Last Call: King Buick Edition


Next to the Ponderosa of TV’s long-running Bonanza series, the most famous cattle ranch in America is undoubtably the King Ranch located down in Texas. It’s famous enough in fact, that Ford currently names a high-end trim level for its F-series trucks after the place.
That Ford King Ranch is not the first vehicle with which the ranch had an affiliation. That honor would go to Buick as in 1949 that company partnered with King Ranch on a wild hunter’s edition of the Buick Eight. Richard Mifflin Kleberg, Sr. was at the time both a U.S. Representative out of Texas and the heir to the King Ranch fortune. Kleberg had built a Ford-based huntsman’s car in ’46,   but recognized that his homebuilt efforts left a lot to be desired. That desire led to the representative reaching out to Buick and GM Styling leads in the commission of a purpose-built, no holds barred Ranch off-roader hunting vehicle. The resulting King Ranch Buick apparently did not disappoint. 
The car features a reinforced frame dropped more than five inches, and an extended booty where a pair of standard wheel/tires would sit. There are multiple gun mounts, including one for a pistol under the hood. No doubt that’s in case a rattler became entangled in the fan belts. Up front there are, alternately, a spotter’s seat and game mount, and a winch hidden behind the massive iconic Buick grille. Inside there’s a two-way radio, compass and cow-hide floor mats. Power came from a 152-bhp Fireball straight eight.
So, which Kind Ranch would you rather have, the modern F-series one, or this funky classic Buick edition?
Image:  Wheelsage

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11 responses to “Last Call: King Buick Edition”

  1. longrooffan Avatar
    longrooffan

    Gimme that King Ranch Buick every day of the week.

  2. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    Great for hunting at night? All those guns firing through the headlights.

    1. Lokki Avatar
      Lokki

      I was kind of surprised that the car doesn’t have a pair of spotlights. I seem to remember that they were a popular street accessory in the 50’s https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3995e31300036173eea12ae9a93b61859feaf041542c6018bd0b95d148ca5eff.jpg

      1. Rover 1 Avatar
        Rover 1

        Who needs spotlights with that many rifles?

  3. Batshitbox Avatar
    Batshitbox

    TL: DR

  4. Papa Van Twee Avatar
    Papa Van Twee

    You’ll usually hear me yelling this to the blue haired drivers of most Buicks during rush hour traffic. “***king Buick!”

    1. nanoop Avatar

      How do you pronounce triple-star, though.

  5. dukeisduke Avatar
    dukeisduke

    I’ve seen pictures of it before, but never seen it in person. Where is it now? Or, what happened to it?

  6. dukeisduke Avatar
    dukeisduke

    Not many pictures of it in the museum:
    http://photos.buickclub.org/albums/2012buickbugle/2012_02/normal_buick_king_ranch_side_view.jpg
    http://trombinoscar.com/buick/bk501001.jpg
    Looks like the hunter’s perch on the front fender was later determined not to be a good idea.

  7. cap'n fast Avatar
    cap’n fast

    Helio Courier 295. can land backwards in a stiff breeze, take off in less than 50 feet, stable gun platform for knocking out the hated coyote, and when having the coal put to it and hauling back the stick(not a yoke, a stick!) instead of getting a power on stall it will pull into loops of steadily decreasing diameters until it disappears up its ass. truly worthy hunting machine.
    failing that, gimme the ford.

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