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Everything posted by Buickborn

  1. Lovely automobile! But I often wonder how it came to be that so many pre-war cars sport cartoonish whitewalls resembling those outlandish near-total-whites in vogue from about 1948 through 1952. Historically, nearly every period photo or illustration of pre-war whitewall-equipped vehicles (even the very upscale jobs) shows tasteful whites of about the same width as those prevalent in the mid-1950s, by which time designers apparently figured out that attention-grabbing whitewalls do nothing to enhance the design of any car.
  2. Kalaoboy -- Valuation on cars like yours is really a tough one. Too stock to appeal to the hotrod crowd, and the age demographics of your properly appreciative audience are such that they're doing more selling than buying. One major issue in your hypothetical sale is that of whether you're looking for a quick deal as opposed to lengthy advertising -- possibly for a year or more. In any case, since a Century coupe is positioned noticeably above a Special in the food chain, your car offers a fair amount of star power. Realistic price: upper teens - ???
  3. "Great providence" ??? Unless the seller is claiming some kind of holiness for this car, he probably means "provenance."
  4. Dave -- Congrats on your impressive gas mileage in your '41! Reminds me of the time an old Nash owned by a friend of mine pulled some astonishing mileage on a trip, having traveled many miles on the first leg of the trip while needing very little gas to refill the tank. Too good to be true, of course. Turned out a little later that a plugged tank vent (combined, presumably, with a very healthy fuel pump) had caused atmospheric pressure to partially crush the tank!!!
  5. Old Tank: well, it seems we have manuals that disagree, although mine is a regular shop manual as opposed to a body manual. In my manual, a single wiring diagram is used for both 66C and 100C bodies; that diagram shows leads to window cylinders: dark green/white to left, light green to right; seat cylinder wire is shown as pink. There are no leads corresponding with electric windows or electric seat. Having re-checked that far, I find (in spite of what I had previously thought) no such leads in any other 1954 models. So it appears that hydraulics were used only in Skylarks and Century convertibles.
  6. 1954 hydraulic windows: according to my manual, all '54 Buick convertibles equipped with power windows and/or power seats used the hydraulic versions instead of the electric. Possibly the rationale was to capitalize on the presence of the pump required for the convertible top (?).
  7. Well, in that case, you'd almost have to re-plate the front bumper to match -- as well as re-plating the "clearance lights" (by which the seller apparently means the parking lights and streamers). And, while you're at it, might as well . . . Yikes!
  8. Car has been re-listed after closing with no bids. Considering that it needs at least a better paint job and lots of re-plating of painted-out brightwork, maybe the seller will lower the opening bid next time around.
  9. Dave -- FWIW: generator airscoops were not peculiar to Buicks; they appeared on other GM makes of various pre-war years. So if you get no results with your request here, you might try other venues -- maybe even eBay.
  10. Not only is there no price or location shown, but nowhere does this post so much as indicate that the car is for sale.
  11. Is anyone besides me having trouble making any sense whatsoever of the previous half-dozen or so posts?
  12. Gangster movies . . . how did they get those narrow, high-profile cars to take corners so fast without capsizing? You don't suppose it had anything to do with film speed, do you?
  13. J.H. -- That is one handsome Buick! Unfortunately, I think the general appreciation for such elegant items has fallen victim to our casual, youth-dominated era. That is, it appears that the sought-after vehicles are those which seem personal and youthful as opposed to those intended for families or for making a proper arrival at the opera. Surely that disdain for maturity hasn't always been the case.
  14. Matt -- thanks for your elaboration. Nice to know that there may be a little life left in the pre-war sedan market, although it's hard not to wonder if most of the audience for such items is now either on the wrong side of the grass or convinced that they're shortly headed that way.
  15. Matt -- In your description of this very fine Buick, you suggest that it is a good candidate "to buy and fix up and come out ahead later." But it seems in recent years that the notion of profitably speculating via auto restoration has become seriously questionable -- especially in the case of pre-war 4-door-sedans. However, you're in the biz and you oughta know, so here's a question: is a plan to "come out ahead" by investing time and money in a sedan of this vintage even remotely realistic? Thanks! ~ Charlie Manes
  16. This is news to me, too. Could this minor difference have reflected a running change, as opposed to exactly correlating with model year?
  17. Iancemb -- guess you're right. But I don't recall having ever encountered such unpleasantness here before.
  18. Surely there is some plausibility to the tale of the semi-automatic having been foisted on Buick, because its availability on Olds but not Buick would (and then ultimately did) violate the vaunted Sloan-mandated pecking order of the GM makes. While Buick sales literature dating from 1941 through 1947 (when both Olds and Cadillac offered an automatic while Buick did not) valiantly tried to dismiss automatics as complicated gimmickry vastly inferior to Buick's torque-tube/coil-spring engineering, who knows how many sales Buick lost by lingering in the manual-only realm? It is, by the way, interesting to conjecture about whether Pontiac would have received the Hydra-Matic in 1948 if Buick had not had the Dynaflow by then. If so, that would have been quite an embarrassment, leaving Chevrolet and Buick as the only two GM makes without an automatic (and presumably both for the same reason: the incompatibility of the Hydra-Matic with torque tube drive).
  19. Having noted the auction text to the effect that this car, as a 1955 prototype, incorporated some 1954 features, I found it an irresistible "I Spy" challenge to ferret out such features. Head hanging and eyes cast down, I must admit that I could find only two: the 1954-style engine oil filler planted in the valley cover, as opposed to the 1955 dual filler/breather caps in the rocker covers; and the plain 1954 brake pedal pad, as opposed the 1955 version that boldly proclaims "Power Brake." Can anyone here top my lackluster results?
  20. Goodness -- this narrative certainly differs from my understanding of Hydra-Matic development; that is, the story as I've read it was that the Hydra-Matic was designed by Earl Thompson, a Cadillac engineer who had distinguished himself by inventing sychro-mesh while still in high school. According to that narrative, the transmission was a project of Cadillac Division but was shunted to Olds for 1940 as a means of testing the bridge before risking Cadillac's reputation. It wasn't until the middle of the 1941 production run that Cadillac began offering the Hydra-Matic. A subplot to this story (possibly mythical?) was that Buick had been so burned by its 1938 self-shifter that it delayed mightily in automatic development until after Pearl Harbor, when it contracted to build military torque converters, which later -- voila! -- became the Dynaflow.
  21. Like most others, I have always been under the impression that these transmissions are extremely rare -- especially having been, by all accounts, recalled by the factory early on due to problems and replaced with conventional manual transmissions. If they are still out there in significant numbers, I'm wondering how owners manage keep them in operating condition. Are they similar enough to early Hydra-Matics (except, of course, in lacking the fluid coupling) that they can be overhauled with Hydra-Matic components?
  22. Well, Hans, I agree with your ideas about acquiring something that needs a friend. A car in which I have some "skin" not only is a source of greater satisfaction for me than one that would reflect merely a fat checkbook, but it also provides stronger bragging rights😄. Further, it helps to invite others into the hobby, by means of the message, "If I can do this myself in my own humble garage, then so can you."
  23. Hans -- I'm glad that Riv found you as its new owner! I'd seen it on eBay a couple of times and was surprised at the modest bidding for such an iconic car -- probably due to interior work needed. No doubt you'll have that little matter fixed in no time. Congrats on your excellent acquisition!
  24. Just wondering . . . does anyone on this forum have a clear sense as to whether the number of U.S. collectible cars going overseas is at all offset by the number of such vehicles being imported here? It appears that Americans are running quite a trade surplus of sorts in this market -- that is, selling more than we're buying -- especially in the case of high-end vehicles. Given the country's large population and relative affluence (not to mention the natural American preference for American cars), it's hard not to wonder why so many of our collectible cars have to go overseas in order to find homes.
  25. Hans, it looks to me like the Elko NV Riv that was advertised in Hemmings for a while -- even appears to be wearing a Nevada license plate.