What is Hometown Buick?
First things first: Hometown Buick is not an official Buick website. It is not connected to Buick in any way. Buick is a registered trademark and a subdivision of General Motors (USA). Hometown Buick is a private website made with passion for 1950s Buicks.
The early beginning of Hometown Buick
Lets be honest. Hometown Buick was never planned from scratch. It all started in 2005 when a young university student couldn’t sleep and watched car restoration shows past midnight. One night, an ugly old car was restored. But the chassis experts came to the shop with a very beautiful car. As it turned out, this was a 1955 Buick. And this young man was me, Jan Olaf Hansen from Germany.
After some research, I really liked the styling of Buicks of the 1950s. My personal favorite was 1954. I’ve watched several 1954 Buicks on eBay. One day, an (almost) original survivor show up. I bought this car and imported it to Germany. The original owner – a couple living in Denver, Colorado – has bought the car in 1954 and had it until 1995, when a nice woman just across the street took care of it. She sold it me in 2006. The car is named “Gracie” honoring the original car owner lady. I was very surprised, when I looked into the trunk of Gracie. There was a large folder full of original documents in it – even the first registration in 1954. Lots of invoices carry mileage data, so this folder proves the mileage of the car. To me, its more important to know the history of the car. This was the beginning of my passion for original and authentic Buicks.
As many classic car owners, I wanted to have some original literature for the glove box. The first item I’ve bought was the 1954 Buick Sales Brochure. The passion really increased when I got hands on the 1954 Buick Dealer Facts Book. This is an awesome book! It provides so much information. If you want to know more about your 1950s Buick, I strongly recommend buying one of those! The next step was to understand Gracie’s body tag. The documents and all communication I had with the previous owner indicated that Gracie is still in its original shape (besides one unprofessional repaint).
From then on it became expensive. To get authentic info about the interior materials, I’ve bought the 1954 Buick Trim Album. It not only answered my questions. I’ve learned to appreciate authentic sources. It was also the time to meet other 1954 Buick owners. The most common way might be to post on a forum. But I got in touch with one very special guy through eBay. We bid against each other and made some sellers very happy. Our main advantage was that eBay hadn’t introduced their anonymization of member names. We started to text each other and became close friends.
www.1954buick.com – the first version of Hometown Buick
This friendship was the key to the “pre-version” or tiny brother of Hometown Buick: the 1954 Buick forum called “54 Buick Highway” on www.1954buick.com. This website still exists and more and more people register themselves. I really love the idea of sharing knowledge. I’ve upgraded the website regularly. In 2008 it was “just” a forum. In 2012, it had a production overview, a registry, a literature section and a configurator for all 1954 Buick models. I also joined the AACA forum and met some other folks having 1950s Buicks.
The idea for Hometown Buick was born in 2011. My aim was to provide all necessary info to 1950s Buick owners and fans. I wanted to share my passion and make other people happy with the stuff I’ve collected over the years. An inventory was updated every couple of months to keep the overview of existing memorabilia. I also scanned every item right from the beginning. Printed material has a resolution of 300 dpi. Just to be sure, everything for Hometown Buick was scanned in 600 dpi. Today, the Hometown Buick Collection is one of the largest known for 1950s Buick memorabilia. Over 3,000 items tell the story of Buicks design icons and the progress of automobile making.
Building a Home Base for all 1950s Buick owners and fans
The name Hometown Buick was chosen with the help of a book. To be more precisely: The 1956 Buick Dealership Building Layout Guide. The publishers wanted to address all Buick Dealerships all over the United States, so they just put Hometown Buick on all renderings. To me, it symbolizes that a good Buick home can be anywhere – and any place can be a good home with a Buick. 🙂
Plus, it literally puts together my idea of offering a home base for all 1950s Buick owners and enthusiasts.
After thousands of hours spend for scanning and optimizing its content, Hometown Buick finally opened its gates in 2016. I’d like to say A BIG THANK YOU to all my friends & my family for your amazing support over the past years!