We spotted Dave Aspinall’s all-original 1923 Buick model 39 at this year’s Goodguys show in Del Mar, California. It’s almost impossible to see this model in this condition these days because there are only four known to exist in the world.
They are only original once, and when any modification is made, that claim can never be made again. It is remarkable to think about a 94-year-old car that has survived in only two families since new, and is in the original state today. Same original engine and transmission, no cosmetic restorations or body work. The current owner, Encinitas, California’s Dave Aspinall has done his research and claims that his Buick is only one of three Buick 39’s known to exist in the U.S. and only one of four in the world.
This very rare Buick is as close to an original as you will ever see from a 94-year-old car. Aspinall found some of the original tools that came with the car and built a display case to help preserve the equipment.
In 1923, Buick only produced 1,971 of the model 39 Sport Roadsters. Aspinall bought the car from a family that had owned the car since 1923, where it was purchased in Yuma, Arizona. The family drove the car over the plank highway to the San Diego area, where it has spent the rest of its life.
All of it’s original components are still on the car. According to Aspinall, it was grandpa’s car, then the son’s car, which became the uncle’s car and finally to the grandson. Aspinall purchased the car from the grandson. The car was sold because it was sitting due to other car projects the family was involved in. Aspinall bought the car, then sold a few of his own projects to focus on getting this Buick back to working condition.
Even the four cylinder engine and transmission were original.
The car had not been on the road since 1996, but Aspinall has managed to rebuild the vacuum, carburetor, water pump, clean the gas tank and have it relined, and replaced the plugs and wires. All this while saving all the original parts.
The interior, a little worn, was the original material that came from the factory in 1923. The car's design is amazing, from the door opening mechanism and side curtain posts to the foot pedals. A genuine look back at the roaring twenties.
Surprisingly, with a fresh tank of gasoline, he was able to start the car in November of 2014. The car had not been running in the previous 18 years.
Some of the external details are just works of art in their own right.
Aspinall has said, and continues to say, he is going to keep the Buick as original as he can, and just enjoy the car without restoring it. It’s likely that most of us will never see a car this originally complete that is over 94 years old ever again. Well done Sir … Well done!
Craftsmanship in automobile manufacturing has never been equalled to the caliber of the car making in the 1920s.