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57 Buick special Thant caught my eye


bigsho60

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Hi all,

I was searching online and this 57 Buick special cant my eye. The post for the car read as follows :

1957 Buick Special 4 door car hardtop. It has a 364 V8 runs with auto. It has a Ohio title. The car needs complete restoration. The motor runs but the water pump is leaking and the fuel pump has a small pin houl in it that leeks when running. No brakes. I have no grill for the car and there is some trim is missing. The floor pans need replaced.

I will attempt to attach a pic with this. It's going for $2500. Iam not ready to buy to or row, but will be in the near future. What do you guys think about this beauty? Any and all comments are welcome. Thanks for looking,

Matt

Here is the website for it. The pics are all on here.

1957 Buick Special ( Trade or Sell )

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I'm not very knowledgable on the 50s cars so probably shouldn't comment but knowing what restorations costs are, even doing the work yourself and getting it for free and you'd still be upside down in value vs investment and thats just to get it somewhat presentable and reliable. Not a full restoration. If someone had a parts car sitting around that could donate most of the needed parts it would be more enticing to them.

Reading the ad and seeing what the seller is saying it needs, you can guarentee theres a whole lot more that isn't being mentioned on a car like that. Oddly it says needs complete restoration but the body and paint doesn't look that bad in the pics so I'm assuming it has other issues.

These are the kind of projects that are very enticing because the car doesn't look bad in pics and you can get it in your driveway for relatively low cost vs buying something thats doesn't need as much work. The problem is once you have it in the driveway then reality starts sinking in when you start seeing what parts cost and the amount of labor involved.

To me its either a parts car or one that you'd want to patch up, get the mechanics reliable, leave as-is and drive it and even then you'd want to get it for maybe a grand or less. But thats just me;) I'm sure some would pay more than that for it.

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OK Big Sho: Where do you start with this one? Looks like a black hole rather than a red and white car. I know because I have several worse than this. Ultimately, it's your call. Good luck, Mitch

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Make up on a pig doesn't make it less of a pig...it is still a pig. Be careful on this one. Looks nice, but some of the stuff it is missing is hard to find, as well as the work that needs to be done. Nice car, either way, but if it doesn't run, have brakes, bad floor, there is much more that is hidden in that. If you have the time, patience and money, go for it. Make sure the rear bumper ends are solid. They can be rusty, but you need solid to replate them.

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First off guys, thanks for the comments. Everything and anything at all at this point will help me. Second Jason, thanks for the heads up, but I found out a while back that I will pour money in and probably not see much in a return. I want a classy car that I can ride around in with my wifie and also tinker on it in the garage on weekends. But I understand where you all are coming from. I just saw it and it looked in good shape from the pictures and I got excited. For my first classic car, I guess I am really unsure of what to look for. Does this are sense? I really enjoy the look of these 50's buicks and the really cool thing is that i can fit behind them (I'm 6'6").

So, this ca is looking to be a money pit? Thats what the general consensus seems to be. I hate to ask this question because I feel like I am being lazy, but how do you guys find cars to buy? I feel like I am always searching, and just not coming up with anything of interest or that I am able to restore? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also any suggestions about looking for a car in general to restore would be great as well.

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This old car hobby is very adaptable. And the initial cost of a car has always been "the entry fee" in my mind. Everything you do after carries a relatively high price tag, just like the car you drive to work or more. Remember, a lot of people can't afford one car. Having two or more makes you rich in some circles.

"I want a classy car that I can ride around in with my wifie and also tinker on it in the garage on weekends." It is not classy to walk home and tinker may not be the term for a $2,000 transmission or $600 radiator. If the "tinker" funding comes from a joint account with wifie.... it ain't gonna be fun.

Over the years I have observed that a large number of happy old car owners bought their cars for about the equivalent of $3,000 when the car was somewhere between 15 and 30 years old.

You might make out better if you search for a nice 1980's or early '90's full framed V8 car in nice condition with an attractive color combination. Shined and looking good you will achieve your goal without nightmare. Those cars are rapidly becoming the exception on road and a car with "eyes" is always a head turner.

Bernie

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For my first classic car, I guess I am really unsure of what to look for. Does this are sense?

So, this ca is looking to be a money pit?

Thats what the general consensus seems to be.

I hate to ask this question because I feel like I am being lazy, but how do you guys find cars to buy?

Yes that car is a money pit. Do not pursue it.

Congratulations! At least you are wise enough to come to a forum like this and ask questions before jumping in. Its not uncommon for folks to buy first based on emotion, then come here and say now what do I do after its too late.

As far as what to look for thats largely a personal choice but if you like 50s Buicks then concentrate your search on those models. First, if you're sure you want a Buick and being you have no experience with those models, its well worth it to join the BCA. There are many tech advisors that are ready to assist you as a benefit of membership. While there are knowledgeable people on this forum, there are many more that aren't and are BCA tech advisors specializing in specific years and models. BCA also has regional chapters all across the US and getting involved with a local chapter is a good way to get your feet wet before jumping in.

A good example of a starter car for you would have been this. An original 51 Buick Special in very nice shape as well as mechanically sound that sold for $5500 earlier this year. That car would have been a good candidate to drive and enjoy while tinkering with it. 50s buick parts can be very expensive and hard to find so a common suggestion to newcomers is to pay more up front and get a car that doesn't need many parts and/or has already had some of the mechanics redone. I think you'll need to spend at least $5k-$6k to get something in a 50s car that won't break the bank fixing it up. This doesn't mean any car selling for $5k would be a good buy. You have to be very careful and for that you need educated on each car you look at before you fork over the $$$.

As far as how to find a car the best way is word of mouth. Go to local car shows and cruises and pass the word around what you are looking for. second is networking within BCA members/chapters. Another popular method today is by doing nationwide searchs on craigslist but you have to be willing to travel if the right car turns up. If you must stay local it could take a long time to find the right car. I can't emphasize enough not to buy a car based on emotion. Even experienced car people can get burned when not taking the time to check everything out. Ask questions and get the facts before buying.

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My goal for whatever car I do buy is one that will be a secondary vehicle for me that I will work on until it is road worthy. My idea of tinkering with the car is cleaning it up, putting new metal on it and such stuff like that. Not putting in a $2k tranny. I want something that will be reliable, at least after I work on it. Yes, lol I have a joint account with the wifie, but she knows that this is something I have wanted to do literally all my life so she is supportive (as long as I work the OT to bring the dough for it home).

Bernie, I understand what you're saying about the 80's/90's car, but I can't think of any I would evenconsider fixing up that would be classy. Any suggestions? Because I cannot think of any car during those decades.

Jason, well thanks for the compliment. I don't see any sense in going out half cocked and buying a car I know literally nothing about. That's why I figured I would come here and check out what you guys have to say seeing as how you guys all have more car experience in your pinkie fingers than I do in my whole body. Not going to lie, there have been cars I have seen in the past that I wanted to buy so bad, but stopped only because I had no clue what I was doing. It's my hopes that you guys can at least give me some ideas/advice and point me in the correct direction.

I really like the look of the 50's buicks, buti do not have my heart set on one of them. I really like the look of the lead sleds like those buicks, he 60's Lincoln continentals, and other cars like them.

I figured parts for older vehicles would be expensive, but not as expensive as what I saw. I looked around today and was shocked. The parts for a 55 Buick special seems really high. Is that normal?

Well that kinda sucks, I was hoping to spend about $2500 on my first classic car. But that makes sense. I guess i would be better off spending the cash up front rather than paying through the nose at a later time to get all the damn parts.

Thanks for the tip about checking out car shows and cruises. I never would have thought to check that out, I will have to look and see when the next one is gonna happen around Lancaster, pa.

Well thank you guys for the tips and suggestions. Anything else you guys come up with Will be greatly appreciated.

Just wondering what you guys think, I found this Caron CL and was just wondering what the pros thought about it. GM BARN FIND..1965 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX 2 DR. HARDTOP

I think it looks kinda cool. Idk though, I'm still new at all this

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BIGSHO (is that like "Really big shew"? Never mind, you're probably too young), that Grand Prix looks like a winner for the money. As much as I like '57 Buicks, the one that hooked you looks out of balance to me - fresh paint on a rusty car that maybe goes but doesn't stop. Something's wrong with this picture.

You want a nice driver and cars of the mid-Sixties are awesome in that regard. They're quiet, smooth riding, and powerful. The GP in particular handles very well when everything is tight. Fuel consumption is about the same as your neighbour's new Escalade. Maybe better because the big Poncho weighs a lot less.

On the other hand, driving a 50's Buick is a decidedly "vintage" experience. They wallow around corners and have awful brakes (until 1958, that is). The engines are strong enough and aren't too thirty but those danged Dynaflow transmissions make you get out and check that someone hasn't tied a piano to the rear bumper.

I don't know why everybody's scaring you about Buick parts prices. Except for the infernal front suspension ball joints, almost everything is available at junk yard prices -unless you're insisting on show quality. Reproduction parts, like for popular Chevys and Mustangs, are almost non-existant for old Buicks. That stuff costs a fortune, though, when you add it all up.

The Pontiac parts situation is about the same as Buick - not big money, when it's available at all. There may be more repro out there for Grand Prixs because of an overlap with GTOs and big Chevs. If I lived in beautiful Pennsylvania - been there, loved it - I'd be looking closely at that big blue-green Grand Prix (of which 1965 is my favourite year, btw).

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My suggestion is to bide your time and do some research. Check all classic cars for sale sites. Check eBay and Craigslist to get an idea of prices. Look to see what cars have a strong following and parts availability. In short, do your homework and it will pay off. The Buicks of the 50's have a strong following and can be seen here on this forum. The parts are not expensive with exception of wheel bearings IMO. If another make and model interests you check club following and parts availability. As you look and take notes you will find there will be that particular make and model you would love to have. You then focus and concentrate on finding the best of the bunch you can afford.

The Pontiac you found is a great two door and can certainly be a great car. If you are interested take a few hours searching parts suppliers and costs. You might find there are parts to be had or there is no support for this vehicle at all.

My only other offering to you is when checking on a potential car make sure the body trim and small bits/pieces are there. These are usually the hardest to find and cost a lot when found. The mechanical items are often readily available.

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Just wondering what you guys think, I found this Caron CL and was just wondering what the pros thought about it. GM BARN FIND..1965 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX 2 DR. HARDTOP

I think it looks kinda cool. Idk though, I'm still new at all this

I think a 60s car is probably a better bet for a starter classic. Maybe I'm just partial to those. That 65 GP is a nice car with a fairly decent following so that one may not sit there too long especially if they are willing to negotiate. I had a 66 GP and loved it. Comparing the 57 you posted with this I'd be much more inclined to go after the GP. Its all there and hasn't been molested as much.

Check the frame closely on that car from where the transmission cross member bolts on the rest of the way back. I think this car has real potential.

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I wouldn't buy a 60's car when you really want a 50's car. Most of us spend quite a bit on our cars and have to deal with mechanical issues because the cars are so old. That's alot easier to do when it's your dream car then something you bought instead. Good luck!

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