JBP

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About JBP

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    Alberta, Canada

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  1. Very interesting thread. There’s a scene from “Inherit the Wind” where the two lead characters are talking about their past friendship, and Brady asks Drummond why after all their years of being on the same side of things, they’re now so far apart. Drummond’s reply: “All motion is relative. Perhaps it is you who have moved away by standing still.” Markets change, interests and styles and priorities change right along with them. I wonder if manufacturers of horse collars and open carriages were having the same conversation just over 100 years ago? “Where has all the interest gone in surreys and buckboards?” About an hour from me, there’s a guy who’s working on an early 30’s Packard roadster. Evidently a rare model, from what I understand, and would command a price somewhere north of $225k when fully restored. But that price (like all asking prices) is dependent on someone who happens to be looking for that particular Packard, and has the cash in hand. Otherwise, it’s an overpriced niche hobby item which is too rare and valuable to drive regularly, and will just sit. I love my two Buicks, because I think they’re beautiful. Does everyone else on the planet think so? Nope. Had one great experience at a car show a few years ago, where I was sitting near (but not directly beside) my ‘53 Special, and a couple strolls by and starts verbally trashing my car for several minutes, not knowing the owner was in earshot. We’ve all met these people at shows, but it gave me a nice sense of perspective; I shouldn’t ever expect that everyone will see the car the same way I do, and my sense of value is coloured by my emotional involvement. Earl: your ‘39 is a striking looking car, and someone out there will want to take it home and enjoy it.
  2. Thanks, Chris. It's a strange power they have; some days they're the most maddening machines ever created and all you want is for the earth to swallow them, and then a minute later they are a source of fun, pride, and accomplishment. I'm looking forward to joining the V8 group ("What is this 'nailhead' you speak of?") and learning about their quirks and mannerisms.
  3. Sort of a reverse-engineered reason for posting on the "Me and My Buick" thread, but I bought another Buick this past fall and thought I would be the "responsible" car owner and sell my other one (the '53 Special). I had the sale ad up on Kijiji last month (the "Canadian Craigslist") and over one week's time it had more than 2000 views. I received several emails and calls, which was gratifying, but then I made the fatal error of going out to the garage and starting her up. That's when I realized I couldn't bring myself to sell her. 6 years ago, I was sitting at my desk at the office when an email came in from my former boss and now friend (I had moved departments at work). Being a car collector himself, we often talked about cars, and he knew that I had been looking for an older car to ease into the hobby. In his email he passed along a message from a car club that he belonged to. One of the members was selling his collection (mostly Model A and T Fords), but there were a few other makes, one being a 1953 Buick Special. In the email my friend told me "I know these cars and they'll be gone tomorrow. I'm going to see them in two hours. I've asked the owner to hold a few until I get there. Want to come?" I went over to my current boss (who was also a friend, and another old car nut) and told him that I was having my mid-life crisis right now and needed to go buy a car (at the time, I was close to turning 40). He laughed and said "If I didn't have meetings today, I'd go with you guys." When my pal and I arrived at the owner's place, the cars were tightly parked in an insulated garage, with 18 inches between everything (he had more than two dozen). When he pulled the dust cover off the Buick, I knew that was the one for me. He had purchased the car some 12 years earlier, and had only driven it twice in all those years! A deal was made, I bought the Buick and my friend bought a 1956 Pontiac. My car is the 4 door post (41D), built in Flint. It was painted in 2000, and even though the two-tone of silver under the sweepspear isn't to code, I like the way it looks. To be honest, there's a number of things that aren't quite right about the car (some issues and "fixes" I've inherited from previous owners, but that's all part of the hobby). Since buying it, I've been working away at issues each season, trying to make it a better driver. My goal is to keep the car as stock as I can (or least keep it in the same spirit as stock). The Buick Special is also significant to me as it's not only the first old car I've owned, it's actually also the first car I've EVER owned in my life. I live and work downtown in my city, so I'd rent a car on weekends if I needed one. It's fun at car shows when other people are talking and lamenting about their past rides to be able to say "Yes, I remember the first car I ever owned. I drove it here." The Buick is also a standard (which was another learning curve for me), but the clutch was really forgiving (mercifully) and people were good natured for the first two weeks when I would sometimes stall in front of them (well.....MOST of them were.....). The Special has been great to drive, and I've put several thousand miles on it (to the point where my friend reminds me "It's not a daily driver, you know: it's a 65 year old car!"). So, that's how I ended up on the "Me and My Buick" section - because I'm in an emotionally codependent relationship with a 1953 Buick Special (and I'm okay with that...which I know is also a cry for help). So, I pulled the ad down off Kijiji, and am now just getting ready to go and pick up the new beauty I bought - a terrific '53 Roadmaster with only 36,000 original (and documented) miles. Perhaps I'll write a post about this new purchase later. Here's to car season 2019! Josh
  4. Totally off topic of this ad (spoiler alert), but Benny's use of sound gags while he was on radio is part of what made his Sunday night program one of the best-written and constructed comedy shows of all time. He credits Mel Blanc (seen in the above posted clip) for inventing the sound of the Maxwell during one live broadcast when the pre-recorded sound didn't cue up. Blanc simply stepped to the microphone and improvised the coughing, hacking, sputtering and wheezing engine noise. The audience loved it, and Mel supplied the sound going forward. There's a good clip on YouTube from Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, from 1972 or '73 where Benny and Blanc are on the show, and Jack has Mel do all his familiar characters from the Benny program; the English Horse is a classic. I recall that a Packard belonging to Jack was restored and in private hands a number of years ago, but I don't believe he ever personally owned a Maxwell.
  5. Thanks Aaron and Beemon. Unscrewed the switch and had a look inside. It was pretty dirty, so cleaned the contact areas up and zapped her back on the car. No issues with starting (but I still have the push button on standby, Ben). A shout-out to Al M. who kindly emailed me the exploded diagram from the parts book. Also installed a fully rebuilt correct generator, which was the last piece to complete the engine bay. Generator came from a shop outside of Boston, and they did a great job on it.
  6. Ironically, I removed the push-button last year that the previous owner had installed.
  7. 1953, Stromberg carb. Will grab some shots when I take it off the car.
  8. Whilst motoring about the city last week (and feeling a small sense of satisfaction over the disapproving looks from Prius and Smart car drivers), the Buick became suddenly (and intermittently) balky when I would go to start her up. At one point, no action at all from the starter, but power to all lights and accessories, then keyed off and back on, and started up without issue. A pal correctly diagnosed it as the carburetor starter switch, which we confirmed by using a clip lead. I cleaned the fine mesh screen last year, but understand that carbon and dirt can build up on the inside and cause the contacts to get dirty and cause the starting issues that the car is having. Did a search on the forum and saw a thread with the switch apart, but didn't see it explained exactly how that's done. Does the metal base pry apart from the (bakelite?) upper section? Just wondering about the best way to get it apart and clean it up.
  9. Thanks, Aaron! I know most old cars have some leakage, but this is a bit too much (not only from an environmental standpoint, but also a cost perspective). I use a product called CAM oil (made by the Collector Automobile Motor oil company), which is a great oil. However, it’s not cheap, and as our cars are a bit oil-thirsty anyway, I hate to see the extra drips on the ground as it’s such a waste.
  10. The repair place estimated about $400 to repair my speedometer, citing rarity of parts, etc., as the reason for the price. I said “no thank you,” and reinstalled it. Strangely enough, the bit of cleaning and light lubrication he did has quieted it down significantly. I have a clockmaker who cleans and repairs my railway regulator clocks, and I had him rebuild the clock for the Buick a few years ago. He did a great job. I’ll have him rebuild the speedo this winter, as I’m certain he can track down gear trains and springs that will be able to work as replacement parts. On another note, since having the head redone, the cork valve cover gasket no longer really bonds well to the engine surface, and there’s some more oil leaking out under the gasket. I’ve tried roughing the surface up a bit before applying the adhesive, but it doesn’t seem to have worked well enough. Anyone have a sure-fire trick for getting the valve cover gaskets to sit and seal?
  11. I pulled the speedometer this weekend, as I’ve had enough of the faint grinding noise and watching the needle bounce up and down as if the car were cresting 8 foot swells at sea. The cable’s been replaced and greased, so I ruled that out as the likely cause. Took it into the shop that services instruments of this vintage, and waiting to see what the estimate will be. Had a quick scout around the Internet, and don’t see a repair kit being offered for these instruments. Is there a good kit offered that I missed?
  12. Thanks Aaron. This is my 5th summer since I bought the car, and it’s nice to see the repair list get shorter each year (until there’s new things on it to fix). While my car is just the basic sedan, and there are things about it that aren’t correct, it’s been great to work on and I love to drive it.
  13. Found a fully rebuilt correct Stromberg carburetor for the Special and installed it on Friday. It was like the car woke up! Very responsive, lots of power, smooth and quiet. Considering I live at an altitude that’s 3400 feet above sea level, the Buick now pulls a steady 15 inches of vacuum, which is great. The new carb was the last large piece needed to complete the puzzle. While I was road testing, I ended up behind a guy who was towing a small trailer loaded with grass clippings and small bits of lawn debris. After a few minutes of getting this stuff blown onto my car, I had enough. Passed him, while going up a long hill and pulled away, holding 65 with ease (which I could not do before on an uphill grade). The expression of surprise on his face was terrific. I foresee many, many tanks of gas this summer......
  14. Spent a few hours today with a friend dialling in the valve lash, and we got it running smoothly and quietly (funny how the manual is so casual in the description of how to do it, not really mentioning that you’ll be tightening and loosening set screws on a piece of rapidly moving machinery). Engine went from sounding like a muffled typewriter to a quiet sewing machine, very responsive to the throttle and running strongly. Will do some minor carb adjustments and fine tune my distributor, but overall very happy with how it’s performing. It’s a great feeling (that people on this forum can relate to) when you’ve worked toward something with your car, and you see the end result has made a vast improvement. Makes all the minor annoyances and setbacks fade away.