this Viceroy in the UK, the history drops off the radar somewhat but is picked up again some five years ago when it was found abandoned in a barn in Norfolk. It was then stripped back to bare metal and repainted with all new running boards fabricated to the original specification including twin side mounts and carriers. All the brightwork was re-chromed to a high standard and the seats and door cards retrimmed in black leather with new carpets fitted. The steering wheel, door cappings and dashboard were renovated in their original ivory finish with a new headlining fitted. The straight-eight, Dynaflash engine was rebuilt and the gearbox and back axle overhauled. The wheels were refurbished and all the tyres are reported to be in good order, the wiring has also been renewed and the car now runs on 12-volt electrical system.

It is, of course, MoT test and tax exempt; however, the fastidious owner will supply a 12 month ticket. Supplied with current UK V5C registration document, old MoT test certificates, invoices, and other paperwork, this reliable, imposing and, not to mention, rare classic piece of American history is somewhat regal at the same time.

Interested parties should note that this example is now supplied with a brand-new Lucas dynamo, new battery and new tires. (The original dynamo is also supplied)


Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each Lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. All registration numbers, engine and chassis details are sourced from registration documents provided to Historics by the client or representative or HPI checks and buyers are to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of these details. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.

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