30 DAYS UNTIL SCOTTSDALE: HOWARD HUGHES’ 1953 BUICK ROADMASTER
This historic 1953 Buick Roadmaster (Lot #2503) was personally customized for 20th century Renaissance man, Howard Hughes. One of his prized possessions, Hughes drove the car while he stayed at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Hollywood, Calif., utilizing it as his own mobile office.
Always concerned that he was being watched, Hughes preferred the Roadmaster as its exterior blended in with other vehicles on the street. An aviation enthusiast and aerospace engineer, Hughes directed the Roadmaster’s mechanical modifications to conform to his eccentric demands and idiosyncrasies. Amidst his modifications is a full 24-volt aircraft electrical system in conjunction with the factory 12-volt system that allowed him the ability to personally jumpstart his airplane while traveling undetected. The electrical system also features a trunk-mounted air conditioning unit that is fully operable separate from the engine. In line with Hughes’ germ obsession, it was designed to first flow through a dust trap and bacterial filter.
The Buick Roadmaster was also the last car that Hughes drove. Purchased off the blocks at 7000 Romain in Hollywood, Calif., where it was stored for 20 years, this piece of history has only 5,339 miles on the clock. The exterior is 100% original with factory Pastel Blue paint and a Seafoam Green top. All interior appointments are in perfect condition, complete with blue wool, broadcloth and nylon.
The ’53 Buick Roadmaster (Lot #2503) will cross the auction block in Scottsdale on Saturday, Jan. 17.
Ron Pratte’s prestigious collection of automobilia will kick off the 44th Annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction beginning Saturday, Jan. 10 at 9 a.m. and running through Tuesday, Jan. 13 at 1 p.m. Pratte’s vehicles first cross the block at 4 p.m. on Tuesday with lot numbers 2000 through 2109 and will continue with lot numbers 2500 through 2530 on Saturday, Jan. 17.