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Fred Zwicker

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Posts posted by Fred Zwicker

  1. Thanks for such detailed information.  I will see if I can locate the AMA Specs, but it won't be easy online.  The previous post about Coker Classics has me more than concerned.  I seldom ever show a car, as we have a 50-car collection in Canfield, Ohio for display purposes. See www.tipcars.us   On very rare occasions I will have a car judged, so whenever possible I try to stay as close to original as possible.  We now have the engine out and the fenders, hood, and deck lid have all been stripped to bare metal and in primer. The matching number low mileage engine and transmission have been removed for a refreshing and other than the fire wall, the rest of the car is now to bare metal, but a lot of hand sanding and grinding in the door jambs and the small inner corners is still required. Surprisingly there were no rust outs, other than one hole in the front of the right rear fender housing and a small patch on the same area on the opposite side. I am a new member of the '53-'54 Skylark Club, but i don't believe they have a forum as yet.



    Eng Out1.jpg


    Ready for Paint.jpg

    Stripping Paint.jpg

    • Like 4
  2. Thanks - I heard similar comments from one other friend, but I keep leaning to the Firestone Tire in 820-15 size that is also available from Coker.  If you own a Skylark, can you measure the width of the whitewall?   Thanks,  Fred

  3. Thank you for the quick reply.  In checking Coker's charts, here are the dimensions of their tires, but I do not know the exact dimensions of the 800-15 bias tires back in 1953, as they were probably a little different (not much but close)  Our company (TipTools) is next door to Cokers at Spring Carlisle, so I want to place an order this week for pickup at Carlisle in 3 weeks to save on the freight cost.


    a) 800-15   Coker Classic Bias Tire:  Tread Width (TW) 4.70, Section Width (SW) 8.30  Diameter (DIA) 29.08 Capacity 1800 @ 32 PSI  Whitewall: 2-1/2" & 3"  Price $231  Not available in 820-15.


    b) 820-15   Firestone Bias Tire:  TW 5.00      SW 8.35     DIA 29.56   Capacity 1920 @ 32 PSI.   Whitewall 3-1/2" & 4-1/4"  Price $274  Not available in 800-15.  * Firestone lettering in whitewall.


    c) 820-15   BF Goodrich Bias Tire:  TW 5.40    SW 8.50    DIA 29.59   Capacity 1920 @ 32 PSI   Whitewall 2-1/2" & 3-5/8"  Price $274  Not available in 800-15.


    d) 820-15   US Royal Bias Tire:   TW  5.40    SW 8.50    DIA 29.59   Capacity  1920 @ 32 PSI.  Whitewall  2-1/4" & 2-3/4" & 3-1/2"   Price: $274.  Not available in 800-15.


    Whitewall Width: ??   I have been unable to locate any Whitewall Width Dimension in any Buick Owner's Manuals or any other printed information, but it seems to be around 3"  to 3-1/2" from scaling other 1953 Skylark pictures on the Internet.  As I understand it, Buick and other manufacturers used several brands on the cars and the customer did not have a choice that I know of. Since different manufacturers had different treads, they may have also had different whitewall widths.  As for judging, according to the Buick Judging Manual, the car must have bias tires with inner tubes, not tubeless, but no mention of whitewall width.


    The reason for all of this is that somewhere  in my research, I once read that the tires made today are not exactly the same Diameter as the same size tire back in 1953.  The older tires were supposedly slightly higher (Diameter), but I cannot locate this information anywhere. Accordingly if they were slightly higher in 1953, the 820-15 size described above might be more accurate in Diameter vs. the 800-15 tire manufactured today.  The size differential of any of the above tires is minimal, but a judge might not look at it that way.


    I want to compliment Coker Tire for publishing such detailed information on their tires, along with a  clear Index ("Find Tires Fast") in the rear of their current catalog that was in the April issue of Hemmings.







  4. I am restoring a 1953 Buick Skylark with the original 15"x6.5" spoke wheels.  I will be needing a new set of 5 new tires, and in the Owner's Manual it calls for 800-15 bias tires (with tubes in 1953).  

    However, somewhere I read that the original tires were a little higher profile in 1953 as compared with today, so I am thinking of buying the 820-15 tires.



    a) Coker Classics Bias Tire with a 3" whitewall.  800-15 size.  (Lowest Cost) - Other tires listed below are slightly higher in cost, but not enough to worry about.


    b) Firestone Bias Tire with a 3-1/2" whitewall.  (Has Firestone embossed into the whitewall - very nice tires). 820-15 size.


    c) BF Goodrich Bias Tire with a 2-1/2" whitewall or a 3-5/8" white wall.   820-15 size.


    d) US Royal Bias Tire with a 3-1/2" whitewall.  820-15 size.


    If I were to have the car judged at a Buick event, would it be a mistake to  buy the 820-15 Whitewalls, even though based on today's 820-15 size tire being closer to the 800-15 back in 1953?   Would I be charged for this?


    Looking for some advice, but I really do like the 820-15 Firestone Tire with the Firestone name embossed into the tire.


    Thanks for any advice,


  5. Lamar,    You have 100% of my understanding and support.  I have been in a similar position with our business for almost fifty years, finally handing over all of the responsibilities to our son, so that my wife and I can spend time never previously available to us in past years.  I still often come to work in an advisory capacity, but not on a regular schedule, and most of the time at work I spend tinkering with some of my antique cars (currently doing a restoration of the 1953 Skylark).  At first I regretted my decision, but little by little realized that there was finally a time to let go and enjoy life accordingly.  You have paid your dues with all of us Buick lovers and deserve some time to yourself.


    Best regards and good Buicking in the future,   Fred & Nancy

  6. 🌝Thank you very much Al and Mr. Earl,  Taking your advice, I located a source for show quality rebuilding  of my five existing original 1953 Skylark 6.5" x 15" wire wheels, using stainless steel spokes and nipples for $795 each with a 60-90 day lead time.  They answered the phone on the first ring and connected me quickly to  David Adler, who was very informative and friendly. Luckily the set of repro 6"x15" imported wire wheels that I ordered elsewhere is on back order, so I will cancel  that order and go with the following rebuilding:


    Motorspot, Inc.  (Truespoke Wire Wheels)

    Attn: David Adler

    427 Industrial Way, Unit C

    Fallbrook, CA  92028



    • Like 1
  7. Mr. Earl (Lamar),


    I agree with your position and support your decision 100%.  There comes a time in every man's life when he must back off on many of his prior and sometimes difficult responsibilities, and now is the time for you to enjoy life, do some travelling, finish your Buick Garage and do whatever you please without being tied up spending so much time  with all of us on this and other forums. Hopefully you will some day get out to Ohio to visit us - the welcome mat is always out for you. 


    Best regards and good luck and A BIG THANKS for all of your friendly advice and help over the years,




    • Thanks 1
  8. Thank you John and Al for your very interesting and helpful comments. The 1953 Buick Skylark that we are currently restoring will be displayed in our car museum in Canfield, Ohio, along with either mint original or restored to original Buicks (restored 1917 Touring, body-off rotisserie restored 1954 Riviera 2-dr HT (400 Points at Charlotte),  mint original 1956 Roadmaster  Conv (30K original miles) and  older restored 1957 Super 2-dr HT.  We also have many other cars on display (over  50 total).


    While I go for originality, I hate to admit that after a restoration is complete and after spending several years on a restoration, including professional engine rebuilding, the cars are almost always "too good to drive". Accordingly safety issues mentioned are recognized , but probably not a critical issue.  I am unsure of what to do with the existing Skylark wheels (car has a set of original 6.5" spoke wheels that are pitted and rusty and could be reconditioned, if this is still possible and if a dependable source can be located.  (Cost and lead time is also a factor). Availability of new repro stainless steel spoke wire wheels is another issue, as from what I was told, the wheels with the stainless steel spokes are not in stock and could be months away if ordered.  The chrome steel spoke wheels seem to be less of a delivery issue. Accordingly, I ordered a set of 5 of the 15"x6" repro wheels from Jegs that are on backorder, with an estimated delivery date of mid April.  It may still be possible to cancel this order, provided an answer can be forthcoming at reasonable cost.


    As for tires, original Buick literature that I have calls for 800-15 bias tires with tubes, and I agree that he whitewall width can vary from about 2-1/2" to 3-1/2".  I will probably go for 3" to 3-1/2".  I have also seen  several other 1953 Skylarks with 820-15 bias tires with tubes, which might be good, unless if judged to be incorrect.  Repro new whitewalls bias tires seem to be  readily available in both 800-15 and 820-15.  At present the car has a set of Coker Classic whitewalls in 4" width, which seem too wide.  These tires look perfect but are about 10 years old and will be replaced with what I hope to be as close to the original as possible.


    Our cars can be seen at www.tipcars.us    I am attaching pictures of our other Buicks with this post.  My '53 Skylark is the last picture, but is now being restored (body-on but everything else off and to bare metal). Luckily there is no rust, but plenty of undercoating that is very difficult and messy to remove.  Car will be painted Majestic White with red wheel wells and red and white interior and black top.  Other than the wheels (undecided yet), everything will be restored to original specs.


    Thanks again for all of your interest and input.   Fred







    • Like 4
  9. I have a set of new WV Repro 15" x 6" wire wheels for my 1953 Skylark.  I am planning on ordering a set of bias whitewall tires and tubes to be in compliance with Buick Judging Sheets.  I have several questions:

    a) What was the correct whitewall width for this 1953 Skylark when sold new?

    b)  Some say the correct tire size tire is 800-15, for use with the original 15" x 6.5" wheels, but in 1954 with a 15" x 6" wheel, I saw that the correct size was 760-15 for that wheel.  Since the WV repro wheels are 15" x 6" (same as 54 Skylark Original Wheels), I am thinking that 760-15 might be the best choice.

    c) Looking at current Hemmings Ads, noted the following bias tires - pricing was about the same.

         Coker:  Coker Classics  760-15 with 3" Whitewall, <or> 800-15 with 2-1/2" or 3" WW,

                      U.S. Royal: 820-15 with 2-3/4" or 3-1/2" W.W.

                      B.F. Goodrich:  760-15 with 2-1/2" or 3-3/8" WW, <or> 800-15 with 2-1/2" or 3" WW.

          Lucas: General Tire: 760-15 with 3" or 4" WW, <or> 800-15 with 3" or 4" WW

          Universal: 760-15 with 3" WW, 820-15 with 2-1/4" or 3-1/2" WW, Firestone 820-15 with 3-1/2" or 4-1/4" WW.

    Hoping for some ideas on the above choices.   Thank you,


  10. Even if the battery is fully charged, sometimes it is only a battery cable that is too small in diameter for a 6-volt system.  Often a battery cable is purchased at the local parts store in the correct length, but not thick enough.  The correct size battery cable if you have a 6-volt system is about the thickness of your thumb.   Also remove all battery cable connections and tighten  them securely after cleaning regardless of the cable size.  A bad or weak ground can also cause similar problems.

  11. I recently purchased a rust-free 1953 Skylark with a set of 5 original KH15x6.5" wire chrome wheels that are badly pitted.  I have on back-order from Jegs a set of five (5) repro wire wheels that are 15x6".   I just realized that the wheels should be 6.5"wide, but there are no repro wire wheels available in that width.  Cost of the 5 wire wheels through Jegs is around $500 each, less two $50 coupons - or around $2300 freight prepaid.


    Here are my questions: 

    a) When I receive the 15x6" wheels, what is the correct tire size for that wheel, using inner tubes?

    b) Does anyone know the valve stem hole size on the repro 15x6" wheel?  I want to be sure it will accommodate an inner tube.

    c) Are there new inner tubes available for the above setup and will the inner tube fit the valve stem hole on the repro wheel?

    d) I see that radial tires are available with a bias tire look from several suppliers. Are these acceptable for judging?

    e) What is the correct whitewall width for  a 1953 Skylark when delivered from the factory?  

    f) Which brand and tire pattern is preferable from today's sources?  Who are the sources?

    f) I prefer not to have my pitted wheels reconditioned if possible due to cost, lead time, and freight costs both ways, plus I do not know who does this reconditioning. 


    Hoping for some help on this.  Thank you.


  12. I am looking for a pair of metal side mount outer covers for a 1929 Packard, although many others will fit.  Tire size outside diameter 33" and about 5" wide across top of thread. Attached pictures show a pair that I bought about 7 years ago from the AACA Indiana Region. They no longer make or have any available. I may be able to modify most anything that is close to the size.  I need only the top metal as shown in attached picture. That set had a stainless steel center, but without is OK.  I do NOT need the flat metal that covers most of the wheel.


    Please reply -  Thanks




  13. Continuing with this old post...... Since this thread back in 2011, I have tried many electric fuel pumps and all have issues. (Too much pressure, not enough pressure, premature failure, too much amperage draw, non-Ethanol resistant components, wrong polarity, leakage, blockage, other). If testing a new electric fuel pump (before installing) I try to suck and blow through any of them to see if (in theory) fuel would suck through from the mechanical pump with the electric pump in the off position. If this doesn't work, forget about using that electric pump for starting purposes only without a bypass. However the big problem is (and will continue to be) the Ethanol in our fuel, as it seems to swell up components of most (if not all) electric and mechanical fuel pumps, fuel hoses, carburetors, etc. In Ohio our fuel contains about 10% Ethanol and I have had some luck diluting the Ethanol fuel with Aviation Fuel (25% Aviation fuel). I also add about 4 oz of Marvel Mystery Oil per every 10 gallons of fuel. The problem with many components today (whether it be a rebuilt mechanical fuel pump or a new electrical fuel pump) is that not every manufacturer or rebuilder is as particular as they should be in using Ethanol resistant components. We are dealing with new old stock pumps and rebuilding kits (who knows how old), cheap imports, etc. In addition, the old style rubber fuel line hose swells up when exposed to Ethanol. You will want to use fuel injection hose only (SAE 30R9) with any electric fuel pump, and while most new electric fuel pumps include two short sections of black rubber fuel line hose and two quick clamps, I do not use either. If the hose that they supply with the electric fuel pump is not 30R9 hose, it will swell and soon fail. You can buy this hose at most any auto supply store and it is expensive, but does the job. I prefer small aviation type clamps as well.

    Unfortunately what works today may not be working a few months down the road, should the inner components of any electric or mechanical fuel pump fail due to Ethanol or any other reason. For starting purposes, high pressure or even high volume is not required. Accordingly in my opinion, an ideal setup would be an electric fuel pump (wired through the ignition and also through an oil pressure switch if you prefer), with a switch for starting only, using a rebuilt (with Ethanol resistant components) mechanical fuel pump for normal operation. Considering the possibility of electric pump failure later, a bypass with check valve setup would be my recommendation if you are installing an electric fuel pump for starting purposes only. If or when the electric fuel pump fails, hopefully the mechanical fuel pump will get you home (provided it was rebuilt with Ethanol resistant components).

    Some states now sell non-Ethanol fuel, which can simplify things for our old vehicles. If this fuel is available, spend the extra money, as it will save a lot of headaches in the long run.


  14. I was at Hershey this year as a Vendor and because of the heavy rain on Friday, I forgot to pick up my Free Program Vendor Directory. Are any left? If so, how can I obtain one?

    Thanks, Fred

    Where exactly can I pick up a vendor directory for the Hershey meet, on Wed? This is my first fall meet and I am not familiar with the site.



  15. Lots of rain this year at Hershey. I drove in Wed around noon and weather was good. By

    Thursday noon it was bad, so drove back 5 hours to Ohio and glad I did, because

    I heard later Thursday afternoon was bad and Friday the same. Looking forward to

    next year. But even in spite of the rain, from what I could see, the attendance

    was down Tues, Wed & Thursday anyhow. Maybe the Internet is doing a number

    on the shows? Carlisle Fall was dead too as near as I could tell. I hope the

    judging goes OK Saturday.

    Here is a picture of the start of the car corral road on Wednesday afternoon.

    <!-- / message -->



  16. Very nice looking 40! If i could sell my Boattail I would be all over it to go with my coupe..
    Your coupe looks great - nothing like a nice 1940 Buick with whitewalls - one of the better riding and running cars in the 40s. For those who have not seen the description of this car, check www.motorcarportfolio.com and click on "Inventory". Cars are listed in alphabetical order, so the '40 Buick comes up quickly with lots of pictures. Fred
  17. To put this all into perspective, there is a black 4 door 1940 Buick for sale in the For Sale Section of this Buick For Sale forum for $26,000! Since the pictures do not show the engine or interior, have no idea about the true condition, but I doubt very much if it is any better than the one that I am offering for less than half that price ($12,000). I am a serious car collector (not a dealer), and I have been offering a very nice and very good running 1940 Buick 2 door for a very fair price, and far less than I paid for it. If it was in #1 condition, the price would be in the $30,000 plus range and any serious car collector knows this. Any minor discrepancies were considered in the asking price.

    This is a very nice car with excellent paint and chrome, a straight and nice solid body with no rust and presents itself well. You will look a long time to find anything nicer in this price range, as 1940 Buicks two doors are not easy to find in such condition. Car can be seen at Motorcar Portfolio in Canton, Ohio Mon - Sat.

    Per current Krause Publications "2013 Collector Car Guide" - 1940 Buick Series 40, 8 cyl. 2 door sedan:

    #1 $31,400

    #2 $21,980

    #3 $14,130

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