The 1949 Buick Roadmaster was the first entirely new Buick to enter production after the war, as far as styling is concerned. Its most significant features were its low design and elongated, elegant lines that contributed to automotive style for a decade to come. By all accounts, it’s most significant feature was the unmistakable, if not massive, front grille, featuring 25 chrome ‘tooth’, which was referred to as ‘the Dollar Grin’. Although it shared a body with other General Motors products, namely Cadillac and Oldsmobile, the Buick designers managed to give the Roadmaster a very specific, sought-after look.
While the body and design were entirely new, what lurked under the hood wasn’t. The 1949 Buick Roadmaster was equipped with a straight-eight engine with a 5.2 liter displacement producing 150 horsepower. While it was considered antiquated compared to other car’s more modern, overhead camshaft V8, the old workhorse still managed to push the Roadmaster to a top speed of 100 mph, and give it a 17 second 0-60 acceleration time.
It took a couple of years after its introduction for the Roadmaster to finally get a V8, which was still coupled with the 2-speed Dyna-Flow automatic transmission. The 1949 Buick Roadmaster is an icon of automotive history, mainly for its styling, which influenced automotive design for a decade or more.