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1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

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There were 2,500 woodies built for 1953 - 1,830 Supers + 670 Roadmasters. Based on the 53 wagons I've looked at over the last 35 years, I believe the bodies were built with consecutive numbering without regard as to whether they were to become a Super or a Roadmaster. I've seen Supers with body numbers higher than 1830 and Roadmasters higher than 670. So your 53 with body number 1850 was built roughly 3/4 through the total production. But I don't know any actual dates of when that production started and ended.

Bruce, I saw a picture a few years ago, showing the finished bodies loaded on a big rig, leaving the Ionia plant, headed back to Buick.

They didn't have any frames under them, and no rear fenders on them, they were firewall to tailgate.

Since that part is the same on Supers & Roadmasters, they would be separated into one or the other at the Buick factory.

So it follows that Ionia numbered them as they were made, regardless of finished series. Mike

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Great, Rob, just sit back then...and enjoy!! LOL

Well, the 51 I have been anxiously awaiting is finally here.

I say anxiously since my painter wasn't too pleased with the color, but one must do what the customer wants, right?

Perhaps with wood & chrome it will be toned down a bit.

I will let you pick it out of the pictures!!

Hint: it still has boxes of parts inside.

I added some pictures of most of the wagons here, and added some roof shots from one of my lofts.

The one in primer is the title to this thread, the 52 Roadmaster, tucked under the lift.

The last two are the 47 Roadmaster, and a 48 Pontiac, full wood bodied wagons.

As always, if you right-click on any picture, and open it in a new window, it will enlarge to better see details. Mike










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O. M. G. Maybe you should move your paint booth exhaust away from your A/C air intake. Your judgment appears to have been somewhat clouded. Please tell us you Photoshopped this first, to see how it would end up. If I may suggest, an all-blonde wood treatment might work with this, um, unique colour - panels and framing in the same honey-colour.

Thanks anyway for this extended tour of your shop/paradise. Lovin' those rooftops, especially the cedar-strip canoe Pontiac.

Surprisingly, I did find another Apple Green woodie. Notice they went for the blonde look, too.


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Catalog this under "Don't try this at home" 1953 Buick Woody. Dateline Labor day 2012.. Well..... hopefully you can relate: I wanted to flush the radiator and the engine of 25 years of gunk. So I drained the crank case.... put some radiator flush and crankcase cleaner in the crank and two quarts of Mystery Oil.... brought in a battery and figured.... hmmmmm. I wonder if I can start it given that all this stuff wants the engine to run for 10 minutes. I found an old volvo fuel pump.... hooked it all up to a 5 gallon can of gas.... let it run for about 30 seconds... and low and behold... stepped on the gas pedal and the thing started. I put it in gear... drove out to the end of the drive way and the car died. Ok. SO far so good. I hooked up the fuel pump for five seconds and got back in the car. Stepped on the gas.... couldnt start.... tried again and the engine "coughed". Like a small back fire. Five seconds later... the car was engulfed in a fire ball of flame. Seems the wire for the fuel pump touched the car body in a point of contact and kept running. So... there is nothing worse than sitting in a burning car ... a wood bodied car .... no less and seeing it all go up in one horrendous fireball. SO I managed to get myself out... run up the drive way.... turn on the hose..... (( dont put water on a gas fire right?) and within about 30 seconds... put the damn fire out. Including the driveway itself. Much to my surprise... there was no damage and the engine is now much much cleaner. Huh. And it starts really easy now. Who would have guessed? SO.... I unhooked everything once I drained everything out.... and drove it back into the garage. And decided to go take a nap. Fortunately my wife was out of town.... so I wasnt scolded and there was no one to see me look like a complete idiot and fool. I seem to have gotten away with it all. I dont suppose that is what the manufacturers directions meant by ... "let the engine warm up for 10 minutes and then drain fluids." Do you?

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Keith, the green one will look better with all the Buick chrome, and my wood to tone it down!!

The White(?) one is actually "old ivory"...read that cream, and its color was picked because of two reasons:

First, it is my favorite color...

Second, it goes well with the darker old wood...only refer to the first for the real reason!!

This cream color would look great with older, darker wood, but also newer lighter wood, it just looks good, to me anyway!!

I plan to make the wood-grain be outstanding on the green one, it will need it, perhaps!! Mike

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Joel, of curious exploits while his wife and close neighbors were away, I cannot help much with mechanical engine components, perhaps some mechanics can offer some suggestions to your fuel pump questions.

I do not like to hear about fires on Woodies!! LOL

Hey, they happen anywhere, and usually when you least expect them!!

Quick thinking, Joel, even if you did a no-no, squirting water on a gasoline fire...it worked for you, thank the lord!! Mike

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  • 4 months later...


Thanks for taking the time to share the details of your projects. I can easily follow along with what you've described since I've been steadily crawling along (12 years and counting) through a ground-up restoration of a 52 Roadmaster Estate Wagon. I have added a few pics of my project in my profile but I will add more soon.

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  • 5 months later...

Hey Mike, Tom here - you might not remember me, still haven't started my 49 road master wagon yet, but stored inside dry spot covered up. My nephews were picking at the old wood, so needed to get it in a safer spot. I will for sure contact you when I start! Just wanted to let you know, I seen a 51 wagon at a estate auction - it turned out to be a road master - very tough shape - but went to save it from the scrappers. The bidding started and one guy was bidding high enough the scrap guys dropped out. Then I knew it was going to be saved. I took pictures, a tree grew up beside it and pushed the front fender in - what a shame this sat outside. Any way long story short, I talked with the guy and told him to check your post out. I also gave him JB Donaldson's phone number. I used to have you e-mail , but misplaced. Any way your pictures motivated me and my wife is on board, have to finish two projects in front of this - 52 Desoto fire dome wagon, and a 54 sport coupe chev - both easy compared to the woody! Thanks for your willingness to help. Tom

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OK, OK!!

I will do what I can...there are some good changes...I'm just too tired to oblige right now!!

Hey, I ain't a youngster!!

Hah! Are any of us???

Fine, but old age brings surprise surgery, which I just endured, so give me a lil' time to recuperate, OK?

Will be back, soon, with more interesting pics...trust me!!

Buicks forever!! Cheers, Mike

PS: Just got another 1947 Buick Woodie...stay tuned...LOL

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OK, here are some pics of my latest Buick...(you picture nuts!!)

It is a 1947 Super Woodie that was converted to a pickup in the 1970's, or so.

And, tastefully done, I might add!!

It is in transit, soon, and I cannot wait to see it and enjoy it!!

Cheers, Mike



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Hey Robbie, I hope this gives you a certain element of satisfaction!!!

(It did me, thanks, pal).

I could send some pics of my shop trash can, but I think it would give others a reason to upchuck whatever they had last enjoyed, if even just a little!! LOL

Seriously, it is not fun, my trash that is...is yours???!!

We just try to stay focused on Woodies, since they are sacred...unlike any trash!!

Hey all you'se guys, hang in there, I will attempt to keep all Woodie lovers motivated...as well as any old cars, trailers, any old stuff that needs celebrating motivated...just wish I could live forever!!

But, it won't happen!!

So we just carry on... Mike LOLpost-79354-143141956175_thumb.jpg

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Thank you, thank you! I was just saying on another thread somewhere that GM needs a Buick El Camino knock-off - and here it is. Sorry to hear about your time under the knife, hope it doesn't slow you down for long.

(I must have interesting trash. When my dog gets bored [like when I'm on the computer all day], she goes around the house plucking paper bags, kleenexes, or dental floss out of the trash cans and munching on them in the middle of the living room. No, I will not share pics of my trash but here's my dog in the world's nicest dog bed. Leather, down-filled, custom designed. She lets me sit there sometimes.)


Edited by Rob McDonald
trash talk (see edit history)
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Oh dear...I have a pair...an unlikely pair at that, of dogs...boxers...that run me!!

A young male, Leo, and an old *****, Maddie...quite the characters!!

(After having a few female Boxer dogs over the years, I came to realize the term, "*****"!!)

Then I recognized I was married to a real one..many steps above any male or female dog!!

So, I changed my life, not so easy, but I still enjoy bitches, as long as they walk on 4 legs!!

They tolerate my Woodies, despite my telling them they are totally blessed to be able to enjoy them...

Go figure!!

Each and every morning, they scurry past Woodies, totally oblivious of them for a treat..read that a chunk of food that you or I wouldn't even turn our heads for...totally oblivious of their surroundings, until basic gastronomy details are satisfied...

But, then they will bark at any weird noise, of which there are too many!!

Hey, I live in a metal shop, with the sun coming up daily, heating it and making some really weird noises, only another metal shop dweller can appreciate!!

Or even know about!!

But it is life to the fullest, and I enjoy every second of it!!

More on the Buick Woodies later...need to play with dogs...

Er, maybe feed them!! LOL

Cheers, Mike

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OK, I see that this thread removed a word from my previous thread...

It was the word, B I T C H, which refers to a female dog, as well as a few other items!!

Hopefully it will come through here so that I make some sort of sense...if not, it really doesn't matter!!

I enjoyed seeing it removed!!

No offense meant to anybody...Mike

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Hey Mike, nice to see the new addition! More pictures when you can, please. I'd still love to have one of these beauties! I did a restoration on an early 50's maghony runabout (boat) 20 years ago, so I would need to "dust off" my wood working skills if I got into a Buick woody!

Anyway, keep posting whenever you can.



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Hey, I would love to tell a story of another Buick Woodie being salvaged...

But, not so this weekend, although my good friend, Gary, who is into antique trailers needed my help.

Keep in mind he will drop any plans to help me salvage a Woodie, and has come through numerous times, many when I never expected him to...

So, off we went on another adventure, saving a 1950 Palace trailer, in terrible shape, but made OK by his diligence!!

I ended up towing it to his place, easily due to his previous efforts.

It will be restored into a showpiece due to his connections, so I thoroughly enjoyed all.

I have added some shots he took, since I forgot my camera...comes with age!!

In the pics, the guy on the left was our connection, a local with a big heart.

Gary has the red cap, and I am the far right character.

The others are Sarah, Gary's daughter and her man, Grant, the big guy...much help!!!

The dog was also local, and really friendly.

I do believe the younger ones were more into it all than us oldsters...

And their youth showed up so very much...they were way more helpful than I had ever expected!!

A feeling that truly warmed my heart!!

And made me feel old!! But OK.

I will try to keep Buick Woodies as the subject in the future, just felt the need to share this...

A totally enjoyable weekend.

Saturday to do it, Sunday to recover!!!

With true friends...won't go into the details of the meal Gary's wife Margo had for us upon our return...

Nope, no drooling allowed here!!

Hey, it was great!! Mike




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Very cool, Mike. Nice to see another vintage piece being saved!

As an aside. A few weeks ago I took my '41 Roadmaster coupe to an old mansion that is now a museum because they wanted some WWII era cars, and numerous lovely young ladies time and time again were fawning on my car! I must say, it was my car they fawned on, NOT me! A couple said that they really want to get a car like it sometime.

Anyway, I was surprised by the interest from the younger folks.

Thanks Mike.

Keith in Toronto

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Hey, Rob, Give me a few weeks to grow a rosy beard!!!

But, I refrain from wearing red around Christmas...go figure!

It grows way faster as I age...especially in my eyebrows, nose & ears!!


I hate shaving, but can only tolerate a beard. for so long...any way out of it that any of you guys know??

And forget about the saggy trailer roof we have our ways of curing that..,

Big secret!!!!!

Meanwhile, trying to stay on track with Buick Woodies....or any Woodies!!

I will post some pics soon, since it is warming up.

It is really hard to carve wood when you are shivering!

And not so easy when you are sweating!

But we do what we can!!

Cheers, Mike

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Mike, Tom here again. Pictures of my 49 and the 51 saved from the scrappers. Thought you would like to see. Both Minnesota cars - if that tells you anything! My 49 is in much better shape - but it was fun going to the estate auction and see the 51 sell to someone that appreciates old cars. Looks like the pics show the 51 first.







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  • 5 months later...

Hey guys, that surgery I had this last summer really kicked my a$$!!!!!!

So, now, in frigid weather, I am finally coming to, but still out of shape, somewhat.

Made some progress on the before-mentioned 49 Super, with some help from a journalist Woodie woodworker, Alex...

Actually, I was the help, and he is truly motivating me as he gets it done, just what I needed.

And he has been working hard to make all the wood fit, as seen in the pics!!

We now have all the wood fitting perfectly, and the next step is re-veneering all the mahogany inlays, so they match, then on to varnishing.

It should commence soon, and I will keep you appraised of our progress.

The pics seem to be a bit jumbled, but I will try to fix that in the next entry.

All the best holiday wishes, Mike









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Nice to here from you again. I have been wondering about you and those wonderful woodies, as I hadn't seen anything for a while. Sorry to hear about your surgery, but I'm very glad to hear that you are getting on and about again!

The progress is looking very good, keep it coming!


Edited by Buicknutty
grammar (see edit history)
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Hey guys,

Tomorrow, Sunday, I will be headed to the San Diego area with my good buddy Gary, to pick up another Vintage trailer!

This one has masonite outside walls, that are a bit showing their age, but the inside birch paneling is gorgeous.

I'm not sure if the roof is steel or aluminum, but will find out soon.

I will try to remember my camera, and post some pics...this one could have been hauled by a Buick, of the 1940's, since it is of that era.

Then, back to Woodie wood...it is starting to warm up sufficiently here to get busy.

I have a few chunks of wood to carve into elegant Woodie parts, and will add pics as I progress.

Stay warm, Mike

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