David Marco's 1956 Buick built by Jack Roush
(from Volume 19, Issue 213)

Like many of us, David Marco’s inspiration to build his 1956 Buick Special 2-Door Hardtop came from his past. While David’s father, Seymour Marco, never owned a new car, he enjoyed getting them for his wife, Caroline. A 1956 Buick was one of the many cars she drove while living on the family farm in Starke, Florida. David has a neat vintage picture of his older brother, approximately 5 years old, standing by his mom’s 1956 Buick, and told us that one night she even used the Buick to transport a sick pony when the truck broke down. 1956 was also the year David was born, so it has even more sentimental meaning for him. It only makes sense then, that when David teamed up to build a ‘56 Buick with the legendary Jack Roush, they conceived the car you see here to memorialize Caroline Marco, mother of David, Charon and Michael Marco.

Though most people now know Jack Roush for his successful NASCAR race teams, it was his childhood fascination with all things mechanical that grew over the years into a lifelong passion for performance. This has translated into a tremendous engineering and motorsports success story, which has included drag racing, engine building, NASCAR racing, special edition production cars, and even specialty classic cars. It is this last segment that produced the 1956 Buick Special you see here, built at Roush’s campus in Livonia, Michigan.

At the heart of the car you’ll find a highly modified frame utilizing Winston Cup technology and hardware. This not only provided a great foundation for the rest of the build, it insured that the car would ride and handle with precision.

When deciding on an engine they wanted something with plenty of power, that was still very reliable for street duty, so they slipped in a 502 cubic inch big block Chevy crate engine. It has fuel injection, a set of custom Roush valve covers (which have Buick logos on them to go along with the car’s make, and get some onlookers scratching their heads), a set of custom headers, and Borla mufflers. Power goes through a Temec 5-speed manual transmission, and ultimately a 9-inch Ford rear end.

The exterior of the car received its share of attention as well, to tweak things for a smoother look, while still retaining the stock lines that make the car so attractive. The Sherwin Williams paint colors of Very Velvet Red and Vapor Silver were done in a classic two-tone scheme, and were complimented by a set of American Racing Torque Thrust wheels with Vapor Silver centers, and the cars vast use of stainless and chrome stock trim.

The “resto mod” theme was carried over inside the car, which includes gray vinyl and red cloth upholstery. Modern touches like the carbon fiber dash insert (signed by Jack Roush), the console with a modern stereo and carbon fiber inserts, and billet items including the floor pedals, air conditioning controls, and various trim pieces make for an interesting blend of old and new.

David told us the car’s restoration involved over 10,000 hours of labor, and over 2 years at the Roush facilities. While it is a far cry from the car she drove during David’s youth, I’m sure Caroline Marco would have found it a very fitting tribute. However, I don’t think any sick ponies will be riding in this one! CN