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How far can I modify a my Buick before the BCA frowns upon it?


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Ok so I'm kinda torn on a totally stock resto on my 47, I would really like to have things like a 41 Buick horn button, 41 Buick dual intake and exhaust setup, maybe a later (47-48) non banjo style Roadmaster wheel. Some mufflers with some real sound like porters or even as far as straight pipes. I think me and my dad who is an excellent wood worker could make our own country club style wood kit like the aftermarket ones that I've seen some lowrider guys use on the 46-48 Chevy Fleetlines. Just wondering how lightly modified vehicles are accepted or would I just get told I ruined a good car? I also favor spotlights and other factory and aftermarket accessories. Artillery style wheels that are popular on Chevy bombs. Here are some pics below for ideas of what I would like to shoot for all these cars are Chevys but they blow my mind.

1947 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan - Lowrider Magazine

1946 Chevrolet Aero Sedan Fleetline - Lowrider Magazine

1948 Chevrolet Fleetline - Lowrider Magazine

post-76311-143141783432_thumb.jpg

Edited by 48buickkid (see edit history)
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My friend, I don't believe there is a point where your Buick would not be accepted here. Sure, a lot of us here are all for keeping it original, but there are a lot of us here also that enjoy modified vehicles too. Do what makes you happy. In fact, the BCA does have a separate division just for modified Buicks. Maybe someone else can chime in with some more info. about the Buick Modified Division. I can't seem to find a website or contact info. for them but last I heard they were being led by Keith Horsfall from Canada. Anyone have more info?

EDIT: I found this page on the BCA official website.

Buick Modified Division

Edited by shadetree77 (see edit history)
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Thanks I also would like to lower it a little bit with some lowering springs/ drop spindles, right now its got an nose down stance out of the 70s all the tires are the same height and I've got different rollers on it now than my profile pics show.

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I don't understand why you would want to do all of that. It's getting harder to find old cars every day, and every one that is modified is one more lost to the history of our automobiles. Here in Florida it's gotten so that visitors to local cruise-in's, which I generally do not attend anymore, have no idea what any of the old cars even looked like because the cruise-ins are taken over by modified cars. When I go, people ask me when I'm going to pull the straight 8 and put in a box 350 Chevy engine. Just irritates me so I don't go.

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I don't plan to alter the car much visually or pull the straight 8. Just want to add accessories,lower it like the cars in the above pics,and some exhaust. 2 wildest things im gonna do would be the factory 41 dual carb intake/split exhaust manifolds and maybe do a leather interior but in a traditional style with the previously mentioned steering wheel and horn button change. I don't think I'm gonna ruin this car per say as I don't think as a full restoration project anyone would take it on. It would be a parts car at best to most. My plan Was for black paint with a darker green leather interior. I've seen it on an old Buggatti and loved it also this car was in rod and custpm and the interior makes me go wow!1940 Mercury Coupe - Rod & Custom Magazine

I won't do anything to the car where it couldn't be put back to stock. In a nutshell I want a coachbuilt style car that I won't run into a dozen others at show just like it. Why are coachbuilt cars so coveted then?(a modified version of a usually production car to suit the wants or needs of the customer) when if I was to do what I outlined today it would be considered ruining a stock car?

What do you guys think of this 49? Its very similar to what I want to do minus the later 60s buick frame swap.

1949 Buick Sedanette - Rod & Custom Magazine

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By the way out of blue thought I just had, is that the factory location for my ignition coil on the fire wall??? My roadmasters was on the motor and I've seen a few special motors advertised as being out of 47 and they had the coil on the block. Wondering if someone maybe mounted it there for some reason?

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I don't understand why you would want to do all of that. .

It's his car and he wants to enjoy it. Different strokes for different folks.

A guy in my neighbor hood makes a living shopping bicycle swap meets. He'll find a perfectly restored 1953 Schwinn Black Phantom that would sell for $1,200. He'll take it home, dismantle it and sell the parts for $2,400. He might be destroying one perfectly good bike, but he's probably helping put five or six others back into perfect condition.

You want to enjoy what you drive otherwise it just sits in your drive waiting to be parted out.

Ed

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You will find the entire spectrum of Buick lovers here...... from purest to just car people, so don't expect to get a vote that is heavy in one direction.

First it is great that you are choosing to work on a Buick and get it running and back on the road. After that what you do with the car is up to you.

Any Buick with a Buick engine is welcome in the Modified Div and it can be shown at any BCA event. Some smaller events are just peoples choice but at the BCA national and many Regional events there will be a Modified catagory...... of course you could enter it in the stock class and expect for points to be deducted on the non-original items.

If you and your father have the talent to do the woodwork, a woody would be very unique. Even better if the wood was installed so it could be removed to bring the car back to stock. The straight 8 engine is a real crowd pleaser, with 90% of the modifieds out there having a Chevy or Ford V8, it is nice to see a car with something different.

Keep us posted on the progress.

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Thanks guys I figured it would get mixed emotions, I was actually just thinking of how to try and mount the wood kit without putting holes in the body. That would be one of the last mods I would do but I just love the way they look. Really classy. This is not a for sure thing yet either I may take the car back to stock too. This car will not get parted it will stay with me for a good while maybe even life.I really love the 46-48 buicks I really wish I could have gotten a title for the 48 4 door Roadmaster I used to have. That's the only thing that could separate me from this car is another 47-48 roadmaster 4 door or 47-48 flxble hearse.

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In answer to your question as to coil position , some , if not all early '40s had them mounted on the cowel. The Special, through 1949 was MOSTLY, body wise , a carryover from a 1941. SO probably the correct mounting. And I probably should not be answering this since I am not sure.

Barneys answer is a good one.

Ben

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.....Any Buick with a Buick engine is welcome in the Modified Div.....

This is exactly what I posted on another thread a year or two ago and I was informed that this is not correct. The 2005 (most current as of today in 2013?) BCA JUDGING HANDBOOK does not address this item.

What issue of the BUICK BUGLE is this addressed in? Pete?

Thanks.

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

Edited by 1953mack (see edit history)
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Ben is correct. The BCA Modified Division members draw up their own judging rules and do their own judging. When the latest (2005 ) BCA Judging Manual was written, the Modified Division was still a fairly new group and they have been developing and evolving their own judging categories and rules. It's a job just to keep up with the BCA's judging standards, let alone the Modified Division's standards. But they ought to be included in the next edition of the BCA Judging Handbook--no excuse, anymore, not to include them.

That said, I have to agree with Earl ("Dynaflash 8") about the modified, customized cars outnumbering the original ones in most of the old car events around my area (northern Texas). When all of the original ones are gone, who is going to know what is original and what isn't? That's a sad thought.

My thinking on the issue is, if you're going to modify a car, do it on a model that is fairly numerous, not on one that only a few hundred or a few thousand were made. The people who modify an early 1950s Buick woody wagon, or a 1933 90-series Buick, are the ones that I would like to strangle.

Pete Philips, BCA #7338

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I have always liked modified cars along with the fully restored ones.In my opinion,there is room for all in the hobby.I joined the BCA primarily because the existance of the Buick Modified Division(BMD) of which I'm proud to say I've been a member for a few years now.All modified Buick vehicles are welcome but points are deducted for non Buick engines when judging.I believe that the deduction is fair since we are trying to keep the Buick brand on the Kustom/Modified world.One needs to remember that some Buick vehicles came equipped from the factory with non Buick engines or what were called Corporate engines,these vehicles will not incur the deduction if keeping said engine from the factory.

Your car,your vision and your money.Make it a nice one.Good luck with it.

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The BCA (and ROA and other clubs) is all inclusive now. You will be welcome. Obviously, judging your car as an original is not practical but making YOUR car the way YOU want it is something 99% of BCA'ers have no issue with.

I do find it discouraging that so few original cars show up at cruze-ins. Even Dennis Gage on My Classic Car rarely profiles original cars, all hot rods and such. That being said, I have found there are still thousands of cars that can be restored, so you customizing your car is NOT reducing the stock pile ANY. Pete Phillips made a good comment. If you are going to do a modified car consider doing it on a higher production model. They made a boatload of post war Sedanettes. Modify away. On the other hand, they made few PRE WAR Sedanettes in the senior lines (1942) and I might cringe if one was modified, but it would still be OK in the grand scheme of things.

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  • 2 weeks later...
.....All modified Buick vehicles are welcome but points are deducted for non Buick engines when judging.I believe that the deduction is fair since we are trying to keep the Buick brand on the Kustom/Modified world.....

Could you explain further on the point(s) deduction for a non-Buick engine in the Modified Buick Division? I'm interested in finding out and seeing a copy of an actual judging sheet (breakdown) for this Modified Class. Is it posted somewhere on this forum for interested BCA members to look at? If not, could somebody post one? Thanks.

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

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I would like a modified car someday; one I did a total job on. My problem is that I keep buying Buicks, well good ones. They are pretty hard to improve on.

If you buy one that runs and drives the power is always adequate. If you buy one with a good interior the upholstery is pleasing, comfortable, and good quality. Buick has always been noted for the best brakes of the industry. And many custom cars have Buick trim as an iconic feature.

I have an '86 Park ave with the roof cut off. My '64 Riviera has rumbly exhaust and a vinyl top. If I go to a Buick meet with the PA it has to be parked with the hearses; we'll be taking that one to cruise nights. The Riviera can be parked with other Rivieras although every third person who walks by tells me the vinyl top is not original. I appreciate their concern for my horribly de-valued car and have great admiration for their knowledge, although it does get a little old after 35 years.

I have deluxe wheel covers on my totally stock '60 Electra and I have had a concerned aficionado cock his head and rub his chin with a very deep crease in his brow while asking if those were an option on the Electra or only available on the Electra 225. The bottom line is that my wife tells me not to imitate them or make comments about the patches on the elbows of there sport coat sleeves.

When you spend money fixing up an old car always remember the appraisal of the Bentley with a Rolls-Royce grille. Bentley-No grille (deduct)

In my case:

Riviera-No exhaust, Needs roof painted (deduct)

Electra- No wheel covers, maybe (possible deduct)

Park Ave- Missing trailer to carry coffin

Bernie

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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Al,

The judging manual is posted on the BCA web site, and I am most certain it includes the Modified Division, but I have not checked before posting this.

John

All I see are judging forms for the 400-point Classes. What page(s) show the judging form(s) for the Buick Modified Division? I have the same info in the paperback booklet format and for some reason I can not find them. Thanks.

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

Edited by 1953mack (see edit history)
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To Al and 48buickkid,

My apology. 2005 was a year, or two before the Modified Dvision started. There have been several write-ups in the Bugle, but I am not sure when. You wil need to find them or research the forum for past communications. Or perhaps someone in the BMD wwill read this and get the information to you.

John

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.....Could you explain further on the point(s) deduction for a non-Buick engine in the Modified Buick Division? I'm interested in finding out and seeing a copy of an actual judging sheet (breakdown) for this Modified Class. Is it posted somewhere on this forum for interested BCA members to look at? If not, could somebody post one? Thanks.....

A short update for all those interested. I sent a PM to Keith Horsfall, Director of the Buick Modified Division, and received a quick response. Thank you.

∙ Re: Point Deduction for a non-Buick engine in a Buick in the Buick Modified Division

.....There is an automatic 100 point deduction for a non-Buick engine in a pre-1977 Buick. In a post 1977 modified Buick, the engine must have been available in a Buick body. The 3.8 V6 is a Buick engine and can be used in any year.....

∙ Re: Judging Form

Keith also sent me a 2012 Revised Judging Form for the Modified Division that I could not open up. I have asked Keith to post the Form on this thread along with any other comments he might have.

At this time, I do not know how many total points the Modified Division Judging system is based on. Also, I do not have a clear understanding if you have a post-1977 (post-1976?) Buick body with a non-Buick engine you are ????? . I'll wait to see the requested Judging Form posted here and Keith's comments.

I know there is a separate Forum for the Modified Buick's, but since my questions originated in this GENERAL Forum thread, hopefully, the requested info will be posted in this same GENERAL Forum thread.

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

Edited by 1953mack (see edit history)
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Sadly I sold this car but my intention was not so much to modify any more so than what could have been done right when it was sold originally but just lower it, hop up the motor a little,exhaust, and that country club kit. I'm gonna hold onto the roadmaster parts I have stashed and wait for a 1948 Roadmaster 4 door sedan to pop up. I want another one like the one I had just without a dynaflow.

Edited by 48buickkid (see edit history)
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I think Buick Division got a 100 point deduction from the buying public when they started using non-Buick engines. I remember car shopping around 1980 and opening the hood on a Buick to find a Pontiac V8. I just closed it and walked away. Tis not just customizers and street rodders.

Bernie

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BOTTOM LINE - Do your car the way you want and not what others want ! We , the BCA , has a spot for all Buicks ! Modifieds are more then welcome . There will always be those that frown , thats there problem - not yours . The main thing is HAVE FUN ! Enjoy the Ride !

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Times have changed, well some......... Wasn't too many years ago that a modified Buick was really looked upon as BAD......

Years back I went to a national Buick show in a modified Buick, and I really took a beating, but I survived.

I have/am a firm believer, EACH TO HIS/HER OWN.

Have fun, enjoy what you are doing, be it stock or modified, IMO.

Dale in Indy

P.S. I have always pointed to the fact that in 1953 Buick pulled Roadmaster converts off the line and modified them into the Skylark, can you believe that? LOL

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  • 2 weeks later...
.....I have always pointed to the fact that in 1953 Buick pulled Roadmaster converts off the line and modified them into the Skylark, can you believe that?.....

No. At what stage of completeness and for what modifications are you saying that they were pulled off the assembly line?

It's my understanding that Fisher Body (a separate division of GM) assembled the 1953 Skylark bodies at a different location and delivered them to the Buick assembly plant in another building/location ready to be placed on the assembly line, and with the modifications to the windshield height, the door sills, and the rear quarter window sills already completed. Why would Fisher Body do a half-a## job already knowing that the Skylark would take a different windshield, windshield rubber gasketing, different sizes of stainless steel trim, door and door vent window assemblies, rear quarter window assemblies, etc.? Even the front seat trim skirts on a 1953 Skylark have a "CUSTOM Body by Fisher" trim tag.....not the standard "Body by Fisher" trim tag.

Also, contrary to a lot of other similar ugly rumors floating around out there, 1953 Skylark front and rear fenders (quarter panels) are NOT modified 1953 Roadmaster 76C or 76R fenders with welded-up portholes, reworked radiused wheel openings, and additional punched holes for the different sweep spear mouldings and rear quarter emblems. They were OEM stamped that way. 1953 Skylark fenders (and doors) also have their own part numbers in The Big Book. If you're really familiar with the differences on the Skylarks, you will know that the rear fenders on a Roadmaster have the horizontal crease in them, whereas the Skylark rear fenders don't. Skylark doors are not 'sectioned' Roadmaster doors; only the top sills are different and the hinge spacing is the same as on a Roadmaster 76C or 76R. Hoods and trunk lids on a Skylark are identical to the Roadmaster 76C or 76R models.

It is difficult for me to picture "pulling" that many (1690) Skylarks off an assembly line to do all the changes from a 'standard' Roadmaster 76C convertible. There are just too many different parts that are unique to the Skylark that would warrant modifying a Roadmaster in mid-stream of an assembly line configuration......and we're not talking a one or two hour modification here.

I'm anxious to read any documentation that you have on this topic to backup your statement. Thanks.

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

Edited by 1953mack (see edit history)
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Al, YOU did a nice job with your comments on the Skylark. Thanks.

My comment about Buick pulling the Skylark from the assembly line, was mostly in FUN, Buick has been in my family for over 70 years, so NO ONE can ever say I'm negative towards Buick.

I know from first hand knowledge that BCA in past years preferred that modified Buick's STAY AWAY. Hey, that's fine, each to his/her own. My point was that EVEN Buick designers enjoyed modifying a Buick, I have had Buick engineers look at my modified Limited, and say, NICE JOB...

I have no clue as to just how they assembled the Skylark, it makes no difference, they are a modified Roadmaster, period. We owned both a 53 & 54, so know them fairly well, prefer the 53 though.

Buick hasn't always put a Buick in a Buick, so I don't feel a bit bad about installing a Corvette engine in my 41 Limited.

Again THANKS for your well written comments.

Have a great weekend Al,

Dale in Indy

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Gee I had "Corvette" engines in two of my Roadmasters (1994's). I liked them so much I went out and bought a Chevy.

It was just too hard humming "See the USA in your Roadmaster." And "Wouldn't you really have more Buick." wasn't catchy enough.

Bernie

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I've thought about modifying some things on my 1964 Electra, but this weekend at the Auto Fair I had at least 5 people come up and comment on the fact that it is all original. A few others even suggested that i NOT paint it since it's the original paint still and even leave the chrome alone.

I had one guy actually stop and tell me a story about his Dad and how he had a 64 electra 225 and all the fun they had in it, at the end of his story he reached out to shake my hand and actually thanked me for not changing anything on the car. He said it brought back so many good memories for him. I'm sure all of you guys have had this happen but that was the first time that's happened and I'll be honest with you it really got to me. Almost like in some strange way I've taken on a project that's more than just 'some big ole junk car' but more like a custodian of a piece of times past. Something that people can reach out and feel and touch and reconnect with maybe a happier time in their lives.

So at this point I've pretty much fully committed to not changing anything on the car unless it relates to safety or just lack of availability. Nothing visible will change.

Edited by trafalger (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...
.....At this time, I do not know how many total points the Modified Division Judging system is based on. Also, I do not have a clear understanding if you have a post-1977 (post-1976?) Buick body with a non-Buick engine you are ????? . I'll wait to see the requested Judging Form posted here and Keith's comments.....

For those interested. The following paragraphs are excerpts taken from the Revised July 2012 MODIFIED CLASS Judging Form that I received via E-mail from Keith Horsfall, Director of the BCA Modified Division:

..................................................................................................................................................................

.....FOR BUICKS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THE 400 POINT SYSTEM - IN THESE CLASSES ALL CARS BEING JUDGED MUST BE BUICK BODIED. A MANDATORY DEDUCTION WILL APPLY FOR NON-BUICK ENGINES IN ANY BUICK BUILT BEFORE 1978. THE ENGINE IN A VEHICLE MUST HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE IN A BUICK FROM THE FACTORY.

Owner to select one class only. MODIFIED CLASSES WILL BE BASED ON THE FOLLOWING:

MILD - NO ENGINE SWAPS ALLOWED, only minor body changes, interior upgrades, engine upgrades

RESTOROD - LOOKS STOCK BUT IS REPOWERED.

RADICAL - HAS HAD MAJOR BODY CHANGES ETC.

DRIVEN - A SEPARATE JUDGING FORM FOR THIS CLASS, MUST BE 25 YEARS OLD.

The areas listed below are to be judged and only modified areas as indicated by the owner above will be judged. THESE AREAS ARE TO BE AWARDED POINTS FROM 1 TO THE MAXIMUM ALLOWED BASED ON: difficulty of modification, workmanship, condition of the modifications. DO NOT JUDGE AREAS NOT INDICATED BY THE OWNER.

OWNER TO CIRCLE ON THE JUDGING FORM EACH CHANGE MADE TO THE VEHICLE PRIOR TO PRE-QUALIFYING CHECK

BODY MODIFICATIONS: Front Bumper (10)______Grille (15)_____ Headlights (15)_____ Park Lights (10)_____ Fenders(15)_____Hood (15)______Cowl (15)_____ Firewall(20)_____Windshield(20)_____Roof(20)_____Back Glass(20)_____Front Doors(20)____Rear Doors(20)_____Side Glass(20)____Quarter Panels(30)____Trunk Lid/Tailgate(10)______Rear Bumper(10)_____Tail Lights(20)_____ Paint(15)_____Chrome added/removed(20)________Power Mirrors added(20)______Power Antenna added(20)______Power Door Locks added(15)_____Door Handles removed and remote entry system installed (30)_______

Additional body changes not included in above (125)_______ TOTAL BODY POINTS_______________

ENGINE MODIFICATIONS: Different Manufactures Engine installed MANDATORY DEDUCTION MINUS 100 POINTS (-100)____________

Different vintage BUICK engine installed (50)______Intake Manifold Change (10)_____Carburettor Change(10)_____Fuel Injection added(30)______Turbocharger/Supercharger added(30)_____Exhaust System Improvements(10)______Air Conditioning added(30)______ Ignition System(10)______Cruise Control added(10)_____Radiator Change(10)_____Electric Cooling Fan added (10)_____Fuel Delivery System Change (10)______Alternator Added(10)______Overhall Under Hood appearance(20)______Engine Dress up added(10)____ Serpentine Belt System added(20)_________Low Voltage Wiring Appearance/changes (10)_______ TOTAL ENGINE POINTS____________ .....

..............................................................................................................................................................................

Not happy with getting a maximum 400 points in the BCA 400-point Class Judging system? Here's your chance to "ring the bell" with 830 points.....550 points for Body Modifications with a four-door sedan (more doors = more points) plus an additional 280 points for Engine Modifications with a Buick fuel-injected engine that has either a turbocharger or supercharger. Also note that you tell the judges what you want judged.

Remember folks, you saw part of this form here first. :o

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

04.20.13 Edit: Note that this form does not address my original question.....if you have a later (post-1977) Buick with a non-Buick engine, you are ????? ..... Unbelievable!

Edited by 1953mack
noted (see edit history)
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