To celebrate Buick’s centennial in 2003, the company wanted to build a custom show car that would incorporate styling cues and parts from a number of historic models. The Buick Blackhawk would use design language from the legendary 1938 Y-Job, sheet metal from 1941 and 1948 Roadmasters, interior components from a 1990s Riviera, in addition to a host of custom fabricated features.
Special vehicles manager Michael Doble was the driving force behind the Buick Blackhawk. Instead of having the Blackhawk done in house, Doble enlisted former Buick designer Steven Pasteiner of Advanced Automotive Technologies.
Pasteiner began with a 1996 Buick Riviera, and stripped it clean of everything but the VIN plate. The wheelbase was stretched to one hundred twenty-nine inches. The 3.8-liter V6 was replaced by a 1970 Buick GS Stage III 455 CI V-8 engine with electronic fuel injection rated at 463 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. Spent gasses are exhaled through a three-inch dual exhaust. Power is routed to the back wheels through a 4L80E four-speed automatic transmission.
The Buick Blackhawk rides on a Corvette-based independent front and rear suspension. The front end, with its hidden flip-over headlights, smacks of the 1938 Y-Job concept car that was often driven by GM design legend Harley Earl. A 1939 Buick grille was featured in the nose of the Blackhawk, while sheet metal from 1941 and 1948 Buick Roadmasters helped to form the custom body. The retractable hardtop is constructed of carbon fiber, and is swallowed by the long, sweeping rear end when down. The doors open with a keyless entry fob, as the door handles have been shaved. The exterior is covered in a dazzling hue called Deep Purple Metallic.
Inside, the Buick Blackhawk is awash in sumptuous cream leather. Many of the parts used to create the interior were sourced from a mid-1990s Riviera. The Blackhawk is equipped with power steering, power brakes, cruise control, Vintage Air, and power windows.
The engine bay of the Buick Blackhawk is home to the aforementioned fuel injected Buick GS Stage III 455 CI generating a powerful 463 horses. The block has been painted black, and the air cleaner, intake, and valve covers are all coated in a black crinkle finish. It is said that the Blackhawk is capable of sub-five second zero-to-sixty sprints and that it can break the back tires loose at will.
Upon completion, the Buick Blackhawk made appearances exclusively at Buick enthusiast events. It even had a brief appearance in the movie Bad Boys II. Thereafter, the Blackhawk found a home at the GM Heritage Center. It was sold in 2009 at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction, raking in a deserved $522,500 including buyer’s fee. It is being sold on a bill of sale, as it does not conform to federal, state, or local laws, and may not be driven on public roads.
This one-of-a-kind Buick Blackhawk custom will cross the auction block at the Mecum Auctions Kissimmee, Florida sale January 6th-16th.