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Everything posted by RShepherd

  1. How does the transmission shift and perform? As you may have heard, those Roto-Hydramatics (aka Slim Jim) are somewhat trouble-prone and difficult to adjust for proper shifting.
  2. That looks very much like the car that was custom made for Eleanor (Mrs. Edsel) Ford.
  3. It's a '40 Super or Roadmaster. The reason that none of the parts will fit your Century is that it has the regular body like the Special while Supers and Roadmasters have the new-for-'40 "torpedo body" like the Pontiac Torpedo, Oldsmobile Series 90 Custom Cruiser, the La Salle Special 52 and the Cadillac 62.
  4. That is a remarkably nice, original '61 and it brought back fond memories of my first car, a red '63 Skylark coupe, which I bought from the original owner (a neighbor) after she bought a new '71 Skylark hardtop sedan. Mine had factory AC, Dual Path Turbine Drive, heater, and AM radio, but no power accessories. How is yours equipped? I'll bet a Buick club member will take that off your hands very quickly if your price is reasonable.
  5. El Diablo, Don't you mean an I-4 instead of a V-4? I don't think there's been a V-4 engine on any car since the English Ford engine of the 1960's which was also used in the little Saab.
  6. Two other things I don't like about the new La Crosse: the trunk is just a little over 12 cubic feet in capacity (over four cubic feet smaller than a VW Jetta) and, like most other new cars (thanks Chrysler 300!), it has an extremely high beltline and very shallow windows which make you feel like you're in a well and obstruct your visibility.
  7. The two-speed automatic transmissions in 1960's Buicks were Dual-Path Turbine Drive in the '61-'63 Specials and Skylarks and the Super Turbine 300 in the '64-'69 Specials, Skylarks, and Le Sabres with the '64-'67 ujnits having the switch-pitch torque converter. The Super Turbine 300 was the same transmission that Oldsmobile called Jetaway Drive.
  8. Yes, they were Packard engines and the 4M2500's pictured at the top of this thread were the ones in them (and there were two of them in each boat).
  9. A late friend of mine who was a Buick dealer from 1946-1975 ,while discussing Buicks of that era, told me he hated the slippage and sluggish performance of the early Dynaflows, so beginning in '49, he always ordered a Super instead of a Roadmaster for his personal car since the Roadmaster was "Dynaflow-only"after '48. I'm not sure that the Super with the smaller engine was much quicker than the Dynaflow Roadmaster, but the standard transmission would have eliminated the racing, droning engine on acceleration.
  10. Regarding gas mileage on the 323.5 eight, my parents bought a '50 New Yorker new and my dad said it got about 15 MPG on the road and 12 MPG in town.
  11. Put the straight eight back in it. It's what that car is supposed to have and there are so few of them left. It's a beautifully-engineered power plant that is as smooth as butter.
  12. <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JohnD1956</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I have had this happen occasionally on our 06 La Crosse. I suspect it is the automatic headlight switch and sensor going through a reset function, but I don't know that for certain. If the headlights come on then the dash display would dim. The car thinks it is night time. Is there something covering the black dot on top of the dash towards the middle of the car? Could also be moisture within that sensor although I don't know how it would have gotten moisture in it. Next time it happens try turning the headlights off right away and see if the dash display comes back up to normal. This may help the dealer diagnose the situation. </div></div> Thanks, John. When I drive his car later this week, I'll check the things you mentioned.
  13. I frequently drive a senior friend of mine in his '08 La Crosse CXL. The car only has about 3,000 miles on it and from time to time all of the digital displays (below the speedometer, automatic climate control, and radio) get very dim or disappear completely. Until today, turning the ignition off and restarting the car immediately restored the displays to their normal brightness, but I tried that twice today with no success. The displays finally came up to normal brightness on their own while sitting at a stop light. I know this is one of those things that is not going to happen while the car is in the dealer's service department and the dreaded "could not duplicate customer's complaint" will appear on the work order. Has anyone else had this problem? I'm surprised this is happening on J. D. Power's 2008 "Most Dependable Mid-Sized Car".
  14. Every time I see one of those "improved" and "modernized" jobs, I wonder why someone who wants a 350 V-8, Turbo-Hydramatic transmission, power steering and brakes, tilt wheel, and velour upholstery doesn't just buy a '76 Cutlass instead of permanently ruining one of those beautiful classics.
  15. I would be concerned about the aluminum engine. A '63 Skylark coupe was my first car (bought used from a neighbor with about 60,000 miles) and it, like many, if not most of them, tended to overheat in traffic especially with the air conditioner on. The cooling system in those cars was just barely adequate and was not increased when factory AC was installed and overheating is much more likely to cause engine damage in an aluminum engine than it is in a cast iron one. One other thing about the engine: the standard engine in the Skylark which was optional in the Special and Special Deluxe was a four-barrel 11:1 compression ratio version of the 215 V-8 and even in the early seventies when I owned my '63, the engine would sometimes ping on acceleration when using the highest octane gasoline available then. I would guess that that would be even more of a problem with 92 octane unleaded premium today. I didn't have trouble with the Dual Path Turbine Drive transmission, but it is an air cooled unit and I've read that it also tended to overheat in traffic. All that said, those are good looking cars that are pleasant to drive. My car didn't have power steering or brakes and it was still pretty easy to handle.
  16. <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: wk's_olds</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The '61 Olds tranny is called a slim jim. They are a pretty good unit.</div></div> Compared to what? I can't think of a poorer performing automatic transmission even when brand new. The most annoying characteristic was the slip-and slide-then jerk, takes -forever, gap-as-wide-as-the Grand Canyon 1-2 shift which often left the engine flat-footed at 15-20 MPH. My dad was, like Ralphie's father in The Christmas Story, "an Oldsmobile man" but his continuous run of Oldsmobiles which began in 1937 almost ended after owning a '64 Ninety-Eight with that transmission. After he drove his brother's new 1965 Delta 88 with Turbo-Hydramatic, he said he couldn't believe that those two cars were built by the same company a year apart.
  17. <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Mr. Lang</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Ahh, so that's what's up with my tail lights and steering wheel. So, is that the deal with the torque tube as well? </div></div> Yes, torque tube, too, is a Canadian thing borrowed from the Chevrolet. Also, instead of Hydra-Matic Drive, automatic Pontiacs in Canada of that era used PowerGlide and I believe all Canada cars were six cylinder even though the straight eight was much more popular in the US.
  18. Regency Broughams (Ninety-Eight) only came as four door sedans. Is your car a Royale Brougham (Delta 88) which came in both body styles?
  19. From advertisements I've seen and what I've read about the '56 models, only the 98 came standard with an automatic transmission and it was the Jetaway. The 88 and Super 88 came standard with syncromesh and both Hydra-Matic transmissions were optional with the Jetaway being the more expensive option.
  20. My dad grew up in Houston a few houses down from Howard Hughes who was three years older. I remember him telling me about driving Mr. Hughes' Doble and what an amazing performer it was.
  21. Are you absolutely sure that there WERE Holiday 88's in the 1981 model year? I thought they were only '78 and '79.
  22. And it could be a Somerset Regal as it was known by that ridiculous name for part of its production run. I guess Buick thought by putting the name of a nice, popular Buick on that thing it might improve its sales. Oldsmobile did the same thing with its version, the Calais, when it became the Cutlass Calais and and it didn't help either division.
  23. The fire in the Hydra-Matic plant would not have been the reason that the base 1956 88's were equipped with the old unit instead of the Jetaway. The fire was during the 1953 model year and by the time the 1954's were built, it was rebuilt and Oldsmobiles, Pontiacs, and Cadillacs were once again being equipped with H-M instead of Dynaflow and Powerglide. Whatever the reason, those 1956 buyers who had the old H-M were spared all the problems that the first-year Jetaways had.
  24. The Cadillac V-12 was a relatively good engine and very smooth. However, since it was derived from the 452 V-16, its displacement (about 360 cu in) was smaller than the twelves from all the other manufacturers except for the Auburn and the smaller of the two original Pierces and is only slightly more powerful than the Cadillac V-8. It's adequate, but no more, in a 5300 pound car, and requires a lot more downshifing into second than the V-16 cars do.
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