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Clearing up speculation on whether any 57 Buick factory-painted roofs different from body color...


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I would like to clear up some speculation on 57 Buicks that came with a different-color roof. Allow me to present exhibit A, which I believe is still on Ebay as it has perpetually been for some time. Notice in the picture that the car has a white roof and blue bottom. For one thing, I actually purchased the trim from this exact car that separates the roof color from the body; it is stainless and is undoubtedly factory original fit and finish. Furthermore, I was actually able to acquire the trim tag off of the cowl which shows a paint code of CSS which is consistent with a Dover White top and Arctic Blue middle and bottom, which is also consistent with the picture. See the attached pictures showing the trim and the tag. The tag is corroded and tough to read from the front in the picture, but is pretty clear from the back. I hope you've enjoyed this bit of Buick historical documentation!

57 BUICK SUPER 2 DOOR HARDTOP--Many Parts--

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LANCE, thanks, I feel redeemed. Did you install these trim pieces on the Super that you recently sold? Or, did it already have them and was therefore originally painted Dover White on the roof and Garnet Red above and below the sweepspear? That'd be Paint Code CNN.

The mystery remains how Tangerine wheels were ordered. The order form posted elsewhere says a third character "I" in the Paint Code would indicate that. However, my Buick has Paint Code CD, with no "I", but it has the optional coloured wheels. Maybe Tangerine wheels became standard at some point, when stand-alone roof colours became optional.

(I misspoke earlier, saying that the junior series '57s had a natural cut line for a separate roof colour. Nonsense. The rear window dividers would make that impossible to look right.)

Edited by Rob McDonald (see edit history)
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The optional wheel color was indicated by a dash one (-1) or just an extra one (1) at the end of the paint code. I've attached a picture showing paint code JJ-1, which indicates this car came with the optional wheel color. If your tag doesn't have the -1, but it came with the Tangerine wheels, either they didn't bother stamping it at the factory or the wheels may have been painted at the dealer. I've attached a picture from the 1942 Buick distribution document (available from the BHA) that gives details on ordering the optional wheel color using the -1 notation. This notation was still used in 1957. Also, remember that Buick often used I and 1 interchangeably. I've also seen some tags where the dash (-) was omitted. In terms of judging, I don't think a car with the optional wheel color but no corresponding code on the body tag will receive a deduction. The only thing that can be proven for sure is that any car with the -1 at the end came with the optional wheel color, other than that there isn't any way to prove a car had or didn't have the optional color wheels.

This link indicates the dealer trim book says you could order upper two-tone colors for the 50 and 70 series Rivieras.

1957 Paint Charts and Codes

This, of course, agrees with what Lance has said above.

For comparison, I've also posted a picture of a trim tag from a convertible showing how the first number of the paint code indicates the covertible top color.

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Edited by sean1997 (see edit history)
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LANCE, thanks, I feel redeemed. Did you install these trim pieces on the Super that you recently sold? Or, did it already have them and was therefore originally painted Dover White on the roof and Garnet Red above and below the sweepspear? That'd be Paint Code CNN

Nope, the Super was NC - but had been painted with a with roof as if it was CNC, with no trim at roof belt. When I had it repainted, I returned it to its original combination.

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  • 2 years later...
Another two-tone roof car posted on ebay:

 


 

 

5D2035332

5 = Series 50/Super

D = 1957 model year

2 = built at South Gate, CA

035332 = sequential number, range was 001001 to 038462 for South Gate, CA built cars for 1957

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Edited by sean1997 (see edit history)
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In the 1940-60 Master Body Parts Book, that part # is listed as;

 

12.116  Moulding, Rear Door Outer Panel Bead - At Belt

4696295 (Rt)   296 (Lt)    1957- 53-73-73A-75

4697620...6                       1957- 53-73-73A-75 (Clip)

 

Excellent that you got the part numbers for it!

 

Three listings down there's a different part number for the 56R, 75R, 76A and 76R.

And there's a second set of numbers (and clip #) for the 53, 73, 73A and 75,

which makes sense owing to the door ears' two-part configuration on Riviera Sedans.

 

59c01d2501353_57AutoFair2009Fins1MaskC.jpg.b7b9474a637bc09043265036c95ef691.jpg

 

That second listing must be a teeny-tiny little piece of trim.

 

TG

 

Edited by TG57Roadmaster (see edit history)
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On 1/31/2013 at 12:57 PM, lancemb said:

I would like to clear up some speculation on '57 Buicks that came with a different-color roof. ...

 

YES, Buick in 1957 did indeed offer the color division

at the roof only, though only on the larger

Super and Roadmaster series.  I even have an ad

in my collection that shows, I recall, a red-bodied

car above and below the side sweep-spear molding,

but with a white roof.

 

I wonder whether this roof-only color separation

came part-way through the model year.  I have NOT

seen any 1957 Buicks, however, with the roof in

Color "A," the upper body in color "B," and the lower body

in Color "A."  I believe ABB or AAB are the only possible

arrangements of the two-tone paint.

 

Note that this statement, documented by Buick's own ads,

doesn't agree with statements in a recent Buick Bugle magazine.

 

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