The 1958 model year is remembered by many enthusiasts as the zenith of automotive excess: the largest cars with the most lavish trim. In period literature, Buick proclaimed that the new lineup “looks and feels like flight on wheels.” Dubbed the “Air Born B-58,” the 1958 Buicks were considered to be immediately stunning to the eye with a big, bold presence. The cars were stated to have been “born out of more aviation principles, starting with the extensive new use of aluminum throughout, than any car before.”
Along with the look of flight being part of their design philosophy; Buick wanted the car to be associated with the principles of flight for their mechanical performance, accomplished by the 364-cid, 300-hp “nailhead” V-8. The Limited featured the Flight Pitch Dynaflow transmission, which featured three turbines and a variable-pitch stator.
The Limited was a new series; or rather a revived name from what had previously been an upper echelon Roadmaster. In 1957, Roadmaster had two series, the 70 and 75, the latter having just two body styles, a Riviera hardtop sedan and a Riviera hardtop coupe. For 1958, these were called “Limited” Series 700, and a convertible coupe (model 756) was added. At $5,125, it was the most expensive Buick and, with only 839 built, the rarest stateside offering. It is believed that far fewer examples have survived; numbers as few as 20 cars have been suggested by respected sources.
Limited was not a new name. It had been used before the war, affixed to the top-line Series 90 in 1936, when model names were added to Buick nomenclature. In that day, Limited meant limited, production was low and some chassis’ were sent out to coachbuilders for the largest, grandest and most expensive Buicks of the day. That came to an end with World War II, and when production resumed, the market didn’t demand such exclusivity; not until 1958, or so it was projected by product planning.
Few American cars of the era were more chrome-covered than the 1958 Buick Limited. True to the Limited heritage, the 1958 Limited was the top of the line, carrying the same dynamic “Fashion Air Dynastar” styling as other Flint products of the year, including a remarkable grille composed of 160 faceted chrome squares. This exceptional presentation of brightwork detail is seen along the cars exterior flanks, as well around the rear fascia and throughout the luxurious interior.
The platform is on a longer 127.5-inch-wheelbase chassis, for a total span from nose-to-nose of over 227 inches of decked out automobile. Distinctive to the three Limited body styles were the “hash marks” along the rear fenders. The Limited was also the only 1958 Buick model that featured the distinctively beautiful, bright lower rear quarter panels that blend impeccably into the massive rear bumper. Jewel-like chrome bands surround each wheel opening and the taillight towers are dramatic in presentation and also unique.