Custom Car Chronicle

1950 Buick Digital Restyling


In 2011 I created several digital styling studies for Dan Christensen in Denmark. Dan’s plan was to built a classic restyled 1950 Buick with wonderful styling.

Before the digital restyling process begun, Dan and I talked about his dream car. We looking at other cars or elements from cars that he liked. And he listed all the things he wanted, and did not wanted to see in his own dream custom. I would create several views of his Buick with the restyling done digitally to visualize the final car. This way Dan had a visual guidance when it came time to start the building of his car. I starting with a side view to get the most important aspect of this car, the chop as good as possible and to figure out what needed to be done on the real car to recreate this.

The 1950 Buicks are not the easiest cars to get right when chopping. In this case we wanted to create the ultimate chop with the best possible profile. The window trim and stainless would have to be heavily modified or made from scratch for the best effect. Once the chop was finalized and approved on, a few versions with other customizing elements were created.
Once the side view customizing was agreed on, a front 3/4 view was created.This view would show the new grille and headlights treatment.

Sadly some time after the front 3/4 views were done, the project came to an halt. Some time later, Dan decided to sell the project car and move on with other things.
With all the Digital Restyling finished we figured it would be nice to show them here. And perhaps somebody else will get inspired by them.

ccc-dan-50buick-side-01-wThe first photo shows the stock 1950 Buick Dan had bought for the project.


ccc-dan-50buick-side-02-wFirst things to do was to get the stance of the car right, removed the emblems and handles etc. Then the chop was handled. At the rear a set of 1951 Cadillac taillights are fitted to the modified rear fenders. The typical Cadillac tail fin was not used which resulted in a much smoother flow.



The final side view

ccc-dan-50buick-side-03-wThe final approved side view. The rear fenders were reshaped more. 1949 Cadillac taillights were used and they flow better with the shape of the trunk than the 1951 models we used in an earlier version.  The rear fender character line was moved up about an inch to meet with the bottom of the taillight. The lower back portion of the rear fender was extended and set at an angle to flow better with the taillights and the rest of the car.




The front 3/4 view of Dan’s Buick that we would use for the Digital Restyling.


ccc-dan-50buick-front-02-wThe first step was to get the car lowered as we did on the side view. The unwanted trim was removed and the rear fenders were modified to match the side view (with 1951 Cadillac taillights). Dan wanted to have stock headlight rings for a classic look, but with frenched lights. The Grille teeth were extended and the front bumper was replaced by a reshaped rear bumper from the same year Buick. Resulting in a much cleaner look. I actually liked this front the best.


ccc-dan-50buick-front-03-wNext was getting the top chopped in the same way as the side view. On this version the rear bumper used on the front was reshaped at the center with the guards removed for an ultimate smooth look.



The final front 3/4 view


The final front 3/4 view shows the use of a 1953 Buick grille and the modified rear bumper used below it.




Rik Hoving

Rik is the CCC editor in chief. As a custom car historian he is researching custom car history for many years. In 2004 he started the Custom Car Photo Archive that has become a place of joy for many custom car enthousiasts. Here at CCC Rik will bring you inspiring articles on the history of custom cars and builders. Like a true photo detective he will show us what's going on in all those amazing photos. He will write stories about everything you want to know in the realm of customizing. In daily life Rik is a Graphic Designer. He is married to the CCC webmaster and the father of a 10 year old son (they are both very happy with his excellent cooking skills)

7 thoughts on “1950 Buick Digital Restyling

  • thanks for bringing back those great memories! it was a shame Dan sold the car…he would have been the right guy to build it!
    hopefully someone will get inspired by this…this is such a beautiful car.

  • Very beautiful car and I think the two profile pictures clearly shows what customizing is all about, what a huge improvement.

  • Wow! That sure would have been a tasty custom. I really dig this post like Bert does. It shows how customizing is about enhancing and improving.

  • Forgot to mention that I am really impressed by how close to the real thing these fake photos are. Being a total dummy on digital picture processing myself I cant really tell how much effort it takes to create something like this. I saw the chopped -39 Merc sedan pic somewhere some time ago and just thought, what a cool car. Never realized that it didn’t exist until I read about it here at CCC. However, I do realize what a neat tool it is and how much effort it could save if it prevent you to take bad decisions with a cutting tool in hand or buying the wrong parts just to realize that it didn’t worked out as good as you initially thought. So I guess all we need now is a full scale 3-D printer, right?

  • Also, and this is of course a matter of taste. If I had commissioned this digital restyling I had probably proposed a trial with a 49-50 Olds grille/bumper treatment up front and the addition of a raised area on the trunk lid, similar to what they did on the carson topped, ex four door -51 Buick, built in the eighties (MK John design???) to pick up the raised area on the hood. Never been a big fan of Buick grilles so consider this as just a personal view of this very very nice design concept.

  • I love how Rik has sectioned the young child astride the front seat. I’m always yelling the kids for not sitting still in the car . Now I have a new one “Stand on the front seat …. And …..I’ll damn we’ll section you” haha. I love the beauty of the finished design. The cad tail lights look so smooth . There is a donor 53 Cad coupe sitting in the corner of the shop. Best I not look too much or I might start playing.

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