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Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!


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#1 timinbovey

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 05:30 PM

We've made the decision to try to save Dad's Buick Roadmaster. Dad bought this car brand new in 1951, and still owns it! The car stopped being driven in 1966. Dad had given it to his Dad (my grandpa) to use and when Grandpa died in '66, the car sat parked in Grandma's garage. During this time an uncle kept tabs on the car, drove it occasionally, and we used to drive it occasionally when we would visit Grandma. After Grandma passed on in '77, Dad eventually wound up getting the car back. Having no place to put it, he rented space from a "car guy" with a huge garage. It sat there for several years until THAT guy moved, and the car got moved again, to a lesser quality building with a dirt floor. It sat here since sometime in the mid 80's until now. Dad, although a big Buick fan, who will tell you that this is the best car to EVER be on the road, is not a "car guy" He doesn't fix them, doesn't maintain them himself, etc. However, he's a big fan of waxing and polishing. The guy who had it in storage for us until now lost his home and outbuildings to foreclosure, his wife died, and he was diagnosed with cancer (this all in the last year) so he put the car in a friends garage until now, when it's been moved outside. The attached photo was taken where it was last stored in 2004. That's Dad, Me, and my Son. Dad is 84 now, doesn't drive, but still loves the car. My boy and I still are very attached to the car. heck, I used to get rides to church in it when I was a little kid, I used to sit in it and play driving in my Grandma's garage after it was parked after Grandpa passed. Anyway, we're making arrangements to get it moved about 200 miles from where it is, to where we live now. My son has turned into quite the mechanic, and we have garage space available. So, we're gonna see what we can do. We have no idea the status of the car. The photo you see is the last time we saw it, and that was 8 years ago. Having worked on a lot of old cars over the years we pretty much know what we're in for. We're going to get to have a closer look at it next weekend, then will be working on getting it moved up here. I've got a few slides of when it was new that Dad took in '51 that I'll scan and upload later. Quite amusing! My parents dated in this car, and took their honeymoon in this car!

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#2 cobravii

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 05:43 PM

That is a cool story!

Mine is similar but without as much history. I am currently restoring a triple black 1964 Buick Electra convertible that my father bought new. Mine is not nearly as nice of condition as yours as it sat outside for many years before I got it.

I am looking forward to watching this tread and seeing what you are starting with and the process of getting it where you want it.

Cheers,
Larry
I am currently restoring a 1964 Buick Electra convertible with a 425 dual quad engine and bucket seats.
My dad bought it new. https://www.facebook...74156757&type=3
My other project car is a 1965 Shelby Cobra and as we all know, our projects are never done.;)

#3 timinbovey

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 07:13 PM

Few slides of the car in it's glory days. Mom and Dad leaving on their honeymoon, the Buick parked at my Mom's family cabin (that's Mom on the right) and umm... yeah....Mom on the Buick!

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#4 retirednow

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 07:18 PM

Great story!! Best of luck!! -Dave BCA#46470 1952 56C

#5 smithbrother

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 08:38 PM

Good story, great pic's too. Have fun.

Do you know anything about the Buick convert parked in the shed next to your car? Looks to be a 46-48 car, maybe.

Dale in Indy

#6 1957buickjim

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 02:21 AM

What a cool story! Hope you get it done so your dad can still run around with you and your son in it! Where abouts are you located?
Jim
1957 Buick Riviera Estate Wagon - 49D -WIP (work in process)
1957 Buick Special - Model 48 2dr Sedan (BCA Gold Senior)
1969 Pymouth Road Runner 2dr HT- 440 4 Speed
2005 Ford Mustang Convertible
BCA #45059

#7 1953mack

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 03:06 PM

. . . . . Where about are you located? . . . . .




See Post #3, Pic #1 . . . . .
The cabin, lake, and license plates are a dead giveaway. They're all in MINNESOTA, LAND OF 10,000 LAKES, somewhere "up North" from me (Bovey, MN?). Note that Minnesotans call them cabins, not COTTAGES (like people from Michigan and other places call them).



Al Mack
BCA #8965
"500 Miles West of Flint"

Edited by 1953mack, 17 July 2012 - 02:40 PM.


#8 Centurion

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 05:17 PM

timinbovey, great history and wonderful photos! Really enjoyed seeing this, and we'll be eager to hear your progress.
Brian Laurance, BCA #5168

1959 Buick Electra 4-door hardtop
1971 Buick Centurion Formal Coupe
1990 Buick LeSabre Limited Coupe
1996 Buick Riviera Coupe
2005 Buick LeSabre Custom Sedan

#9 ewing

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 07:45 PM

great looking car, and still looks to be in fine condition. Don't see a lot of rust, at least from the top side!
And I see the same spotlight rear view mirror on the driver side now as in the picture from its glory days.

What a great car, and would be nice to get it back on the road as an original survivor! ( the paint looks good enough with just a spot of wear/ thinning on the roof from what I see in the pictures)
John, BCA #1271, ALPCA 688
38 McLaughlin 4 Dr Special,Iron Man
47 Roadmaster Conv.
58 Pontiac Parisienne,Canadian version of the Bonneville
67 Coronet 500

#10 Buicknutty

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 11:16 PM

Great story, and those vintage slides are awesome. Hopefully the car isn't too bad, in the photo it looks quite decent. Good luck and keep us posted!
Keith

#11 timinbovey

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 07:15 PM

We did get a chance to look over the '51 this past weekend. Seems to be in much better shape than I was expecting. Seems mostly solid, and everything seems to be there, including Dad's accessories like the extra horn, spotlight, steering wheel knob, etc. Even found the owners manual. Now we've trying to find someone who can transport the car about 200 miles from where it is now, to where we live so we can work on it. Once we get it home I'll update as to the status. I didn't get a chance to find out if the engine is frozen, fan belt was broken and I had no way to attempt to turn the crank at all. Three of the 4 tires actually hold air, the last holds enough to get it on a trailer. Actually has 5 matching hubcaps, and even a carefully folded spare pair of pants in the trunk! Along with a set of old, used Champion J-11 sparkplugs. Hopefully my attemps to add updated pictures worked!

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#12 timinbovey

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 07:16 PM

I have no idea why some of those pictures are upside down! They were OK in my computer! Yeesh.

timinbovey

#13 Sweepspear

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 08:04 PM

I see it was sold by Swanberg-Sheefe in Mpls. They are long gone now, but do remember them.
Dale

Current Buicks...None. :-(
Past Buicks. '66 Riv / '70 Rivs (2) / '90 Riv / '72 Skylark / '72 LeSabre / '72 Electra / '96 LeSabre / '92 Park Ave. / '96 Riviera.

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#14 Rob McDonald

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 03:37 AM

Great old car and so precious to know the history from day one. Don't worry about the inverted photos - our Ozzy and Kiwi friends will appreciate them. Say, does your hot mom have a sister...?
Rob McDonald
1957 Buick Roadmaster model 73A, owned since February 1973

#15 avgwarhawk

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 01:28 PM

Great piece of family history! Great photos of days gone by! Priceless!

Chris Gossweiler
1954 Buick Special 48D. It is a 264 and nothing more.
BCA#-46800
I adore my 54!
 


#16 JZRIV

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 02:14 PM

Posts like this really brighten up a day. Thanks so much for sharing the story and great photos. It looks like you have an excellent car to start with. With all the sentimental value its definitely worth pursuing no question about that.

Try posting in the Garages, Trailering and Towing section under Towing needed for someone to move the car. It'd be best if the tow person hade some experience with these cars.

Best of Luck moving forward
Jason Zerbini
(Near)Pittsburgh PA
Board President, ROA #775
Check out ROA right here http://www.rivowners.org/

"Buy Once - Cry Once" "The Quality remains long after the price is forgotten"

#17 BadgerRivFan

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:22 PM

Great piece of family history! Great photos of days gone by! Priceless!


x2. Really appreciate you sharing the photos. It is a great story. Hope you are able to return a great car back to the road...
Al Schmidt
ROA #10113
BCA #42316

'63, '64 KX, '65 GS, '70, '84 Convert, '85 Turbo Convert, '92 x2 Riviera's
'02 Park Avenue Ultra

"Adventure, is a car called Riviera..."

#18 ewing

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:53 PM

your 52 has an interesting side sweep-spear. At the back door it curves back to the fron of the car like a 52, and, also has a horizontal extension that runs out over the rear wheel well... like a 51.
Question for the 51/52 experts, is this an early 52 using the 51 side sweep spear trim?
John, BCA #1271, ALPCA 688
38 McLaughlin 4 Dr Special,Iron Man
47 Roadmaster Conv.
58 Pontiac Parisienne,Canadian version of the Bonneville
67 Coronet 500

#19 timinbovey

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 12:18 AM

your 52 has an interesting side sweep-spear. At the back door it curves back to the fron of the car like a 52, and, also has a horizontal extension that runs out over the rear wheel well... like a 51.
Question for the 51/52 experts, is this an early 52 using the 51 side sweep spear trim?


Maybe because this IS a '51?
timinbovey

#20 First Born

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 01:47 AM

It does have some interesting conundrums. The trunk handle is on the bottom of the trunk lid as was '51. The '52 is mounted near the top of the trunk lid. The front bumper guards are '51. The '52s wrap around the bumper a little more. It has the '52 fins on the back fenders. Back fenders changed at sometime?? A look at the data plate on the cowl will answer any questions. An absolutly beautiful machine. I am envious.

Ben
bca nationals 2012 024

1950 SPECIAL MOD 41D  Second owner

1995 PARK AVENUE





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