Buick Bruce

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About Buick Bruce

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  • Gender:
  • Location:
    Chula Vista (San Diego)
  • Interests:
    Buicks, wagons, woodies, Manx buggys.
    Having fun tinkering.


  • Biography
    Joined BCA 9 months out of high school. Past chapter director, BCA Pres.& Treas., Bugle tech editor.

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  1. Buick Bruce

    1957 Buick Caballero in Mexico

    As for interior colors/ materials available, I believe all wagons used only the pebblegrain Cordaveen vinyl material (no cloth or woven fabric options). The bodies were built and trimmed by Ionia with usually only 4-5 or so color options.
  2. Buick Bruce

    Wagon Mania- 64 LeSabre wagon

    The reason I found this forum thread was from Googling "Ballantyne Buick". I found the license plate frame below, and remembered the name, but was trying to remember where they were located, as I lived in El Cajon in the 60's. Back then, the Marvin K. Brown dealership was only Cadillac.
  3. Buick Bruce

    Wagon Mania- 64 LeSabre wagon

    Indeed I bought this Buick shortly after I joined the BCA in 1974. I knew it was rare, and even though it needed a paint job, I thought it was worth the $200 agreed on.
  4. Buick Bruce

    2016 Buick Club of America 50th Anniversary Event

    Any suggested attire for Saturday's Banquet?
  5. Buick Bruce

    Judging HPOF Original

    I'm in agony over what to do with my 1953 Buick Roadmaster wagon. I bought it 30 years ago as an extremely complete restoration project. Being a non-runner, it went into the back corner of my then new garage. And over the years it was buried with other projects and parts. With life passing by too fast, many of those projects were sold so I could get back to my core interests - my 40 Special and 53 Woodie Buicks. The wagon was unburied and set up on jack stands a couple years ago, and I was STUNNED at how original it was, and VERY thankful that I had not started restoration as planned. I believe it's currently about 95+% factory original. My current goal is to get it running well enough for local cruise nights, and to be able to drive it onto a trailer and onto a show field. But even in this process, I'm destroying some originality. I know that it's my choice to do what I want with it. I'm a historian at heart and it would drive me crazy to restore this car, but my big quandary is what to do with the wood. Even though it's been in dry storage for approx 40 years, it was stored outside long enough for the finish to completely disintegrate, and I have the typical wood rot at the bottom of the rear corners and lower rear sill. So as it sits, I don't believe the wood has ever been re-sanded, which fascinates me, but I dare not get it wet. It also has traces of the factory decals that were used for the mahogany-grain accents. In the 40 years I've been actively persuing every opportunity to look a last-generation Buick woodies, I've only seen two cars with original mahogany-grain decals intact. I believe there are a couple more that I've not seen, but it's usually the first thing that is restored along with filling loose wood joints and splices and then sanding and finishing. With the goal of reaching AACA Original status, I would appreciate thoughts and comments about how to proceed with this car. Fortunately, I have a second one that I can restore for practical use, and my current goal for this one will be a mildly modified car capable of towing. However, one of my questions in proceeding with these wagons is if it's ethical to harvest some better original wood from the second car to upgrade rotted pieces on the original car.
  6. Buick Bruce

    Profile Editing

    Ditto for me - I've tryed many times over the last few months to delete the "converted" section of my profile without success. I've successfully edited other info using the edit button.
  7. Buick Bruce

    Where can I get vacuum for power brake booster?

    MMMM . . . Ain't much better that a pitcher of New Belgium Flat Tire with a few friends!
  8. Buick Bruce

    1910 Buggyabout

    Thanks David, I'll check out the Yahoo forum. I agree that the price listed is VERY optimistic. It would have to be significantly softer for me to get serious about it. In my research earlier today I did see where this was " the smallest engine ever produced by Buick", but didn't think about the possibility poor uphill performance. And title is an issue, but it should be relatively easy for the current owner to get a duplicate title in CA if everything is indeed legitimate.
  9. Buick Bruce

    1910 Buggyabout

    I already have too many projects, so normally don't go looking for more, but in my 40+ years in the BCA, it's always been a dream to get an early Buick. By chance, I checked the local Craigslist this morning and found: https://sandiego.craigslist.org/esd/cto/4979028952.html I certainly hope to look at it tomorrow, but would appreciate any feedback from anyone more knowledgable about this era/vehicle to help determine if what's there is correct, and what might appear to be missing. My references at hand are 70 Years of Buick and The Buick by Dunham & Gustin. By their limited photos, it seems this car may be reasonably original. But I wonder about correct original frame & wheel color, and if it should have a set of lights on the cowl. It's doubtful that I can seriously persue the purchase of this one at this time, but if it's a running original car, I'm more motivated to try. And if any other BCA members are interested, let me know what additional details & photos I can provide if I'm able to make arrangements to see it. Thanks,
  10. Buick Bruce

    fiber board headliner source for 1958 wagons?

    FYI, I had a 1972 International Travelall that used the same perforated hardboard and retainer bars as the Caballero wagons.
  11. Buick Bruce

    1990 White/Tan convertible - $3,900

    This is a car I got 5 years ago and traded a couple months ago for some 53 Buick stuff. When it left, I had it apart for paint. It was a very nice 100% rust free car that had a slight side impact behind the drivers door that I had roughed out. It had no other evidence of any collision damage. I considered it ready for a little bondo and/or a few stud pulls and then new paint. Over the years I had it, I upgraded the interior with parts from junkyard cars and the parts car. I would consider the interior condition to be a good driver. It appears the new owner put it back together and I see it's currently listed on San Diego Craigslist for $3000. Here's some pictures from 3-1/2 years ago when I had it for sale: http://forums.aaca.org/members/buick-bruce/albums/reatta-pics/
  12. Buick Bruce

    1953 Buick vibration dampner

    My guess is that they are aftermarket or later year Buick front crank pulleys. I don't think 53 (and also 54?) used harmonic balancer pulleys originally.
  13. Buick Bruce


    Mike, thanks for letting me know about this new addition to the AACA Forum. I've been using it many years for Buick related info. I've always had an interest in Buicks - my extended family has owned many of them as far back as I can remember. I teamed up with a high school buddy to buy a 31 Buick, but the first Buick I ever owned on my own was a 57 Caballero. I Sold it (yes, big time later regrets) after I got my 53 Super woodie while going to college. I did a mechanical restoration on this one and drove it a lot (honeymoon in 79 and Bethlehem PA Buick National in 82). I sold this one (yup, more regrets) when I got my 53 Roadmaster woodie. The Super ended up in a very good home: (pause @ 1:14 on the video timer). Although the nursery business is closed, Lee & Cathy still host many car hobby events on the grounds. So a couple years ago, I came to the realization that I had more car projects than I'd ever have time to work on. The 48 Roadmaster Sedanet had to go; the 65 Gran Sport (factory 4-speed vert) ((sigh)) had to go. I wanted to work my way back to the two cars I've had the longest - a 40 Buick Special 4-dr vert and the 53 Roadmaster woodie. I did get the woodie unburied from it's corner almost two years ago and got it set up with room enough to work on. I'm so glad I didn't touch it for the last 25+ years, cause now I want to keep it as original/ unrestored as possible rather than do the major restoration that I had always planned on. But alas, old Buicks never stop wandering into my back yard. I admit I'll never have the willpower to pass up too-good-to-true deals. The most recent story goes like this: I replied to a 53 Buick steering wheel for sale on Craigslist. I went to check it out and met a guy with a 53 Super sedan that was intended to be the parts car for the 53 woodie body parked behind it. UNBELIEVABLE !! He knew it was rare, but then I told him I also had one. He was not in a position to work on the cars, and our conversation worked toward the fact that he was willing to trade the woodie body for parts & labor to get the sedan running well. I stewed on this for many weeks. The woodie body had come out of a restoration shop and was half way painted. The sheetmetal was fabulous, but the car was apart with so many hard-to-get woodie parts not there. And it had been stored outside long enough to develop a lot of wood damage. But I recognized the car as one that was owned by a local Buick Club member back in the 80's, and it was a Roadmaster. Nearly two months have gone by and I get a call. The guy is moving with a couple days left to be out, and what about the 53 Buicks? I borrowed a friend's trailer and spent many hours in the dark moving the cars to my back yard. I agreed to store them until a deal was finalized. And now, over a year later, it has been finalized! The guy was in need of dependable transportation - how about the 94 Park Ave that I have in back that I recently decided to sell. And how about the 90 Reatta vert that I have in the garage that's apart awaiting a paint job that I also recently decided to sell. He knew about and liked the Reatta, so was happy with that deal. So after a couple weekends of shuffling 'stuff' in the garage, here's what it looks like: 107 1454 - YouTube And I know, Mike, you are anxious to see my newest addition now that I consider it official. Here's the best I can do for now: 107 1449 - YouTube
  14. Buick Bruce

    1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    There were 2,500 woodies built for 1953 - 1,830 Supers + 670 Roadmasters. Based on the 53 wagons I've looked at over the last 35 years, I believe the bodies were built with consecutive numbering without regard as to whether they were to become a Super or a Roadmaster. I've seen Supers with body numbers higher than 1830 and Roadmasters higher than 670. So your 53 with body number 1850 was built roughly 3/4 through the total production. But I don't know any actual dates of when that production started and ended.
  15. Buick Bruce

    1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    What a treat to find this thread - great pictures and info. A great resource to show that the last generation Buick woodies were not wood-clad steel 'wallpaper' wagons like many think. Mike, It's probably a good thing I didn't know about you earlier, as I would have had many trips with other family grumping about having to making a stop while driving through Cuyama. Do you know how many guys are envious of your setup there? Do you make it down to San Diego for the Wavecrest Show in September? If so, I would like to cross paths there. I've been hoping to get my 53 Buick there one of these years, but have to come up with a Dyna that Flows first - and also brakes that stop, but that's pretty close now. FYI, I'm also storing a car that I hope to acquire - I believe it's the car that provided the nice original wood you got last year. A bittersweet story of a restoration shop going bust (as I understand it). In any case, we all certainly appreciate all the info you are sharing.