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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Martha's Super: 1953

Martha's Super: 1953

1953. "Comedienne Martha Raye at her home in Connecticut." In a Buick Super whose grille rivaled her own. Photo by Douglas Jones for the Look magazine article "Martha Raye: At Home, She's Quieter." View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Cruiser Line Vent Ports

Because I know you were all wondering what those portholes were officially called by Buick. (Or maybe not, as I just Googled the term and came up with nada. Maybe that's just what the AMT model-making company called them.)

[Commenter rkcoker alludes to the correct term below, although Buick itself spelled it "Venti-Ports" in this 1949 brochure. -tterrace]

Off topic

The submarines I rode on back in the 70's had tubes installed in their sides for torpedo evasion and they were instantly named "Buick Ventiports" by the crew.

First Year for

V-8, 12 volt electrical system and factory air-conditioning in the Supers and Roadmasters. The Special used a smaller body shared with all Oldsmobiles and would soldier on with the obsolete Fireball straight 8 for one more year.

Hole In One

This mid-century knockout, the car that is, had 3 holes (ports) on its sides. The top of the line Roadmaster had 4, see the attached image. I have 2 friends, who do not know each other, who for the last 50 years or so have owned only Buicks. The status car in China is now the Buick and they're built in Shanghai.

1953 Buick Super Riviera

The Riviera name means "hardtop". I had one of these in the late eighties and the nineties. It combined the gas mileage of a Hummer with the get-up-and-go of a Beetle.

On the other hand, it is a beautiful car.

Papa Loved Buicks!

My Papa, born in 1899 and passed in 2001, loved his Buicks! I remember him showing off his new Buicks though the years. Amazingly, this car still looks sharp, wonder what happened to the company? Thanks for sparking memories of my wonderful Grandfather on this day!


The swooshy trim, the 3-holer, the shape of the fenders and hood -- is this the same car as Born Too Late's in-laws', seen here (same year, 1953)?

[Martha's ride is a Super; BTL's is a Special. - Dave]

Learned to drive in this car.

My Nana had a 1953 Buick Super hardtop. Navy blue over light blue. Matching leather inside, with Dynaflow automatic, PS, PB. Every afternoon she would stop at our house in small-town Michigan, toss me the keys, and say, "Take it around the block."

I was 11 years old.

Home Sweet Home

At this point Martha was between husbands 4 and 5 (of 7).

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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