By Vern Parker
The elegant style of most automobiles from the era prior to World War II have long appealed to Jack Gallagher. He admires free standing headlights in buckets, running boards and rumble seats among other details.
For several years he stayed alert for an antique car that would suit his requirements. Finally, his perseverance paid off when a friend passed along a tip about a 1935 Buick convertible coupe that was for sale in Maryland.
As with all the other previous leads he had received regarding antique cars he followed this tip with an inspection trip.
The incredible car he discovered fulfilled all of his requirements and then some. It was painted Runnymeade Green with Baryta Yellow wheels with matching pin striping. Nestled in cavities in both front fenders were the two 6.25x16-inch Firestone Deluxe Champion spare tires. Leather straps secure a mirror to the top of each side mounted spare.
Gallagher received even more good news when he learned that the pristine Buick had undergone a complete restoration in the mid 1980s. With a few easily correctable minor flaws the car was virtually perfect.
On July 9, 2014 Gallagher became the owner of a 1935 Buick and took it home to Bethesda, Maryland.
Under the long engine hood is a straight eight cylinder 233-cubic-inch engine that develops 93 smooth horsepower. Six quarts of oil keep the engine running smoothly while 14 quarts of coolant are circulated by a centrifical water pump to keep the temperature under control. A two-barrel dual draft Stromberg carburetor feeds fuel to the engine.
Gallagher reports that records indicate the Buick has a top speed of 85 mph even though the figures on the speedometer go up to 100 mph.
Regardless of the actual speed the 3,140-pound car is brought to a halt by the 12-inch mechanical brakes. In addition to the headlights a pair of Trippe lights attached to the bumper brackets provide additional illumination.
On the cowl between the base of the windshield and the rear of the engine hood are two ventilators to scoop fresh air, when open, into the cabin.
The interior of the Buick is filled with interesting upscale touches such as a clock in the glove compartment door, arm rests and controls for two wipers to clear the windshield. An AM radio with a Buick label is suspended beneath the glove compartment door. Gallagher admits that the 80-year-old radio is slow to warm up before beginning to work.
When the driver is settled at the three-spoke steering wheel his feet are on the floor which doubles as a cover for the six-volt battery.
The hand brake is floor mounted as is the gear shift lever that controls the three-speed manual transmission..
In order to bring the engine to life the driver must actually step on the starter which activates the starter by pressing the accelerator to the floor.
Access to the rumble seat is gained by using the two step plates at the right rear of the car, one on the right rear bumper bracket and the other one at the top of the right rear fender. Rumble seat veterans know that the first step is made with the left foot.
A rear gravel pan is positioned between the body of the car and the rear bumper.
Mounted above the rear bumper and extending beyond the bumper is a collapsible luggage rack which proves very helpful in a car without a rear seat or an internal trunk. When the trunk is removed the rack can be folded up against the rear of the car.
Gallagher marvels how smooth the ride is as his Buick's 117-inch wheelbase soaks up imperfections in the road.