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  1. 20 likes
    Having attended the 2017 Annual Membership Meeting in Philadelphia this past weekend, I want to share an image that I think exemplifies the character of the man we are fortunate enough to have as our 2017 National President. It may not look like much - in fact, it doesn't even look like he is doing anything connected with AACA, discussing a lapful of vintage vinyl records with a young man obviously too young to own an antique car. What makes this image special to me is that is was taken right after the afternoon round table where Tom, along with the entire AACA National Board and staff, endured public insult and condemnation by individuals who later admitted they were ignorant of the facts concerning what they were complaining about. Tom not only responded to uncalled for and inappropriate comments with intelligence and courtesy, he explained a complex situation in a manner that was not offensive, disrespectful, or adversarial to anyone. It was a very stressful and unpleasant way to spend what should have been a time to honor and express much-deserved appreciation to our outgoing and incoming National Presidents and officers. Immediately after this meeting, Tom was approached by a young AACA member who wanted to share his latest interest - vinyl records. Most people would have still been reeling from the turmoil, but Tom not only acknowledged the young man; he sat down and talked to him at length over this new passion. A lot of AACA members talk about inspiring and encouraging future generations - Tom Cox leads by example.
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    and it will never be the same. Good ol' Dandy Dave paid us an overnight visit and fun was had by all. His visit could not have come at a better time as I was making my last haul of parts from the barn find purchase. So I guess you could call it a working vacation. But it sure made the task of loading and unloading engines and transmissions and doors and fenders much more fun not to mention easier on this old mans back. Plus I think he has unloaded a few engines in his lifetime. No pictures of us working but here are a few of the good times. This guy is a hoot and has a lot of knowledge stored in that head of his. Rita and I enjoyed his stay immensely. Oh and the Cap'n was there also. Sweet Reet and Dandy Dave "just a swingin" out by Buick Pond This guy is the first visitor ever to Buick Gardens to know what these two things were. Anybody else know? We're saying "Cheers" to all the BCA Forum members here. "CHEERS" . And I think this is when I exclaimed "It ain't heaven, but it'll do til we get there" Rita just kept sayin "this guy is funny" "this guy is a genius" "I love this guy" !!!! WATCH THE UPHOLSTERY SON, watch the upholstery!!!!! Elvis like him too, but I didn't get any shots of him with DD. Maybe Dave did. Dave explained to me the difference between a Yankee and a Damn Yankee... a "yankee" is sombody from up nawth. A "damn yankee" is somebody from up nawth who stays. Thanks for the good times and help Dave, have a good flight back to New Yawk.
  3. 16 likes
    It all started with an email from an old friend and Dixie Chapter member Bruce Kile advising that he and a friend were going to look at some old Buick's in a warehouse and because there was a 54 involved thought I might be interested in joining them. I of course said sure and made plans to meet up with them at the warehouse in Toccoa Georgia. Toccoa is a small town in NE Georgia located about 50 miles from me and I have always known it to have lots of old Buick's in it. We met at the warehouse and was met by a super nice gentleman named Ray who told us the story behind all the Buicks we were about to see. The Buick's had belonged to the owner of Tugalo Gas Company who had passed away about 25 years ago. We met his son Tom, who is the current owner and learned that Ray was the Vice President of the company. We spent probably about 3 hours looking over the cars and I of course spent half of that looking at the '54 which was a solid 4 door Century with near perfect glass, original seat upholstery under old seat covers and had had a respray. The rest of the cars consisted of: 1938 Special Model 44, 2 door Streamline Sport Sedan 1940 Super Model 51 Four-Door Touring Sedan 1953 Special 4 door 1953 Super 4 door 1962 Electra 225 4 door 4 window 1963 Special 4 door 1963 LeSaber 4 door After looking over the cars we had a late lunch at M&J's Home Cooking Restaurant, a buffet style restaurant there in town. We discussed the cars and the fact that the owner was looking for offers and as the cars had been collected by his father, he wanted to ensure they went to good homes. Bruce and his friend were quite amazed at what we had seen but had no real interest in purchasing anything . I on the other hand, upon arriving home talked it over with Rita and we decided I should at least make an offer on the little 54 Century. The next day I called Ray and he informed me he had had calls from two individuals very interested in the cars and especially the '38. I made him an offer on the '54 and he said he guessed he could do it, but would I possibly be interested in the whole lot and quoted a figure that I had to ask him to repeat to ensure I had heard correctly. Considering the very fair figure that he had thrown at me and the fact I knew he had others interested in the cars, I quickly answered that I would take them. All the time realizing this was a bit more than Rita and I had discussed and immediately began wondering how the hell was I going to break this news to her. The following Monday I began hauling the Buicks home to Buick Gardens. But not before calling and suggesting to Ken Green here on the forum that he bring his trailer and if he liked the 40 Super he could take it home with him and if not he could deliver it to my house. We had lunch at M&J's Buffet, talked over the deal and as already learned from his new thread, he took it home with him. Luckily I am still married and over the last week have made a number of trips through the beautiful winding roads of the Northeast Georgia countryside hauling these wonderful old Buicks home. Ken graciously agreed to help haul the two big girls, the LeSabre and the Electra 225. It appears I have not only gained seven more Buicks this week but also some new friends. Ray and Tom were two of the nicest people you would ever hope to meet and plan to keep in touch in letting them know where the Buicks find homes. Ken is in Atlanta and I am sure we will be getting together to turn some wrenches or pound on some metal. Life in Buickland is good. From the first day we visited. Lets start with the oldest first.... the 38 and 40. The 38 was restored back in the early 80's and driven, gorgeous interior. The 40 was being worked on when the owner died, leaving the interior to be finished. more, much more to come..........
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    And then it was time to go back after the '53 Special and the '54 Century. My good friend Brad (Brad54 here on the forum some time back) met me there and we loaded these two up. I was beginning to gain a real respect for Mr Gilmer's selection of these old Buicks back in the late 70's to mid 80's as each one of them had a couple of things in common. They were all solid and had as best I could tell No Rust. They were all from the North East Georgia/Toccoa area and most had been purchased right there in Toccoa from Tabor Buick Company. Most were purchased from families and friends including mostly little old ladies.
  5. 15 likes
    Saturday was my grandmother's birthday, so I took the car out to visit her. She supposedly drove it off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan. The car was ordered from the Kessler dealership in Detroit, and she went to go pick it up while my grandpa as on base. The odd thing is that it came with aftermarket mirrors, which I suppose were an afterthought by my grandfather. They later took the car and drove out west where they settled in 1958 and started their family. This is the first time I've driven the car out. Never thought about it before until now, so I made sure to thank her for not getting rid of it after all those years.
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    This weekend was my college orientation. I wish we had gotten more photos, given it was a 5 and a half hour drive to the campus from where I live, over the mountain pass and through the Eastern Washington plains. My buddy is the photographer. Everyone told us not to take the Buick. I was determined to take it with me and prove to them that it is as reliable as any other car I've ever driven. So this is the point of no return. The on-ramp to the pass. We got in around 8 PM but the offered spaces for transfer students was already booked, so luckily there was a really cheap motel 5 minutes from campus. I parked her under the neon sign. The old girl worked hard that day. Here she is parked on campus. I wish there was more college flair, but I suppose you can spot the WSU Cougar in the background there... And the same day with us getting ready to go back to the motel... Funny story here. My gas gauge only ever went to half full, despite being filled up. Yet in the photo, it's at Full. The roads in and out of the campus were so beaten by all the agricultural shipping trucks that they must have jarred something in the gas gauge and it started working properly... I couldn't believe it! What I learned on this trip? My electric wiper kit arrived after I left, so it reinforced the idea of getting rid of the vacuum wipers - especially if I plan to make the trip to and from school a couple times a year. There isn't a NAPA on campus, rather an old mom and pop store that is no better than a cheap Autozone (which is unfortunate) - however, there is a NAPA 15 minutes from campus in the nearby town and they are all very nice a knowledgeable folks. They came out and the first thing out of their mouths was 322 Nailhead. A PCV system is better than no PCV system. On the way in I had it hooked up and we averaged 18 MPG. On the way out I took it off and swapped breather caps and at best got 14 MPG. Also if the engine wasn't broken in before, it sure got a run for it's money when I pushed 90 MPH at 4000 RPM in our voyage home convoy.
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    Riv: I get it. I wanted to leave the dust on the car as long as possible. I did wash the car tonight and that was a lot of time earned dust flowing down the drive. The car interior needs to be cleaned out so that I can reassemble parts that were removed. The interior door panels were removed and placed in the rear seat and the drivers window, vent window and vent deflector have been removed from the drivers door and are not with the car. There is also a piece of trim around the exterior of the drivers window that hasn't been found. Once cleaned, it will be easier to crawl around it to access parts that need attention. Plus it is pretty gross sitting in the car right now with all the dust.
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    Ok, for all of you tough guys. Let's go for a ride. It is 15deg F outside and snowing. And the truck started and ran after sitting outside overnight.
  10. 14 likes
    I was able to purchase this very original 1932 Auburn from the original family, who is the little girl in the picture; she is now 84; notice the Auburn in the background behind the Chrysler. The car was last driven in 1980's and has 19,300 miles from new. It will be fun to get running this summer. It will also serve to document how the original cars really were. We are attempting to write the Auburn restoration guidelines for the ACD club. Fun Stuff!
  11. 13 likes
    I picked up my new 1960 Buick Electra today. They Dynaflow is a curiously cool transmission. Just keeps pulling. The previous owner kept records and receipts. Had the Dynaflow serviced quite a bit. I'm guessing this is what keeps it working as design.
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    OK, where was I? We had loaded up the 38 and Ken had decided to take the '40 home with him (and I was wondering "why did I just do that" Answer " Because he is such a nice guy and appreciates the 1940 big bodies so" So I bring the '38 slope back home to Buick Sales and Service Garage and back her up to her stall.
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    While I think you have made a wise decision to go ahead and look for a good driver, I think you need to stop beating yourself up over any lost time with loved ones. After years of building a farm and working with first emu and then breeder goats, I came to what I thought was the same conclusion you are making regarding lost quality time with family and "sold the farm" so to speak so I could spend more time with my mom, kids and Rita (and Buicks). Both the kids in turn have numerous times recently told me they would not change a thing in the way they were brought up and the work ethic they learned from working the farm when they were young has put them where they are now. I can empathize with you that busting ass all the time doing hard laborious work, procuring salvaged materials instead of just going out and buying new and sometimes feeling depressed because you don't have the finances to just buy things gets you down, but take it from me, when you look back at what you have accomplished on your own and with your own hands your head will raise and you will have the greatest feeling no "rich guy" can ever have. (unless said rich guy got that way by doing as you and I have done) Riches aren't always measured in dollars and cents. Don't be too quick to sell that 4 door Rivi that you your self have always said you loved and wanted (over a 2 door even) Build a lean to for it next to your new shop and put it on the back burner for awhile. I really can't advise you to hold onto the parts cars however as I think you have probably seen there is no money to be made with them, just the good feeling of helping others with parts. Just set your priorities in life with family and your hobbies (the old farm house and your cars) don't worry about what people say and be happy. After all, even as young as you are, I think you are starting to see that life is indeed like a roll of toilet paper, the closer to the end you get the faster it goes. And although life sometimes seems like a rollercoaster ride at the fair...there is no getting back in line to buy another ticket with this one. Like I said, I think you've made a wise decision. And keep your chin up dude, you're amongst some of the best friends you'll ever have right here.
  16. 13 likes
    Thank You, Buick Forum...
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    Good news from Amarillo, Texas today. As of 1:30 p.m. CDT we were back on the road and apparently no worse for the one week detour. As for the problem, let me explain what I know from the evidence. We examined the car for signs that the fan blade had impacted something on the car, anything on the car, and could find no evidence that the fan blade struck something on the car before it curled into the radiator. By we, I mean yours truly, two shop mechanics here at Vintage, the service manager, Brian, and the owner, Emmett Rice. We all looked and found nothing. Everything has been examined from the top and bottom with the car on a lift. The motor mounts are solid, undamaged and working properly. The transmission thrust pad/mount is intact, undamaged and working properly. We even looked at the radiator frame to see if something was causing it to move rearward slightly when the car accelerated. Nothing - it is rock solid. I was running a 7-blade fan from a 59 a/c Cadillac on this car. The blade clearances near the generator pulley were small. I knew that but it was never a problem before and there were 6,800 miles on this car before we started this trip. Examination of the fan blades showed that one blade had completely curled and ate the radiator. The blade adjacent to the curled blade showed signs of a stress line at the location where the other blade had curled. No other blade - that's 5 other blades - showed any sign of striking anything. There is no conclusive cause to report. The speculation is that one of my rolling tires popped up a chunk of very hard rubber from a heavy truck tire or farm implement tire and the timing was just right to cause the object to wedge between the one fan blade and the generator pulley, thus curling the blade. The object must have remained in the conflicting position just long enough to start to affect the second blade but it was already moving away and the second blade only started to be stressed but not enough to curl it. One blade was enough if you've looked at the picture. So, my radiator has been re-cored (4-core) and I have a new fan. This one is a 4-blade fan with more pitch than the stock fan but plenty of clearance. The water pump did not show signs of damage but in an abundance of caution, I had them install my backup water pump and I'm carrying the first one now as the spare. So, we've been in Amarillo for almost exactly one week to the hour. Trip disasters like this are a bitch but we truly did make lemonade outta them lemons. Here's a few quick tips. For any of you living in Texas or passing through Texas - Joe Taco. You won't be sorry. Tom Hanks is great in "Sully." And there is just a bunch of good Route 66 history here in Amarillo to explore. We even found a car show and voted for a nice guy here with a 76 Skylark and he won an award! Sent me an nice email telling me about it. So, moving forward, here's a picture of the car at Vintage Autohaus, just before we left today. Route 66 is really great here in Texas. We drove for miles on the old original road and never touched Interstate 40. This kind of road trip is just what these old Buicks are good at and fun to drive. As a matter of fact, the old road Route 66 runs from Texas into Oklahoma on some great old road with medians. We stopped briefly in Shamrock at the Route 66 icon, U Drop Inn. This old gas station/diner was built in the 30's and was the creative inspiration for the tire shop in the Disney movie, "Cars." This is just the neatest place. (We visited here earlier this week in the rental car but I wanted Buick pictures to post) The bugs are atrocious and the gal has a face full of them but we have a good cleaning kit along and we put her to bed tonight looking sharp. I spent a lot of time under the hood after we stopped today, cleaning and cleaning some more. The coolant sprayed everywhere and I was just sick to see the mess. But its all good now as I've given the engine compartment the start of a good cleaning. Dan
  18. 13 likes
    For some people the National could be in there home town a mile from their front door, on a beautiful 75 degree day, on a week with no school and no work and they will still find a way to complain or even find an excuse not to come. The rest of us will have a great time without them, more Buicks (and beer) for us!
  19. 13 likes
    My '57 Model 73 Roadmaster Riviera Sedan, a driver, at the Caroilnas Aviation Museum with a Piedmont Airlines DC-3.
  20. 12 likes
    Yes it was there. But I surely hope you didn't touch it as you would have likely gotten yelled at by the owner like my son was at the 100th Buick birthday in Flint in '03. My 12 yr old son Jordan and I were walking around the car with our hands and arms behind our back as I had suggested to Jordan earlier in the day that we do. When Jordan went to point at the vent window and was exclaiming "Wow Dad, look at how this vent window doesn't have a frame" and I was overjoyed that he had noticed such a small detail, a loud voice came from the back of the car "Don't touch the car kid!" It was all I could do to keep from grabbing the owner by the collar and asking "Does my boy look like a baby goat to you mr.". Instead we just walked away and it was beginning to ruin my sons whole day but I just told him "Don't let it bother you, that guys probably not bad when he doesn't have his head up his ass" . Jordan got a kick out of that and we just laughed it off. I later learned who the owner of the car is and he has been known to check in here. As payback however, I tell this story every time I get a chance such as this. Do I hold a grudge, heck no, just don't ever yell at my son OR my dog, that simple.
  21. 12 likes
    Can't quite compare to "Mr. Earls" adventure,but here's my last barnfind that I dragged home almost 9 years ago,and hoping to get to this summer.Was parked in the barn about 15 minutes north of New York City in New Jersey by the original owner in '78.I bumped into the owners Grand-daughter at a show in Scranton,PA one day when she was admiring my '72 Riviera and she told me that they where clearing out the place after her Grandparents had passed.They had owned a small restaurant-gas station on Rte.46 in Ledgewood,NJ and wanted to know if I would be interested in following her down to see it,she new the engine was stuck and I almost said no after hearing that,but when she told me it had 49,000 miles and they where also selling gas station items too,I decided it would be worth the trip.We had to cut down a tree 8" in diameter to get the barn door open it had been in there so long,and I could see through all the dust that it was going to be worth it,especially when she agreed to let me have it for $700 ! I also loaded up my small trailer with gas station signs and memorabilia from the '40s to '60s and Grandpa's 1961 International-Harvester Cub Cadet lawnmower,first year of production,and hauled everything home.The next day I put a battery in the tractor,it started right up and I mowed the lawn with it. The car came with all the original paper work and here are some before and afters,the only 3 days she's been out in the sun since '78 as I put her in the garage,filled with Marvel Mystery Oil and hoping for the best soon. Notice the interesting way they reversed the white strip in the seat front to back,and how many people out there know that the speedometer that you are looking at is actually a mirror with an adjustment wheel on the left of the speedo to angle the mirror for your height for better viewing ! The actual speedo is embedded in the top of the dash upside down and printed backward. This old girl is so cool that who cares if she has "too many doors",I'm leaving her as is including the paint that the old gentleman dabbed every chip with a brush and there are alot,considering he drove her for 18 years.The inside is perfect but for the scuff in the carpet on drivers side.
  22. 12 likes
    First day of loading and second day of chowing down at M&J's Country Cooking. Good soul food, pretty waitresses and old Buicks on the trailer in the parking lot. Can life get much better? and Ken, proud new owner of the '40 Super
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    I'm a new member and this thread caught my eye. This picture was among my mother's old photos. I have no idea who they are. Sorry about the creases.
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    The weekend went well as did the Buick on the 120 mile outward bound trip. Arriving at the 1910's Carrington Hotel I rounded the car park, heading toward the entrance to find a '41 Buick already parked outside! The night of was a lot of fun with a '20s band followed by drinks and a gramophone on the veranda late into the night. I took the trip home a little more cautiously as the weather was hot (110F) and humid. The Buick soldiered passed lots of overheated modern cars but I stopped a few times along the way to give her a chance to cool off a bit and grab a drink or three. Till the next weekend and the next Buick trip!
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    In the end everyone, the deed is done. We have separated ourselves from the museum but wish them great success. Anything that will help preserve this hobby and introduce our wonderful cars to the public is of service to the automotive community. AACA will now concentrate even more on how to grow our club and provide the best service and benefits to our members as possible. AACA has tried to present the facts, not make this personal in any way and to handle our business ethically and responsibly. This is a big year for the club with the introduction of the Zenith Award competition and the first ever joint AACA and CCCA meet. New awards for the HPOF/DPC classes (5 cards gets you a mug). Moving forward is what we should be doing. Thanks for all the letters, calls and emails of support as it does mean a lot.
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    Wishing everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR in 2017! May we all find commonality and kinship within the Buick community!
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    Two 38 Roadmasters were to be bound for Allentown from Concord yesterday. My 80C Dad's 81F And the wife's Enclave The Enclave has been in the shop 25 of the last 31 days. After finally retrieving it mid day, we attempted to set off... Or at least the 81F did... And failed to make it to my house 5 miles away. So on to a Verano for Dad and off we set about 3PM. This is the maiden voyage for the 80C since completing the restoration (aside from a few details). We made it to Charlottesville VA overall the car ran good but I do have some ankle biter issues so far. 1. With lights on I am in a discharge scenario, luckily didn't use them much and won't need them much the rest of the trip. 2. I am running about 190-200 occasionally poking up to 212. It seems to heat up if I run 65 for a prolonged time. Ease off to 55 and she comes down a bit but still 190. 3. After my last stop for gas we reached some rolling hills. She is a bit down in power going up hill and she is backfiring too. Once it leveled out backfire virtually went away. Not sure if it is bad gas or with #2 maybe timing is retarded? Shooting for another 250 miles today.
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    I recently purchased a 1949 Buick Roadmaster Riviera hardtop. I found the car on Craigslist near San Antonio, TX, and almost didn't make the 4 hour drive because it looked so bad in the photos. When I got out there, I was surprised at the condition of the car. It does have rust issues, but overall, I'm pretty happy with it. I scrubbed the badly weathered paint, and spent two days buffing the paint just to see what it would look like. All four tires were blown out, so I found some lightly used radial whitewalls tires just to roll the car around. It is amazing how much better the car looks with just a few days of effort. The engine isn't locked, so I expect to try and start it after I inspect the engine. Is anyone currently reproducing floor pans that are accurate? The driver's side floor is bad.
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    Thought this was a nice candidate for The Sunday's Pick and what appears to be ( in general ) an all original engine bay while seller is 2nd owner and claims the car has never ever been molested or taken apart and eyeball that steering wheel hub will ya … a real wow wow for only 79k : https://classics.autotrader.com/classic-cars/1953/buick/skylark/100860965
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    Oh man she is really looking good already!!! You didn't waste any time did you!? SO SO Glad to see this car go to you Matt. Will be such an easy and fun fixer upper. And you really lucked up on that 50% off sale on all the chrome and pot metal replacement pieces. Any word on the status of the mechanics yet?
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    I'll have AlI Y'all know that I was up to watch the sunrise over Buick Gardens the next morning but Mr. Earl was nowhere to be found till the sun was well up. Elvis is fine company while your drinking coffee in the morning. LOL.. Yep. Sur nuf was a good time. Do believe I'll be coming back sometime. Wondering why I did not just stay as It was 24F here this morning. Could have helped Mr. Earl get some of them cars cleaned up and ready to run. They calling for snow up here tonight and tomorrow. Patriotic Sandals are Birkenstocks but looks like I'll have to put them away for a bit. That Aeroplane ride in that big Shinny Kerosene Burning Jet was fine also. We Sur nuff had fun moving parts and getting dirty. I must say, I do believe that Mr. Earl should be know as Colonel Earl as he and Reet had nothing but the best Southern Hospitality a yankee could ever hope for. Dandy Dave!
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    And then there was the '53 Super that resided in a field the last 20 or so years. It had at one time proudly served as the Tugalo Gas Company company car. First as a prestigious executive car driving around the three states where the gas company had dealerships. Later it became a "service truck" transporting tools and parts to maintain the fleet of propane gas trucks of the company. This car has probably one of the cleanest 322 engines to be found in a '53 Super as it was ran on propane gas. As Toms dad Ed, as well Tom and Ray themselves were airplane pilots, I was also told that all the gas in all of the old cars was aviation fuel and could possibly still be good as it contained no alcohol to evaporate. We will see. Ray and I literally pulled this old gal out of a huge briar patch with one of the companies still running 70's Ford crane trucks which is still used to lift and load propane tanks. The tires would no inflate so had to bring some from home to put on it in order to load and haul. This one went to my parts car pasture. The dash, banjo style steering wheel, some of the glass and chrome, window visors and the 322 with the one year only style plug covers, water and exhaust manifolds and a few other unique parts definitely made it worth bringing home. Note the propane gas convertor to the right of the carburetor And the aviation type tires found on this '53, I also saw quite a few more mounted on 30's/40's wheels. And they appear to be RECAPS!!! What the ?
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    Smokin and drinkin in the '38!??? Flying DD flew in an aeroplane!! TOO!! Oh my, what's this world coming to?????????? Way cool! Guys!
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    as I didn't even take pictures of anything else the first day, I'll skip to the 54, of which I took quite a few of. Solid floors, rockers, one cracked vent glass, original interior under old seat covers. A bad respray especially of the roof. Not sure why the throttle through the middle of the dash... early handicapped assist maybe LOL.... or most likely for warm up. No options on a Century, not even power steering or radio.Considering the geographical location, possibly a shine runner?
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    I bought the car in January. Anyone recognize her? Needs brake work but I'm happy so far.
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    We needed a dash plaque photo for the upcoming 36-38 Buick Club Tour in Wilmington NC. The club is open to all Straight 8 Buicks so I invited the local Straight 8 Buick owners to meet at the USSNC Battleship Memorial this afternoon for some photos. Here are a couple of the photos. How many other folks have a 1935 Buick and five 1937 Buicks in their local area?
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    So, in late August, Pete Phillips got a call from Thief River Falls, MN about this car being for sale. Not knowing where TRF was, he mapped it and noted how close it is to Winnipeg, so Derek got an e-mail. There was then a phone call or two and an exchange of photos via e-mail and next thing you knew, Derek was going for a nice drive to take a look. Derek was enamoured, so much so that he perhaps didn't take as close a look as he should. The price was reasonable, and it looked nice, and Derek had approval from the Minister of Finance, so cash changed hands and Derek made plans to return the following Sunday with a battery, a teenaged boy, and the truck and trailer. You know, when a car doesn't start, but you're OK because you have a winch, there's a sense of confidence, perhaps even cockiness that goes with it. Factor in a 4600 lb car and an eight year old winch battery, and it was near disaster. Happily, the car was almost on the trailer, so we only had to push it a few more feet, uphill of course. We towed it directly to our mechanic for the requisite Manitoba inspection after jumping through assorted border crossing hoops. They got it running well and performed the odds and ends required to pass the inspection. The bad news is that it needs floors, so it needs to go to a body shop that is willing to deal with rust. Happily floors are available, and I was given a set of rocker panels by a fellow Gopher State Chapter member. It was noted that the transmission fluid was down, so it was topped up, only to find a puddle under the car the next day...torque ball seal next on the list. At least the car has had good company for the winter as our McLaughlin-Buick 29-51 is also there. So, as of right now, it has spent the winter at the mechanics and in another month or so we should be able to get it to a body shop, then be able to put plates on it and get it on the road this summer. The Minister of Finance and her progeny have always had a liking of the "angry eyebrows" of the 1959 Buick, so one was on our wish list. Now the wish is complete. That makes two 1950s Buick Estate Wagons in the stable...in a sense, I hope it isn't a trend.
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    I just had to share this. I bought a parts car to keep it from getting crushed. After putting in a radiator and hoses, clocking distributor with new points and condensor, freeing up starter, removing plugs for inspection and replacement,( I spun it by hand before investing time in it) spun it by starter till it built oil pressure. Did a compression test, had enough to eliminate a dead hole. Dropped fuel line off electric pump into a bucket and fired it up. Within a minute it ran smooth, no knocks or rattles, lifters good. I let it warm up and dropped it in gear, dynaflow pulled good all gears and no whine. Can you beat that for a junker sitting in a field since the 80's? And the engine has 150 psi on all cyls except one which is 125. It actually sounds better than mine. I pulled the engine and trans. Ordered parts to reseal trans. Resealed and adjusted both bands. Re-used later style vulcanized torque ball retainer and improvised a dust seal over it. Pulled the '56 trans out of my car and installed this one. Road tested and it pulled good and no leaks yet. How's that for luck? This is the first post since forum software update, I am at the library. My home pc is not functional on forum except to recognize me and use the 'like' button. I cannot respond to this post on a regular basis. Just wanted to share this.
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    90 miles round trip to go mooch off some inlaws. Still killing bugs:
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    I have now repaired the brakes and this is a note to describe the fix of the problem that cut short our push to the Pacific. Perhaps it might help someone else in diagnosing a brake system issue. In the several days prior to ending the trip in Flagstaff, I was noticing a diminished brake pedal. I experienced no loss of braking power but just a gradual, inexorable increase in pedal throw. I attributed it at the time to needing the rear drum brakes adjusted because I had, in the past, experienced this same symptom when the rear brake shoes needed to be touched up. But on the morning of October 5, the brake pedal traveled all the way to the linkage stop. Whoops. I still had some braking function but not enough for safe travel. As you read this, keep in mind that I am running a dual-chamber master cylinder with Wilwood disc brakes on the front and stock drum brakes on the rear wheels. After returning home, I acted on the diagnosis of the Flagstaff brake shop and replaced the brake master cylinder. With it installed and bled, I still had full pedal throw to the linkage stop. Hmmm. Moving to the rear wheel cylinders, to my surprise, I found air and fluid mixed when bleeding but no signs of fluid leakage. Thinking about the restoration, I had provided NOS Delco Remy wheel cylinders still sealed in their original cans. At the time, the discussion was to examine them after opening the cans and replace the internals with new kits. It would now appear that the NOS brake wheel cylinders were installed without new kits. Pinching off the flexible brake line with padded vice grips to isolate the rear brakes from the master cylinder caused the return of full, solid brake pedal. I removed both rear brake wheel cylinders and found the cylinder bores in surprisingly good condition but each piston was rusted. There were no leaks of brake fluid evident anywhere on either of these rear wheel cylinders. I replaced the both with new cylinders and bled the brakes. Presto. Full brake function was restored with a solid pedal that has about one inch of throw at the most. So, the diagnosis of the brake shop in Flagstaff was wrong. I probably replaced a brake master cylinder that was still working. I should have thought about isolating the rear brakes from the master cylinder as a first test but I was sidetracked by their faulty diagnosis. These rear wheel cylinders were "breathing" air but still holding back any fluid leakage. In the very near future, I will be moving the 6-volt electric fuel pump to the rear of the car by the fuel tank. I'd like to thank everyone that shared information with me during the trip about vapor lock. I now possess the information I need to give the car the best chance of avoiding Ms. Vapor Lock at the dances. We will be returning in April with the conclusion. In the mean time, with the onset of beautiful fall weather, this is the start of our car show season here in the Southwest . Time to get out there and give folks something to look at other than Tri-5's, Camaros, Mustangs, and 'Vettes. Dan
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    Chicago day - SUCCESS!! Today we left the motel in Braidwood at 4:30 a.m. with the intention of getting into Chicago on a Sunday before anything was moving. It was a successful plan. Approaching downtown Chicago on Ogden Avenue (Route 66) On Jackson Street, eastbound (Route 66) closing in on the end of the eastbound road. Notice the traffic? This is downtown Chicago just after 7:00 a.m. on Sunday. SUCCESS!! We have arrived at the official eastbound terminus of Route 66 in downtown Chicago on Jackson Street. We took the suggestion of MALO48 and went to 1454 South Michigan Avenue and found the building that was the location of an old Buick dealership. It was indeed a photo opportunity for us here in Chicago. Note the emblem on the building at the top of the central column. Yeah!! The Chicago skyline and vacant streets on Sunday morning. And now, to the start of the Route 66 westbound route on Adams Street. I am reasonably sure I was OK stopping for the picture. The Chicago Police didn't seem to mind when they went by. The view toward Lakeshore Drive from the westbound start. This is the Art Institute of Chicago. We left downtown Chicago feeling very happy and accomplished having managed to arrive at our first major destination. From downtown Chicago we headed west on Ogden Avenue (Route 66) and went to Romeoville where we had a nice Sunday chicken dinner at White Fence Farm. This is another Route 66 icon and as I understand the story, the restaurant has been here since before Route 66 became Route 66 through here. They've been a fixture of this road for many years. Back on the road, we went to Joliet and spent some time at the Joliet History Museum which also contains their Route 66 center. Nice seats inside the Route 66 Center for watching a Route 66 video... Leaving Joliet, we went to Wilmington and took our picture with the ever-popular Gemini Giant. (HuntzNSam, we wouldn't miss it!) The story of the small cafe where this giant stands in sad. As I understand it, everyone stops here to take a picture and no one spends any money at the cafe. I found the store closed and I wasn't able to tell if the closure is permanent or just closed because this was Sunday. I was prepared to buy cold drinks here to do our part but the doors were locked. The weather here today seemed a bit threatening when we were in Wilmington. We decided to get off the road early today, get the car covered and rest up while we wait for the front to pass by. So, we are now on our way west and if you would care to continue to ride along some more, we are going to make our way to the Pacific Ocean and hope to be able to photograph the Buick at the western terminus of Route 66 in Santa Monica at the Santa Monica Pier. I hope you guys are having as much fun with your Buicks as we are with ours. Dan
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    Made it to Allentown trouble free this morning!!
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    Hi. My name is Mike. I blame my dad for my Buick addiction. Today I bought my personal dream car. Not the same make & model. The actual car: 1949 Buick Roadmaster Riviera. Ok, now for the back story. Buckle up folks, this is going to be a ride. In 1976, my father's good friend Bob asked if my Dad and Mom wanted to take a trip to Minnesota to check out a car and help him get it home if he bought it. Well, Bob bought the car and my Dad & Mom drove the car back from Minnesota to Michigan. Not long after returning from the trip, my Mom found out she was pregnant with me. They say nothing “happened” in the car.... From that moment on, Bob always associated the car with me often asking my dad how old I was so he could figure how long he had owned the car. After spending 10-15 years collecting the parts he needed, Bob then began a full restoration on the car. From time to time he would ask my Dad to come give him a hand with the work and I would come along. Bob quickly put me to work doing the dirty jobs on the car. Cleaning and painting the chassis, polishing chrome, just simple things a teenage boy couldn’t really screw up. This was the time in my life when my love for cars matured from a shoe box full of model car scraps and posters haphazardly pinned to my bedroom wall to “I cannot wait to have my own car. My own Buick.” I can’t say I took a huge part in the restoration of the car, but I can say I helped. More importantly, I gained valuable knowledge by simply watching Bob and my dad work. Bob eventually finished the restoration and the car was spectacular. This wasn’t a simple restoration, he spent a lot of time researching every little detail of the car and searching for new old stock parts to keep the restoration as genuine as possible. Bob was invited to show the car at the 1992 Concours D’Elegance at Meadow Brook car show. The car was so nice and complete, The Franklin Mint came to his house and photographed the car inside and out. They used his car as the base for their own scale model version. As a thank you for letting them document his car, The Franklin Mint gave Bob ten of the models free of charge. Bob gave one of those to me. I cherished that model so much I rarely removed it from the protective packaging to look at it. A few years went by and enjoyed seeing the car when I would see it at car shows. After I graduated from college and started getting on my feet financially, I started envisioning myself owning that car and I wanted to find an opportunity to ask Bob if the car would ever be for sale. Sadly, I never had that chance. In early 2003 Bob passed away suddenly. After some time had gone by we heard Bob’s car collection was for sale. His daughter had inherited everything and she sold some of the cars to other Buick collectors who were friends with Bob. All of the cars were sold except the ‘49. After everything settled down, the car seemingly fell off the face of the earth. I would eagerly look for it at every local car show but I would never find it. From time to time whenever my dad and I were talking about cars I would ask “Have you heard anything about Bob’s ‘49?” For the next 12 years I would always receive the same disappointing answer: “Haven’t seen or heard anything. I think Cathy and Brian might still own it.” I guess that answer is better than hearing “John just bought it”. This past January, I had missed a call from my dad and he left a voice message. When my dad leaves a voice message it’s always one of two things “Hey, give your dad a call.” or “Relative X is suffering from ailment Z and I thought I’d keep you in the loop”. This time he says “Call me back as soon as you can.” I had no idea what to expect. I called him right away and he said “I found Bob’s car. Cathy and Brian still have it, and it’s for sale.” My heart stopped. My dad said he thought Brian worked at GM so since my wife works at GM, I had her get his contact info for me. I contacted him the next day and told him the entire story. He was fascinated by my story and confirmed it was for sale. The car had actually been on loan to the Gilmore Car Museum for the past ten years which explains why I couldn’t find it anywhere. Brian and Cathy are about to retire and move to their lake house in northern Michigan and they wanted sell the car preferably to someone who would appreciate the car. They both knew my dad but hadn’t really seen him since Bob’s funeral and they were thrilled to be able to sell it to me because of the history my dad and I had with Bob and with the car. I was able to inspect the car at the museum in early May and the condition of the car blew me away. The car looked like it wasn’t even driven at all even though I know it had to have at least 1000 miles on it since the restoration. With the exception of a couple tiny paint chips, the car is perfect. We agreed on a price and yesterday I completed the deal to take ownership. I’ve been dreaming of owning this car for almost 20 years and now I finally do. I cannot thank my wife enough for trusting my decision to buy this car. She admittedly doesn’t “get it”...well, not yet. She’s not a car person and doesn’t even try to fake it. I have a feeling she will come around before too long. My son: he “gets it”. He loves the car already and he’s only seen pictures. He’s already told me he wants to drive a Buick when he gets older. One day this car will be his and he will be able to realize a childhood dream as well.
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    Buick Barn at Buick Gardens
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    My '53 Roadie, love this picture....