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Lot 230

2000 Buick Blackhawk Factory Custom

Sold for $363,000

Please note that this lot is offered on a Bill of Sale.

463 bhp, 455 cu. in. OHV GS Stage III V-8 engine with fuel injection, four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 129 in.

  • The “factory custom” built for Buick to celebrate its centenary
  • Built using the best components from 100 years of Buick
  • One of the most famous modern GM show vehicles
  • Acquired by Paul and Chris Andrews from the GM Heritage Collection
  • “The modern Y-Job”

If you’re talking about customized cars, the Blackhawk is the ultimate expression of Buick.
- Michael E. Doble, Buick Special Vehicles Manager, 2003

In 1938, Harley Earl virtually created a modern concept vehicle that was based on his original “dream car,” resulting in the so-called Y-Job, which was a one-off rolling laboratory of new design and engineering ideas that he famously used as a daily driver. The Y-Job’s styling and mechanical ideas would influence two generations of GM products, but it is worth noting that this car was badged as a Buick, which was something that Buick designers never really forgot, as, over the years, they would return again and again to this special vehicle for design inspiration.

Fast forward to 2000. Buick was preparing to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2003, and the company’s designers looked for an appropriate way to do so. It was eventually decided to build a modern custom car, just as a “customizer” from Detroit would do for the Woodward Dream Cruise, but they would solely use the best production parts from 100 years of Buick. Actual construction of the vehicle would be farmed out to Advanced Automotive Technologies, of Rochester, Michigan, the firm that builds most of GM’s concept vehicles.


The car shown here is the result, and it was a tremendous success at auto shows across the country upon its introduction. This Buick, known as the Blackhawk, had a sensuously curvaceous body that was inspired by the 1941 and 1948 Roadmasters, and in keeping with the theme of a “custom,” the door handles were shaved and the curves were smoothed. The car features a split windshield, as correct for the 1940s, but in a modern touch, the glass panes are curved.

The 1939 Buick inspired the distinctive shape of the grille, with its thin vertical bars, while the car’s spiritual ancestor, the Y-Job, donated the ideas of hidden headlights and a retractable hardtop. In keeping with modern engineering, the hardtop’s retraction system was hand-fabricated, and the top itself was built of lightweight carbon fiber. The body was finished in rich, deep Black Cherry, and it housed an interior that was borrowed largely from the 1996 Riviera, one of Buick’s most heralded modern interior designs.

Underneath the bodywork was a custom chassis with a 1970 GS Stage III V-8 as its centerpiece. This engine could produce 463 brake horsepower and 510 foot-pounds of torque at 4,200 rpm, and it was mated to an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. All that power was fed to five-spoke alloy wheels, which were wrapped in high-speed Z-rated tires.

The Blackhawk captured the attention of the automotive world in 2000, as it was the cover feature of the November 19, 2000, issue of Autoweek, which was amusingly headlined “No, Really, It’s a Buick,” and it made numerous auto show and promotional appearances across North America, including at the 2001 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Eventually, it retired to the austere ranks of the General Motors Heritage Collection, and it remained a visitor favorite there until 2009, when it was sold to Paul and Chris Andrews.

As much as the Andrews’ love the Blackhawk, they are the first to admit that when purchased, it was very much a “show car, not a go car.” Their expert maintenance and restoration team, led by John Standifer, went over the Blackhawk from top to bottom, working out the bugs in its engineering and making it into a fully functional automobile that can actually be driven. It has been shown in its current ownership at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in 2009, where it was reunited with designer Steve Pasteiner.

The car is accompanied by a book of photographs and promotional materials, including a brochure signed by Mr. Pasteiner, and it is, without exaggeration, the most important Buick of modern times. It was a figurehead that led to the brand’s current renaissance and which continues to embody the truth that…

“When Better Cars Are Built, Buick Will Build Them.”

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more