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1939 Buick Special restoration


39BuickEight
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  • 2 weeks later...
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Ah yes, memories of the beaver panel. Mine was a mess also. It seems you have your job set out with rust replacement.

I found it best to only think about the immediate area that you are working on and not all the rust at once. A big job overall is just a series of little jobs.

One advantage of welding on these old girls is the metal thickness was a little bigger than the paper they use these days.

Danny

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  • 1 month later...

Lookin' good Billy. Nice to see you making some progress on the ol' girl!

I never did learn to weld, but I did weld something one time in my life. About 40 years ago I was working as a security guard at the Allis-Chalmers plant in Norwood, OH. One weekend when there was no one else there, another guard and I got the idea to do our rounds using one of the 3 wheel golf carts they used as tool carts. One thing lead to another and before long we were poppin' wheelies in the cart. That didn't last long at all, the bracket holding the front wheel on busted off.

We dragged it over to the welder and I grinded a beveled edge on each piece so the weld would hold better. Had no idea of what settings to use, but I got it welded back on. No one was any wiser that I know of, but I didn't stay too much longer at that location. Some of the things we do when we are young, LOL.

Keep at it, you will get there!

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  • 5 weeks later...
Looks great! I've been following this with a lot of interest - you made a lot of progress early with the disassembly and sandblasting. What color are you going to paint it?

Thanks, it will be Sequoia Cream, which is a '39 color. Originally is was black of course, but I've had my share of black vehicles and I don't want another. Probably with Dante Red Wheels, not sure about that, may end up with 2 sets of wheels depending on what mood I am in :)

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Some more in-process body work photos:

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Hope there are no earthquakes in your area :) Personal safety is an issue.

Have you been checking that the body shell - door frames and still true & square?

Am aware of a 38 Ponti that was worked on like this, but the door frames got distorted (body shell twisted & sagged) Doors then did not fit.

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Yes Allan, we constantly check the doors and fenders to make sure they fit. The tricky part was getting the passenger rear rocker dimensions correct since it was basically completely gone. Measured and tried the door 100 times. I think we have it pretty darn close.

We are on track to have the bottom done and painted and back on the chassis by Spring. So far it looks like we will be able to do the entire car with a single 4x8 sheet of metal.

 

Few before and after shots:

 

 

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Edited by 39BuickEight (see edit history)
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  • 3 weeks later...

Billy:

Nice to see that you have a full frame in the rear. Some early models in '39 had no frame aft of the rear suspension. It came to light that that was not enough support for the aft end of the body. What a read was that a group of GM execs were taking a test ride and in the process drove over a good sized bump in the road. At the end of the drive the rear doors wouldn't open due to a buckling of the body. The recall added a sub frame out back to correct the problem. Later Production featured the full length frame.

Bill

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Billy:

Nice to see that you have a full frame in the rear. Some early models in '39 had no frame aft of the rear suspension. It came to light that that was not enough support for the aft end of the body. What a read was that a group of GM execs were taking a test ride and in the process drove over a good sized bump in the road. At the end of the drive the rear doors wouldn't open due to a buckling of the body. The recall added a sub frame out back to correct the problem. Later Production featured the full length frame.

Bill

Yes, and to think there was evan a towing option you could add on these cars. What in the world would you ever attach/bolt the hitch to?

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Nice photos and great progress. About the trailer hitch; my guess from memory is a clamp-on bumper hitch with some metal bars that would go forward and attach to a point somewhere on the back corner of the frame. Imagine a triangle for rigidity. Probably state-of-the-art in it's day. These days, we wouldn't think of towing anything heavier than a golf cart trailer.

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Yes, and no we don't have welding experience. Should be fun! Just another learning experience. :P

Well it's obvious that your lack of experience has been rectified and I'm sure that it is turned out to be a lot of fun. I'm thinking that you've done a great job there on the body work and the frame sure is not bad either. Scott...

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hello everyone,

I just purchased a 1940 Buick Special. Never owned a Buick before so would appreciate any info I can get.

Thanks

Welcome to the forum. The car looks good

Worth joining the BCA and having a read of the '39 Buick team thread (as links in my signature)

http://forums.aaca.org/f165/39-buick-team-membership-342274.html

http://www.buickclub.org/

Edited by 1939_buick
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