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Pre-war Buick Restoration

Jeff Trahan

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I am thinking of restoring one of two pre-war Buicks. The first possibility is a 1931 model 96. The second is a 1935 model 46C.

The body of the '31 is in decent shape (no rust through) but would need repainting/rechroming and a new interior. It has been sitting for 40+ years in a garage (not climate controlled) and the head was removed from the engine and stored in the trunk.

The '35 is in pieces but I'm told it is pretty much complete. Again, the body is in decent shape (stored in a non-climate-controlled garage for 30+ years) but the running gear/engine have been sitting outside for decades.

In both cases, I would guess the cylinders/pistons/heads are very corroded and would need extensive work. What would you advise for cars like these? Is it possible to bore out and reline the cylinders? Or should I try to find replacement engines (original or more modern replacements)?

Thanks for the advice.

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The engines can be rebuilt by a competent machine shop. Cylinders can be sleeved and new pistons, valves, springs, etc. are redily available. I believe it will be more difficult and expensive to restore the 31 model 96, while the 1935 model 46C will be less expensive to restore and perhaps a more useable and desireable model. I encourage you to retain the original components and only replace components that are not repairable.

I also encourage you to join the BCA to get help from the articles and resources listed in the buy/sell sections.

Here are some links that may be useful:



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