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ME & MY === 1958 Buick, 1958 Buick, 1958 Buick and……..

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After lurking around the Forums for a while now and being inspired by more than a few that have displayed their abilities from professional skills to the amazing accomplishments of those just wanting to have a driver quality Buick, I'm taking a chance and putting myself out there in the hopes to be able to get organized and keep motivated in dealing with my 1958 Buick collection. Having watched with particularly special interest, Smartin (Adam) and his 58 Limited and now his 58 Roadmaster, I have to state that a specific demand from City Hall (a.k.a. Mayor Wife) two weeks ago has me making an immediate effort! In all fairness and before I get blasted for that comment, I have no one to blame but myself.

My first car is my 1958 Limited two door that was a hand me down from my Dad back in 1971. After he and I changed the rear universal joint in only a carport and with a small assortment of tools, I kept driving it till I met my wife at a News Years Eve party our new neighbours next door held in 1973.

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We started dating that spring when she came home from University 1974 and….. With having purchased another 1958 Buick Special convertible in 1972 I had the choice how we wanted to drive around.

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It took me 6 years of dating and another 58 Buick Roadmaster convertible before I gathered up the courage to ask her to marry me in 1980. Not to be done collecting 58`s don`t I find another Limited identical to mine right down to the colour and options with only 57,000 miles showing on the clock.

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So…. I clearly got myself into my present situation on my own (with no real opposition I might point out) and complicated it by parking the 1st Limited (now really worn out) behind our two car garage in 1983 where it has sat out in the elements and hence the cause for the City Hall Order! It will and must be the focus before any attempts to work on the other cars as our backyard is getting more and more use with two adult sons, their girl friends and the amount of socializing we are doing now. I tried to use something similar to calling it The Buick Farm to which it was immediately pointed out that 1 - We live in the City and 2 - This is NOT a farm! So I tried another tact using the term Yard Art and the look was enough to kill and I'm glad I live in Canada where there are gun laws, phew!

So with order in hand, I have started striping out the car with the remaining trim that was on her in the hopes of getting both the front and back windows out 1st. The front windshield will be a donor for my Roadmaster convert should all go well and the rear window, I might list for sale as my other Limited is fine and after 42 years of collecting parts from various swap meets, and two Buick collection liquidation purchases, storage for the big items has become a problem. I took the complete dash out several years ago, the engine and trans was taken out before I parked it in 83 and the interior was worn past saving then but the front seat frame will become a donor for the Roadmaster as it has a broken drivers seat back. How that happened is beyond me but that car was really mistreated before I got it and part of the reason it was such a good buy. The driver door will be a donor for the Roadmaster also as it was hit and would need a lot of pounding out beyond my capabilities.

Sadly (or my current excuse to City Hall) it has been raining with thunderstorms on and off for just over a week here but we at least missed out on the ice storm today.

I’m thinking I might post a list on the garage door to list the work in progress to date and have proof of progress to City Hall.

Hopefully I’m not going to bore everyone here with this but as some one else stated, You can’t finish unless you start, so let the fun continue.

Doug

BCA# 35039

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Some of the dismantling work before the week of rain.

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Rear Window - good condition now

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Bottom clips are ripe

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Quarter chrome

Maybe Sunday weather might be better.

Doug

BCA# 35039

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Doug, Great Story and congratulations! As you well know, each story starts with a single word, and each restoration starts with a single turn of the wrench or screwdriver. You have the collection of a lifetime with all parts necessary to do this available to you in your garage / shop. Make a list, like you said, and start the journey. It is a fun, wonderful, exciting travel. Sometimes filled with some difficult and tenuous roads, but the end result is well worth the time invested. Like Robert and myself, keep the car to a point where you can still drive it at some point of the driving season around here. It takes a little longer, but man, it is sure worth it. Read and re-read Robert's thread on his '52 and if you can stomach it, mine on my '57. Both are great lessons in how to do it, in your driveway and garage without going the frame off position. Don't forget, you can always call me for anything as well. I'm just a little northwest of you! Now get going!!! :D

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Hey Jim,

THANKS!

Just to refresh your mind, we met last year at your place when I picked up the trunk mat for my Special. I know you were in fast mode getting the 57 in order for the Nationals. I'm really envious of you driving her all the way there and back!

My driving will be on hold till I get the Limited dealt with first as the Special has that typical dynaflow syndrome and I have two boxes of rags soaking up the fluid. Guess it sat long enough to completely flatten that seal and will have to take the trans out for service but.....

focus now, focus....

Doug

BCA# 3539

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Seriously though, doesn't this qualify as Yard Art?

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It certainly gets people to discussing the piece (ha, ha)

Doug

BCA# 35039

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Great to hear the whole story, Doug! Thanks for sharing...always fun to see more 58's :)

Those eyebrows would look good on my Roadie ;)

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Thanks Adam.

Because these Buicks were my first cars and never sold them like most people do, I have many more stories. However, I want to be able to create new stories and not just look back (although I have been reminded I do that a lot! - ha ha - darn that City Hall)

My youngest son (who also has his first car - not a Buick but that's OK) said to me at Xmas, "You are not getting any younger you know. You should really get them going again." He's right!

While I have poked some fun at my wife (does she really look sad riding in the Special in my avitar?), I'm also 58, the Buicks are 58's, my sons comment, my wifes encouragement..... not a stretch to see the hand writing on the wall is it? And with following your thread on your Limited from the get go.... thanks for that and to many others!

I really am impressed with Bob and the courage and abilities of and his 55 convert! Not sure I have that ability in me but will work with what I have and just see. It's all good to see and especially the guys that have their fathers helping out with them like Robert. My Dad is still with me but at soon to be 89, a recent pace maker and failing eyesight, just can't endure as much as he used to. I am greatfull that he has lived long enough to see how my life and his grandsons lives are taking place and.... know that he is thrilled that I had the car interest. See, he gifted me his antique car collection two years ago because he lost his drivers license due to his eyes. I not only have my Buick's but his cars that I grew up with because he never sold any either (see a pattern/sickness here?). They are: 1920 Overland touring Model 4, 1928 Whippet Cabriolet Model 96 and 1951 Nash Canadian Statesmen with all original paint & upholstery. So.... as Jim suggested, this has and does bring one down some interesting roads.

Well it's off to work and gather some funds for that trany seal (after a City Hall allocation) and hopefully some better weather on Sunday.

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Seriously though, doesn't this qualify as Yard Art?

[ATTACH=CONFIG]187965[/ATTACH]

It certainly gets people to discussing the piece (ha, ha)

Doug

BCA# 35039

It is not as rusty as the shed in the next yard!! Build a shed around it.

Ben

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(It is not as rusty as the shed in the next yard!! Build a shed around it.)

Actually...... I tried suggesting that awhile ago but........

In reality, the car is indeed more rusty than that shed.

Sitting outside even up on cement blocks with that soil under it has done a number as expected. Once I get the windows out, the doors off and the seat out, and the front fenders off it won't take too many cuts to remove the body shell in manageable pieces. Last November, thinking I could jack it up enough to bolt on the tires again, all the jack did was crush the frame and never raised it at all! That ended any hopes of pulling it out!

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Spare tire well in the trunk

Doug

BCA# 35039

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1951 Nash Canadian Statesmen with all original paint & upholstery

Oh my, Doug, I had no idea. You have a second-generation bathtub Nash, too. I am so sorry for your loss (of dignity). Hehehe

I have a great story about a '53 Ambassador that a pal of mine had. Like yours, it was a gorgeous Survivor car and was finished in a stately but oh-so-drab middle blue. We all saw the intrinsic beauty of its superb condition and humoured the owner, John, into believing he had a great car. Assembling for a club tour to the mountains, John was chamois-ing his Nash and polishing all that lovely Korean-era chrome. A couple of teenagers came strolling by, admiring the lineup of neat old cars. They stopped, dumbstruck, at the Ambassador and one of them blurted out, "Man, that is the ugliest car I have ever seen!" Hehehe, John was mortified and I don't think he ever got over it.

No idea where that car is today. I did ride in it several times and it really was a fine road car but, OMG, that styling...! Some things just don't pass the test of time.

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Hey Rob,

(You have a second-generation bathtub Nash, too. I am so sorry for your loss (of dignity).)

That's funny actually. Never heard anyone say that they thought it was ugly but... I did hear a few say that their parents would not let them use the Nash because the seats folded down flat... you know (think 50's parents mind thought). However.......

My Limited did get the comment, That thing is so chromed up it is gawgy!

I mean what teenage kid in High School in the 70's drove a used Buick Old Man car? It did change some when one day in Auto shop Class the Teacher told us we had a field trip to the local CN Shops and who had a car and how many could they take. I volunteered and the 6 of us went with others who had 57 & 58 Chev's and one 62 Chev with a 409. It changed the minds of a few and from then on my response was, Either you love them or you hate them. So Be It.

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Doug

BCA# 35039

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So about mid afternoon the rain and sometimes sleet (this is April right?) quit and then there was a light in the sky! Out to the back and took a look where to start. I'm going to refer to the Limited as 'The Critter Motel' since with all the floor rot and access through the trunk floor the mess was huge. Before I would think about climbing in to unbolt the window clips, I sent in the House Keeping crew (ME).

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After an hour of careful work it got to this point.

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Notice the remains of the original carpet just below the bottom seat trim. The front of that carpet is different and never noticed it before. I know I never changed it.

Doug

BCA# 35039

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Since I'm saving the doors I decided to take some time while the BBQ was warming up and clean up the window frame. I used to take a new can of oil, soak a rag and wipe the chrome leaving a film and after all these years, pleased how they came out. Nothing was show quality when I parked it and the pot metal has issues but.... cleaned up pretty good.

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Even the vent window crank came out nice!

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Man am I going to miss seeing this when sitting by the bonfire after she's gone......

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Doug

BCA# 35039

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second-generation bathtub Nash

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DOUG, sorry, my mistake. Your dad's car is the first-generation post-war Nash - the Airflyte. Way cooler than the one I was thinking of, which started in 1952 as I have now learned. Truth to be told, I love all the '50s weirdos. Styling was so creative then. No wonder it became a family tradition for many of us, for our dads to take us downtown on that magical day in September, when the paper came off the showroom windows and the gleaming New Cars were there for us to admire.

You and I are the same age but I didn't get my Buick until the year after I got out of high school. When I rarely bump into old friends from those days, they always tell me what they mostly remember about me is that ridiculous big Roadmaster I drove. They are suitably floored when they hear that I still have it.

Edited by Rob McDonald (see edit history)

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Man am I going to miss seeing this when sitting by the bonfire after she's gone......

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Doug

BCA# 35039

Wow. Now that's yard art! I'd miss that too. Maybe you should turn the front end into a bbq grill and leave it there. Now that would be cool.:cool:

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Rob, No apology necessary here. Clearly, liking/having something different from the norm is what defines me and let's face it, it would be a boring place if we all liked and did the same things!

I didn't realize you had your 57 that long too! Fun Club isn't it? I went to the High School 50th reunion (my 25th) with the Nash as they had a Car Show on the Football Field. Would have taken the Special had it not been parked way in the back of the garage. It was a great time and like you said, my classmates all remember the Special and were amazed that I still had it too. Sadly the Vice Principal that called me down to the Office to have me move my car, since there were assigned parking permits due to the number of kids, had passed on as had a few other teachers but it was a GREAT TIME!

Doug

BCA# 35039

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Wow. Now that's yard art! I'd miss  that too. Maybe you should turn the front end into a bbq grill and leave  it there. Now that would be cool.

BBQ...... hmmmm!? Good one but...I'm thinking I better just carry on with the work order. Although.. contemplating saving the rear quarters and possibly hanging them on the garage walls (inside naturally) with lighted tail lights.....

While I most definately will miss seeing it there, it is easier knowing that I have her identical twin sister sitting inside the garage and various parts will be used to keep the collection going.

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Doug

BCA# 35039

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While waiting for the weather to clear (April showers bring may flowers I guess!) I decided to poke around a box with the Limited information and came upon this.

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Taken in Pheonix, Arizona when I drove down to help bring my sister back to Canada after graduating from ASU. Found the bumper on a Roadmaster 2 door in a wrecking yard still attached and I borrowed some tools from the place, took every nut and bolt off, no problems! The note attached says I paid 95 bucks! It will go on the Roadmaster.

Doug

BCA# 35039

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Here is an interior shot of the twin sister Limited.

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Doug

BCA# 35039

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DOUG, you're way braver than me. I believe I've managed to destroy every photograph of me from those unfortunate times. Imagine: sideburns almost to my mouth, a velvet bow tie, plaid pants, and black and white patent leather platform shoes - I shudder. Oddly though, your shaggy hair and beard are now back in style. I shudder again.

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Rob,

LOL. However...... you forgot one thing in your description. Not only were the pants plaid but... they were bell bottom pants!!!!

Time has changed all that including the shaggy blond hair which has now gone silver (my wife says grey but we agree to disagree - ha ha). Went to a funeral last week and there were many there from a Drum Corps that I was in and have not seen for over 35 years.... Every one of them knew me and said I have not changed. Time is not kind to everyone... had to be introduced to a few (sigh).

Then... got up this AM , looked out the back and saw this.....

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75 degrees yesterday, 33 this AM and wind chill feels like 26....

This is April? Bring back out the winter clothes to work on the Limited!

Doug

BCA# 35039

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Yeah, I mercifully forgot about the bellbottoms. I also forgot to mention the tweed cap that topped off my favourite ensemble of the time. When I stepped out this morning, it was snowing. I was born here so I'm stuck with it but I can't imagine anyone else living here by choice. btw, I totally support your idea of Sawzalling off the Limited's rear quarters and mounting them as Garage Art.

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So it is cool out but the rain has quit and the sky is clear.

Progress..... at least with the dismantaling, then.....

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Trim coming off fairly nicely. Surprisingly the seal is somewhat pliable yet, Even able to cut it back with a utility knife.

THEN!!!!!

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It's a good thing I don't have young kids near by..... Not good to see a grown man weep (you thought something else didn't you?).

Doug

BCA# 35039

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So... quietly I carried on taking things off, marking them, taking pictures and putting the small pieces in freezer bags, labelled of course so down the road I won't have to hunt in the bottom of a pail or box, look at something and ask, "What was that for?"

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Doug

BCA# 35039

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