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Everything posted by DaveCorbin

  1. Dear Gunslinger: Sean1997 has it right. The number is 5.353,047 built in March 1949. The 5 identifies it as an engine from a Super 50 series Buick. He also correctly notes that it can't be for a 1938 as there were no Supers until 1940. Regards, Dave Corbin
  2. Dear Tom: If it's a McLaughlin, there will be a McLaughlin serial number plate on the dashboasrd. Probable range of serial numbers for 1911 was 1901 to 2863. The frame number and engine number you give look more like a 1912 model 35 Buick. Regards, Dave Corbin
  3. Ok, guys: Here's one for you: Full chrome wheels! Source: 1941 parts book, service parts price $25 per wheel. Takes 6 for a Roadmaster, $150 in 1941 dollars! Bit pricey! They were available for all 1938, 1939, and 1940 Buicks. Barney, it still needs these! Regards, Dave Corbin
  4. Here's what I know: International Harvester built the 2 1/2 ton Army trucks in enormous quantities at the Fort Wayne plant.They also staffed the Bettendorf Tank Arsenal with people from Farmall and then asked for all the farm boys to transfer from other plants to keep Farmall running. My uncle Kenneth Corbin went from Springfield Ohio to Farmall in Rock Island IL. ca 1943. Buick built the engines for the Liberator Bombers in a new plant in Melrose Park IL. I think about 80,000 engines were made. Buick also built Hellcat tank destroyers, a bunch of ammo shells and other stuff. Fors built Liberator bombers at Willow Run, 800 per month by late 1944 and a bunch of Jeeps, also built by Willys. DeSoto built Mitchell B26 bomber fuselages. GM of Canada built 345,000 Chevrolet trucks for the Commonwealth armies. Cadillac made the Norden bombsight under license. There's a story that the Cadillac General Manager told the GM brass not to ask where he was going to get people. He then hired every whore in Detroit (they were used to delicate work!). That workforce did a better job than the Norden people themselves! This is just what I can remember off the top of my head. Regards, Dave Corbin
  5. To: Teresa Thille: Dear Miss Thille: I read your Buick Bugle article with considerable interest. You will know from the signature below who I am, as we have met on at least two occasions. You may not be aware that I am also a member of The Society of Automotive Historians as well as the BCA. I was encouraged to join the Society by the late Beverly Rae Kimes. who actively encouraged the research that I have done on Buick frame and engine numbers. She was one of the greatest automotive writers and historians that our hobby has had. in addition to being a fine person that I was glad to call a friend. I see some considerable promise that you might become a writer, perhaps on automotive subjects. Bev Kimes certainly proved that the profession of automotive writer wasn't (as some might mistakenly think) a man's occupation. If you would like to join The Society of Automotive Historians, please let me know. I would be pleased to pay your dues for a 2 year period to introduce you to the wider automotive literary world. Regards, Dave Corbin
  6. If you're willing to accept a distributor or carburetor as a form of "computer". then the sliding valve gear on a steamer would apply also. This would lead us to the Cugnot steam transporter of 1748, the first vehicle to move self-propelled. Here's a slightly different twist: What does every 1989 and later USA qualified car have in common? Answer: An on-board computer with more computation power than the 1969 Apollo moon lander! Think that one over! Regards, Dave Corbin, Society of Automtive Historians #1917
  7. Dear Mike: This one's easy as you've provided all the info. Everything matches to a car built in Flint in September 1939, week 2. This information is directly from Buick factory records. The other guys are all correct on their info. Regards, Dave Corbin
  8. Dear Joel: Al is correct on the 1948 Roadmaster engine, which was built in March 1948. Dear Al: A correction for you: in 1941 and prior years, the identity digit is ON THE FRONT!!!! The correct interpretation is: 4 (for a 40 series) 2,918,477. This is an engine built in July 1934 for a 1934 40 series car. I hope this helps and clarifies things. Regards, Dave Corbin
  9. The first Buick closed car was the 1911 Model 41 Limo, but there were only 27 built. In 1926, for the first time, more than 50% of all Buicks were closed cars. Regards, Dave Corbin
  10. Dear Robban: 1,170,043 5 is an engine built at Flint in mid May of 1955 and it is for a Super as denoted by the ending 5. The front 7 digits are the actual serial number of the engine. This information is directly from Buick factory records. The car itself was probably assembled in late May of 1955 if it was built at Flint or sometime in mid to late June if it was built at one of the other plants. The car frame bumber wil start 5B and the next digit is the plant code (1 for Flint) I hope this helps. Regards, Dave Corbin
  11. Dear Brian: Buick built 14,985 plus 323 for export Roadmasters in 1936, so your car (12801) is a fairly late car nearly 90% of the way thru the run. Since Southgate and Linden didn't open until 1937, we can be sure it's a Flint car. Pat Brooks used to have a great 36 Roadmaster 30 years ago and might be a good source of info. Regards, Dave Corbin
  12. Dear Todd: Buick kept very extensive production records in their engineering department and had a monthly report of cars built. I compilrd these into an excel spreadsheet which I could use to detect errors and correct them. From 1904 thru 1958 Buick reported 9,634,231 cars. I was able to establish matching records for 9,634,219 cars and know of 5 cars built in engineering for a total of 9,634,224 cars. I'm willing to comcede Buick 7 more hand built prototypes that I haven't found yet. At least for Buick, the error rate was essentially zero. Regards, Dave Corbin
  13. Dear Mahoning: You might want to look at a Gustav Nordberg design body on a Buick, He beat you to it by about 70+ years, and beautiful cars they were!! Several exist today. My personal favorite is on a 1938 Roadmaster chassis. Regards, Dave Corbin
  14. Dear Dolly: Production of a given model year Buick usually got underway about August of the prior year. If Buick built 43,000+ cars of that model and had a 10-monthe production run, that's 4000 cars per month of that model. The 1800th car is about 2 weeks into the production run, so early September is a probable build date. A few states got it right by using the manufacturer's model year and the frame number. Other states screwed the model year on the title up in various ways. Regards, Dave Corbin
  15. Dear Dolly: Buick factory records indicate that 1.408.776 was issued for a 1925 model 27. It's an early car for that year, being about the 1800th of 43,375 plus 636 rxport cars. Probable build date around Sept 1925. Engine number confirms original engine. I hope this helps. Be sure to join the BCA and our Alamo chapter is near you! Regards, Dave Corbin
  16. Dear Buckfarmer: Buick factory records confirm that frame number 2,436,679 was issued for the 322nd of 2006 plus 3 export model 64's for 1930. Factory records also confirm that 2,594,204 is an engine that could have been installed in this frame and must therefore be the original engine in the car. Regards, Dave Corbin
  17. I reviewed the numbers above and then computed what I would privately estimate for folks here on the Forum by applying the percentages of USA Buicks to the McLaughlin total for the same model year. It was instructive for me and it is shared herwith: Specials ----- 5100 Centuries ---- 1096 Roadmasters -- 538 Limiteds -------146 Total ---------6880 As you can see, I would overestimate Centuries and fairly badly underestimate Limiteds. Upon reflection, I think this is an accurate reflection of the export of the heavy cars to UK and the Commonwealth. It has the implication that if you're going to get the big engine and pay the higher taxes and license fees, you might as well get the bigger body with it. Thoughts? Comments? Oracle, I'd be especially interested on your views. ( FYI to all: I maintain a fairly extensive private correspondence with Oracle under his real name, but out here I use his forum name to respect his privacy. I think his comments will be of sufficient interest that they should be out here to benefit all of us. He's forgotten more than what I know about UK Buicks and is still ahead of me by at least 10 to 1.) Regards, Dave Corbin
  18. Knowing what I know about McLaughlin's internal practices and reflecting on my prevois post, I would expect most of the "miss" is in the Specials, with decreasing amounts as the series go up. I usually won't guess or estimate on the forum, because that leads to information being cited as authoritative when it should be attributed as estimated. With that disclaimer, I'm prepared to ESTIMATE the breakdown by series as follows: Specials ------5290 ---- 97.5% of serial number issued Centuries ----- 540 ---- 98.4% of serial number issued Roadmasters -- 640 ---- 99.1% of serial number issued Limiteds ------ 410 ---- 99.5% of serial number issued Total -------- 6880 ---- 100% of actual cars reported by GM of Canada Comments? Regards, Dave Corbin
  19. I've been observing Oracle's comments with a great deal of interest. Looking at the posting regarding 1937 McLaughlins, by subtracting the starting serial number from the last serial number for each series, I get: 5427 Specials 549 Centuries 646 Roadmasters 412 Limiteds 7034 Total. actual was 6880 I know from years between 1908 and 1935 that McLaughlin would only use about 75-95 percent of the serial numbers that could exist, so 6880 actual of 7034 recorded looks about right. This is the first info I've seen and processing it requires a bit of deduction, but it's better than anything else we have. Regards, Dave Corbin
  20. Dear Seldenguy: There was a single sidemount 1939 Special at Hershey about 5 years ago. I spent 3 hours looking it over extremely closely as I have a 1939 Roadmaster 81 where sidemount were standard. You could do a "sidemount-delete" on them, and there is one in Europe. The 1939 at Hershey was built that way and had a special code of "K" stamped into the data plate, so they were made but the numbers would be VERY low. Regards, Dave Corbin
  21. Dear Matthew; In about 1971, McLaughlin (GM of Canada) ditched the breakdowns by model within year, so far as I can find. It isn't like I haven't tried to find that info, as I made a specific trip from Texas to Canada for info. I actually went to GM of Canada in Oshawa, Ontario for it. I do have the yearly totals, but that's all. I do have the breakdown for Buick for all years from 1904 thru 1958 by model within year and sometimes use that to maks an "educated guess" about McLaughlin. Sorry to be grim, but if you ever find a model within year breakdown, I'd VERY much like a copy. Regards, Dave Corbin
  22. Dear OlBuicks: Buick built 79,510 plus 2681 export model 41's. Model 47 was 11,265 plus 76 export cars, Ratio is about 8 to 1. Any slantback Special is fairly rare now, and one with dual sidemounts from the factory is way less. My guess would be probably less than 5 now exist. Regards, Dave Corbin
  23. There's a STAMPED 8 digit number on a small ledge by the distributor that I can date exactly. Post it or send me a PM. Regards, Dave Corbin
  24. Do any of you Pontiac fans know how many 1939-1940 Pontiacs were built with the factory sunroof or "Turret Top"? Will you send me a PM? I'm working on the numbers for Buick. Also, any Olds fans, the same request. Regards, Dave Corbin
  25. Do any of you Olds fans know how many of those factory sunroof cars called "Turret Tops" Olds built in 1939 and 1940 and where were they built? Will anyone with solid info send me a PM? I'm working on the numbers for Buick. Anyone with numbers on Pontiacs? Regards, Dave Corbin
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