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Buickborn

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  • Birthday 10/12/1946

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  1. Turnaround took about a month, less than Jack originally estimated in light of having several of these units to repair ahead of mine. Because I had to ship the unit disassembled (in order to be able to retract the antenna, which was nearly fully extended when the drive strip broke), I found in the course of re-installation that the mast housing had been clocked incorrectly relative to the motor housing -- which took me only a few minutes to correct.
  2. Well, guys, nearly a year later, I have the offending antenna unit operating and back in the car. The repair was done for me by Jack at Cartech (cartech.com) in Indiana, who returned the unit to me looking like new and operating well. The bill was $250.00 + shipping, which strikes me as a reasonable price for the reassurance offered by an experienced rebuilder of this equipment. In R&R-ing this item, I was determined not to tamper with the fender position by removing or loosening. Instead, I worked from underneath the fender in a miserable process of unbolting a near-inaccessible clamp (located just above the antenna motor) attaching the mast housing to a bracket mounted on the firewall. My major problem was that unscrewing the nut from the clamp bolt required two wrenches and two hands, while access is barely adequate for one hand -- and, of course, there was barely enough swing room to actuate a ratchet wrench or repeatedly reposition an end wrench. However, in the case of both removal and re-installation, I was able (by applying tape to the inside of the box end) to get an end-wrench to self-hold onto the bolt while I (with great difficulty of access) ratcheted the nut, one click at a time, until the mission was accomplished. But before I could make that approach work, I had to figure out how to keep the loose-fitting bolt from being pushed out of the clamp as I tried to thread the nut. My solution was to replace the original 7/16" (wrench size) bolt with 1/2", which would bind in the clamp hole just enough to stay put while accepting the nut. Not easy or bloodless by any means -- an all-day effort, in fact. If I ever buy another car with this equipment, I'll be sure to keep my itchy fingers off that antenna switch!
  3. Supers and Centurys received a fourth porthole in '55, not '56. I remember the change quite clearly, because my dad, having ponied up for a new Roadmaster coupe in 1954 (distinguished, of course, by its 4 holes), was beyond upset to see the additional hole awarded for 1955 to "those cheap cars." His fit of pique was not exactly calmed when his 8-year-old son (me) suggested that there might be more important concerns in life.
  4. I'm wondering about the body color appearing on this car, identified on the BAT site as Belfast Green -- which is a metallic, while the paint on the car appears to be a solid. One possible explanation is that in 1952 a Belfast Green was offered by Pontiac; but that color is definitely a solid. Could it be that the restorers of the '55 ordered Buick Belfast Green but received the earlier Pontiac version instead?
  5. FWIW: The Standard Catalog of Buick shows a "2-dr. S'dn't-6P" for all three 1950 Buick lines, that is, Special, Super, and Roadmaster.
  6. Hmm -- I think my earlier post about the unexpected marginally incorrect restoration of my '54 76R needs some elaboration as to how I was caught unawares in that respect in the course of buying the car sight-unseen. That is, the purchase occurred 22 years ago, when internet photography was generally fuzzy and of poor quality. So, rather than undertake a 6000-mile round trip to examine the car, I hired a well-recommended collector-car judge to do the job for me. But, because he was not a Buick guy, he failed to notice the car's incorrect aspects. Further, in some respects, he and I weren't speaking the same language. For example, after I asked him to focus on possible valve lifter noise, he reported such noise upon starting but indicated that it subsided after a few minutes' running time. Well, maybe -- if "subside" means diminishing from a teeth-gnashing clatter to the softer sound of an engine full of castanets. Still, the expense I saved by using an appraiser as opposed to making the trip was considerable -- not that I'm likely to repeat that approach in the future.
  7. Dynaflash -- In spite of my previous post, you make a very valid point, one that correlates with my own experiences. In particular, some years ago I bought sight-unseen, for a low eBay price, a '41 Cadillac that turned out to have been badly misrepresented and therefore not the bargain I thought it was. But that car wasn't as bad as one that I purchased after a personal inspection, only to find later on that it was a masterpiece of deceit in the form of some very skillful Bondo-applied rust concealment. Sometimes I've thought that the best strategy to avoid getting stung is to examine the character of the seller as intently as the characteristics of the car. Problem is, frequently, problems ensue as much from innocent seller ignorance as from intentional deception. Case in point is my very nice, sight-unseen-purchased, '54 76R, restored by a young-ish seller who unwittingly painted the engine in '53 straight-eight turquoise and spent a lot of money having the car's incorrect 1953 (!!!) steering wheel restored -- following which he installed incorrect, low-profile, letter-series whitewalls. Geesh -- seems like they'll get to you one way or another . . .
  8. Re: buying sight un-seen . . . Since I do not live in a populous area, interesting cars for sale are invariably located at a considerable distance from me -- leaving me with the choice of costly travel, as well as considerable time and trouble, in order to investigate the item. . . or to (as prudently as possible) purchase sight-unseen and hope for the best. Having used both approaches, I find my results with the sight-unseens to have been acceptable while saving me considerable time and money over personal inspection trips. Further, I've found that traveling significantly to check out a vehicle puts the buyer at a major psychological disadvantage, for two general reasons: it puts the buyer in the position of having made an "investment" in the deal from the get-go, leaving him/her vulnerable to the might-as-wells; and it signals to the seller a high level of motivation on the part of the buyer -- never a good bargaining position for a buyer to land in. In other words, negotiating sight-unseen is a relatively inexpensive, optimal-leverage approach which saves money that can offset possible disappointments. On the other hand, if you travel to look over a vehicle, then (to use a time-honored phrase) they can see you comin' . . .
  9. What is the knob under the dash just below the heater controls? Neither of the '54 76Rs I've owned had this item. Could it be the convertible top switch? Concerning the confusion over '53/'54 Buick engines, I suspect that some folks take the continuing presence of the straight 8 in '53 Specials to mean that all Buicks retained that engine that year. Further confusion arises over the fact that when the Special finally got a V8 in 1954, it was smaller than than the 322 supplied in the other models -- which continued to be the case until 1956.
  10. I'm wondering about the red steering wheel and column in combination with the black dash. In a '54 Roadmaster, I'd have expected a wheel/column/dash color match -- at least in a coupe or sedan. Were steering wheel colors optional? It's also interesting that (per the C/L text) the seller thinks that '54 was the first year of the 322 "for this model." That qualifier sounds more pertinent to the '56 Special. Given all the current enthusiasm for good original unrestored cars, this one is little short of spectacular!
  11. Have you ever wondered why these extremely well-preserved, very original Buicks tend to be sedans rather than hardtops or convertibles? Maybe they originally appealed to a more conservative audience, and surely, as they aged they were less likely to fall into the hands of juveniles -- ??
  12. Native -- Good on you for taking this Buick on. Seems that not many folks are willing take the trouble anymore to save a meritorious car in need of a friend. Best of luck to you!!!
  13. This is a phenomenal car -- especially at the price. What is the apparatus protruding through the floor on the passenger side? On a car this correct, it's surprising to see the original 3EE battery replaced with a . . . 29F (?). On my screen, the engine appears to have been painted in '53 straight-eight aqua instead of the green used for the V8s (is it even humanly possible to restore a car without such minor errors?).
  14. Some of the major red flags in ferreting out scam ads include odd phrases, grammar, and/or syntax that suggest a non-native user of English posting from overseas. If the phrase "no rust never no rust" and the repeated use of the school-British term "motorcar" is not clue enough, then I'm hard put to imagine what would be.
  15. FWIW . . . Bob's Automobilia sells stainless repro steering-wheel-center controls (quite nicely finished) for '29 and '30 Buicks, which used three levers. Perhaps one or two of these could be adapted into the similar-appearing two-lever layout used in the '31s -- ??
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