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About 4buick7

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  • Birthday 11/26/1937

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  1. My '47 Super had the original 444 rear end when I first bought it and it I could feel the engine working pretty hard above 55 mph. I switched to a 390 and it's a different car. I can easily maintain freeway speeds here in So CA without worrying about the effect on the engine. Back in the 30's and 40's cruising speed was 45-50 mph. The original gearing on these cars was never designed to cruise all day at freeway speeds. I find the car to be very comfortable at 60-65 mph. At only 50 mph you become a road hazard on the So CA freeways. Switch to a 390 or even a 360; driving will be much easier. Sid Munger
  2. Wayne, I've owned my '47 Super woodie for almost 40 years and have put approx 35,000 miles on four sets of tires. All have been bias but not all bias tires are the same. The first set were 4" Denmans which looked great. However they have a straight tread which get caught in the freeway grooves and make driving "interesting". The last sets have been Firestone which have a zigzag tread and work great. I considered radials the last time around but have heard some negative things plus to my knowledge the BCA judging form still gigs you for radials. My car rides great and handles well at freeway speeds (60-65 mph). Based on my experience I would stick with the correct size bias and definitely go with the widest whites available. Sid Munger BCA #2257 '47 Buick Super Estate wagon
  3. One of my uncles always drove cool cars. I remember a maroon '39 Mercury convertible and later a black '41 Cadillac convertible with fender skirts. My father drove a couple of dull Plymouths but moved up to more exiting cars after he returned from WW II. A new '49 Hudson was followed by a '52 Hudson Hornet, a black '55 Mercury Montclair convertible, a black '57 Chrysler New Yorker coupe, and a black '61 Lincoln Continental. He then stuck with mainly Lincolns every 2 or 3 years, the last one in 1990. He quit driving about 1993. He particularly like the '69 Mark III. My favorite was the '57 Chrysler with the Hemi. I won a drag race with an Oldsmobile while I was towing my ski boat. The only problem was I couldn't see the boat as I was fishtailing because the Chrysler's tailfins stuck up so high. My grandfather also liked nice cars. He bought a new 1925 Pierce Arrow roadster which he drove until 1931 when it was replaced by a Studebaker roadster. My memories of these two are only from pictures I have as I didn't come along until much later. He saved the Pierce Arrow hood ornament which was mounted on the Studebaker and later a '36 Buick. He drove the Buick until 1948 when he bought a new Hudson Commodore eight. The Buick had over 200,000 miles and had several rebuilt engines installed. During the war years he couldn't buy a new car so the Buick got a new paint job about every other year and each time a completely different color. Sid Munger BCA #2257 '47 Buick Super Estate Wagon
  4. In 1959 while a college student, I bought my dream car, a 1955 Austin Healey 100. It turned out to be like a beautiful woman; great to look at but high maintenance! If you drove through a small puddle of water, you suddenly were without any electrical power. You had to dry out the coil to get moving. The muffler was about 4 inches above the road so you never left home without baling wire. A supply of cotter pins was a necessity to reattach the clutch linkage when the clutch pedal would suddenly drop to the floorboard and you had no clutch. The most memorable experience was driving one night from Phoenix to L.A. and the electric fuel pump started to cut out. The fuel pump is located under the car just behind and between the bucket seats. You access the pump by opening a trap door just above the fuel pump. Luckily, I had a friend riding with me who would tap the fuel pump when it sputtered with the tire iron. It was real sporting to lose power just as you pulled out to pass another car. I would start yelling and he would start tapping like crazy. This worked for about 250 miles. When it finally stopped for good the tapping had broken the case clear off. We spent the rest of the night in the desert and pushed the car by hand to Indio. The parts house called a British car facility in Palm Springs who had to order the part from San Francisco. We left the car and hitch- hiked to L.A. The part arrived a few days later and we got a ride to Indio and installed the new pump. There were other interesting Healey events but these I remember most vividly. I also had an experience similar to Restorer32. At the time I had the Healey, I was a fireman at night while attending college. One of the fire trucks was a 1948 International tanker. It would not stay in 4th gear unless you literally held it in gear with your foot. It got real interesting when you were responding to a fire with red light & siren. You had to use your right leg to hold it in gear and your left foot on the accelerator yet be ready to brake or clutch. Oh to be young and stupid again!
  5. I just replaced the 6 volt battery in my '47 Buick. I googled Interstate Batteries as I heard that they still make 6 volts. The Buick takes the long skinny battery which can be more difficult to find. Interstate directed me to my local Firestone store. They had a battery ready for me to pick up the next day and only charged me $80. Give them a try, they might even know the correct size for your Pontiac. Sid Munger BCA2257 '47 Buick Super Estate Wagon
  6. I've been attending car shows for almost 40 years and have had only one minor incident when parking overnight at hotels. At the first overnight show I attended, a drunk backed into my car when leaving the hotel bar. Luckily for me my car was completely unrestored at the time and the damage was minor. Also, he wasn't too drunk to understand his situation and he paid off like a slot machine. Most shows I've attended have some sort of security for the cars. I feel that total theft is unlikely; you are far more apt to incur damage from the curious onlooker or the inconsiderate person parked next to you. A car cover is really worth the investment as it will hide the car from the curious and help protect your car from door dings. As I mentioned, total theft seems unlikely but any professional crook can probably figure out a way to get your car if they really want it. The young joyrider won't know how to open your hood or start your car even if they can get inside. On several occasions, I've had fun with young parking valets by turning the engine off, setting the ignition to unlock and pocketing the key. Within about three steps away I'll hear "hey mister,how to you start this car." I always end up parking it myself usually right in front and locking it up. If they're under 50, they're not familiar with 'three on the tree" , a locking ignition and have no idea the starter is under the accelerator. I've found that most people who attend car shows are respectful of the car and the contents. At the daily shows I've always kept the car unlocked, windows rolled down and left cameras, goodie bags, etc. easily within reach of anyone and have never lost a thing. Sid Munger BCA #2257 1947 Buick Estate Wagon
  7. I checked my copy of "Seventy Years of Buick" by George Dammann and page 221 shows a picture of a '50 Roadmaster Estate Wagon with a sweep-spear. It certainly appears that the sweep-spear was a mid-year addition with the early cars having the straight chrome strip. The book shows both chrome treatments on the other body styles. The wood treatment on the Julie & Julia Buick looks correct but the windshield and particularly the top treatment are mysteries. The Buick woodies from 1949-53 definitly had steel tops. Even the earliest '50 models would have the steel top. I can't imagine the movie company doctoring the top and windshield to make it look like a '49. Most moviegoers wouldn't know the difference and the few of us who know or care wouldn't be fooled anyway. I noticed the 1949 time date immediately followed by the '50 Buick and just figured it was another screw -up by the studios. I guess a wealthy buyer in 1950 could have had the top modified to resemble the pre-1949 models but that seems highly unlikely. The only other explanation I can think of is that some owner along the way had a vinyl top installed over the original steel top because they liked the look. Another possibility re the vinyl top and two-piece windshield could be that non- authentic repairs were made as a result of a damaged top and broken windshield. Who knows? Anything is possible with a 60 year old car. Sid Munger 1947 Super Estate Wagon
  8. I took my drivers test in So CA in 1953. At that time if you took the drivers test in a car with an automatic transmission, your license restricted you to an automatic transmission. I correctly figured my first car would most likely be a standard shift so I needed to take the test with a standard shift. The family car was a '52 Hudson Hornet with an automatic transmission so I had to borrow a std shift car. The only car in the family with a std shift was my grandmothers '41 Studebaker Commander coupe. She lived in Ojai about 90 miles away but she made the trip so I could take the test. We figured it was probably the first time the car had been driven more that 30 miles from her home. I got my first car the following year; a '50 Ford with std shift. The Studebaker was traded in on a new Lark in 1960 with a total of 60,000 miles. The dealer gave her $60.00 for the '41. Sid Munger BCA 2257 1947 Super Estate Wagon
  9. The current inflationary pressures as well as the declining membership have necessitated the rise in the BCA dues. The BCA Board is merely responding to an immediate situation which they cannot ignore. In my opinion they are meeting their responsibilities. They might have responded sooner and raised the dues more gradually, however hindsight is always 20/20. Unfortunately, in the years ahead, I see these problems only continuing and perhaps even getting worse. The current policies coming out of Washington D.C. are almost guaranteed to cause inflationary pressures which we have not seen in almost 40 years. Reatta Man mentioned the problem of Buick having the reputation of an "old man's" car and this of course extends to our car hobby. Unfortunately, our car hobby is becoming an "old man's" or "old person's" (sorry ladies) hobby. I suspect that many car clubs may be experiencing the same problem as the BCA. The Baby Boomers currently make up a very large segment of the hobby. When they are no longer involved, is the next generation going to be as involved in the car hobby? Not only is the next generation not as involved in cars but there are simply not as many of them. It appears that the future demographics plus inflation does not look too promising for the car hobby unless the next generation becomes more involved. Hopefully, they will as they age and have more discretionary buying power. The BCA dues increase to $50 does seem high. However as a BCA member for almost 40 years it seems to me it still represents a good value. The largest expense is the Bugle which is the lifeline to most members, particularly those who don't belong to a local chapter. The annual dues in 1972 were $6. The increase to $50 represents an increase of 8.33 times that amount. Although I believe that exceeds the general inflation since 1972, there is no comparison between the Bugle of 1972 and the Bugle we have today. The Bugle was 7" x 8 5/16", no color and consisted of 20 pages. It appeared to be put together each month strictly by amateurs sitting around some board member's kitchen table because it was! Today we have a truly professional publication which is 8 1/2" x 11" and almost 50 pages in length. The cost is also affected by the increase in post office rates which far exceed the general inflation rates since that time. Ultimately each member will have to decide what the real value of BCA membership means to them. What does $50 buy in today's hobby? You can't buy many car parts for $50 and many car show entries are $35 or $40. Hopefully, the vast majority of members will renew based on the true value of membership which can't always be measured strictly on dollars. Sid Munger BCA 2257 1947 Super Estate Wagon
  10. You might be concerned about the transmission (or more correctly the transaxel). I bought a new 1986 Park Avenue and although I liked the car, it had it's share of problems. The original trans went out at 7000 miles. The dealer kept the car for almost a week while they rebuilt rather than replaced the trans. I found out later they were rebuilding rather than replacing because they didn't have any replacements because they were going out so fast. Number 2 trans was rebuilt at 30,000 miles again under warranty. Number 3 went out at 70,000 miles (warranty expired at 50,000). The 3rd one went out during the week Buick Motor Division had their annual dealers meeting and they had borrowed my '47 Estate Wagon for display. I mentioned that the Park Avenue had been towed into the local dealer with transmission problems and the Buick reps at the meeting said "no promises but we'll see what we can do". When I picked up the car the next day the service manager said "I've never had so many phone calls on one car". The bill was $2000 (this was in 1994). He said how does $400 sound since we also fixed a broken motor mount. I felt this was more than fair since I was out of warranty. The year before the paint simply peeled off. Although I was out of warranty they stripped and repainted the car for $400. I guess they liked that figure. Both the service manager and the Buick reps back at the meeting said do yourself and us a big favor and get rid of the car. We built a lot of junk in the 80's and we're paying for it now. They even offered me a current model Roadmaster wagon with 8000 miles for $8000 off the sticker. We already had an '87 Mercury Colony Park for the wife and didn't need another big wagon. Hopefully, they improved the '87 models. In all fairness to Buick, they went beyond what I really expected both with the tranny problems as well as the repaint. However, the Mercury was purchased new the next year and we put over 90,000 miles on it during the next 10 years and never had a problem. The Merc was a body on frame rear driver with a V8 up front while the Buick was a V6 fwd. It's no coincidence that even today you rarely see a fwd taxi or police car although they're running out of options. If the tranny is sound, you'll probably be ok. '47 super estate wagon
  11. I grew up in the Los Angeles area in the 1950's. I friend of mine lived just outside Griffith Park where scenes from the movie "Rebel Without A Cause" was filmed. All entrances to the park are closed at night with locked gates. He "borrowed" a master key from one of the gardener's trucks so we had access to the park at night. We would take a small caravan of 4 or 5 cars into the park late at night and have all the winding roads to ourselves. We would play until the LAPD gave chase. We would rotate "gate" persons who would unlock and relock the gates much faster than the police ever could. It was great fun and we never got caught. The biggest problem I always had was playing sports car with my '50 Olds. It could really go in a straight line but the handling and braking was not it's best feature. I didn't dare relate this story to my son until he was in his 30's. 1947 Buick Estate Wagon
  12. I don't see a problem towing a 3000 pound trailer, particularly with the modifications you've made to the Buick. In the early 70's I rented the largest Starcraft tent trailer the rental yard had and pulled it with a bone stock '69 Volvo station wagon. We pulled the trailer loaded with two adults and three small children up 395 to Devils Postpile. We then went over Tioga Pass into Yosemite going from east to west; quite a grade! At one point I smelled something burning. I pulled the auto transmission dipstick and the fluid was frothing and too hot to touch. We let it cool down a bit and went on our way. I kept the car for about another five years and never had a bit of trouble. As I remember, the trailer had surge brakes and the Volvo had disc brakes. We kept it under 55 on the level and the car handled the trailer well. Also, the Volvo was about the same height as the trailer so headwind resistance was not a problem. Back then I didn't know what an equalizer hitch or a sway bar was. I also think they built better Volvos back then! Today I'm a bit more prepared. I pull an enclosed car trailer with a Dodge 2500 Cummings Diesel. The electric trailer brakes, equalizer hitch and sway bar plus 4-wheel disc brakes on the truck make things easier and certainly safer. Sid Munger '47 Buick Estate Wagon
  13. Great looking car although not that different from several other makes (Lexus, Buick's target comes to mind). Certainly the best looking Buick in years. If only it was a rear drive!
  14. Blackwalls vs whitewalls depends on the car and the era when it was built. In my opinion your Franklin looks much better and obviously more authentic with blackwalls. In the photo showing the whitewalls the focal point is the whitewalls. In the photo with the blackwalls, the Franklin becomes the focal point which is the way it should be. The blackwalls blend with the overall design of the car and allow you to more fully appreciate the great lines of the car. The Franklin was conservative, not flashy and the blackwalls are much more fitting. 47 Buick estate wagon
  15. As a collector car the '58 Buick is great. It captures a time in history. It projects an optimistic attitude and captures the feeling of the times, the 1950's. It's basically a time capsule and definitely popular with Buick lovers. The Limited series has to be among the most excessive styling exercises rivaled only by the '58 Lincoln and Oldsmobile and the '59 Cadillac. Personally, I've never cared for it. I first saw the "new" '58 Buick in Sept of 57 when we used to snoop around the car dealerships to see the new models before they were officially introduced to the public. At the time I thought it was an over-chromed barge. However, I was a college student driving a sports car so big American cars weren't my thing. I've heard the '58 Oldsmobiles and Buicks described as looking like "someone stood back and threw tinsel at them". However, I must admit they've stood the test of time pretty well. I've learned to appreciate them for what they were and what they've become in the collector world. The convertibles and the wagons are especially interesting and the going price of the Limiteds illustrates their popularity. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When I bought my '47 Buick woodie years ago, I took it into the Auto Club to transfer the ownership. I thought it was a great looking car although it needed a lot. The clerk was a friend of mine so she felt comfortable in giving me her opinion. She said "I hope you're not offended but that is the ugliest old car I've ever seen". Although that was the only negative comment I've ever heard on the car, it's one I remember. We all have our opinions. 1947 Buick Super Estate Wagon