Prior to its indirect place in American history, the 1939 Buick Special convertible coupe featured here was in dire shape gathering dust in its barn and serving as a nesting site for the local bird population. Its prospects back then were grim, but for A.C. Wilson the car held a special place in his heart and he pursued the goal of perhaps owning it one day. “The family called it “The Pearl Harbor Buick” Wilson proudly boasted, and it was not a casually placed moniker either.
It earned its nickname by being parked at Pearl Harbor on a fateful December 7, 1941. The day that the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a stunning sneak attack on the American Naval base there during the early years of World War II. The attack killed over 2,400 men and was one of the two key factors (along with Hitler’s declaration of war on the United States) that forced the country to be involved in the grisly global conflict. The Buick meanwhile survived the attack somehow unscathed and managed to survive into the post war period as well. For Wilson however, he would have to wait thirty more years before he finally bought the Buick of his dreams from his cousin Marry Bullard who was on the island during the attack and was the car’s prior owner.
Wilson extensively restored the Buick, and showed it off in parades and other events and was more than happy to share the Buick’s compelling history to curious observers and passersby. However, Wilson now plans to sell the Buick as well as a few other classic cars at the auction to settle some lingering family debts. The auction itself will take place on December 6th which is a day shy of the 73rd anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. If the car is sold, it will also begin a new era for Wilson and his family since it would be the first time since 1941 that the family has not owned a Buick product. This particular prospect has played in Wilson’s mind and he elaborated on it further stating “Some days I try to not think about it. There’s emotion to it… It has a great history, all about a Virginia family and the World War II generation.
You can check out this special Buick and the other cars up for auction here and see the unique history that each one of them brings to the Woltz auction block. December 6 is the day the auction begins