RARE 1924 Buick Six Master Series Model 51a Opera Window Brougham Only one known

Price: US $7,500.00 Item location: Wilton, California, United States
  • Make: Buick
  • Model: Master Six Series Model 51a Opera Brougham
  • Type: Opera Window Brougham
  • Trim: Brougham
  • Year: 1924
  • Mileage: 56335
  • VIN: 1216163
  • Color: Black
  • Engine size: 6 cyclinder
  • Number of cylinders: 6
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Brown
  • Drive side: Left-hand drive
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1924 Buick Master Six Series Model 51a Opera Brougham Brougham

When I bought this car I was excited to bring it home and start working on restoring it. I could picture the final results of it being restored and driving it with the family to car shows and National Buick meets as the only known Model 51a Opera Window Brougham, and someday passing it down to my son. Since that time things have taken a drastic change of events, I now need to sell it to help pay for some special educational needs of my four old son. So with that said, here are some details of this rare 1924 Buick Brougham I have learned through much research and in speaking with the National Buick Clubs Archivest and Historian;
In 1924 Buick started their new line of cars with 10 Models, none of which included this one, towards the end of the production year they decided to add another 5 passenger Brougham to the line up, this one with an Oval Opera Window and Landau bar. They offered this "Model 51a" in addition to the other Brougham called a "Model 51" which had a basic "D" shaped window for the rear passenger.
Buick made 6,000 5 passenger Broughams (The Model 51 and 51a) from 1924 through 1928. They made a Standard Series with a 120" wheelbase and a Master Series with the new larger 128" wheelbase, there were only 314 of the larger Brougham models with the oval opera window made, and of those possibly 10 are left of the 1926-1927 years, none are currently know of for 1925. And this is the only 1924 Model 51a (which is the only time a 51a was produced by Buick) There is a restored 1927 with the Opera Window feature currently mentioned on the National Pre-war buick Site for sale for $225,000. See link.
1924 was the 1st year for Buick to produce cars with a larger 6cyl overhead valve engine, detachable head, 4 wheel mechanical brakes and the larger 128" wheelbase Master Series.
I originally bought this rare body style with the intention of doing a ground up restoration, but I am no longer able to pursue this endeavor do to the above change of events. I have researched the details of this car and learned that it originally came from Northen California, hense the original matching 1941 California license plates with 1942 tabs still on it, the car was originally owned by a gentleman who got called to service after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and went off to fight in the South Pacific but he never returned. The car stayed where he last parked it in the family detached garage by his widow and later after she passed away was sold by the children to Harold Overbay who was a building inspector in the Shasta area. He moved to Astoria Oregon where it became part of his collection and at one time was displayed at one of the local Museum as an example or an original "survivor" car until a large storm caused water damage to the museum roof and it had to be removed. Upon his death, the family sold it and I purchased it from a friend of the nephew. I contacted Lind Coop, Archivists and Historian for the National Buick Club of America. Who has been so since 1967, and he states that the Model 51a has been virtually non-existent until I surfaced with this one, and no other ones that he knows of currently are or ever have been registered with the Buick Club of America. I will say there is one other one that I know, and I've been in communication with the owner, of which his car is in the jungle rotting 2 hrs outside of Manilla in the Philippines and he is considering parting it out due to its condition. But this is the only other one I have been able to locate which exists today in the United States. The car is in need of restoration, when I originally acquired it, it was 90% complete, there have been several parts on the car that were removed and lost or stolen over the years of sitting in storage, however I have been successful in locating and purchasing those parts which will come with the car. The motor is complete and intact, the original mohair interior, side door panels and seats are still covered with original interior, with the exception of part of the right front seat, headliner and it needs new top material for the roof. It has an original accessory trunk that was an option and most new car did not come with them and is designed to fit the rear body lines of this car. The wood wheels are in excellent condition with almost new tread on the tires and all hold air. The Model 51's had wood wheels and a rear mounted spare which is correct for this year, it has factory step plates, the car has all the other interior door handles, echelons, interior switches and locks are complete and intact, it has an optional floor heater in the back floor for passengers, and a floor foot rest which is in good condition. Aside from the dome light which is missing, and robe rail brackets which have broke but are there and can be reproduced, I believe the car is almost 90% complete. All the glass is original, in good condition, windows roll up and down as they should, the driver's side is structurally sound and doors open and close well, passenger side will need some wood replaced or repaired in place on the right as there appears to be some soft wood and rust appearing on the right side spash apron. I'm not looking to make a profit off the sale of this car, just asking for a break even price, I would absolutely love to keep, restore and drive a car which has the styling and class this car will present, especially once finished, and if your going to invest the time and money into a vintage car, might as well be one that no one else around has, or would afford to be able to have, and be the only one with one. This will make a great car for someone, as I said, I would love to keep it but I am no longer able to, wish I could and hope someday be able to have an old car, unfortunately my opportunity to have one this rare is gone as this is it, there are no more Model51a Opera Broughams. Feel free to contact me prior to close of Auction If you have any questions. I hope this ends up in a good home and it gets restored back to original since there are no more left.

On Dec-05-18 at 16:38:39 PST, seller added the following information:

The Model "51a" designation only occurred at the end of 1924 production year and was never used again.