A mobile dynamometer can certainly draw a crowd, with raucous engines shouting their power far and wide, but it also creates a certain novelty when a 1927 Buick gets strapped down over the rollers.
Rarely do we get the opportunity to see lower-power vehicles on dynamometers, as the cost generally keeps owners from giving into the curiosity of knowing exactly how much (or little) a low-RPM early engine makes.
The crowd attending M1 Concourse Cars and Coffee on May 26 were treated to just such a rare sight, when a well-presented 1927 Buick puttered through the crowd and over to the mobile dynamometer. The owner, dressed in period dress, right down to a gentleman’s hat and cigar hanging from his lips, warmed the inline-six engine up to operating temperature before accelerating through four pulls.
The graph shows the results, with the numbers including drivetrain loss, which is often estimated at 15–20 percent. The horsepower peak was 29.97, while the torque number confirms the old notion that early engines were built for torque, with a peak of 89.10. Top speed on the rollers approached 50 mph, which seems about right for the vintage of the car.
With that we say thank you to the owner for having the guts to put his Buick to the test. He has bragging rights until the next pre-war car turns the rollers, and hopefully we get to see those runs too.