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Blackout

1942 Buick Roadmaster 76S

54 posts in this topic

Good afternoon:

I'm sure several of you were following the listing of a Blackout Buick in Napa, CA. Well, here she is. I purchased her last month, and while she is quite a project, I believe it will be worth all the pennies, sweat, blood, and tears. Of course, there are many hurdles to the restoration, one being my age (26) and minimal experience, but where I lack skills I make up for in patience and passion. The Buick, whom my wife and I named Alice, will be taken back to her original condition, not hacked into a sled or lowrider. This may take some time, but for Mr. Meyer's and Mr. Corbin's sake, I want to do it right. Indeed, it is a blackout model, perhaps the last '42 76S left. At 95% complete, and about 60% of that needing repair or replacement, I know it will be a challenge. Anyway, I wanted to show some pictures and create excitement for the resurrection of this dark piece of automotive history. As stated, the restoration will take some time, but I'll post pictures as she progresses.

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Nice Jared, and well worth the effort of restoration.

My first Buick restoration was purchased when I was 19 and it took me 25 years to complete ( marriage, children, house, work all took precedence ) but it was well worth the time and effort.

As for experience, well I'm sure you will find all the advice, help and encouragement you need from the Buick community.

All the best.

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Hi Jared

Nice Buick, I have known about it for many years, you bought it from a very nice guy. I am glad a young guy like yourself is getting involved, I am in Los Angeles and I am 32 and have been at this since I was 16. There is actually a guy down here who is 25 that has a 48 76S and he is also in the club.

Steve

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Great car, I also have a 42, a 47A model. It is like yours, only I would say it needs 99.9 % done. I also am a rookie and cant wait to tear into it although two projects are ahead of her. Good luck.

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Jared, You have a super-rare car there. However, I do not believe it is actually a "blackout model" because I see chrome and stainless. the "blackout car" should have a "H" before the model number I believe, based on the Master Parts books, and I don't believe they were started until about January 7, 1942; while the regular '42 cars were produced from circa-October 1941 until sometime after Pearl Harbor. Also, some "blackout cars" actually had wooden board bumpers and by the time most of them were built they were put into storage by the Government to be released during the War to "high need" customers such as doctors, etc.

There is a fellow in the Buick Club who can tell you exactly what week the car was built, based on the engine and body serial number. If you write to me off line at FireballStr8@aol.com I will give you his name and email address.

It is insignificant to the value of the car whether it is a "blackout model" or a regular 1942 Buick 76S. It will restore prettier if you do the car with the chrome trim in chrome rather than gray paint.

Earl

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Hi, Earl, thanks for the info. From one of the sources I found, only 2471 76S Model cars were produced for 1942 production. My body number is 2071. Here are some additional reasons I believe it to be a blackout car:

1. The only chrome on the car is the antenna, the clock/speedo, the glovebox knob, and the bumpers/bumperettes. All the trim and moldings are painted; however, oddly, the trim and molding was not painted the silver/grey, it was painted maroon with the body. Also, the belt molding has two silver stripes painted down the length of the grooves and the stainless grill has two white stripes painted down each tooth. All other non-blackout 1942 buicks that I've come across have chrome where my car does not.

2. The 320 in my car is not compound carbureted and was not equipped with an oil filter. I would assume this is a result of the fuel rationing and need for filter elements.

As you have stated, the car is very unique and rare. I'm excited to have come across it and look forward to restoring her. Indeed, she would look great dressed out in chrome, but if I can, I would like to rebuild her back to original to capture the essence of her history. Thanks again for your comment.

Jared

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I believe I have read in the past that all of the 1942 cars built after one of the War Department proclamations did, in fact, have only a single carburetor. On the other hand, many of the dual carb jobs were changed out later by people who couldn't deal with the dual carb setup. As for the paint, somebody could have painted it later and painted everything. However, it sounds to me as if you are actually on the right track. The one thing that puzzles me is the lack of an "H" anywhere in the serial number information. All of the Parts Books refer to a 1942 and an H1942 model. And too, there may have been a crossover period too. I think the man I have put you in contact with will have even more detail on all of that than I do. I wrote the first comprehensive article on the 1931-1942 Buick Straight 8 cars back in 1971 for ANTIQUE AUTOMOBILE. But, that's been a long time ago, and I haven't revisited any of my research information in years.

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More pictures highlighting the worst areas...(oh, and the taillights are not original)

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Great car and will be a fun project. Look forward to following it.

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Congrats Jared. I, for one, am happy to hear about you keeping the car original. Good luck with Alice. At least one of the first things you'll see is her stripping :D:rolleyes:

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Oh man, what a beauty that is. Those lines, that stance. This really is a great car.

You spent some time documenting the bad parts. What are the good things? Does it run, and move on it's own? How about the brakes and other mechanicals. We've seen Adam take the 58 Limited and put it back together, so there is proof it can be done.

It's guys like you and Adam that give me inspiration. Now if we can all just get someone to give us some money too.... oh well, Another thread for another time.

Best of luck to you on this. I'll be looking forward to seeing how you handle this.

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You might want to join the Buick Club of America; they have a very active chapter in Sacramento. They can offer up much info and parts.

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I'm already a member of the BCA and look to join the Capitol Chapter this month. Funds have been really tight these last few months.

Yes, I have documented a lot of the bad with the car...now for some good. As stated, the car is nearly complete. I'm missing some of the trim, the front emblem, the ducting for the vent, the washer jar, side skirts, floor carpeting, radio, and a few other things. Lots need to be replaced, but I have a set of 42 blackout rear fenders, an extra trunk lid, extra doors and door extensions, an extra dash, interior window moldings, the original jack stand and wrench, an extra grill, and other odds and ends. The motor apparently ran about 10 years ago and I turned it over by hand the other day. The engine oil, though old, looked clean. I plan to pull the motor for a rebuild due to the reason it sat in the first place, no oil pressure. I do not want to jeopardize a good block, not that the boat anchor would detonate anyway. The brakes seemed to work and were replaced sometime within the last 10 years. They held the car as we transported it off and on the trailer. The parking brake holds the car, too. Other goodies...most of the glass will need to be replaced, except the curved piece in th rear, which is flawless. I can't think of much else, so I guess that's all for now...

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A little more history on the car, quoted from Chris, the gentelman who sold the car to me...

"When I got the car, the last registration sticker was '68 or '69. The owner of the junkyard I got it from pulled it out of a backyard in the older part of Vallejo. According to him, the owner (unknown if he was the original owner of the car when it was new), had driven the car to work every day at Mare Island Naval Yard until it got "tired" and he parked it--along with every other car he and his wife had owned since around 1940. The junkyard towed a 1940 Olds, this '42 Buick, a '58 Caddy, a '59 Ford truck and a few '60s compacts out of the yard (apparently the city had gotten after the owner for code violations)."

It would be interesting to find out who the Mare Island employee was and his profession. Does anyone have suggestions as to how to go about tracking down this historical info? I've tried DMV to no avail.

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Airy Cat, CHVA #LM133 huh? Glad to meet you. I'm CHVA #1 AND LM1. Blackout, I sure wish I'd known about that junkyard in Vallejo when I was last out there visiting my buddy in Gridley, north of Sacramento. By the way, my '39 46-C convertible coupe came from Sacramento, just not directly to me.

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So, today, my furlough friday, I decided to take the bumpers off Alice to get a better look at the front and rear under-car sheet metal, I guess these would be the valance and roll pan, respectively. I'm not exactly sure what these areas are called; lots of rot, though, and will require replacement. As for the bumpers, they are heavily pitted and good replacement candidates, as well, if I cannot smooth them out. After the dozen or so bolts that I managed to break loose (and the handful that broke), I wish I could just dip the entire car in penetrating oil. I may post pics of the bumpers and the under car rot, tomorrow. Good times!

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Blackout....I always try to tighten the old bolts a bit before removing them....sometimes it breaks them loose easier.

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I wish I could just dip the entire car in penetrating oil.

So true...been there wanted that!

:D

I'm keeping tabs on your project...looks like a lot of work and a lot of fun.

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Thanks for the tip, Keiser31, I used that approach a few times, but knew I would have a few casualties. If I'd have been a little smarter I could have tried applying some heat and cleaning the crud out of the threads (access was an issue though).

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Sounds familiar...

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I'm just beginning the stage of reassembly on my chassis. It has taken me a year and a half to get all the way to the frame.

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I think the bumpers are in three sections. When I was selling NOS Buick parts, therre were lots more parts available than there were cars to need them. You can probably find better bumper sections.

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