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Charles D. Barnette

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  1. I pass this on having seen it in the Senior Newsletter of my local church. While driving your car (hopefully a Buick) you stop at say the local mall. You pull in, park your car, and lock it. You do your shopping and return to your car. Just as you are backing out you see a piece of paper stuck to the middle of your back glass externally. You put your car in park, open the door, leaving the door open and the motor still running all to remove from the back glass whatever is back there restricting your view from safely backing up. That is when the thief comes from nowhere and jumps into the car almost backing over you and leaves the scene in your car. If you are a lady that means your purse is still on the front seat for the thief to go through and get your address so that he can rob your home while you are still filling out a police report for the car theft. Pretty smart on the part of the thief don't you think? If only that ingenuity could be used for constructive rather than destructive purposes! Charles D. Barnette-beware!
  2. Pate takes place at The Texas Motor Speedway between Denton and Fort Worth, Texas, the last weekend in April. It is billed as the third largest automotive swap meet in the nation behind Carlisle and Hershey. It was named after the founder of the Pate Museum in Texas where the swap meet began. After Mr. Pate's death it was moved to the speedway. Charles
  3. Here are photos taken by me of Buicks appearing at Pate Swap Meet in 2011. Charles D. Barnette
  4. Here are photos taken by me of Buicks appearing at Pate Swap Meet in 2011. Charles D. Barnette
  5. Taking on a life of their own, the new wheel covers of the Landau have become as red hot and magical as Dorothy's "red shoes" in the "Wizard of Oz". Just think that at one time these wheel covers humbly resided in my Texarkana bedroom unknown to the world and just waiting for their time at Charlotte (2011). I know I am a simplistic dreamer, but just let me be naive enough to think the new wheel covers made the minute difference to hoist the Landau into a lofty position on the world stage this year of 2011. In beautiful reality it was of course the Landau in the Buick Master's hands (those of Bob Coker) that brought home the bacon as we say in Arkansas! Through accessibility, Bob has wonderfully transformed the great Landau into the "people's Motorama car"! Charles D. Barnette
  6. I am absolutely thrilled that the Landau has taken "Senior" status at Charlotte at an AACA event. This is the first time that the Landau displayed her new wheel covers at a show, and they have now become an integral part of the Landau's history. Since the wheel covers were born in Texarkana, the original cups and thermos were reunited with the Landau in Texarkana, the Landau was displayed in Texarkana in 2008, and our hero Bob Coker-present owner of course-at one time lived in Texarkana, all inside and outside lights of the Tex-Ark Antique Auto Museum (dba Four States Auto Museum) in Texarkana will remain on tonight for the entire night in honor of the Landau receiving her Senior Award. As already noted above it is incredible for a one of a kind Motorama Dream Car in 2011 to win such an award! This is truly a first in the history of GM's Motoramas! Bob Coker deserves all of the credit! Harley, Harlow, and the live "Mr. Earl" are all doing cartwheels today! All Buick owners reap the benefits of this achievement! We are all in a great hobby! Charles D. Barnette
  7. I cannot be at Charlotte, but there is a delegation there from Texarkana with implicit instructions to check on the Landau. "Holy Buick" those Texarkana Turbine Style Wheel Covers look great on "Her Majesty". I am crying like a proud Uncle at graduation time! Hopefully the new wheel covers will wheel her into Senior Status!!!!!!!!!!!Charles D. Barnette
  8. Now that we have the reproduction wheel covers, I do bet the originals for the Landau will show up. I have this feeling that I may find them at Pate. If ever I do see them, I will know them immediately. They will go straight to Bob Coker. Mr. Earl could we see a picture of the regular 1954 Buick jack to compare to that of the Landau, and can we see what a typical jack looks like for the 56 Buick? For the Motorama Gods to create a special set of wheel covers for the Landau is incredible enough not to mention coming up with a special jack as well! Charles D. Barnette
  9. The face of the Landau appears to be the same as every other 54 Buick and that is a good thing. I counted the chrome vertical strips that make up the grille of the 54 Buick and have a number in mind. How many should there be? Let me hear from the 54 Buick experts on this? Meanwhile my reaction to seeing the face of the Landau for the first time was to break out into this song: "The first time ever I saw your face. I felt the earth move, and I knew I'd love you until the end of time! Your face, your face, your face!" Charles D. Barnette-how can one not love that face?
  10. Here is a 2008 photo of the Landau at night taken at the Four States Auto Museum in Texarkana, Arkansas, by Stephen Yarberry. Charles D. Barnette
  11. What a great find for the Landau. This jack is part of the great GM Motoramas. I feel like a kid at Christmas time, and we are still in March! Charles D. Barnette
  12. The colors of red, white, and blue connote patriotism of our country, because those are the colors of our flag. The Motorama Gods used these colors on at least 8 "Dream Cars" of GM's Motoramas (1949-1961). These colors were first used on the wheel covers of the 1951 LeSabre, then the emblem on the trunk of the 1954 Buick Landau and its original wheel covers, the 1954 Wildcat II front and back emblems, then the wheel covers of the 1955 LaSalle II sedan and roadster, and finally the three Firebirds (1954 Firebird I, 1956 Firebird II, and the 1958 Firebird III). For the Firebirds, Harley Earl used his designed red, white, and blue tri-color GM Air Transport logo (this was his personal stamp on much of his modern work according to David Temple's Motorama book). So when you approach Her Majesty (the Landau) while she is on display and see her now prominent red, white, and blue logo on her new wheel covers, do not be surprised if you get that warm oozy feeling to salute her or put your hand over your heart! She will love it and also realize that you are really thinking of patriotism of our country-the USA. Charles D. Barnette
  13. Her Majesty, the incomparable 1954 Buick Landau, informs me she was not having a bad "sweep spear" day (as some have suggested) in the picture of her with the fashionable lady and stately looking chauffeur aboard. Rather she was having a bad "professional photographer's" day. Her Majesty humbly offers this riddle in answer thereto: "When is a door not a door? When it is aJAR!!!" In other words the photographer forgot to close the front door all the way before he took the photo-he accidentally left the door ajar!!! However, Her Majesty grants forgiveness and a full pardon to the absent minded photographer and to those that thought ill of her heavenly, perfect, flawless, and eternal Buick construction!!! Her Majesty's most loyal subject, Charles D. Barnette, Esquire
  14. The Landau Motorama Gods have coughed up another Landau Motorama treasure into the hands of our hero Bob Coker. Aside from having already obtained three precious notebooks on the Landau which incude a list of what the GM CEO wanted changed on the car, Bob has informed me that he has found and obtained the original custom made jack for the car. Does the club realize that by Bob now owning two Motorama Buicks, he now has the largest collection of privately owned Motorama Buicks in the world (Joe Bortz owns one and the Sloan Museum displays three)? Buick of course is the oldest USA automobile manufacturer still in existence I am told. Bob's efforts with the Landau is making great Buick history! The Landau has been invited back to Amelia Island for show in 2012! Charles D. Barnette
  15. Noted Motorama author David Temple upon seeing the photo of the Landau with its new wheel covers wrote me an email giving the car "The Supreme Compliment". He wrote: "She looks like she is ready (in 2011) for the Motorama!". Of all 5 divisions of GM during the Motorama days, I believe Buick has the largest number of Motorama Show Cars still in existence today. They are as follows: 1951 LeSabre (however the name Buick did not appear externally on the completed car), 1951 XP 300, 1953 Wildcat I (owned by Joe Bortz), 1954 Wildcat II, 1956 Centurion, and of course the 1954 Landau and the 1955 Motorama Buick (with a Shop Order number) both owned by BCA member Bob Coker. Remember that of all of the Motorama creations the Landau was the Motorama car used by the then first family of GM- the Harlow Curtice family. The Landau is drenched in the DNA of Mr. Curtice. Charles D. Barnette
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