Modern design, a new dual-carbureted straight-eight engine that delivered more horsepower than its V-8 competitors and the largest model selection in its history pushed Buick into fourth place in national sales. In 1941, Buick offered cars ranging from the fastback "sedanette" (priced just $200 more than a Chevrolet) and the last of its four-door convertibles to limited touring cars designed by custom-body builder Herman Brunn. The cars had radio antennas at the center of the windshield that could be turned with a knob inside the car. Buick also introduced hoods over the engine compartment that could be opened from either the driver or passenger side. But the biggest attraction to a nation seeking speed was the dual-carburetion "Fireball," which delivered more horsepower than top-of-the-line Cadillac V-8s. The engine operated with one carburetor until the accelerator pedal was fully depressed--then the second kicked in.

THE SPECS

Price

$1,364

Engine

Dual-carbureted, 320.2-cubic-inch straight eight

Horsepower

165 at 3,800 rpm

Wheelbase

126 inches

Overall length

215 inches

Seating capacity

6

HISTORICAL FACTS

Year

1941

President

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Median family income

$1,232

Dow Jones industrial average (year-end)

110.96

Academy Award movie

"How Green Was My Valley"

Milestone

Quality Inns founded