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Focus on the Classics

Focus on the Classics

Brooklin’s Buick Collection
1:43 | $95-$125 Each

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Above: Representative models from each year of the Buick Collection. Front (left to right): 1939 M61 Touring Sedan (007), 1938 M-46S Sports Coupe (021) 1937 M- 46C Convertible Coupe (009), and 1936 M48 Victoria Coupe (018). Rear (left to right): 1935 M-96S (001) and 1934 M-96S (002).
If you’re a kit builder with the time and the talent to paint, assemble, modify, and conjure up your dream lineup, keeping a focused collection is easy. But, if you’re not handy with paint and glue, or you’re too busy to build, nurturing a theme and accumulating a comprehensive collection of ready-built model cars means being at the mercy of the manufacturers. That’s especially true when the subject matter is road cars—and trebly so when those road cars are classics. But one 1:43 maker, in particular, seems to be championing a change.

9ccAbove: Touring “Trunkback” Sedan models show how much the front end of the 1939 Buicks (004, right) changed from the 1938 models (007. left). This wide “toothy” grille would be a Buick trademark for a couple of generations.

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Above: Harley Earl’s 1936 solid-roof “Turret-Top” design (M-41 4-Door Sedan, 013, right) was a major departure from the vintage-looking 1935’s (M-96 Coupe, 001, left).

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Above: The three currently available “Series” in the Buick Collection. Left to right: Series 40/Special 1937 M-44 2-Door “Plainback1” Sedan (019), Series 60/Century 1939 Convertible Coupe (011), and 1934 Series 90/Limited Limousine (010).

In 2007, Britain’s BrooklinModels, the largest producer offactory-built white metal cars,announced the Brooklin “BuickCollection.” Along with their standard range of American carsfrom the years 1930-1970, theBrits’ exceptionally ambitious plan for the premium line wasto produce a model of every Buick built from 1934 through1939. That didn’t mean six Buick models, mind you, but rather every body style of every Buickseries built within those six years, for a total of around 130 distinct models. In that context, perhaps“ambitious” is too light a word. While it’s true Buick used many of the same bodies across itsentire range each year, Brooklin’stask of stretching or shortening those designs in scale, adding ormodifying trim to produce visual exterior differences between the four series each year, and making similar scale models looksufficiently different to generate interest amongst potential buyers would be a challenge. To date, Brooklin has handled that challenge exceptionally well, with different colors, factory options, and top-up ordown convertible bodies. The first Buick Collection model, atop-line 1935 Series 90 Coupe (Buick Model 96-S) appeared in the fall of 2007, and it was quickly followed by a very similar 1934 Model 96-S. To saythe line has been a success is redundant. As of this writing, 24 models have been released inthe Buick Collection; number 25 will be available by the time you read this, and number 26 will most likely be on a boat headed westward. Twenty-six models released in a six-year span—tooled, built, and sold in addition to this maker’s standard range—is quite an accomplishment. And, as you can see in the photos, the cars are all well worth seeking out.

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Above: Buick Series 40 specials from 1937. Front (left to right): M-40C Convertible Phaeton (005), M-46C Convertible Coupe (009), and M-46 Two-door business Coupe ((012). rear (left to right): 4-door “Plain- back” sedan (006) and 2-door “Plainback” sedan (019).

8bccAbove: Brooklin’s Model 40-C Convertible Phaetons show the bigger grille and cleaner front end that distinguished the 1938 buicks (015, right) from the 1937 models (005, left).

The Models by Year

1934: Buick built 24 different models: five in each of the Series 40 and 50 lines, six Series 60 types, and eight bodies in the top-line Series 90. Wheelbases ranged from 117 inches for the Model 40, to 136 inches for the Series 90. The 2-door Sport Coupe with rumble seat body was adapted for use in all four series. At this point, Brooklin has released six 1934 models, four in the Series 90, and two in the second-string Series 60:

 

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1935: The debut piece for the Buick Collection remains the only 1935 model in this stable, which leaves 25 more models to be made out of Buick’s four series for that year. Since there were virtually no external differences between 1934 and 1935 Buicks, Brooklin may still be looking for ways to make the models different. For now, the sole 1935 model is:

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1936: Automotive historians agree that 1936 was a turnaround year for Buick. All four series got new, Harley Earl-designed “turret-top” bodies, and all four received names: “Special,” “Century,” “Roadmaster,” and “Limited.” Only 17 different Buick models were built in 1936, and Brooklin currently has four in the collection, all from the entry-level Series 40 (Special) line:

 

 

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That leaves two Specials and all the Centurys, Roadmasters, and Limiteds for the future.

1937: The 1936 Buicks were all new, but that didn’t stop Buick from giving the lineup a major facelift for 1937. They added streamlined front ends and a longer wheelbase for the Special, which made it look even more like the Century. The range grew to 22 models that year. There are seven 1937 Buicks in the collection—that’s more than for any other year.

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It’s worth noting that the Sport Coupe M46-S is the only 1937 Special yet to be modeled, and here, too, none of the Century, Limited, or Roadmaster series have yet appeared.

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Above: The first and most recent Brooklin Collection Models. 1935 M-96s Coupe (001) (left) and 1934 M-97 4-door sedan (024). Note the additional lower body chrome molding and plated vent window frames on the latest model.

1938: The few styling changes made for 1938 further enhanced the Buick’s looks, and the cars got a much-improved chassis and suspension, with engine/transmission upgrades too. The Formal Sedan was dropped from the Limited series, leaving 21 1938 Buick Models—of which Brooklin has released five:

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1939: Buicks got yet another new and different front end, with a much broader “waterfall” grille. Rumble seats disappeared, and the shift handle moved to the steering column. Only 19 different models were offered, of which Brooklin has four in the line:

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All 1939 BC models have been of the second level Series 60 or Century Buicks.

As you can see, at this point, the Buick Collection includes 15 Series 40 (Special) models, five Series 60 (Century) models, six Series 90 (Limited) models, and zero Series 80 (Roadmaster) cars. That means there are lots of really interesting images yet to come from Brooklin.

It gets even better for classics fans: the success of the Buick Collection led Brooklin to begin another themed series this year: the “Pontiac Collection.” This will include all Pontiacs from 1935 through 1939, a strong, somewhat less ambitious program that will include about 60 different models. The first release, a 1937 Deluxe 6 Touring Sedan, had a correct, shorter wheelbase and body, an accurate Pontiac front end, and, of course, the trademark Silver Streak trim. We’ll be focused on those, too. Stay tuned.

Sources
Brooklin Models brooklinmodels.co.uk/

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Updated: July 22, 2014 — 4:55 PM

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