My 1941 Buick Series-A Special Business Coupe has been a fabulous purchase as it was in excellent condition all-round and has only required normal maintenance (see last photo below from the day of purchase). I have been able to personalize the car to make it my own also. I’ve grown to appreciate the fat-fender cars from the mid-1930’s through to the late 1940’s as they capture the late Art Deco styling well. Adding numerous accessories from the period enhances the look of these cars. In nearly 3yrs of ownership, I’ve achieved quite a lot.
In 2yrs & 8 months, I’ve driven the car 8,500 miles (13,680km) which averages 60miles (96km) per week on average. I was surprised when I made this calculation.
I’ve also removed the following incorrect items & replaced them with the correct parts from the US;
· 1980’s Ford interior rear-vision mirror GM mirror (reproduction)
· Late 1970’s Holden exterior rear-vision mirrors GM mirrors (reproduction)
· Aftermarket reverse/back-up light GM unit (genuine original)
· English Notek ‘Fog Master’ Fog-lights Guide 859-C (genuine original)
· Spot-lights mounted off the side of the hood No spot-lights fitted
· Front (only) original hubcaps Rare after-market 1950’s Lyon hubcaps
I’ve also made the following additions to the car;
· Rear fender skirts handmade by a friend
· Lowered the car 3.5” (rear) and 1.5” (front)
· Genuine original Fulton series 800 visor
I have also recently been very fortunate to snap up a 1947 Buick Deluxe steering wheel (see photo) out of Sydney on an Australian Buick Parts Facebook page for a very reasonable price (couldn’t believe my luck). It’s in very good condition, but I will get the rim ‘plastic’ recast. Fortunately, I’ve found 2 such places in Australia who do this work and both come highly recommended. My Buick has the simple 3-spoke (non-banjo) wheel in good shape, but it’s very plain and somewhat boring especially in black.
I’ve also wanted to get my dash back to being wood-grained (as it should be). Fortunately, I have a friend who can do this (he’s done nice work on several cars). The engine-turning on the glove box lid and instrument panel however is my main challenge, but we’re working on ideas for this.
The original upholstery in the car was Tan & Grey Bedford Cord (Trim Code 900), but when the car was purchased by an Australian in Waco TX in 1989 and imported to Australia, it had a Bedford Cord interior that appears (from photos I have) to be very light tan. However, I recently took my seat base to my trimmer to see he could make adjustments as I sit too high in the car and the seat is quite firm. He discovered underneath the leather there is several layers of ‘packing’ on top of a Tan & Grey Bedford Cord (see photo), but none of the light tan cloth from the 30yo photo was in sight. I can only conclude the car had been recovered in a light tan Bedford Cord over the top of the original Tan & Grey Bedford Cord before it left the USA, then when it reupholstered in leather by the 2nd Australian owner, the light tan Bedford Cord was removed (and not the Tan & Grey original) before being covered with leather.
I have always admired the cozy look of the nice Bedford Cord interiors (rare in Australia), so I now was starting to think – could this be my excuse to get a Bedford Cord interior?
I decided to email SMS Auto Fabrics (Oregon) with the trim code, description and a photo of my cloth. They replied 1 day later saying “I have that stuff. I’ll mail you a sample.” I was amazed! Now that I have the opportunity to obtain the correct Bedford Cord to have my car re-upholstered in, along with a Deluxe steering wheel and wood-grained dash, I am very excited as this will totally transform the interior of my car giving the driving experience a very special feel indeed.
Meanwhile, I will keep putting miles on the old girl while I make my preparations. We are currently in Winter here in Australia (June-August) so this will probably not happen for another 12 months at the earliest.
Below: as the car looks today.
Below: as the car looks today.
Below: my recently acquired 1947 Steering wheel (it will have a new '41 horn button fitted)
Below: my original Tan & Grey Bedford Cord (Trim Code 900)
Below: The day I purchased & collected the car in September 2018 (in Melbourne).