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JIm Cannon's Bugle Article


Guest BJM

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I wanted to say thanks to Jim Cannon (believe I spelled that correctly) for submitting a very informative Buick Bugle article on his 63 Riviera and 63 Riviera facts. I often ask about colors for the 1st gen cars and that article had a chart showing percentages of each color manufactured. I was very surprised to find white was the #1 color.

In my opinion the 63-64 Riviera looks best in medium to dark colors where the chiseled lines are set off against a background. My favorite color is silver, which can't be described as dark I guess.

Anyway the dedication of this month's Bugle to the 63 Riviera is very well done and I am still reading it. Thanks Jim for your article and information.

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Yes indeed Bryan! There was some very good information in Jim's article which I'm sure took many years to compile. Amazing how many differences there were through the model year.

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Was this the same article that was in this month's Riview, or a different one? That was a great article as well. Sounds like the same one. If not, I need to get my hands on a Bugle.

Different article. I contributed to both the Riview and the Bugle for January. Photos of my car are in the Bugle. I have not actually seen it yet; it will be here in a day or two.

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Jim (or others) -

Is there some written reason Buick favored white as a major color in 1963? I can't imagine all the white cars being painted at once, so it must have been worked into production thoughout the year.

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White is a traditional "best seller" color, even today. Detroit makes what people buy.

They were not all painted at once. They are scattered all through the year. The number done in each color (in addition to specific customer orders) is based on historic sales numbers, market research and early model year sales statistics.

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Bryan: Walt Bruegger's book on the Riviera makes the statement that white and silver were used initially to tie in with the "international" colors of the cars featured in the ads introducing the Riviera at that time. It would seem, then, that after the initial shipments to the dealers, the other colors began to be ordered including the "special order" ones. Looking at Jim's numbers, it would seem that these two colors combined to form nearly a third of 63 Riviera production. That would seem to reveal why cars with these two colors are fairly common.

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If you'll "google" most popular car color, you'll find that in the past couple of years, white has once again bypassed silver as the most popular car color. Up until around 2006, white had been the number one selling color for cars before Silver took over. Now white is numero uno again. It's always been a conservative color and most people probably like the idea of flying under the radar in vanilla ice cream. My dad always bought white cars; he said they looked better when they were dirty and they were always easy to sell. The first car I bought after I got married was a white '64 Buick Wildcat coupe. Mom drove a white '63 Wildcat, and dad was trying to drive his white '55 Special into the ground, but it refused to go.

I'm sure that GM, Ford, and Chrysler had a very good idea as to what the public wanted when offering colors. They painted cars the color that people wanted, not necessarily what the car company wanted.

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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I have white and black that to me show dirt the most. Todays market is increasingly gal driven and cosmetics play a larger role-and color being with that. My example is both the wife and her sister only consider bright red. Lots of models aren't available in red and they will not even look at them. I've mentioned that to sales types and they agree that female(especially)sales are lost, but really have no answer as to why a larger spectrum of colors aren't available. 50 some years ago my dad always ordered his cars and with 'special color' orders often being a part of the various option boxes checked off. Seems strange that today cars being built right in the USA and with computer controled painting systems aren't available is more colors to appeal to more potential buyers. Jim sure knows the early Rivs and has done a great service with his research Dan ROA/BCA Mpls. Mn.

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Interesting comments on colors. It is true, you don't see black houses. Geez, what would that suggest! I have 8 cars presently and none in white. I once asked on the AACA forum - when was the 1st year for factory white cars and I believe it wasn't until the 50's that white became popular as a two tone color. Once it took hold in the 50's, away it went I guess.

Ed, there is a 64 LeSabre convertible ad I had for a long time and you may know it, that has a white LeSabre conv with white top on a beach. Very striking and I could see myself owning a white 63-64 LeSabre or Wildcat. In fact I like white Rivieras with saddle interiors or a sharp contrasting interior.

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I have 8 cars presently and none in white.

.

Yeah, but Bryan, you're a "car guy." You don't like for your cars to go unnoticed.

As I attend car shows, swap meets, auctions, etc., I collect 1st generation Riviera ads that were originally in magazines. The big ones such as Life and Look used to be. In the majority of the ads, the cars depicted by the advertising staff at Buick are either Red or Silver w/ red interior. Makes you wonder why those chose those colors for their ads when white was the most popular color being sold.

At the ROA events I attend, there are not too many white cars that show up either. Perhaps color all boils down to the personalities of those "average Joes" vs. us "car junkies."

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Guys: Regarding white as a color used on cars, my understanding is that it took the development of better UV light resistant pigments (such as titanium dioxide) before white could be considered for practical usage on cars. This finally happened in the early postwar years; then the color really gained popularity. I agree with Ed that not too many white cars show up at meets etc. Maybe we collectors want colors that don't remind us of our parents' white sedan.:D

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I got my Buick Bugle a few days ago but have been too busy to reply back here. Pete Phillips did a great job with the photos.

The comment next to the photo of the brake vacuum storage can on the inner fender is correct... it is there in case the car had the 4-note horn option. The dimple was added when the small trumpet horn was moved from the passenger side to the driver side (to make room for the muffler that was added to the A/C over on the passenger side). There was concern that the larger trumpet bell would hit the vacuum can on the driver side. Once the horns were both moved to the driver side, that's where they were always mounted (even if the car did not have A/C).

I'd like to remind everyone again that the positive post of the battery on a first-generation Riv needs to be over by the radiator, not by the fender. These positive posts have been known to ground out on the underside of the hood or on the fender. Not a good thing!

That means the battery cables need to cross each other going up to the battery. That's OK.

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I have a few extra copies, limited amount. $5 each, plus $2 postage, payable to BCA and sent to me at the address below. Ed Raner, I intended to send one to you, as thanks for helping me with the article, but if you already have one from "Daves89", Dave, I'll be glad to replace yours if you give me your address.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

PO Box 1247

Leonard, Tx. 75452

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My beautiful white/red 63 Riviera seems like the Rodney Dangerfield of cars at the shows !(it don't get no respect) I have seen people gravitate to my friends Cadillac SLR red P.O.S 63 riv both while driving it and at a show. There is no accounting for taste I guess

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  • 7 years later...
On 1/11/2013 at 6:17 PM, Jim Cannon said:

I got my Buick Bugle a few days ago but have been too busy to reply back here. Pete Phillips did a great job with the photos.

The comment next to the photo of the brake vacuum storage can on the inner fender is correct... it is there in case the car had the 4-note horn option. The dimple was added when the small trumpet horn was moved from the passenger side to the driver side (to make room for the muffler that was added to the A/C over on the passenger side). There was concern that the larger trumpet bell would hit the vacuum can on the driver side. Once the horns were both moved to the driver side, that's where they were always mounted (even if the car did not have A/C).

I'd like to remind everyone again that the positive post of the battery on a first-generation Riv needs to be over by the radiator, not by the fender. These positive posts have been known to ground out on the underside of the hood or on the fender. Not a good thing!

That means the battery cables need to cross each other going up to the battery. That's OK.

Jim, just got some 4 note horns. You saved me some aggravation by mentioning the 4 note needs to be placed beside the long large bell horn. I use the AC muffler on my AC  in my 63 Riviera. Had I mounted the small

horn on the passenger side I would have had to remove the horn.

zthank you

Turbinator

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Turb,

 

If you have the CD's with all of the Dealer Service Bulletins, that Jim sells, you'll see one that shows how to run the battery cables so that the positive cable does not rub against the bell of the large horn.  Incorrectly running the cables will cause the same short that Jim mentions about battery placement.  It's just as important to correctly run your cables as is battery placement.

 

Ed

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In the Riview, Steve Lorenzen advertises 1st generation Riviera parts.  I've seen four note horns for sale in his CL ads. You might contact him if you're interested.

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1 hour ago, RivNut said:

In the Riview, Steve Lorenzen advertises 1st generation Riviera parts.  I've seen four note horns for sale in his CL ads. You might contact him if you're interested.

Well, I’m lucky I have an assortment of horns from which to choose. The horns are a tab bit pricey, but I always get outstanding support from the supplier.

Ed, thanks for thinking of another great source in Steve Lorenzen for the horns.

Turbinator

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The link on the ROA website to Buick Tech Tips gives you known lengths for the 63 - 65 trumpets and what is thought to be the notes they play. So if there are no part numbers, at least you can measure them and try to figure out where they belong.

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9 hours ago, Turbinator said:

Jim, just got some 4 note horns. You saved me some aggravation by mentioning the 4 note needs to be placed beside the long large bell horn. I use the AC muffler on my AC  in my 63 Riviera. Had I mounted the small

horn on the passenger side I would have had to remove the horn.

zthank you

Turbinator

 

Glad to help.

 

I have seen a few early-'63s with the horns on each side of the engine. There is a parts car like this (with the 2 horns mounted on each side of the engine) on Craigslist up in Penn.

 

You will need a special wiring harness connector to connect the added 2 trumpet horns and the 2 standard horns to the horn relay.

 

😎

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1 hour ago, RivNut said:

The link on the ROA website to Buick Tech Tips gives you known lengths for the 63 - 65 trumpets and what is thought to be the notes they play. So if there are no part numbers, at least you can measure them and try to figure out where they belong.

 

I put an electronic tuning device up next to my horns (one horn at a time) and I could never reproduce the notes that this documentation said they were to be.  I ended up adjusting each horn one at a time for a good, clear, crisp tone individually. then when all 4 sounded, WOW!, they blended very well together.  It sounds like a train horn!

 

The horn part numbers are stamped in the flange.

 

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1 hour ago, Jim Cannon said:

.......... then when all 4 sounded, WOW!, they blended very well together.  It sounds like a train horn!

 

When my 63 was a daily driver and I had a company car, my younger daughter used to drive the 63 to school (remember at this time a 63 was only 20 some years old and was basically just an older used car.) She would come up behind jerks walking down the middle of the parking lot (The Riv was stock and had factory resonators and the big muffler and ran quietly) and lay on the four notes. "A-holes and dropped books all over the place."  I actually think she used to look for kids to prey on.  I'd come home and sometime during the evening she'd casually tell me how much she liked my car and it's "World's of Fun train horns." I knew what she'd been up to.

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9 hours ago, Jim Cannon said:

 

Glad to help.

 

I have seen a few early-'63s with the horns on each side of the engine. There is a parts car like this (with the 2 horns mounted on each side of the engine) on Craigslist up in Penn.

 

You will need a special wiring harness connector to connect the added 2 trumpet horns and the 2 standard horns to the horn relay.

 

😎

Jim, PA, the Keystone State border Is only 40 miles North of my home. One can never have enough 4 note horns for a Riviera. I’ll run down the  CL advert and see if it something I want to do. RivNut gave me some leads as well. I suspect I’ll have to make my own wiring harness for the horns. Heck, I might throw In restoring 4 note horns along with polishing turbines and working on 1963 Riviera AC systems. I guess this is what retirement from the full time workforce is about.

Thank you..... suppose it will be nexyear before you get to Ellicott City.

later gator

 

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55 minutes ago, Turbinator said:

One can never have enough 4 note horns for a Riviera.

 

Bob, I like the way you think!  ;)

 

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Edited by EmTee (see edit history)
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On ‎7‎/‎19‎/‎2020 at 7:04 AM, Turbinator said:

Jim, PA, the Keystone State border Is only 40 miles North of my home. One can never have enough 4 note horns for a Riviera. I’ll run down the  CL advert and see if it something I want to do. RivNut gave me some leads as well. I suspect I’ll have to make my own wiring harness for the horns. Heck, I might throw In restoring 4 note horns along with polishing turbines and working on 1963 Riviera AC systems. I guess this is what retirement from the full time workforce is about.

Thank you..... suppose it will be nexyear before you get to Ellicott City.

later gator

 

Those harnesses are available from Lectric Limited. Bought my horns from Steve, and the harness he sent was just a wee bit to tight. It worked, but I wanted just a bit more slack. Bought a new one for like 29 bucks, and saved the one Steve sent for a backup.

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Steve also does 65 headlight motor repair.  Built my own harness following guidelines from Jim Cannon.  "It ain't rocket science." Some wire, some connectors, and a crimping tool.

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