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1939 Coupe Update


Grant Magrath
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Thanks Barney.

It is a bit tricky finding parts here, but Bob's are great, and we did have a few hundred 39's sold new here. But coupe parts are rare. Don't talk about shipping and exchange rates!Had trouble with the seat springs. Still after some gearbox bits, since she howls like a banshee in 1st gear! Our steering wheel was from Bell Buick parts on eBay, and was a recast one. $495!!!!! We have our old core, but the hub is cracked. I have a buddy in Houston who's rodding a 39 two door. Maybe he can help you? He's a great guy. Let me know, and I'll put you in touch with him.

Cheers

Grant

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Thanks Dwight.

Can't take much credit for the car myself. It's my father, Peter's car, and he's done the bulk of the work. The only time the car left the garage was when it was sandblasted! He painted it with Spies Hecker 2 pack paint, and got a friend to get some hides to upholster the car. The headlining and windlace is from Hampton Coach, which he installed. His woodgraining has to be seen to be believed. His brother made some reproduction garnish molding decals, and they look great. His next door neighbour bored the engine out 0.30, and Bob's supplied the engine internals which I installed. I'm the mechanic/laborer/internet savvy guy!

Janne, the seat pattern is one I saw in my Encyclopedia of American Cars 1930-1942. I think that pattern would have been used on leather/fabric combination cars. The upholsterer who did the seat took it upon himself to do that pattern. We wanted pleats all the way up as per most leather cars. The pleats are also a bit wider than Series 40's had I think. More pictures to come when the car is complete. If anyone wants specific pictures, let me know, and I'll take them for you.

Cheers

Grant

Cheers

Grant

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Hi Grant

Just admiring your car AGAIN. Cant stay away. I really like the seats. While I will not do my 50 in leather, I may copy your pattern. If I may. May I ask the width of the Pleats,{rolls}? Also, how did you finish the front lower part of the seat. Is there any thing you would do differently?

Thanks

Ben

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Hi Ben.

Thanks for the nice comments! . The seat looks fine from a medium distance, but we weren't overly happy with the workmanship. I thought the upholsterer was going to run the pleats all the way up the back, but he put that panel across it. The pleats are 4" apart. In my opinion, the seat could be a bit lower as well. You feel a bit up in the air, but not many 39's in NZ to go by!

Cheers

Grant

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  • 1 year later...

Thanks guys!

The car's all done now. Although the gearbox is going to be overhauled in a couple of months. The latest addition is a pair of Guide B-31 reversing lights with amber bulbs as extra rear indicators, since the original center ones aren't that bright, and New Zealand drivers are too stupid to look near the center of the trunk for indicators!

Koss, the mat came from Bob's Automobilia from memory.

Keith, I'm sure your coupe will be awesome! How about posting some pictures so we can follow what you're doing?

Cheers

Grant

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Hi, Grant....

The car looks great - I know you are happy with it. I have a question...where did you get your shifter knob? My Limited has a black rubber knob from a Special (or so I thought) and I had a replacement parts supplier cast a new maroon knob. He did a good job, but the color wasn't right - it was several shades lighter than the paint on the gearshift itself. So I was hoping if you had a different supplier I might try again to match the colors better.

Any info would help.

Thanks

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Hi Bill.

Skip Boyer did most of our plastic, and I have to say, it was a bit too light. But the gearshift knob is an original given to us by Terry Stock, a good 39 Buick man in Wellington, NZ. My advice would be to try and hunt a good original one from somewhere, or send an example for Skip to match the color to. Seen Dan lately? He's been doing a bit of work in Boerne recently. And driving insane (to us Kiwis) miles to go to car shows.

Cheers

Grant

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The gear knob is one of three repro plastics I bought via ebay several years ago (they came in threes) and they weren't $US75. They were marketed as 1939 Buick and 1950[?] Chevrolet. Not perfect, but looked the part when the original was falling to pieces.

Keep an eye out there or check out 1950[?] Chevrolet repro suppliers. chevsofthe40s has something very similar for Chevrolet trucks $US6 although it looks rougher edged than ours.

Our sedan has the tatty & tired leather seats. A £15 option in 1939 I believe. The ribs come to the top of the seat back.

Love Grant's Dad's dash and door woodgrain. The steering wheel colour looks better than some repros I have seen too.

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Well that answers that question! Thanks Terry! Dad's the woodgrainer. He uses black printer's ink on a dark red base, then clear coats it. Printer's in cleans off with turps so if you get it wrong, just wipe it off and go again. The steering wheel cost a fortune from Bell Buick parts on eBay! $400 I believe.

Cheers

Grant

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, I guess I'm late to the party - havn't been on the board for awhile. Grant, you have been a great help to me over the last couple of years by simply posting and answering my questions, and I am Overjoyed to see your new "creation". What a beautiful coupe!!

I need wood graining done on my Mod. 48 Two door. Wish I could find someone who can do such a great job on my window mouldings as was done on yours. The mouldings on my car are in excellent original condition except for both front doors - too many years of folks leaning their sweaty arms on them over the years. Yours look factory new.

Again, really enjoyed seeing your pictures - a car to be proud of, and I know you are.

Jim

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Gee Jim! Thanks!

But to clarify, I'm the mechanical guy. The car is my father's, and he's the painter, although we've never worked in the automotive industry. Just enthusiastic amateurs!

Woodgraining's not overly tricky to master with a bit of practise. Get your dark red base mixed up to a good original example, usually in an area that doesn't see much light, then use turps to thin some black or dark red printers ink and apply with a rag to re-create the swirly pattern on the dash. Garnish moldings have more of a lined grain effect, so find something that can apply the ink in a similar way. Let it dry, and any areas you aren't happy with, wipe off with turps and start again. Pretty soon, you'll have something you are happy with, and you can clear coat it. Bear in mind that before the clear goes on, it looks pretty ugly! But the clear transforms it into what you see on ours. Dad's brother is pretty good with graphics, and has re-touched a scan of the decals that go on the garnish moldings (thanks Alan!) and printed new ones. Maybe we should sell a few? Back yourself Jim! You can do it!

Cheers

Grant

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