The key to entering the luxury car market for Buick was supposed to be the 1958 Buick Limited. 1958 turned out to be a recession year and very bad timing for Buick, although no one could have foreseen this at its planning years making Buick Company experience its worst downturn since the 1930s. To accommodate the problem, most American motorists seemed to be tired of the big locomotives that had been in the market for so long, and for this Buick had built so many of them. This was a time for the introduction of the compact body car.
Buick sales had reduced by 37 percent from 1957, and this was not half of it since 1957were more than half that of the pace-setting year 1955. So much had gone wrong from 1954 when Buick leapfrogged Plymouth to become third in the sales race for the first time since 1926. Due to the excitement of success, Buickwent ahead to increase production to 781,296 automobiles in 1955 which was a hefty 47 percent increase over the year and hence setting a new record for the division.
Unfortunately, this was an unprepared blow for Buick for it was set at the cost of a real erosion in quality control, and so many uncorrected design mistakes. So many quick changes were to be made for the’58 models to achieve customer acceptance. Most of the changes were on superficial differences in trim since it was late to restyle the body modifications. The engine specifications remained the same and featuring a 9.5:1 compression ratio and a two-barrel carburetor the Special gained 250hp.