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HOW CAN I FIND OUT HOW MANY 1955 76R ARE STILL EXTANT?


AWBE
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Guest imported_MrEarl

Hey ol Joe, how the heck are ya....and how's ol' Blue? smile.gif

I suppose you could start a registry but then that still doesn't guarantee every one would be found. I've just always figured that if there are 18 1954 76R's registered with the BCA then there's probably another 18 that's not. In trying to keep track of all the 54's over the last few years I actually haven't been able to find 18 non registered roadworthy 2 drht Roadmasters.

55 76R's are scarce and if they're not registered with the BCA, well do they really matter anyway? laugh.gif

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Joe,

As you know there were 28,071 built. Years ago I thought about this question and started thinking about it, compared many automobiles and body styles. Basically at 30 years out most automobiles are at 10% of original production. This is a generality but removes 90% of the cars after 30 years due to automobile accidents, mechanical failures and rust.

So in 1985 according to my non official methodology there would be 2800 55 76R's left. This example seems particularly high. But taking another 25% of cars (10% per decade + 5% for last 4 plus years) = 2130 76R's in all condition. That averages to 44 cars per the lower 48 states. Given that total 1955 poduction was, what, in the 750,000 range I find it hard to believe that approximately 57,000 1955 Buicks remain.

I have seen a lot of 1955 Buicks in my years. I know of at least 30-40 in salvage yards or that have been sold at attended auctions. In the last 15 years we have seen an acceleration of old salvage yards being forced into closure with everything crushed. (due to owners that passed on and/or land regulations)

In 2001, I visited a salvage yard near me that was bought out because they were building a golf course and homes. They had 125 Buicks, all crushed.

This example highlights ALL known Buicks of a particular model. Lamar's note is interesting. To be fair, the BCA is about 8500 members. The old car hobby world, including rodders, numbers to an estimated 95,000,000. Jay leno, as you may know, owns a modified 55 76R and to my knowledge is not a member of the BCA. Many owners of classic Buicks I run into I ask about their membership in the BCA and most are not members.

All of this does not really answer your question definitively but hopefully adds some insight. With many states not requiring titling on older cars, it is not possible to accurately track these "ghosts of our past."

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Guest imported_MrEarl

Frank, the discussion is 76R's, I believe that's just an old raggedy 76C, nobody cares how many of them there are. grin.gifwink.gif

My gawd, that thing is beautiful, even if it is a 55. laugh.gif

btw, I'm still waitin on Barbara to get back with me on when I can come pick up the black Riviera....

get me outa here Percy, 'fore I get in trouble.....

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I HAVE OWNED MY 76R SINCE 1970 , HAVE BEEN TO 70 SHOWS INCLUDING 1 BUICK NATIONAL (PICKED UP A 3RD) AND NEVER SEEN ANOTHER ONE.(IN PERSON---SEEN SEVERAL PICTURES)------AS FAR AS THAT IS CONCERNED I HAVE SEEN ONLY ONE '54 76-R. THEY ARE BOTH FEW AND FAR BETWEEN. I DOUBT MINE IS WORTH WHAT NADA, EDMONDS AND OLD CARS SAYS IT IS. IT IS ABOUT A CLASS 1.2 IN MY JUDGEMENT.

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There will be at least one 1955 76R at this year's National Meet. Jack & Lynnette Saylor, whose Roadmaster won a Gold, New Senior award in Seattle in 2007, will be driving the car from Seattle to Colorado Springs this year.

I recently heard from Gary Klecka in Alaska. He drove his '55 Roadmaster 76R for the first time this year earlier this month. He has owned his since he was 15 years old in 1969. Gary's car is a beautiful original that he obtained from the original owner in Chicago.

As an aside, Gary has been interested in 1955 Buicks for decades. He mentioned to me earlier this year that one model he could not recollect having ever seen is the 1955 Century model 61 four door sedan. A few days later, I received a call from Bryce Nelson in Colorado, who will display one of the '55 model 61's in Colorado Springs at the National.

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YEAH-----GARY AND I HAVE HAD SEVERAL DISCUSSIONS OVER THE YEARS REGARDING THE CARS. HIS DIFFERS FROM MINE IN SEVERAL WAYS. WE DECIDED THAT IT DEPENDED ON WHICH FINAL ASSEMBLY PLANT THE CAR CAME FROM. (LIKE WHETHER THE KNOBS ON THE DASH HAD WHITE IN THE GROOVES AROUND THEM.)

AND MINE CAME WITH THE ACCESSORY OPTION OF CHROME VALVE AND WIRE COVERS. MINE HAS A BREATHER CAP ON THE TOP OF EACH VALVE COVERS. I THINK IT IS BECAUSE IT WAS A VERY LATE PRODUCTION MODEL.

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I tried it on my 1915 C-36 Buick Roadster, Total production was 2,849.

After 30 years there would have been 284. (If 90% survived.)

Minus 10% for each decade for the last 60+ years....

Should be about 150 left after 90 plus years but there isn't.

I think the scrap drive of WWII and Korea had a lot to do with it.

There are only about 3 that I can account for. (One is a Mclaughlin Buick.) And I have heard that there are several others so that would be about 5 that survive?

It seems that this formula does not work for very early cars at least.

I can account for one 1955 Roadmaster 2 Door hard top in a salvage yard. whistle.gif Dandy Dave!

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Dave,

Interesting observation. As a Peerless fan, I know several Peerless cars were lost to the WWII scrap drives because they had so much aluminum in them.

10-12 years ago when I did the statistical modeling for this theory I used all makes including Ford and Chevy. I contacted clubs for statistics and/or became a member to gain access to the club registrys. I contacted a lot of salvage yards for their inventories.

I tracked (at the time) modern salvage yards. It took me about 2 years but the bottom line was about 6-7 percent of production remained after 22 years. (in all conditions)

Considering statistical error, I bumped it to 10% as an easier way to figure what is left.

My above example has an average of 44 1955 76R's per state. I'll bet California has at least 50 1955 76r's in all conditions.

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Early cars were also prone to catastrophic failure. It was not uncommon to have a crank shaft break, or the have the gears in the rearend loose teeth. Broken front spindles, and rear axles were also very common. Also many did not use anti-freeze, (Alcohol in the early days, or kerosene in the cooling system.) and did not think to drain the water when cold weather arrived. ("Use spring water." the old timers would say with a smile. "It dosen't freeze") The road conditions were also very unkind, and many of the motors had no air cleaner. Also, given the amount of different manufactuers in the early years that came and went rather quickly, must have made getting parts for many makes impossible. Around here, I was told that anyting left in the hedgrows, and no longer used, durring WWII was ordered by the war board to be scraped. These things were only spared if they were in a building. People felt it was their patiotic duty to do so and many rare and un-useful things of the time fell to the junk man. I think that is why so few pre 1916 cars survived.

Another thought is that, any car that was less than 10 years old at the start of the war, (1939) would have most likely survived the war as none were avalible. That leaves the cars from 1929 back that were already out dated to be fair game for recycling for the war effort.

Just some passing thoughts. Dandy Dave!

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I WILL GUARANTEE YOU THAT THERE'S NOT BUT 1 IN ALABAMA----I'M TALKING ABOUT DECENT OPERABLE AUTOMOBILE---NOT SCRAP YARDS. FOR 10 YEARS I WENT TO EVERY YARD WITHIN 50 MILES OF BIRMINGHAM AND NEVER FOUND ONE. VERY VERY FEW ITEMS FOR SAME ON E-BAY-----MOSTLY SPINNER HUBS. BEEN IN ABOUT 60 CAR SHOWS IN Al.,MISS., FLA., GA., TENN., AND KY. and NEVER SEEN ONE. I DON'T BELIEVE THERE CAN BE OVER 100 IN THE COUNTRY. crazy.gif

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In 1953 Ford was 50 years old and sponsored the Glidden Tour. After the banquet they showed a film of their scrap yard, driving beautiful brass cars with lamps and everything into their crusher, under their own power, and crushing them. It upset the audience so much that they had to turn the film off, people were ready to tear the screen down.

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55 fans (and Mr. Earl!)

I bought my 76R last year from a guy in Maryland that had owned it since around 1960! Cadet blue, white top, pretty nice and original, had one repaint. Has the power antenna and floor switch for the wonderbar radio! I have been a fan of 55s since I bought a 56R Super in 79 after high school graduation. I believe you are correct, there are many out there that we don't even know about, I'm guessing more convertibles have been preserved than anything else. Hope to meet many of you in Colo Springs!

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I'm willing to tweak my formula but it's fairly reliable. A few issues like Dave pointed out - rust, WW II, maybe true obsolescence in the 1960's - of the then 30 year old cars would see a greater proportion of those crushed. In the past 2 days I have located a 1956 century 2 door hardtop and a 1956 Super convertible popped up on local Craigs List.

I was driving to work yesterday and a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado passed me. In my 4500 souled town of Madrid, Iowa, if I ride my bike around town at twilight I see guys in lighted garages working on cars I never see around town. They are out there.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: AWBE</div><div class="ubbcode-body">SOMEBODY STOLE MY CAR AND PUT WIRE WHEELS ON IT!!!! laugh.gif (SEE CENTURION'S POST AND PICTURE ABOVE)

THIS IS PROBABLY SOUR GRAPES---BUT I PREFER THE BIG HUBCAPS WITH THE FLIPPERS. </div></div>

I also prefer the '55 Roadmaster's cool flipper wheelcovers.

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