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Researching the history of my 38-41


-Rich

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Hi all,

I'm trying to find out some basic information about my car, as well as trace the history if at all possible. Here are the numbers I could find on the car:

Frame: 13327599

Engine: 43509625

data plate: Body 32524

What's the best way of tracing the car's history? My dad bought it in New Jersey in 1973, and a web search shows that the guy he bought it from passed away in 1986. My dad died 2 years ago, so I'm not sure how to begin. It's a '38 Special trunkback sedan (38-41), which seems to be pretty common.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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Thanks Brian - since Georgia doesn't issue titles on anything prior to 1963, I never thought of that route.

Dave Corbin - Can you help me decode my frame and engine numbers? The more I dig into this project, the more I realize just how much I don't know!

Thanks all!

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Guest DaveCorbin

Dear Rich:

This one's easy. The frame number you give says the car was built in Flint (plant code 1) and the serial number of 3,327,625 is for a very early March 1938 car. The engine number of 4 (engine for a 40 series Special) 3,509,625 is an engine that was almost certainly original to the frame, as it's a very end of February 1938 engine.

If you post the paint and trim codes from the body plate, I'll give you a paint color and upholstery info.

Regards, Dave Corbin

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Dave,

Thanks, that's just the info I was looking for.

The data plate on the body shows:

1938 Mod: 41

Style: 38-4419

Trim: 401

Paint: 515

I know it was originally black, but my dad had it repainted Homer Gray. (he always said he didn't like black cars, but he was colorblind, so who knows what it looked like to him?) I might go back to the original black someday, but that ain't in the budget just yet. :-)

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Guest DaveCorbin

Dear Rich:

You are correct about black, as 515 is the paint code for black. Trim code 401 is for Taupe Mohair Fabric.

Regards, Dave Corbin

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Thanks again Dave!

My dad had the car reupholstered in 1976, and it's now a gray mohair. Whether I repaint or not, I'll most likely keep the gray mohair, since having it redone it way outta my price range for a while. (my dad paid just over $3k for the new interior back in 1976!)

I appreciate the input from everyone - eventually I hope to track the history of the car back to Flint, and have all the details of its long life. :-)

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Rich,

In BCA judging, the color of the paint and the color of the upholstery do NOT have to match what is on the data plate, as long as the colors now on the car were available on a Buick in 1938. So, don't worry too much about the change in colors. How about posting some larger photos of this nice '38?

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

Sherman, TX

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Hey Pete,

Good news about the judging! Yeah, it's currently Homer Gray, which was an original color. I've read (and heard) conflicting things about the wheels though. Some say they should be either read or body color, but I saw another chart that said blue was also an option for the Homer Gray. More research ahead for me. :-)

Right now I have the engine torn down to the block, fenders off, interior out, etc. And all because I had to change a leaking manifold gasket! You know how it goes. "<span style="font-style: italic">Well, as long as I have this apart, I might as well go ahead and..</span>." :-)

But I'm always happy to show off my mistress, so here's a couple of the "before" pictures..

post-56588-143138064281_thumb.jpg

post-56588-143138064312_thumb.jpg

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