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About JBP

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    Alberta, Canada

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  1. With the trees already turning here in the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains, ran the Roadmaster to the Columbia Valley Show and Shine this weekend. 380 miles round trip, with no issues and no complaints (apart from cleaning the bugs from the windshield and grille). The show takes place on the golf course in town, and somewhere north of 800 cars filled up the town. Great weather and a great event. Along the main road into town is the “motel village,” and people were lined up in lawn chairs along the roadway, watching the cars motor through. On Friday night there is a *ahem* informal drag race for those who feel so inclined. As I cruised past one group of chairs, a woman smiled and held up a sign at me that said “RUBBER!” in large black letters. I laughed and called out “Sorry, doll - not in a full-figured Buick!” Great weekend and a great event.
  2. Peter: If you’re going to order a brand-new manufactured water pump from Bob’s, have an eye on the size of the holes in the circular fan mount flange on the front of the pump. I ordered a brand new pump from Bob’s this April for my ‘53 Roadmaster, and had difficulty getting the fan bolts to go in. Felt that it shouldn’t be difficult as it was, and pulled it off to take a closer look. The drilled holes (in my pump anyway) were metric (being a Canadian, I’m okay with metric, but this was unexpected 😉). Called Bob’s to give them a heads-up. In any case, tapped them slightly for correct size, and bolts went right in. Pump has performed really well, no issues.
  3. Good article, but "Get rid of Ethanol so I can run my Duesenberg safely" isn't exactly the rousing call to action that will inspire any legislator to propose changes to fuel.
  4. I ended up (through a friend) getting a complete new set of bearings and seals for free. They’re the ball bearing style, but the price was unbeatable.
  5. Not mine. Here’s an ad for a ‘55 Special Convertible up in Canada. https://www.kijiji.ca/v-classic-cars/calgary/1955-buick-special-convertible/1425952427?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true
  6. Thanks, Old Tank - will keep everyone posted on what I'm able to track down. I've noticed over the last 5 years it's beginning to get a bit tougher for sourcing quality parts for certain applications; might have to start getting creative, like Cuban taxi drivers keeping their machines going for 50+ years.....
  7. Just replaced the inner and outer bearings in one of my wheels, and went to reorder and replenish my stock, but found out that the supplier (SKF) is no longer making the roller bearings for these cars. They apparently have a tapered roller bearing that replaced the ball bearing, but I have no experience with these. Anyone replaced a set recently, and what’s your bearing of choice? Will need to track down some replacements.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Ironically, I removed the push-button last year that the previous owner had installed.
  14. 1953, Stromberg carb. Will grab some shots when I take it off the car.
  15. 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.