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    Thread: 1948 Buick Streamliner by Norman E. Timbs

    1. #1
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      venbab's Avatar
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      May 2010

      1948 Buick Streamliner by Norman E. Timbs

      Got this as an email forward, thought that its worth sharing here.

      The 1948 Buick Streamliner by Norman E. Timbs is a muse in the world of classic cars, an automobile from a time when curvy was most desirable in the eyes of men. Looking at a car like this makes one lament the slim, simple direction human attraction has gone, when the cars and cover girls leave plenty to be desired in the most important aesthetic quality– shape. This classic Buick Streamliner is in pristine condition, restored by Dave Crouse for the 2010 Concours d’ Elegance. Its original construction took over two years, built with an aluminum body around a steel chassis. Not only is it unlikely you’ll ever see this beauty on the road, it’s likely that you’ll never see it on the auction block. A car like this is far too rare, too beautiful that any owner could ever want to pass it up– no matter the price.
      Mechanical engineer Norman E. Timbs created this dramatic streamliner in the 1940s which in many ways was the ultimate American hot rod. He designed and fabricated much of the project himself which included a custom aluminum body and steel chassis. It took him over two years to finish and the resulting chic roadster was good enough for cover of Motor Trend as well as features in Mechanix Illustrated, Popular Mechanics and Motor Life.
      Leading up to this design, Mr. Timbs had worked as an Indy 500 designer on cars such as the Blue Crown Specials which won Indy several times. Mr. Timbs was no doubt influenced by the 1937 Auto Union Typ C Stromlinie and 1937 Mercedes-Benz W25 Avus Stromlinie which ran the 1937 Avus GP. His sensational shape was a very close approximation to these cars which ran the fastest GP race of all time nearing speeds of 248.40 mph (400 kph).
      The body was nod to the German GP cars which at the time mimicked aeronautical practice. Norm's design was free of the over indulgences such as huge chrome bumpers and large tail fins that eventually dominated American design. The streamliner's chic elegance was a rarity in America, even if was outdated by post-war standards.
      Today, the car's smooth shape is still as pleasing to the eye as it was in 1948. The boy is long and low with a complete underbelly panel. With the engine occupying the rear of the chassis, the cockpit is pushed forward much like the Auto Union Type D. In keeping with the aerofoil shape, no doors are cut out of the body. A large one-piece rear panel opens hydraulically to reveal the entire rear end of the chassis.
      The car was based around a 1947 Buick “Super 8” engine which powered the 2200 lb car to 120 mph. The main chassis was built up from five-inch steel tubes which kicked up over the rear axle. To offer a smooth ride, a modified 1947 Ford suspension was utilized.

      Road & Track reported that it took Mr Timbs 2 1/2 years to create the car at a cost of $10,000 USD. The body was created entirely in aluminum by Emil Diedt for $8,000 alone. The shape was formed by hand over a traditional wooden buck.
      At first the Streamliner was only used on the show circuit until Jim Davis of California bought it in 1952. He used it in and around Manhattan Beach, California and let Motor Life photograph it for a feature article.

      The car was discovered in the desert pretty much intact in 2002. It was bought at auction and restored by Dave Crouse at Custom Auto, Inc. in Loveland, Colorado for owners Gary & Diane Cerveny of Malibu, California. After its “complete and exacting” restoration, it debuted at the 2010 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance in a class reserved for Motor Trend Cover Cars

      Concept / Prototype Car
      built at
      California, USA
      body stylist
      Norman Timbs
      Buick Inline-8
      149.1 kw / 200 bhp
      191.57 bhp per tonne
      body / frame
      Aluminum over Steel Tube Chassis
      driven wheels
      r suspension
      De Dion-Type Tube Axle w/Transverse Leaf Spring, Tubular Shock Absorbers
      1044 kg / 2300 lbs
      2921.0 mm / 115 in
      990.6 mm / 39 in


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      Last edited by venbab; 7th Dec 2010 at 11:46.
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    2. #2

      not aware that he can set his status here!
      dhruvj's Avatar
      Join Date
      Oct 2009
      venbab thanks for sharing
      Indica Xeta 1.4L
      RE Machismo 350
      Sold : Bajaj Pulsar 150

    3. #3
      not aware that he can set his status here!
      SKC's Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 2010
      North Carolina
      Wow. I am speechless!!! Thats an amazing ride. Thanks Venbab for sharing.
      Honk if you want to see my finger!

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