1929 Buick 29/X50L

Seven Passenger Imperial Limousine

Owned by John and Tracey Donaldson

Vacy, NSW, Australia

The car was fully imported from the USA, reputably for the use of the NSW Governor, Admiral Sir Dudley de Chair. This car was the 76th of a total of 169 29/X50L Imperial Limousines built by Fisher body works in Detroit USA. It was the largest and most expensive Buick available at the time with a listed price of $2,145.00 US This is the only known example of this model Buick still existing in Australia.

The history of the car is not known until it was purchased from Ben Bronk’s Vintage Car Museum, Watsons Bay, Sydney, some time prior to 1976 when the museum closed down. A restoration had been started on the car with the body removed and some of the mechanicals overhauled. The car was then loosely assembled so that it could be sold.

The car then came into the guardianship of Peter Cockbain in the late 70’s. Peter kept it in dry storage with the intentions of completing the restoration. In 2019 I acquired it from Peter as he had too many other projects to complete and had come to the realisation that he would never get to the Limousine.

As the vehicle was so rare it was decided to retain as much of the original car as possible. While there were quite a few parts missing, the critical Limousine parts, the Stentor Autophone system and the glass partision were there. The larger vanity case for the ladies with the ashtray, mirror and notepad was there, (found later in another shed) however the smoking case assembly was missing and had to be fabricated from scratch.

All the interior and glass was missing from the car when I received it. Twelve months later I was helping Peter move some other cars out of his shed. We removed some sheeting covering a 24 tourer and discovered most of the origanal upholstery and the side windows for my car stored inside.

We removed six cars from Peters shed that day and two of them ended up on my trailer and now reside in my shed. A 29/55 Sports Tourer and a 29/49 Seven Seat Tourer. They are both six wheelers with wire wheels. These are future projects requiring major restorations as they have many missing parts and are in poor condition!

The body had been left in undercoat in the 70’s and moisture has consequently formed a layer of surface rust on the metalwork. This required the body to be removed and stripped to bare metal. Some of the timberwork had to be replaced at this time due to rot.

The car was stripped to bare chassis for painting.

The mechanicals was striped and repaired as necessary, including replacing all the brakes that were missing off the car.

The interior, dash, wiring etc. had been removed from the car and had to be replaced.

New seat backs had to be fabricated and then the upholstery was sewn together with the assistance of my wife Tracey.

New upholstery boards being fabricated.

The restoration was done all ourselves with the exemption of the paint work that was completed with the expertise of one of my neighbours, Bill Wells.