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Hope someone can help me. My wife and I were looking for a piece of old wrought iron for her morning glories to climb up on so I took her to a salvage yard in the next town over. After straying into some thick overgrowth I came upon an old Buick that was pretty much surface rust from front to back. It was the only car at this place as they specialize in home and building salvage. The gentleman thought it was a 1951 and had been told by someone who had never seen the car firsthand that it was highly desirable and worth about $6000.00 in parts.

I checked out the rear tail lights and they said Guide 53 and then I looked under the hood and found the info plate. The plate read as follows

1953 MOD 53-45R

Style No. 53-4337

Body No. BF 2598

Trim No. 41

Paint No. 67

This car is a 2 door and the rear emblem on the trunk says Buick Eight. I could not open the drivers door to check out the other info plate. I forgot to see what date the inspection sticker on the windshield said or to look at the last registration sticker on the license plate to know when this car was last on the road. By the looks of it it had been sitting there for at least 30 years.

The rear quarters were full of bondo and the front windshield was smashed. I'm interested in the rear window if it will fit in a 53 Special 4 door and would also like the rear bumper because it would be good to replate for my grandfather's car that I am restoring. I told him I was interested in these parts but he said he'd crush it before he started to part it out.....only because he thinks he's sitting on a gold mine and thinks that I may be trying to burn him.

I told him that of all the 1953 Buicks the Specials were the least desireable because so many were made. Went on to tell him that rarer 1953s' do command big bucks but he wasn't convinced that his was not. Can someone also tell me what the production run of 1953s' was so that he has an idea that his Special is not so special. I think I have one more chance with this guy so I need all of the ammo I can muster to see if I can rescue these parts before the car totally rots or is sent to the great beyond.


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Pat, I would recommend you forget about that car. Especially for the parts you mention. Chances are the 2 dr Riviera style windows will not fit the 4 dr sedan models. Also if the rear 1/4's are full of bondo it stands to reason that the rear bumper is corroded where you can't see it and is not a good candidate for restoration.

Also it seems the stories I hear are people like that are convinced that they have big $$ rusting away out there and will never be reasonable.

If, however, you do want to pursue the car, the Standard catalogue of Buick confirms the numbers Lief told you and points out that the Special has different sheet metal, which is narrower than the Super/ Roadmaster. None of the parts from the Special will fit the larger series. That includes the Skylark which in 53 was actually built on the larger Roadmaster Platform. So that severly narrows the market for this car and it's parts.

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Leif and John,

Thank you both for the information.

I printed out the thumbnail. The bumper itself looks great....not dented, bent, rusted at all, or peeling. I did feel behind it and it seems solid. Looks as though it might just need polishing but will probably need to be rechromed to get back its original lustre.

Are there any good chrome platers in the northeast that have the tank capacity to handle a bumper of this size John? Also, Is there a cross reference available to check inter-changeability of the rear window between the 1953 45R and 41D? It looked identical but I didn't take measurements, which may be risky with curved glass anyway.


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I'm not sure about the window glass interchangeability. Perhaps some one with a 53 will weigh in.

As for chrome platers in NY, I have no first hand experience, but I heard Sandy's in Syracuse is reputable. I don't live close to there and have never had anything done, but Dave Martin who is the Director of the Central NY chapter, and listed in the BCA bugle, may be able to give you an informed opinion on their work.

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