Welcome to Little Car in the Big City, where I highlight fascinating cars I found walking around a town that is known for being bigger than everything else, but where every car is fighting to stand out: New York, New York.

There's a much rarer gem in the cold, wintry Northeast, than your run-of-the-mill McLaren 12C or Porsche 911 Turbo, and that's an old, unrestored beauty queen that's still on the roads.

Like this 1955 Buick Special.

Cars like this Special Convertible tend to be either have been junked years ago, as the ice and rain and sleet and salt and grime took their toll, or have been bought up, to be lovingly restored by people with long memories and sizeable bank accounts.


But to find an old one, just sitting, on the street, completely untouched but still running?

That's really (say it with me now) special.


The Special was Buick's "entry-level" model, from when you were stepping up from an Oldsmobile or a Chevy or a Pontiac or one of the many brands that GM once made. Its styling, which included a wraparound windshield and that awesome kink in the side, was advertised as a "radical departure" from Buick's past.

And seriously, Buick was really proud of that windshield:

What's amazing about that commercial is the guy talks on and on about the price, but doesn't actually say what it cost. Amazingly, for all this style, it cost only $2,200, or less than $20,000 in today's money.


Imagine getting all this style, for the price of a well-equipped Nissan Sentra.

Even a fully-loaded Special wouldn't entirely break the bank, as they maxed out at $3,163, or just a little over $27,000. And that would get you a convertible with two-tone paint and a V8 engine, among many other things.


But it really is a treat to see such a beautiful old beater being used as what looks like a regular driver's car as this one.

If only reasonably-priced entry-level cars had half as much style today.