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Buick Bruce

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  1. I looked at this car last Saturday because I would like to get 3-speed parts for my 53 Super. It was a donor parts car and missing a lot, but it has a complete 3-speed steering column and pedal assembly. It does not have an engine/trans and is missing the clutch and shift linkage and trans brackets. My research determined that all these straight eight 3-speed parts would not work for a nailhead car. Body is actually pretty solid except for front floor pans, has dash, seat frames and all glass. It's on Craigslist: https://sandiego.craigslist.org/esd/cto/d/la-mesa-1953-buick-soecial-door/7280906424.html
  2. Well, looks like this will remain a mystery to me - I got a reply Thursday that the California Regal had already been sold. But the Craigslist listing is still up, so I can at least share the pictures I saw: https://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/cto/d/san-diego-buick/6742654725.html Over the years, I managed to get ahold of 67 and 69 California GS Buicks, and had a magazine ad for a Colorado GS. I used the 69 hood, cold air intake, steering wheel and emblems to turn our family hauler - a 68 Sportwagon - into a "California GSportwagon". Besides everyday use, it hauled our family to the 89, 91, and 93 BCA Nationals.
  3. I'm hoping to look at this Buick in the next day or so. I know it's "too new" to be of much interest to most BCA members, but the first Buick I bought the year after I graduated from high school and joined the BCA was only 17 years old - a 57 Caballero wagon. Wish I still had it. Anyway, I can't find any reference about a "California Regal". Does anyone know if this was a regional or specific dealer badging? It is an all red exterior with tan leather interior, badged on the dash as Regal LS.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. MMMM . . . Ain't much better that a pitcher of New Belgium Flat Tire with a few friends!
  10. 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.
  11. 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,
  12. FYI, I had a 1972 International Travelall that used the same perforated hardboard and retainer bars as the Caballero wagons.
  13. 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/
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Very original, unmolested appearing car in long term storage: 1953 Super with code J 172
  19. Well, the tranny I had hoped to use for my 53 Roadmaster failed the front pump pressure check. It was one of those 'rebuilt 8 years ago, but never used' deals that I've had sitting for another 3 years. And it was only $50, so worth the risk. It was dry, and I finally got the pump primed by using a trigger-nozzle oil can with a fuel line hose and brass barb in the pressure port, but I only get 20 lbs in neutral. Thanks to this thread, I've been able to guesstimate the applications for in my Dynaflow Dungeon inventory: 1. code J 100 - now in the car and believed to be original (this one was d.o.a. when I got the car 25 years ago) Bell housing 1818499 2. code H 287 - the one I tested. Seller had stored this for a Skylark project, but with the H code, it must be a 53 Super? It does have the 53 style cooler. Bell housing 1818499-1 3. code L 013 - been kicking around over 10 years, it was another 'rebuild' that was dropped during install. Torque ball flange is broken. I'm assuming this is a 1954 for 322. Bell housing 1163913-2 4. code 0 140 - also a long timer, it's a dirty used tranny - with a stator switch. I'm assuming this is a 1955 for 322. Bell housing 1163913-3 5. code A037 - dirty used tranny with stator switch, aluminum bell housing (couldn't find casting #), longer tail housing. Must be around 1960 vintage? It would seem the first four are all for 322 - they all have the same overall dimensions. I guess I'll next go for a pressure test of the 1954 unit - if it's ok, I can change the tail housing. If anyone has other suggestions for me to check for low front pump pressure, I'd appreciate it. However, if I have to take one apart, I'm inclined to try using the 1955 with some kind of little left foot button on the floor for the stator switch. That sound like fun!
  20. Here you go - as I recall, this one was out of a 64 or 65 Skylark. The finish under the top pad is bright chrome, but the vertical support looks like argent silver. Also for comparison, I'm including side by side pics with the more common console with the Buick emblem. Now what's interesting, my 65 color and trim book shows the low style console used with the Gran Sport, but the ironing board style used with the B & C cars. And since my book has the GS in it, it must be a "revised" edition that was used after their mid-year intro. Maybe 65 was a transition year for console styles?
  21. Here's what the back side looks like - so you have an idea what the clips are like.
  22. I ran across these the other day - stashed in the garage for years. I have what I'm guessing is a set of 4. But what's the correct application? The size (2-5/8" o.d.) and mounting lugs remind me of the 57 hubcap centers of my Caballero days back in school. Maybe the centers for 61-62 Special w/15" wheels? - they used the same cap as 57.
  23. Leftovers from a project car I sold earlier this year. Front grille - $400 Nice original with VERY light pitting. Front grill still has most all of it's original black and argent paint detailing, however argent on the rear of the middle cross bars is dingy. There is one small ding on the right side of the top bar and approx 1/2" chrome defect on one middle bar. Rear taillight pair - $400 Nice original with VERY light pitting. Taillights have about 75% of the original black and argent paint detailing. Chrome on right-most center bar is rough and there is a slight crack in the left edge of left housing and crack in the left edge of right housing (partly behind center emblem). Also include a NOS lens to replace one cracked center lens. 3 front signal/parking lenses w/1 chrome insert - $100 all crack-free original lenses. Argent paint peeling on one. Chrome insert has light pitting on bottom of cross bars. Also have some good literature items that I haven't dug out yet. Willing to trade for 40 Special/ 53 Roadmaster stuff. PM me with your email or for more photos/ details.
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