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1939 Century model 61, solid as a rock

Pete Phillips

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This is a very strange story which I will relate to anyone who is seriously interested in this car. It has been in my shop for about a year, and I was almost ready to sell it for the storage charges I have against it, as the owner has not been heard from since February. Now, out of the blue, he calls me up and wants me to sell the car for him. I have the title but it is signed over to him as the buyer, so may take some time to reissue or get him to file it and a title in his name. He is out of state.

It is the most solid, perfect body you have ever seen on a 1939 Buick. I cannot find any filler or dents or rust anywhere, other than surface rust on unpainted surfaces underneath the car or on its floors, which are rock solid. 1939 Century 4-door sedan, runs and drives well, has newly rechromed grille, bumpers, bumper guards, and windshield wiper stands or towers as they are sometimes called. 320 straight eight is clean but painted blue instead of gray. Shows 09,000 miles which I assume is 109,000. There are receipts in the glove box indicating the engine was overhauled a few years ago. It will smoke some under acceleration or when revved in neutral. Oil pressure seems good. Car needs the complete interior redone. Headliner is gone, carpet is gone, seats have temporary covers. Interior door panels are in the trunk or back seat. All of the glass is good. Doors close like a vault. Tires are recent but are too wide, blackwalls. The back seat and trunk are full of spare parts such as an extra grille half, the correct hubcaps (has 1953 Special wheel covers on it now), extra wheel trim rings, extra suspension parts, and about $400 worth of new rubber parts such as weatherstrip around the doors, fender welting, etc., all of which the car needs. Probably $1000 worth of parts here. The body is in primer now; was originally a black car, original paint still on the headlight bodies. All gauges work, wipers work, radio lights up but no sound. Has the wrong air cleaner on the engine; the correct one might be somewhere in the many boxes of parts that are in the car.

Car comes from Wisconsin, but I repeat, there is NO RUST anywhere.

Brakes are good, transmission and clutch are good, new wiring harness installed, original upholstery on the seats is still present under the seat covers and from what I can see and feel, some of it may still be good. MANY extra parts: brake drums, front suspension, grille guard, etc.

Asking price is $10,500, negotiable within reason. I can provide more photos if interested. You could probably drive this one home, but it is not presently registered.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

Leonard, Texas




Edited by Pete Phillips (see edit history)
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Update on this Century: I've had time to explore it some more and it looks to me that the entire front suspension is new, new bushings, A-frames, brake drums, backing plates, spindles, king pins, anti-sway bar, shock absorbers front & rear all new. The car doesn't bounce when pushed down at any corner and there is very little free play in the steering wheel. There are extra, old suspension parts that go with it, everything mentioned above.

I think all of the glass in the car is fairly new, too, because there is no bubbling nor discoloration and the seals and window channel look fairly recent. I also looked at the interior door panels and they are totally original and really quite decent enough to reinstall and use as is. They were probably removed when the new glass and window channel were installed, and never put back. Among the parts in the car are the original door step plates in decent shape, a very nice looking '39 Buick heater that will mount under the dash, kick panels, floor insulation (tar paper, etc.) about 6 sets of hub caps and wheel covers and lots of new rubber parts. Must be $1500 + worth of 1939 Buick parts here. Underneath the chassis is remarkably rust-free. This car has never, ever been driven in the salt it appears to me, and very rarely in rain. All of the floor panels are as good as they were when they came off the assembly line in 1939. I cannot overstate how solid this car is. I found the engine rebuild receipts and they are from 1998. It runs well and sounds good but may need a ring job as the exhaust is smoking more than it should. It starts instantly, has good oil pressure, has been converted to a spin-on oil filter but the old cannister style one is with the car if needed.

All offers will be presented to the owner. More photos coming later.

Edited by Pete Phillips (see edit history)
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My '49 woody came from the Chicago suburbs in 2004. It was a very poor maroon repaint at that time, but its original color is the green it has now. The car originally came from somewhere down around Austin, Texas, which is what the seller told me in 2004.

I also have another one that came from the Chicago suburbs this past summer, same green color, but 3-speed standard shift and needs a lot of body work and wood work. It was originally a Minnesota car.

Someone needs to jump on this '39 Century. It is a very solid, running, driving car.

Pete Phillips



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