This ’51 Buick Special straight-eight is our next Redline Rebuild project - Hagerty Media

Davin Reckow is a man who cannot have idle hands. It’s just not in his nature. That means before the gasket silicone had dried on the Stovebolt Six, he had another project lined up. That project happens to be one that has been hanging around the Hagerty Garage for quite some time—meet the 1951 Buick Special, the star of the newest Redline Update series.

“I found this Buick seven years ago at the Hershey fall swap meet,” says Davin. “It was a good-condition barn find, with all the barn-find problems.”

For example, the Special’s convertible top is long gone, and the floor metal is on its way out. What did weather the perfect storm of terrible storage, however, was the ’51’s straight-eight engine. With some attention and a light tune up, it proved it could run a few years ago. Also used in Hagerty’s employee restoration program, this Buick even sat in on a seminar in 2014 regarding the debate of preservation versus restoration.

Just running isn’t good enough, though. The whole car is getting a makeover and will be used for future events as part of the Hagerty collection. The engine is due for a full refresh—and who better to tackle the project than Davin?

“I am curious to get inside this engine and compare it to the 1950 truck engine that we just did,” Davin says. “I expect a few differences between the heavy-duty application of that Chevy and this smooth-running Buick. I expect a few interesting assembly quirks too, but we will have to wait and see.”

Now that the engine is out, it’s leaving one garage in a truck bed and headed for another, where it will get bolted to an engine stand and teardown will begin. For those who can’t stand the anticipation, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to get a notification with each new video, so you don’t miss an oil-soaked minute.

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