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Posts posted by TxBuicks

  1. This is a picture of my 1966 Skylark Convertible at a campground near the Grand Canyon going to my first BCA National meet in Phoenix, AZ in 1993. I had joined the club in 1992 and happened to be in the area of the previous year's meet in Overland, KS in 1992, but just stopped in for a one-day visit.  That convinced me to go to a National Meet the next year. 


    Some thoughts on that trip....We went to Carlsbad Caverns and the Grand Canyon.  As you can see by the picture, the campground was nothing exciting.  We felt like we were camping in a desert.  Although, we had to go buy blankets because it got so cold at night up there in that high altitude.  Who would have thought that we needed blankets in Arizona in July?  Also, we discovered on the first morning, that we were camped immediately across from a helicopter sight-seeing company.  Yep, right across the fence, about 50 feet away, helicopters would take off and land, starting early morning.  Constant noise and sand blowing. Yeah, that was fun.  After a few days there we headed to Phoenix.  I remember coming down a pass.  It was a straight drive, and we could feel the temperatures rising constantly.  When we got to the bottom of the pass it was probably 110 degrees.  But the wind chill made it feel more like 120.  It was that hot the entire show.  We stayed at a campground near Phoenix.  Thank goodness they had a pool.  It was 100 degrees even after the sun went down.  I made the mistake of parking the Skylark with the top down once.  Grabbing the metal door handle was enough to burn my hand, but I can't tell you how burned my legs got from seating on those vinyl seats!  And I couldn't touch the steering wheel, either.  It was my first time judging.  The judging was held in the parking garage, where the lighting was terrible. But, it was my first BCA National Meet, and we made it there and back safely with no mechanical issues, so that was good.


    More on the 1966 Skylark Convertible.....So, after the first National Meet I was excited to go to the 1994 meet in Atlanta.  Now, on the Phoenix trip, I did nothing special to the car, just jumped in it and drove.  I decided to go through it a bit before heading out to Atlanta.  I had relatives near by so I know I wasn't going to pull a camper this time, I could stay with them.  So, I changed the points, cap, plugs, alternator, hoses, belts, and cleaned and painted the engine.  it looked good, if I must say so myself.  100 miles from home the new alternator went out.  OK, a minor setback.  The next day somewhere around Memphis, I sprung a water leak.  It appears that one of the new hoses was too close to one of the new belts and it ribbed a hole in the hose.  I took a screw and screwed it in the hole, held in in place with a hose clamp, and made it to town where I could change the hose.  However, the water leak sprayed everywhere under the hood.  There went the new paint and cleaning of the engine bay. The next day, we were going to stay in Chattanooga, TN.  When we got there and checked into our hotel, we went to town to eat.  After eating and a little sight-seeing, we were headed up Lookout Mountain to our hotel and the car starting running real bad.  Sputtering, no power, etc.  It finally died and wouldn't start.  I was able to coast into a housing neighborhood out of the main road.  I had the hood open, trying to determine the cause, when a car drove up.  A young guy (probably early 20s) got out and came over.  He worked locally as a mechanic, and diagnosed the problem was probably the new points I installed just a week ago.  But this was late on July 3, so he helped me push it into a nearby driveway.  We contacted the owners of the house and explained the situation to them.  We would come back tomorrow, July 4 and fix it.  The young man took us to the hotel for the night, came and picked us up the next day, took us to his shop, got the points, went back to the car, installed the points, and it fired right up.  And he wouldn't accept any money for his time and effort.  I'll never forget that.  So, we spent July 4th in Chattanooga. The next day was planned to go through the Smoky Mountains north of Georgia.  That day presented a new problem. It started overheating.  I had to drive, pull over, drive, pull over, etc.  That night I pulled out the thermostat and that didn't fix the problem, so I had to find a radiator shop the next day.  Oh, one other thing.  My wife, being an organized person, had made reservations in advance for every night.  So, each day we were delayed, but had to drive as long as it took to arrive at our reserved destination.  This meant driving very late some days.


    Well, I finally made it to the show.  I didn't score high enough to win any award, but it was fun anyway.  The car was running good all the way back home.  I-20 west all the way home. We were almost home, just east of Dallas, when we hit a big Texas rain storm.  Rain coming down so hard you could hardly see anything.  Driving on the interstate highway, he rain would hit the windshield and come through the gap at the top of the windshield and the convertible top.  Water was pouring into the car like a waterfall.  I guess I had never driven in a rain storm with this car before. I stopped under a bridge but by that time we were already soaked.  Water had filled he floor pan. The windshield started fogging up so I took off my shirt and my wife tried to keep the glass clear, wiping it down every few moments.  Finally, we made it home, after a full day of driving.  Once we got to bed, Michelle told me she will never take another trip in that car again, and I believed her.  I sold it soon after that.

    1966 Skylark With Camper.jpg

    1966 Skylark.jpg

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  2. The registration published in the July Bugle is incorrect regarding the Driven Award.  It was submitted for publication 6 weeks in advance. The one appearing in the August Bugle is correct.


    The Driven Class of the past is gone for 2018. There will be no more Driven Class judging or a Driven Class. Any car registered for the meet (Judged, Modified, Archival, or Display) can purchase a Driven Award for an additional $10 if the car is 25 years old and driven to the meet. The owner of the car will be asked to sign a sheet at the registration desk claiming that the car qualifies, and they will be handed the award at that time. This is the first attempt at the new policy, so expect a few minor changes, but this is how I understand it to be now.  And this is how it is published in the August Bugle.


    Also, merely displaying a car is cheaper than having it judged.

    • Like 3
  3. There have been many discussions on this forum about redials vs bias ply.  Personally, I think that if a car (and wheels) is designed for bias ply tires, then that's what I use.  I try to find the right size, whether it be metric or not, as long as they are close to the original size.  You may get a softer feel with radials, but then that takes away from the driving experience that I get when I drive a car that was designed before radials.  It is like putting a modern radio and speakers in an older car.  Sure, you will probably enjoy the radio more than the original AM, but you lose the nostalgia feeling.  When I drive an older car, I want to experience what it was like to drive it as it was designed, and tires are part of the experience.


    As far as judging, the mandatory deduction for incorrect tire type and/or size will eliminate the car from receiving a Senior Award, assuming it had enough points otherwise.  I've known some owners to put the correct bias ply tires on for judging, then switch to radials for driving.  Expensive, but it has been done.

  4. Ha!  How did Grandma get in the trunk?  I bet she never thought she'd end up on a forum looking like that.  I love the picture, though.  So unrehearsed.  And I have a thing for 1966 Skylarks.  I've owned more of them than any other Buick.

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  5. Over 237,000 miles on my 1991 Roadmaster Wagon.  I bought it in 2008 just before the Flint National event with 103,000 on it.  I have driven it to all of the BCA Nationals through 2012.  It's been through a few Texas hail storms but drives very well for its age and mileage.

  6. Common problem, very difficult to find a good replacement.  The 1950's gurus can correct me if I'm wrong (I'm more of a '60s guy), but I think 1952 was the only year with a 4-barrel carburetor on the Straight 8 engine.  That's what makes it so rare, it is a one-year-only part, and only on the Roadmaster.  There have been many discussions on how to repair them, but all the repair methods seem to fail after a while.  I think most people with the problem end up having someone make a new one.


    Having said that, a 1952 Roadmaster is a neat car, so I wouldn't let a manifold issue steer you away from getting it.  Just realize what you're up against.

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  7. In Buick terms, "Super Wildcat" refers the 425 CI engine with the dual quad carburetor setup, chrome air cleaner, etc. In 1965, Buick could put that engine in several models (Wildcat, Riviera, Electra). Without official numbers in front of me right now, I'd say that 1965 was the most popular year for the "Super Wildcat" setup, but they are still relatively rare and very desirable. Especially with the 4-speed transmission. The value would greatly depend on which model you have and condition. If you want educated opinions from this forum, we will need to see some pictures. Which model do you have?

  8. I second the nomination for Roberta. I first met her while she was President, too. BJM is correct, she does a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes and was key to hosting two of the most successful Buick Nationals ever held, the ones in Flint for 2003 and 2008.

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