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A question for Dave Corbin


nzcarnerd
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What is the clue to dating the straight eight engines by week/month? I have several 1934-5 engines which I would be interested to date. I haven't looked at them for some time but I guess there must be casting dates on them somewhere? I am playing with early Pontiacs at the moment and they have easy to find casting dates. The Pontiacs also have the date stamped on the radiator shell - it there anything on the 1920s/30s Buicks that is that obvious?

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Engine numbers indicate years by series...GM NZ imported McLaughlin-Buicks. I may have the numbers from various data gleaned from Canadian and UK sources. The Flint Grey Iron Foundry and then from 1935 Walkerville plant foundry used casting codes and also date codes. The block ones should be down the side of the block. I would imagine that they use the familiar A to L for Jan to Dec, then 1 to 31 for the date and then 0 to 9 for the calendar year.

David Hayward butting in

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David, I have not spent time looking at casting dates yet but perhaps comparing them with the actual engine numbers might give some clues. Dave Corbin seems to be able to quote weeks of production from the numbers given. Perhaps he has week by week records.

NZ's Buicks were sourced from Flint at least from 1926 on when local assembly started - before that I think some were imported from Canada by independent dealers which would explain the presence of several McLaughlins of the 1923/24 era. There are a few later pre WW2 McLaughlins here but I think they have been imported privately.

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The engine numbers were the same for Flint and Oshawa/Regina cars up to 1935 as Walkerville Plant started building engines for 1936 MY. I have the pleasure of having helped out my colleague Dave with numbers...

Known to me:

1934

Series 50/60

ENGINE SERIALS: # 2862001 AND UP

Series 90

ENGINE SERIALS: # 2862001 AND UP

1935

Series 50

ENGINE SERIALS: # 2940001 TO # 2941400

Series 60

ENGINE SERIALS: # 2862263 TO # 2941400

Series 90

ENGINE SERIALS: # 2862361 TO # 2941400

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Guest Al Brass

It seems there were some McLaughlin's here in the teens. In the case of 1915 models, with which I am familiar, nickeled windscreen posts and wood trims on the tops of the doors are considered McLaughlin features and I have seem remnants of both here. I seem to recall McLaughlin radiator cowlings were nickel plated too.

Regards

Al

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Yes David I know the serial number sequences but it is the more detailed dating of the 1934-5 40 series engine that I am trying to establish. This series was not exported to the UK as far as I know, but about 200 found their way here along with a small number - around 50 - of the bigger models; no series 90s, only one series 60, a phaeton which still survives and the rest series 50 sedans and coupes. They were all imported built up but the 40s were locally assembled.

One series 40 I used to own was a very early one as it had the early type conrods in it which I believe had a reputation for breaking. Obvious on that engine as it had a patch on one side of the crankcase. Of course the series 40 had a mid year 1934 introduction.

Another thing that would be interesting to know is when the export RHD frames were built. Did they build them first in order to get them on the ship in good time or were they built at odd intervals as demand required?

Edited by nzcarnerd (see edit history)
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