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1928 McLaughlin in Prague


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Dear Josef:

We need to get your car out of the 1936 McLaughlin thread so other folks can read about it.

Wayne or Peter, can you move about 8 posts here from "1936 McLaughlin 8 90L"? Items by Dave Corbin and Pepcak having to do with his car.Links and pictures too, if possible. Thanks!!

Thanks, Dave Corbin

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Peter Gariepy</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> I cant move individual threads. </div></div>Can you copy the entire thread? And then delete posts?

The software for these forum seems to be past the use by date. Better software on the market. Or at least it appears thay way on other forums I visit, like from vBulletin.com and others

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Hi,

I am the owner of McLaughlin Buick 28-49 too, but its a bit mystery. Is it known how many of them (of 28-49, 7 passenger tourings) have been built in Canada? Excellent book by Terry Dunham says two, but it deals with US (Flint) production. My car has been nicely rebodied into 7 passenger limo with divider and has Buffalo wire wheel and dual side mounts. I just cant find the firewall plate now... The pictures of it are at www.pepcak.webzdarma.cz. Car is located in the Czech Reblic, since 1933 served in volunteer fire dept. Previous history is unknown to me. There is also another 28-49 in test nof Spanish magazine, (http://motor.terra.es/coches-clasicos/pruebas/articulo/buick_master_six_model_28-49_23966.htm) but I can speak any Spanish....

Any information is welcome.

Josef

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: DaveCorbin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Dear Josef:

I think I can answer some of your questions.

As to the question of "How many cars were made by year and by model within the year?" I have to sadly report that this information was thrown away by GM of Canada or by McLaughlin many yeas ago. All that survived is the total number of cars built each year by make (Buick, Chevrolet etc.) and I'm reasonably sure that that list got "sanitized" to only GM makes, as I have a McLaughlin catalogue for an electric car which McLaughlin offered on a Rauch & Lang chassis. I assume that they built a few, but there is no report of anything except GM makes.

As to your questions about the report in Spanish, I read it and it is a very complete description of the technical specifications of a 1928 Model 49. If you have a good piece of Buick sale literature for your car, you already have most of the information.

One thing that was interesting was the technical comparision to a similiar year Rolls-Royce, in which the writer noted that the Buick rode and drove as well as the Rolls. This is not too surprising, as Rolls-Royce had a very thorough program of testing competitive makes and had identified Buick as early as about 1915 as the best volume produced car in the world from an engineering/engine/ride point of view. The Spanish writer apparently didn't know about the Rolls-Royce annual review of Buick, which usually resulted in the Buick being disassembled and it's components subjected to a piece by piece testing and inspection. If you set a Buick next to about a 4 years later Rolls and open the hoods, you'll quickly see what I'm talking about.

Regards, Dave Corbin

FYI: I worked at ENASA in Madrid in 1980 to 1982. Before the Spanish Civil War, it was Hispano Suiza. That's the "why" of being able to read that test drive in Spanish.

</div></div>

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Dave, thanks for the feedback. I am trying to find this (production number) information for years with no success. Looks Canada built more tourings in 28 than US, considering at least 3 preserved. The information about Rolls-Royce regularly testing Buicks is very interesting, is this story available anywhere in more detail? I am tempted to talk to some of proud owners of 20/25 Rollses in here :-) (I do not dare to think about Phantoms). I always thought Buick car is very good value for money even from today prospective when restoring it. Everything is just straight and simple, understandable, robust enough and aesthetic in the same time. I could not afford Rolls, but this Buick is at least comparable in size and noblesse in my eyes and far more affordable for common guy, with still quite lots of parts around us. Last year I started the "serious" work on the car, hopefully I will make some progress in 2009. BTW - in 1980 I was just 5 years old....

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: DaveCorbin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Dear Pepcak:

It's good that young people are enjoying these earlier cars. I'm about 36 years older than you (70 on May 19th, 2009) and joined the BCA in 1972.

As to the story on Rolls, I'd have to dig out source material that's probably older than you.

The sad story about the production figures is enough to make you cry. I've spent a lot of time since 1999 trying to find out exactly what those numbers looked like for the USA and Canada In the USA, I've succeded in finding bits and pieces from many sources and now have completed a huge data file covering 1904 thru 1958, both for frame numbers and engine numbers for USA cars only. IF your car has a USA engine, I can tell you when the engine was made to within a month. Producton at McLaughlin is usually about 6 weeks later. This research included an actual trip to Canada in 2006, specifically to GM of Canada. I did find the actual archives of George William McLaughlin at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. The archivist let me study thru them for 3 full days, but no production figures were found.

I also have a chart which I've made from well over 200 McLaughlin serial numbers that seems to be very accurate in establishing year from just the McLaughlin serial number. If you post yours, I can confirm year.

Regards, Dave Corbin </div></div>

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: DaveCorbin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Dear Pepcak:

It looks like a numbers match McLaughlin plate to me. McLaughlin serial numbers for 1928 ran from 134001 to 144987. This would put 140320 about 60% of the way thru the model year.

The engine number of 2,091,312 is about 47% of the way thru the 1928 Buick engine number run from 1,960,500 to 2,240,299 or the 130,812th engine among 279,799 engines.

This is acounted for because of the shipping time from Flint to McLaughlin in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. This causes the car to be later in the year than the engine.

I hope this helps.

Regards, Dave Corbin

PS: For the rest of us, this is a good example of one of the reasons engine numbers are higher than frame numbers. </div></div>

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Dave,

thanks for the info. It makes perfectly sense, one would not expect that the engine has been changed/replaced here in middle of Europe... Any idea what "R" after model designation does mean? And, also I would be interested in the Rolls testing Buick components story.. Thanks again Josef

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: DaveCorbin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Dear Josef:

Is the car right hand drive? I can't tell for sure from the picture. Also, is that you in the picture?

Could you measure the wheelbase of the car and post it? (The distance between the centerline of the front axle and the centerline of the rear axle is "wheelbase".) If you post in metric, that's ok for me. It's probably 120 inches or 128 inches. (3.05 meters or 3.25 meters)

Regards, Dave Corbin </div></div>

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Dave, its 128 inches as one would expect, left hand steering. I have understood that (Flint) export cars had right hand steering and X designation. This one is not the case. At the picture is the guy I bought the car from. There is no body builder tag anywhere.... The common praxis in pre-war Czechoslovakia was to import chassis only (due to high import duties) and build the body locally. As you can see its a bit different from common Fisher jobs (much longer rear portion and windows in wood framing) on the other hand the double beltline is very "american" to me, wings and side aprons are true factory parts. Windscreen is horizontally split what would implicate usage of "touring" windscreen. Not sure if the rear portion of a "touring" is that long though. Some time ago I have seen Graham Paige for sale in Great Britain having exactly the same style of window wood frames. Some of door hardware is stamped "Bororo" what I think was Italian lock manufacturer. External door handles are beaten brass, valve rocker cover is thick nickel plated, front (drivers seats) are leather, rear compartment is in cloth.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: DaveCorbin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Dear Josef:

It looks like the McLaughlin equivalent to a Buick 1928 Model 50 sedan. McLaughlin used their own model designators, so I'm not exactly sure what a model 49 McLaughlin is. The R is even more of a mystery since the car isn't right hand drive.

Since Buick exported all over the world, an export (X) car is not always RHD. There were even some RHD cars for the USA for postal delivery work.

Regards, Dave Corbin </div></div>

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Dave,

1) I have a part list for 1928 Master models titled "McLaughlin Buick" (not "Buick") and there is model designation list at the front. I dont have it in front of me but I would bet that model designation is the same as US products i.e. 28-50 is 7pass sedan, 28-50L 7pass limo with divider, 28-49 7 pass touring etc.

2) If you look at the plate above, the designators are the same as for US cars. I wouldnt think they used same designators for different body style than US couterpart.

3) The Spanish report we talked about is also about Canadian made 28-49 that is 7 pass touring. I did not tell you I never opened the driver door, because they are frozen for whatever reason, so there may be a builder tag there....

4) Royal 28-49 was also 7 pass touring; all sources I have seen so far mention 2(3) cars built, one (Serial# 139645 engine# 2034106) is preserved in Canadian museum. Where is the second (and third) one? Does anybody know their serial and engine#? I do not dare to say that "R" stands for "Royal” with serial nr. “just” 375 apart.... :-)) Mystery goes on......

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: DaveCorbin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Dear Josef:

I checked the numbers you give for the 1928 McLaughlin model 49 and can tell you that 139645 is a 1928 Mclaughlin serial number and engine 2,034,106 is the right size engine for a model 49.

The frame numbers for the 2 USA Buicks were: 1,932,864 and 1,932,865. I would expect the engine numbers in those 2 cars to be between 1,990,500 and 2,015,499.

By the normal Buick model numbering system, a model 49 would be a 7 passenger touring car, probably on the 120 inch wheebase for 1928, although the 128 inch wheelbase is also a possibilty. It appears that there are more cars from Canada.

Please check your McLaughlin list and post it so I can see how it is the same and how it is different from the Buick list.

You mentioned in an earlier post that the car had been rebodied. The possibility of having a model 49 plate and a model 50 body needs to be checked.

Regards, Dave Corbin </div></div>

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 7buick7</div><div class="ubbcode-body">About the Rolls story, although I have not been able to verify this myself, I have read that Buick advertising people used this in a 1940 advert.

Without directly naming Rolls they mentioned the fact that "a famed English car builder" bought a Limited every year".

</div></div>

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I have done some Googling in between and found out, there were 3 Royal McLaughlins 28-49 built in 1927 - 2 for Prince of Wales visit to Canada, third one for Indian Maharaja. (Peter Pigott - Royal Transport ISBN 9781550025729).

One of them (Serial# 139645 engine# 2034106) is in Canadian museum.

http://www.sciencetech.technomuses.ca/english/collection/index.cfm

The Indian one appeared last autumn in Cartier meet in India (at least Buick Touring in proper colours:-)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/vintage-ca...s-report-3.html (nice pictures!)

Does anybody know the serial# and engine# for these 2 cars? And where is the third one?

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Dear Josef:

That 1928 model 49 is holding its own in some VERY Heavy company in India. If there were 3 made and 1 is in Canada and another one is in India, that seems to me to leave your car as the third one. Odd that it would get rebodied to a sedan, but I'm aware of a car that has a "summer" touring body and a "closed sedan" winter body. If I do that subtraction another way, it's possible to conclude that your car is the other Royal car.

Candian guys: HELP !! Does anyone know or has ever seen the other car? Museum? Note: RHD car!!

Regards, Dave Corbin

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All I can offer is that it is a national museum in Ottawa. 53Nailhead is in the vicinity...I'm not sure of any others. I've wanted to get to the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology, but it is out of the way and I usually don't have much time when I get out there for work (and fly out, so can't get around as easily).

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Dave,

Do not forget the 28-49 touring in the Spanish report (in Spain??) so in total we have 4 Canadian built 28-49s preserved until today. <span style="font-weight: bold">Ideally if we can find the serial and engine nr. for cars in India and in Spain.</span> To put some reasons against my car being Royal is left hand steering and 375 distance from the known serial nr. in Canada. I would not call it a "sedan" because it has nice divider with sliding windows between driver and passengers, "limousine" (like 50L) seems more convenient for me :-) And yes, I will post the type designators here as promised.

Josef

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Hi,

thanks to our Indian friends we now have ID of the Royal 28-49. It is Serial# 138575 engine# 2013551. I have received picture of the plate and everything there is as it should be. No "R" mentioned after 28-49 designation.

Canadian royal car is Serial# 139645 engine# 2034106.

Thanks, Karl.

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Dear Karl:

Ok, here's some more info: McLaughlin serial numbers 138575 and 139645 are both 1928 numbers. My estimate is that the first 1928 McLaughlin number was 134,001 and the last was about 143,290.

The engine serial numbers are both for engines built about 15% of the way thru the 1928 run, which included engines from 1,960,500 to 2,225,299. Both engine numbers are for the right size of engine.

2,013,551 is in a group that ran from 1,990,500 to 2,015,499. Interestingly, two engines from this group of 25,000 would have been used in the 2 1928 model 49's built in the USA.

The second engine is in a group that ran from 2,027,500 to 2,035,499.

Regards, Dave Corbin

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Josef & Dave:

More on the UK 28 Royal Tour car, model 496, with less than 40 K miles.

First, though, in Antique Automobile Quarterly (Fourth Quarter 1974 - Vol. XII, No. 4 - Pg. 12 & 13) there is a photo of the Prince arriving at City Hall in Toronto on Aug. 6/27 and there are 4 open cars clearly shown. This neg. is on file with the Public Archives in Ottawa (No. C-67205). I have scanned 1/2 the photo showing the cars and will try to attach it to this post.

The UK car (3 pics, hopefully attached) is serial # 140099 and engine # 2080521. This car was converted (by the factory, I believe) to RHD and sold to South Africa. The car came into the UK in 1933 and was registered to Mr. Alfred Holtby c/o the Standard Bank of South Africa, London. Sold to Mr. Visick of Midhurst Engineering in Sussex. Car was fitted with a recovery crane and used as a recovery vehicle for the next 20 odd years. Purchased by Cyril Piggott in 1959 who removed the crane and put back a rear seat. The current owner did odd jobs on the car and expressed an interest in owning it. He bought it in 1992 and restored it (he also owns another 28 and two 27 Buicks). During the restoration, he found the original cream & turquoise colours and some of the original interior which had been panelled over.

I will let the current owner know of this site / post and he may want to add information on his car.

Bill McLaughlin

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Dear Bill & Josef:

The engine number Bill gives of 2,080,521 for this Royal car is in a group of 15,000 engine numbers that ran from 2,078,500 to 2,093,499. It's the right size engine for a model 49. Looks like the numbers match OK. Note also that this group of engines includes the engine in Josef's car.

I also note that the sequence of McLaughlin serial numbers (lowest first) of these 4 cars (138575, 139645, 140099, 140320) and the sequence of their respective engines (2013551, 2034106, 2080521, 2091312) is the same. It would appear that Josef's car probably has gotten re-bodied somewhere along the way. I note Bill's comments about the car that was a wrecker and got brought back by Cyrill Piggott.

Regards, Dave Corbin

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Wow, excellent finds and pictures, thanks! I have recently got the pictures of factory built 28-50 L (limo with divider) and can confirm my car is NOT factory job. Still wonder who made it as it is not sort of "backyard" job.

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Dear Bill & Josef:

Let's ask ourselves some questions about the car:

1) Where would McLaughlin export to that's LHD?

2) Is that location in the British Commonwealth or not?

3) IF the answer to (2) is yes, does that country have a body builder that could build a limo body? IF the answer to (2) is no, does that country have a suitable body builder?

4) Does the probable country, IF it doesn't have a body builder, have a known royal family preference for a certain body builder? (for example, Nordberg)

5) Is there any other reason for it to be LHD?

6) Josef, you mentioned somewhere about the door handles being Italian? Is this a clue to origin? Are there any other items that might have some identification?

7) Is it possible that it was exported from Canada as a gift from the British Royal Family to some other king/queen in, for example, Austria or another central European country?

Regards, Dave Corbin

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Hi,

Thanks for all your questions, I guess this can put more light on this mystery or at least give us some direction.

I can talk only from Czech Republic prospective. This car has proven local history from 1933 on, but obviously can be bought "second hand" from Germany, Austria or another country.

1) All cars made locally in former Czechoslovakia until, say, mid to late 30s were strictly RHD as we used to drive on LEFT side. In 1939 a guy named Adolf Hitler came in and changed it overnight. But it would change sooner / later anyway, he just speed it up. I would say importers did not cared much where the steering wheel has been located. In mid and late 20s we have some number of US cars imported, not only cheap ones like Ford As but also some Packards, Marmons, LaSalles, even Cadillacs, I have seen Moon, Roosevelt and couple of other "exotic ones" imported in those days. GM had agency in Prague, selling Chevrolets, Buicks etc. Lots of cars have been imported as a chassis only due to huge custom taxes. My theory is that this came as a true 28-49 touring though, having motor cover, front and rear fenders and side aprons factory made. Then, the owner wanted "closed" car instead and let someone build limo on it. The look of beltlines is very american, but the wooden structure and window framing seems to me very diffent to what I have seen on any Buick.

2) No coutry here in middle of Europe has never been part of British commonwealth.

3) Even in prewar Czechoslovakia (with some 8m people then) we have few of bodybuilders building Hispano Suizas, Bugattis, Packards, Chryslers and local makes. So it can easily be "local" job.

4) This is more difficult question, in 1918 the Austro Hungarian monarchy was destroyed and Bohemia & Slovakia become united republic, refusing (or at least not publicly showing) all old Austro / Hungarian links. Of course there were rich individuals from "old times" and with "old connections" but they were not on public eyes that much....

5) The LHD is factory made, even the first car in parade at Bills picture is clearly LHD (unless the picture is mirrored). I do not know what was / is Canadian standard then and now, but Bill also talks about "converting" it for Uk islands.

6) We plan to pull the body off in few weeks time, I will made some pictures and hopefully open the drivers doors finally (they are completely frozen now) maybe there is some plate there.

7) This is quite possible, at least british royal family (who else?) recognised some difference between Buick and McLaughlin Buick. I do not see any value added if local dealer offered and sold Buick or McLaughlin Buick, the cars apparently (from local prospective) being identical. If the car was imported to Czechoslovakia, then possibly not to the king / queen (see above) but for example to some church authority etc.

Sorry for rather longish replies, but I wanted to put things into right perspective.....

Josef

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Dear Josef:

A little additional information about Canada. Canada has basically always been a left hand drive country and most prewar McLaughlins are LHD. The RHD McLaughlins are basically all sent into British Commonwealth countries.

The business agreements between McLaughlin and Buick would not allow the Buick dealer in Prague to import a McLaughlin, but your car is clearly a McLaughlin, so what happened? This is what caused my question about it being a gift from the Royal family, as it would be sold in Great Britian (even though it's LHD). That would not be a contract violation, even though it's going somewhere else when it is exported from England to a country that normally be a "Buick direct" country.

If it was a Royal car in Canada, it would be LHD. It could have also been sold to a private individual in Canada sometime later and rebodied there or somewhere else.

Something else to check is that the original model 49 body is still there and has a very well done coach top added to it. Here in the USA, we had shops that did that. The top was called a "California Top" and some are so well done that you would have to inspect the car VERY closely to be sure that it wasn't a limosine originally.

Regards, Dave Corbin

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Dave,

thanks for update. So looks like this one did not come via regular channel of GM/Buick distribution but somehow "aside".

Until now I dont consider the option of "california top" very probable (look at the door and B column proportions on my limo and factory 28-49) in such a case they would also have to change all the door internal mechanisms; but never say never.

One more observation from your pictures guys, the Indian and UK car have identical side lamps on front fenders, while missing usual cowl lamps close to windscreen. Not sure if these are kind of "Royal feature" but my car has cowl lamps and no signs of anything placed on top of front fenders..... That spanish 28-49 has also usual cowl lamps only.

Josef

I will provide more pictures and findings once we pull the body off.

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Dear Josef:

A search thru Google turned up:

"Bomoro, Bocklenberg & Motte" They are still in business in Wuppertal, Germany. Phone is: 49-202-46-670.

They have been in business since 1912. Their specialities are car parts, specifically locks and door parts for cars!

If your German is any good, give them a call.

This would seem to indicate a German, Swiss or perhaps Dutch body builder.

Regards, Dave Corbin

PS: They're a supplier to Mercedes-Benz.

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Dear Josef:

A long shot but maybe worth checking. There was a 1933 Buick for sale a few weeks ago on e-bay. Supposedly, it was for the Queen of the Netherlands but I have serious doubts about that.

However, it had a body by a builder named "Bronkhorst", in a town of about the same name. The car resembled yours considerably.

If your car was rebodied or built as a cowl job to have a custom body installed, this would account for the situation.

Regards, Dave Corbin

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Dave,

thanks for hint, I think I should have been able to find it by myself. Will give them a try.

I think the key feature are the window wooden frames. Some 2 yrs ago I have spotted 1927 Paige selling in Great Britain on e-bay, for a moment I thougt someone was selling my car, making joke about it. If you look at the wooden structure around the windows, door hinges location and the roof, its exactly the same, only the doors being "suicidal" on the Paige. Unfortunately the seller was not very cooperative and was not able to provide more details about the car. Question is - is this a factory Paige job or who built this one? If its factory Paige job, then possibly someone married Buick chassis with Paige body. If not, we are still in the beginning....Josef

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  • 2 weeks later...

So... removed the drivers door and found nothing. Actually close to left lower corner of drivers door are two 2mm holes, center line distance of 73mm, that indicate kind of badge installed there. Unfortunately no badge, also cannot see the outline of it.

One thing I did not mentioned earlier - my speedo is calibrated in kph rather than in mph.

Josef

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  • 1 year later...

Seeing my beloved Buick at quiz About Quiz # 275: 1928 McLaughlin Buick - PreWarCar I digged into my printed stuff and can possibly throw more light how many 28-49s have been built in Canada. I have attached the page from 1928 McLaughlin Part List for Master Six where is shown how many exceptions are there for ordering trim materials for this particular model ONLY. Seems to me there must have been few hundreds made....

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Edited by pepcak (see edit history)
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