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1939 Buick upholstry options!!!


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Ok, 39 Buick owners with leather interiors, here's the thing. Is the windlace on these cars matching leather, or the normal coachlace as supplied by Hampton Coach? I'm assuming the wireon is as per normal as well. There's a free double movie pass to anyone who can give me an answer. But you have to use it in New Zealand!

Cheers

Grant;)

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Dear Grant:

A clarification: Virtually all US cars have cloth interiors UNLESS they're convertibles, so things are different around the windows (sedan VS. convertible) . However, the reverse is true IF it's an export Buick, as they normally come with leather interiors in sedans.

Can you clarify EXACTLY what your 39 is and if the body plate has an X in the model number? Also, IF it's a Holden car, their rules apply and one of our Aussie friends would have to comment.

Weirdly, you could get a leather interior in a US sedan, but it's a special order. The reverse is true also, you can get a cloth interior in an export car but it's a special order job also! I've seen a leather interior 1938 US sedan and the lacing was leather. I've also seen a 1939 Canadian Roadmaster in GB that was leather and it had leather lacing.

Regards, Dave Corbin

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Thanks for your replies!

:)The upholstry was origionally mohair, but we've gone with a special order option of deep red leather. The pattern of the seat is one I've seen in a picture of a sedan with a sunroof in my Encyclopedia of American Cars 1930-1942. As Allan says, it's a business coupe from the USA. We thought about converting it to a 4 passenger coupe, but put it in the reasonably hard basket! We were even going to convert it to RHD, but if we came to sell it, it would rule out selling it back to the States.

My thoughts tend to go the way of that Roadmaster that you saw Dave. I'm wondering how the coachlace would look against the leather. If it tones in with the headlining, it would probably be ok. We're looking at buying the headlining, wireon, and windlace from Hampton Coach. The seat is finished, with the door panels yet to be made. We can't get pressboard here anymore, so, after experimenting with hardboard (too heavy), we're thinking 3mm Slimline customwood. The plan is to replicate the original setup using those repair tabs from Bobs. Any thoughts?

Cheers

Grant

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  • 3 weeks later...

For 1939 Buick:

The windlace was originally Panasote or otherwise called leatherette and it was matching. In today's market a matching vinyl is the practical substitute. This is true of the windlace, headliner, sun-visers, front seat back and door panels. However, for the front seat back and door panels you can substitute leather for vinyl (Panasote). All is in matching color.

There were a large number of optional leather colors, i.e. dark blue, dark green, tan or brown, cream and so on. All of the colors are listed in the front of a Chassis Parts Book, along with the proper trim numbers.

Series 41 sedans were finished in a semi-wide pleat. The pleat was not as wide as the cloth pleat used, for example, on a standard Century with cloth interior. I am only very familiar with the Special interior, as I've known this car since I was a little boy and I'm 71 now.

I also have pictures or a rough Series 48 that was recently for sale in Maine on my computer.

The Series 46C and 41C did not have pleated interiors or flat panel seats with a french seam in the middle of the the width of the seat.

Have many pictures if it will help. Earl Beauchamp

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Here are three pictures of the 1939 Buick Model 48 unrestored car that was for sale recently in Maine. Pictures of my car are on the other computer, and I'll get back to you later with those, or take some new ones once I charge the batteries in my digital camera.

Earl Beauchamp BCA #55

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Thanks Earl!

I found those pictures extremely helpful. I'm in the process of dealing with Hampton Coach for a headlining, and it looks like we now need to get the windlace made up using the same leather as the seat. The seat pattern the upholsterer was supposed to do was the same as that car in Maine, but he's put the pleats on the seat back about 2/3 of the way up, and a flat panel all the way across the top 1/3 of the seat. I was a bit annoyed at 1st, but then I saw the same pattern on a car in my American Cars 1930-42 book and didn't feel quite so bad!

Cheers

Grant

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I wonder about Hampton Coach doing this leather interior. I didn't take a picture of my headliner, but I'll go back and do it for you. Here are pictures of my sedan (blue) and convertible sedan (dark red). I have an all original '39 convertible coupe under restoration and the red is considerably darker. If anybody wants, I can put up some pictures of what's left of that original interior too.

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Let me try to upload two pictures of the '39 Buick convertible sedan interior seat pattern. I think the red is brighter than the original, based on the color of the original upholstery remains in my '39 convertible coupe which is under restoration at the moment.

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Thanks Earl!

I found those pictures extremely helpful. I'm in the process of dealing with Hampton Coach for a headlining, and it looks like we now need to get the windlace made up using the same leather as the seat. The seat pattern the upholsterer was supposed to do was the same as that car in Maine, but he's put the pleats on the seat back about 2/3 of the way up, and a flat panel all the way across the top 1/3 of the seat. I was a bit annoyed at 1st, but then I saw the same pattern on a car in my American Cars 1930-42 book and didn't feel quite so bad!

Cheers

Grant

You should be annoyed. If your car is a Special, he's done it incorrectly. As you can see, different models were done differently, and convertibles were done differently than sedans. Now of course I know of one professional restorer who has this saying: "tell your own story" but I don't subscribe to that theory. ;)

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The picture of the blue car front door panel WILL NOT upload. No matter what I do, it won't. Maybe I'm limited to just a certain number of uploads on here. You can write to me at FireballStr8@aol.com and I'll send it to you.
There is a size limitation. Have read its 2000 pixels. I use www.irfanview.com to resize images and more

Added link http://forums.aaca.org/f115/1939-buick-color-trim-id-document-271214.html

Edited by 1939_buick (see edit history)
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Nice pictures, and very helpful thanks Earl.

I had no idea you could get colored headlining to match the leather. I thought it was all one color. Could the picture I saw in the Encyclopedia of American Cars 1930-42 of the 1939 Buick sedan with the sunroof, have a seat with both leather and cloth? That could explain that panel across the seat top above the vertical pleats.

Our car originally had a tan mohair interior and was Bryce Beige. It now has red leather and is Sequoia Cream. Not too many of these in New Zealand to compare notes with. My thoughts are if you want to change something, at least make it consistent with an original example!

Cheers

Grant

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Grant,

You might not want to hear this, as I don't know what model your '39 Buick is, but Sequoia Cream was only available on convertibles.

Originally they did not offer red wheels in 1939, but there was a mid-year change of heart and they did offer red wheels in the second half of the year.

There was a mid-year introduction of Bedford Cord cloth in the Special and Century as I recall. I used to have the Bulletin's on that, but I don't know where they might be now. In fact, the Century may have had Bedford Cord all along and it was introduced mid-year in the Special. Bedford was used in the 80 and 90.

To your question about cloth and leather. The answer is yes, but I can't tell you if that was available in all models or not. There are two listings in the Parts book, Trim #759 through 765 and #773 thru 779 say "cloth and [color specified] leather" Also, Trim #787 thru 794 lists both "Grey Bedford Cord and leather" and "Tan Bedford Cord and leather"

Hope this helps you. Do you want me to try and take a photo of the headliner and sun visors in my blue '39 Special sedan?

Best regards, Earl Beauchamp, Jr., Sebring, FL BCA #55 Past President AACA 2004

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Earl

Very interesting information

What document / book lists what color & interior was available for each model / series ?

Leif posted the attached a few months ago on 1939 trim. Unsure what book that came from. Leif also posted 1940 paint & trim.

2 of my New Zealand assembled 1939 41's have leather upholstery (blue-attached & brown). Both have tan colored head lining. My 3rd 41 has/had a cloth upholstery. The upholstery may have been manufactured in NZ (import restriction / taxes etc)

Is the rear fold down arm rest normally only fitted to 61 series in the US or is seen with any leather interior ?

Similary my NZ cars have the chrome exterior window moldinga. In Flint 2003 I only noticed those on 60 series

Grant

Will burn a DVD and send you my 1939 Buick images. Was going to come and see you after the CHC swap meet, but had a few other things to do.

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Edited by 1939_buick (see edit history)
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Guys,

The Buick Master Parts Books list Colors for body and wheels, colors for trim. Unfortunately, it does not break the numbers down to Series as you can see. There were other publications that listed colors and trims for certain bodies. They were mostly put out as bulletins to dealers.

On second thought, I think I have one of those in my literature (see the box on the back seat of my blue car) which lists available colors for exterior and interior for the 1939 Buick.

Perhaps tonight I can figure out how to scan that in and put the picture up on the web site.

On my blue car, I go back to the time I was five or six years old, and I'm 71 now, and the car always had a blue leatherette headliner. The only pictures I have from 1955 are, of course, in black and white. I have one color picture of an old girlfriend sitting on the fender of my car in 1955 somewhere, but I'm not going to dig that out for discussion. The car is Glacier Blue Poly.

The original car was sold new to a U.S. Military officer by Stanley Horner Buick of Washington, DC with intention for it to be shipped to Hawaii. The officer for some reason did not keep up the payments and it was repossed by the dealer and purchased off of the used car lot by a friend of my parents who held it until 1955.

Very few 1939 Special's built in the U.S. had the stainless trim around the windows, but it was available as an option. I've only ever seen one and it is still in the Chicago area. All Century's had it. As for the rear arm rest, so far as I know, that was not an option for the Special but was standard on the Century. Also, Century's had pleated cloth seats, but the pleat is a good bit wider than the pleats on a Special closed car with a leather interior.

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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Thanks again Earl.

A picture of the headlining would be fantastic thanks! As for the Sequoia cream, I was of the understanding that it could be ordered as an option. Chevrolet were using it on their 1939 models as Italian Cream! I do agree with you though, that it wouldn't be used on a standard production model 46. As for our wheels, they're sequoia cream as well. The car is an early production one with an early 1947 engine, so it was a bit of a hotrod right from the start!

Cheers

Grant

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Oh, and Allan, going by what Earl said about the size of the pleating on the Century seats, and seeing the picture of your seats, it looks like the New Zealand 1939's not only had the Century's stainless window trim, but the upholstry pattern as well.

Doesn't surprise me. My 1939 Chev has a few unusual differences to the American ones. 1937 upholstry and interior and exterior door handles, 1937 window winders with 1939 knobs, Canadian hubcaps, Master 85's with double acting rear shocks as standard, etc!

Cheers

Grant

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I've really enjoyed conversing with you guys from Australia and New Zealand. Grant, it's late and the World Series is on TV, but I'll take pictures of the headliner in the morning

Grant, I have a document that states that the Sequoia Cream is only available on convertibles (Buick). I'll try to scan it in tomorrow, but don't know if it will be readable on here.

I've seen the cream on 39 Chevrolet sedans at car shows, but frankly felt it was probably the same deal, but on second thought there was no 1939 Chevrolet convertible in the U.S.; maybe in Australia though.

Allan, I have letters from the guy who owned the Carlton bodied English 1939 Buick cabriolet somewhere in my files that were in the 1970 time-frame. I think he sent me pictures too. That's a long time back to remember all the details though. I wrote the first extensive article on the straight 8 Buicks built from 1931-42 for ANTIQUE AUTOMOBILE that was published in 1971. For that article I personally corresponded with Charley Chayne, Bill Hufstader and Ed Ragsdale.

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The pleasure is all ours Earl!

We're still waiting for that invite to your "world" series!!! I thought it was football season now! Since I've been involved with Buicks, I've taken to following the Houston Texans. Playing the Bills on the 1st I think.

You're right, there weren't any open top 39 Chevies, but there was a roaster available in Australia with a Holden body. Probably offered different colors as well. I don't know how many Italian cream cars were made. Have you noticed the cover of the 39 Buick brochure? Sequoia cream sedan? ;-)

Cheers

Grant

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...Allan, I have letters from the guy who owned the Carlton bodied English 1939 Buick cabriolet somewhere in my files that were in the 1970 time-frame. I think he sent me pictures too.....
Going a little off topic here as Earl & I having some emails. The Carlton bodied English 1939 Buick series 40 cabriolet referenced above in post 26 is for sale in UK by a dealer for approx US$100,000 (yep - 5 zeros) (UK£60,000)

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Edited by 1939_buick (see edit history)
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Grant,

Yes I know the yellow sedan on the cover of that brochure. Artist license I think. This is a Buick Bulletin and it definitely states Sequoia Cream available on convertible models only. If you wish to correspond directly as Allan has been doing, my email is FireballStr8@aol.com. I occasionally correspond with another Australian Buick lover named Rex on my other AOL address. He is a member of the Australian Buick Club and owns a 1939 Buick. I find in corresponding with Allan that because of the time differenence I write one day and he writes back late that night after I go to bed. The World Series here gets later every year.......since baseball expanded they have a long line of playoff games that pushes the World Series up into November. Born and raised in the Washington, DC suburbs of Virginia I am a lifelong fan of the Washington teams.....I can't get the Washington Redskins often down here in Florida and they are so terrible anyway, I haven't been watching football. I didn't watch any baseball for 34 years because there was no team in Washington. Now I watch a lot of baseball, but my team, Washington, is the worst team in baseball. That makes sports kind of depressing for me, hahaha...now I'm really, really off the subject. I'll take pictures of the headliner when I finish breakfast. Later.

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Guys,

Let's start with a couple of documents I scanned in.

The data sheet should be printed in 5x7 size to get all of it onto the paper. If you print it full 8x10 size you miss some of the top and bottom of the document.

I also scanned in a picture of my leather upholstered car that was taken in 1955. This shot proves the total authenticity of the car.

Finally, it does not say "poly" which stands for polychromatic which was an early word for metallic on this data sheet, but it does say "poly" where appropriate on all of the paint chip charts.

Well I couldn't load the data sheet at the same time. I hope I can load it singly.

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This is SO discouraging. The data sheet will not load. I'm going to email it to Allan. Grant you will have to send me your email, or get the data sheet from Allan. If this forum won't upload a document, it just isn't good enough. I scanned it in as a .jpg and don't know how to do it different. Been over two hours fooling with this stuff. Priviate emails are far more satisfactory.

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Grant, Here are the pictures of the headliner. I'll probably have to post them in several inputs.

I also took a picture of the rear gravel pan, because most people with cars in colors other than black do not realize that the standard equipment (on Buick) rear gravel pan was always painted black, regardless of the color of the car.

I took another picture of the front door panel, but I don't know if it will upload since the other one would not.

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Peter, you are a magician! Now these guys in New Zealand and Australia, or anywhere else, can really see what the combinations were that were available in a 1939 Buick. Remember everybody, that the colors in the previous document do not identify which ones were metallic, but the paint chip sheets do, where by DuPont, Ditzler, Sherwin-Williams or any other. For example, Glacier Blue is Glacier Blue Poly. Poly stands for Polychromatic which was a term used in the day that is interchangeable with "metallic". Thanks again Peter for helping me get this on line. I couldn't have done it without you. Earl Beaucahmp

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