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Starting over, seem to have lost my old thread.  Found a "paint ready" car in Arizona, just needed wiring and an interior.

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Stopped at an abandoned gas station for the near vintage shot.  The car trailered fine.  I answered several questions of curiosity at gas stops.  The car was missing many small parts as it was only partially re-assembled.  My understanding is that the previous owner hauled it out of the desert over 20 years ago where it was most likely abandoned as a wreck. 

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Once home, the car was disassembled to inventory concealed conditions and the true extent of work needed to resurrect the car.

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Edited by kgreen
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Found a chassis in Michigan, correct engine, still no wiring and no interior.  The 76C had a 1941 engine.  The engine in this chassis was advertised for sale and when I queried the seller about the engine serial number, I learned that this engine was correct for about the time period the 76C was manufacturered.  The car was a four door Roadmaster, abandoned in a barn that had fallen in on itself.  The contractor hired to push the old barn into the nearby ravine and build new discovered this and two other cars.  He wanted to keep the body to make a rat rod.  He happily had me carry the whole chassis away.

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I got lots of valuable parts such as the optional 3.6:1 rear end, shift linkage, extra shocks to rebuild, brake drums, transmission and a model of where brake lines, the gas line and such were positioned.  None of that was present on the 76C.

 

I had the engine completely machined, replacing all moving parts and had one cylinder resleeved.IMG_5187.thumb.JPG.626ce90e3f833aca9b6e7d26012652f0.JPG

 

The head is rebuilt with new valves and planed slightly to match the block.

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Engine complete except for accessories.

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Edited by kgreen
detail added. (see edit history)
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There's no education in the second kick of a mule.  I'm not even sure I remember the 24th time I was kicked, but I'm over buyers remorse.  The body wasn't in as good of condition as I estimated at purchase.  When the full magnitude of body restoration became evident, I enlisted the help of Dan, a sheet metal repair specialist.  He would be able to manufacture replacement panels with much greater skill than I could ever have and do so in such timing that I would be able to enjoy the car within my lifetime.  The picture below is the door with heavily sculpted filler.  The car appears to have been hit on the right side.  Dan has by this time, completely rebuilt both doors.

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Below is the door frame with the old skin removed.  I purchased two Cadillac doors from Greg Johnson to replace the skins.  Dan had to remanufacture several interior door components as well.

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The body was not severely rusted, just heavily abused in its' former life.  The previous owner had completely sand blasted the car then primed it.

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The rocker panels were not really designed for a long life.  They consisted on a closed box that would provide stiffening to the body shell.  The box structures readily took in water without draining well. The photo below shows evidence of previous repair efforts.

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With a little more exploration, the full extent of rust damage was revealed.  The exterior form of the rocker was a conical, concave shape with the larger radius towards the front of the car.  While Dan would be able to build new rockers, Greg again freed up some of his inventory of NOS rockers for both sides.

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Not worth saving:

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Edited by kgreen (see edit history)
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It would have been easier to buy a brand new 76C in March of 1940.  I didn't have that chance.  Here we are starting over.  I've met some terrific people in the BCA that have helped me along tremendously with parts and their knowledge.  With their help and the help of people I haven't even met yet, I should have a 76C in a couple of years that would appear to be a low mileage 2 or 3 year old car.

 

Dan began by stripping all of primer and filler.  He built a cage to stiffen the body so that it could be removed from the frame.

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The body doesn't have a rust problem, it has a dent problem.  My thought was that dents are easier to repair than rust.  It is still a big job though.

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Underside floor boards:

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The front end sheet metal was in terrific shape:

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Edited by kgreen (see edit history)
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Thanks Keith, but I will stand aside and acknowledge Harley Earl for this and many other's in the Buick line.

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12 hours ago, kgreen said:

Thanks Keith, but I will stand aside and acknowledge Harley Earl for this and many other's in the Buick line. 

 As do all of us that appreciate these fine cars.

Keith

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Ken, glad to see your post is back. I've enjoyed watching the progress of your car.

Mike

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14 minutes ago, kingrudy said:

Ken, glad to see your post is back. I've enjoyed watching the progress of your car.

Mike

Thanks Mike, I might be able to resurrect some of the early parts that are worthwhile.  Dan did some really amazing work reskinning and rebuilding the doors.  The the tail pan, oh my gosh he was an artist.

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The C-platform was new for 1940 and featured a wider body with no running boards.  That platform was used for the Buick Super and Roadmaster for 1940 and 41, the Cadillac Series 62, and the large series Oldsmobile.  Since my car was missing so many parts and required so much sheet metal reconstruction I was in search of similar cars to use as a model.  

 

The first car was a 1940, 50 series car that was part of a barn find for Mr. Earl (aka Lamar Johnson).  He was made aware of this collection by a member of the BCA Dixie Chapter.  It had been in storage for a reported 20-25 years when the owners father had passed.  The cars were a part of his collection.  This car was partially restored years ago and was mostly complete.

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The engine was stuck and has since been freed.  The missing parts are evident in this photo and is everything related to the drivers door window assembly.

 

The next big boost that I got was an invitation to Terry Boyce's beautiful 1940 76C.  The history of ownership of this car strongly suggests that it belonged to Harley Earl when new.

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I photographed every conceivable angle of Terry's car and created a photo log of each section of the car for future reference.  Some aspect's of Terry's car were unique to the Boss' special order capability such as the dual carb engine, foot operated parking brake and pneumatic shift assist.  My wife and I spent a lovely weekend in Detroit with Terry and his wife.  That meeting, that weekend, and all that help are the real reason for involvement in the vintage car hobby!

 

 

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