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55 Century Convertible project


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MIKE, I found that trim code at http://www.advautocanton.com/Interiors/ The site even includes "junkyard" photos of this trim combination in a '55 Century convertible. I can't vouch for the authenticity but it does give you an ironclad excuse for doing what you really want with your car.

I did once get to a Buick National Meeting, sometime in the mid-1980s. It was in Orlanda, Florida in August - what WERE they thinking?! And who knew that rain could be hot?

Because of the great distance from the hobby epicentres of New England and the Midwest, this was mostly a drive-to meet, with lots of marvellous post-war Buicks and a number of GS muscle machines. I kind of missed the expected high-wheeled and running-boarded examples of the make but there just weren't a lot of closed trailers hauled that far.

This was well before wifey and kids, so I was on my own and visited with lots of fine people. I didn't make any lifelong penpals though. At least one other Canadian was there, Vern Bethel of Victoria, British Columbia. Now there's a brilliant car guy! The story of his '39 McLauglin-Buick custom bodied parade car is, without challenge, Canada's ultimate automotive legend. Royal Buick McLaughlin 1939 Hand Built For British Monarch and Royal Visits Vancouver 21

Well, wifey is "suggesting" that I get off my big fat chair and go out and hang Christmas lights. This new-found online outlet for my pent-up automotive enthusiasm is threatening to keep me from actually getting back out to the garage as planned. Oh well, as a great philosopher once said, "Rust Does Sleep, Actually." ~Rob

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I did find the trim code, although my book says 412, black leather with white leather. YAY! Do you guys think it would be available either way? In other words, white with black inserts or vice-versa.

Also,

After installing the rear sway bar yesterday it appeared that the right side was kicked out about two inches farther than the left side. I imagine that once the body, etc. gets bolted back on the frame and gets squashed about 6 inches, that the rear end will center itself. Am I correct in this? I just want to make sure before I tighten everything back down.

Thanks

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Mike,

From a suspension geometry perspective yes that should be the case. On my '38 with the same basic setup I did not notice it this kicked over however, but they probably lightened the frame up considerably by '55. Of course you can always put some weight or jump on the tail of the chassis and see how much it actually moves over.

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On days like this I envy me :)

I took all of the old parts off of the transmission and cleaned them up. The trans cooler was a filthy mess on the outside, but inside was nice and pink (like a steak). Got that all cleaned up, the cooler lines wire wheeled, the trans cross member blasted and painted and a bunch of bolts cleaned up. The picture of the bolt that I show below is cool. It looks like Sputnik or something "space-age". It is holding the cross member on, so I don't think anyone will ever notice that it is possibly not original. Forgive me.

The other picture is the frame number (which also will be covered up) that I outlined in silver sharpie. It also didn't come that way, but I wanted the next knucklehead who restores this car to not need glasses to find it.

Also, BROWN TRUCK ALERT!!!

I got my motor mounts back from revulcanizing so I will be able to install the engine really soon. Heck yeah!

Good days are good.

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I had a bunch of stuff I was SUPPOSED to do today, but when I went out to the garage to grab a morning soda, I decided to try my new intake manifold mount attachment that I bought from Jegs to lift the engine and trans all at once. I used the rearward hole and had a couple of ratcheting tie downs to level the whole thing from front to back.

I had the transmission on a makeshift workbench which was great so I was working at waist level. The engine and trans mounted right up. I torqued everything and lifted slowly to find the proper balance. Just moving slowly and methodically I used a jack under the torque tube to line up the back of the Dynaflow. Everything went very smoothly.

Gettin' there!

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MIKE, it's comforting to read about a garage task that goes as planned, or even better. That's a rare pleasure, in my bloody-knuckled experience.

Backing up a few days to Jim's question about upholstery options for 1957, I can't seem to find an equivalent to the 1955 gold mine that I stumbled across and passed on to Mike. However, I do have a Buick showroom salesman's Colour and Trim handbook. It has actual samples of the fabrics, vinyls and leathers that were available in all models of Buick for '57. The book includes line drawings of the seat cover patterns for each model, including convertibles.

I'm happy to scan the pages for the Model 40 Specials and forward the file to you. If anyone else needs this information for the other lines, just let me know. Depending on the file size, I'll either attach the .pdf to a forum post or send it as a private message.

Now to go find the big box that contains my somewhat ridiculous collection of '57 Buick memorobilia... ~Rob

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Alas, to boot or not to boot, that is the question...and it looks like Mike booted the boot.

Mike..looking SWEEEET! It must be a good feeling to get the car this far. WOW. That is awesome..keep plugging away and soon it will be time for another project..which I am quite sure you have in the wings already.

Rob..I would really appreciate the scanned information from the salesman's book for the interiors and such. Also anything to do with what options were available on what models would be good as well. Thanks and let me know if you want to send it to my email or just post it.

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JIM, I've found the book, I've figured out the scanner, now let's see if I can upload the .pdf files. These are the interior trim options for a '57 Special sedans and hardtops. I'll build another file for the Special convertibles and Estate Wagons and try to send that along, too. ~Rob

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Well, I think that file is probably too big at 4.5 mB. I've broken it down page by page because reducing the resolution would defeat the purpose. This looks like it'll work now.

There is a list at the bottom of the Manage Attachments page, which gives the maximum size for each type of file to be uploaded. "jpg" files are the most efficient, it seems. Also, I've learned to wait 20 seconds or so after hitting Upload. The file names have to appear before I hit Send. ~Rob

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Here are the Trim and Colour options for 1957 Buick Special convertibles and Estate Wagons. There's one rust and ivory combination that was also offered in Centurys, page 15. I've also included the convertible top materials for all series.

This really should go on somebody's website, where search engines can find it. If there's any interest, I can also upload here the interior options for the other series of '57 Buicks.

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This really should go on somebody's website, where search engines can find it. If there's any interest, I can also upload here the interior options for the other series of '57 Buicks.

Give it a day or so and Google spiders will have tagged this post....

A Google search for "Trim and Colour options for 1957 Buick" should link to your post ;)

Truth be told, the insane level of data mining that Google does is disconcerting to say the least.

Nice post BTW....should be very helpful to many.

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This really should go on somebody's website, where search engines can find it. If there's any interest, I can also upload here the interior options for the other series of '57 Buicks.

Hey Rob,

You should start a new thread in the post war forums so people with 57's will actually be able to find it. Try a title saying "1957 trim options" . That way they won't have to wade through a year of stuff about a 1955.

Edited by buick5563 (see edit history)
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Rob, That is awesome! They were very easy to download. I like Mike's idea on the 57 Trim Options post. That would be very helpful to us poor old 57 owners....but then we wouldn't get to hear Mike's commentary about the Garden State, Pie, and other tidbits of life that make this forum so enjoyable....:D

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I have driven Willie's cars with power steering and I had a line on a good PS setup I could have used, but this box was so nice I opted against adding it. The gears were flawless. Plus I have a ring band that originally held the heater hoses to the bottom of the steering column which is pretty cool and I wanted to maintain the originality. Also remember, I have been driving my Special with Armstrong steering for twenty years all over the country. I'm used to it :) . Another plus in my opinion is it will keep the engine bay uncluttered.

OK. I'm lying. I was too lazy to add it! :D

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My previous two 55s did not have power anything. I loved the way they drove. This car has power steering, brakes and seat. I have only driven this car briefly so I am not sure what to expect. We had a 56 with power so I would assume it would be similar to that. If my car did not have it I would not have added it. Mud

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...and somehow Willie got the inside (guide it so it doesn't gouge the seats) job while I had the outside (over the fender, back straining, nut busting, try not to scratch the paint) part. Hmmm. He's the smart one!

Yeah...and tell us something we don't know ;):D

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Dangit,

I've been pretty good about not hosing myself up to this point. Yes, I've had to redo a lot of stuff due to other people's bad parts, etc. but who exactly installs a steering box BEFORE the exhaust manifolds? Me.

They're painted and pretty, and after removing then replacing the steering box...

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Edited by buick5563
Due-do (see edit history)
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Man, I need to clean the lens or something on this phone. Maybe Willie should stop calling me when my hands are all greasy! Either that or I need to change the resolution. I'll look into these problems so y'all don't need to keep looking at blurry pics.

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