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Posts posted by FRED Z

  1. I have a mint non-working original radio for my 1955 Pontiac Safari that I want to have converted to an AM-FM. Any recommendations on where to send this radio? I am in NE Ohio and am concerned about lead time that is longer than promised. Cost seems to be around $400 with promised lead time of 4-6 weeks. Car is 12-volt.

    From what I understand, the converted radio will still look to be original with new microprocessor-controlled AM/FM stereo - and the original push-buttons can still be used. I want to keep the radio original in appearance, but prefer an update rather than repairing the old. A picture of my interior is attached.


    Fred Zwicker


  2. Still have 11 boxes of brake cables.

    I bought a set of three NOS (new old stock) cables for my 1955 Pontiac Safari from 32 tatra (Michael) and they came in quickly in the original boxes. It was a pleasure buying something from someone on this forum for a change, instead of eBay. Also Michael packed everything carefully and shipped it immediately. Thanks, Michael.

    Fred Zwicker

  3. I have the hand brake cable part number bx 974 listed for all models. I also have two rear cables bx976 158 3/4 inch cable and 25 inch conduit. The book says it is for the Chieftain. Since you own safaris. You will have to ckeck if this cable will work.

    thanks Michael

    Michael, I sent you an email. Fred

  4. Great pictures - thanks Dan. I have saved these to my hard drive and will use your information to complete the detailing next week. Most of my expertise is with Cadillacs and my 39 LaSalle, so I need a "learning curve" on Buicks. Your help and pictures are greatly appreciated. Here is a picture of my other Buick - a 1954 Riviera Special. Also my 66 Cadillac and my 1939 LaSalle.





  5. l recently purchased a 1957 Buick Super Riviera and just detailed the engine compartment. I am wondering if this engine had valve cover decals, and if so, what type of decal? I called Bob's Automobilia in CA, but he was not sure, saying that 1957 was too new!

    I have a 1954 Buick Special Riviera and that car has the smaller V8 and has engine decals. Any ideas on what type of engine decal should be used on the 1957 and if so, can anyone describe? Thanks,








  6. l recently purchased a 1957 Buick Super Riviera and just detailed the engine compartment. I am wondering if this engine had valve cover decals, and if so, what type of decal? I called Bob's Automobilia in CA, but he was not sure, saying that 1957 was too new!

    I have a 1954 Buick Special Riviera and that car has the smaller V8 and has engine decals. Any ideas on what type of engine decal should be used on the 1957 and if so, can anyone describe? Thanks,







  7. I have a friend who is a very successful antique dealer and he will never make an offer - always asking the seller for his asking price. If too high, he asks "can you give me a friendlier price?" (Nice way to word it). In some cases, the asking price is a giveway and he walks off with a great deal. In other cases, he can either try to work down the asking price or walk. The trouble with giving a price is that the prospective buyer will then usually ask for a lesser price. So my advice to anyone selling a car is to ask for an offer - you might be shocked at what someone might be willing to pay. If not a good offer, you can always decline. And if a fair offer, you can probably squeeze a few dollars more, depending on how anxious the buyer is.

    One time I was with this same antique dealer and we stopped at a small antique shop. He spotted an old cast iron bank, asking for a price. The owner of the shop asked $25. He bargained real hard to get it for $15. Later in the car, I asked what it was worth - about $350 he said. I asked him why he didn't just pay the $25 - he replied "force of habit".

    Other times, you might make a generous offer to buy and the seller might think then that the car is worth a lot more, so sometimes offering too much is not a good idea. Best to ask for the price if you are buying and ask for an offer if you are selling.


  8. Here is a picture of the interior of my 1955 Pontiac Safari 2-door wagon, which had to be one of GM's early factory installed air conditioning systems.

    If you look closely at the right side of the dash, you will see that the car came equipped with factory air - which had to be a rare option at the time. The previous owner changed the old air conditioning pump, etc. to "Vintage Air", yet used all of the existing outlets, thus preserving the original look from inside the car. This installation was very professionally installed and I appreciate the work that went into this changeover. The previous owner made a good choice, as it blows ice cold air without a problem.

    Does anyone know if Pontiac had factory air prior to 1955, and if so, when? Also any idea of how many 1955 Pontiac Safaris were equipped with factory air? I was told that this option was very rare for my car.






  9. In-ground-heating-system

    At work we just finished a new 40' x 80' building for display of our antique cars and trucks. At the time of construction, we installed plastic piping inside the cement as it was poured. A hot water heating system is pumped through these pipes during the winter, keeping the cars nice and warm and dry.

    We are going to install an air conditioner soon, but for now are running a dehumidifier 24/7 with good results.

    Prior to going high-tech, I always placed visqueen under my antique cars (wall to wall) to keep the undersides dry. You would be amazed at the amount of moisture that is collected under the visqueen. This keeps the exhaust system from drying out and protects the floor boards as well. I recommend this highly.

    We also fitted all doors very tightly to keep out "critters" and will be placing bait here and there to be sure of no problems. Our windows are UV-protected to protect the rays of the sun from fading the vehicles.

    We have a few more odds and ends to complete, but will soon have this building open to the public on Saturdays from 10 AM to 2 PM and also by chance on other days (except on Mondays and Holidays - closed Sundays). AACA members are always welcome.

    Attached are some pictures of our new building, which is located at TP Tools, 7075 State Rt. 446, Canfield, OH 44406 (1 mile west of the center of Canfield on Rt. 224 at corner of State Rt. 446. Several more cars have been added since these pictures were taken.








  10. I have been experimenting with front coil springs for my 1955 Pontiac Safari 2dr wagon and it is also about 2" low. So far I purchased and installed one set of springs and brought it up about 1/2", so have another set of springs on order. Lots of trial and error here.

    Records such as we both need are probably not readily available, but a good spring shop should be able to take care of this for you, based on your desire to raise the car by 2 inches. Springs will sag over time and sometimes an extra leaf will also help, but might result in a slightly rougher ride. I am not sure, but if you bring the rear up 2", it might be possible that the front could sag a bit. Another option is to purchase a new set of rear springs from Eaton Spring Company, who claims to have blueprints for most every older spring. Google "Eaton Spring Co" to locate their site.


  11. BJM & others - The 1954 and 1957 Buicks were recently purchased as a pair from two friends in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and they were both well cared-for by these previous owners since purchased in early 2001. The 1957 Buick was a California car and I have receipts from Oakdale, CA all the way back to the 1970s. The 1954 was originally from Georgia. Neither car has any sign of rust or previous rust and both cars have new interiors, good chrome, near-perfect paint and they run good too - a really nice pair of cars and I consider myself lucky to have found them.

    They were accompanied with lots of spare parts and plenty of literature and many receipts, as well as plenty of trophies too! I plan to take good care of these cars and both are now on display at TP Tools "Car Collection" display building in Canfield, Ohio, along with other cars owned by my son and I. We just completed this 40'x80' building and are adding some decor before we move in all of our cars. A couple of pictures taken today are attached, but lighting was poor. AACA members are always welcome to visit us and to see our collection in the near future, after we get everything in place.






  12. Thanks everyone for your input and ideas. I sent an email to Eaton Springs, but no answer yet. They were at the Goodguys Show in Columbus last weekend, so may be backed up. I intend to call them and if possible, send them the two springs just removed from my '55 Pontiac Safari 2-dr. wagon. These springs are the ones that were unequal in length.

    Next week, want to get the car on a lift and take a good look at the front-end of the car, which has a modified front end (Fatman) with Mustang II rack and pinion steering. It is possible that someone got off on the measurements when installing this modification in the past. A friend told me that since the Mustang II was much lighter than my Pontiac (weighs 3940 pounds), it is very possible that the springs installed at time of modified front end installation were too light in the first place and then someone started tinkering around with different springs. I am in hopes that there is a way to rectify this without taking the whole car apart.

    I have another 1955 Pontiac Safari (original) that sits level, but it has the original Pontiac factory suspension. Pictures are attached of each car.





  13. I took a lot of photos and am going to send info to Eaton Spring Company, who specializes in things such as this. I checked the car this morning and am wondering if the weight of the battery, power brake system and steering column could cause the car to sit 1" lower on that side? (driver's side).

    Also the coil springs I previously described (one longer than the other) were not factory springs, but were installed by the previous owner, evidently in an attempt to get the car to sit level. While the car did sit level, it was sitting too low, and that was the reason that I had the front springs replaced (never dreaming that the coils that were removed would be two different lengths).

    Hopefully Eaton Spring can come up with some ideas or a solution. Thanks,


  14. I just had the front springs on my 1955 Pontiac Safari replaced. With the new springs the car now sits 1" lower on driver's side than the passenger side. I am measuring from the floor to the center inside of the front wheel well on each side.

    In checking the old springs found that the driver's side spring had 8 coils and the passenger side had 7 coils. While the car previously sat about 1" lower than with the new springs, it previously sat level. Car is parked on level cement in my garage at home and I checked my two other antique cars and both measure the same either side. Any reason why more coils on driver's side?

    I think I read somewhere that the factory often inserted spacers on one side or the other to level the car at time of manufacuture, but I have no first hand knowledge of this.

    Thanks, Fred

  15. Thanks for the quick feedback Mr. Earl.

    What is the exact link to get me to the 1954 Buick Forum? Also the Me and My Buick Forum. Are there any Buick Forums pertaining to a 1957 Buick. I also have two 1955 Safari 2-dr Pontiac wagons, a 1939 LaSalle convertible and a 1966 Cadillac DeVille convertible - lots of help on the Cadillac LaSalle Forum, but haven't had much luck on finding a forum on the '55 Pontiac or for the 1954-1957 Buicks.


  16. I recently purchased a 1954 Buick Special 2-dr. HT and a 1957 Buick Super 2-dr. HT and both have Dynaflow transmissions.

    What type of transmission fluid should I use that is available today? I stopped at Auto Zone tonight and asked the clerk, who started looking at the wording on one or two of the plastic bottles of ATF and then slowly wandered away without a comment.

    Attached are pictures of these very nice Buicks.

    Thanks, Fred



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