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My father's first car, 1957 Roadmaster Convertible, makes it to my worshop finally!


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The painted bezels are correct for your convertible as with all '57 Roadmasters. The other three models came with the all chrome ones.

Dan

Thanks Dan,

I was trying to find that info by searching info on this forum, but couldn't nail it down. I looked at pictures of a few 1957 convertibles that I was sure were original (Jay Leno's), and the painted bezels seemed correct. I think they make the car seem longer, and more classy looking.

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Don,

Looking good! Like Mike, I think that the way you are going about it is very cool, and prudent. Did the same with my 57 as well. Made sure that I could still drive the thing, even when I was restoring it.

I have a question on the paint. I am looking to do my 57 Estate Wagon in those colors, so would like to know where you got your paint from, what type was it (lacquer or enamel or??) Would like to do the same thing, a piece at a time with mine as well. Thanks for the info and keep posting, especially pictures. Everybody loves pictures!

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Don,

Looking good! Like Mike, I think that the way you are going about it is very cool, and prudent. Did the same with my 57 as well. Made sure that I could still drive the thing, even when I was restoring it.

I have a question on the paint. I am looking to do my 57 Estate Wagon in those colors, so would like to know where you got your paint from, what type was it (lacquer or enamel or??) Would like to do the same thing, a piece at a time with mine as well. Thanks for the info and keep posting, especially pictures. Everybody loves pictures!

Thanks to all for the encouragement! I look at the cars many of the members here own, and am genuinely amazed. Not just regarding the cars, but that so many members have multiple beautiful cars!

I knew the factory colors of the Roadmaster from the firewall data plate. I also knew that the lacquer paint on the car had been mixed and sprayed by my Grandpa, so I couldn't trust the color of that paint job. I could tell that grandpa's mix was slightly more blue than the original painted surfaces, but pretty close for a shade-tree mix job.

While running errands one day, I noticed a paint shop in Albuquerque, so I stopped in. They sell DuPont paints. I told the guy the car's year, make, and model as well as the color names. He pulled out a binder with tattered pages, then referenced his computer, back to another binder, etc.. He spent about 15 minutes before pulling another book with 1957 Chevy paint chips, pointed to two and asked if these were the colors. I said they looked right to me. He said that they were the same colors used on the Buick, but Chevy gave them different "names". Since I just wanted close paint colors, I had him mix a quart of each in enamel.

I then told him I haven't sprayed paint in 15 years, and to please sell me whatever else I would need. He threw in some hardener, reducer, funnels/filters, stir sticks, measuring cups, and lacquer thinner for cleanup.

For the primer, I just used rattle-can rustoleum. Not sure if that was the right thing to do, because the paint is still a little soft after several days. I have heard that it could take weeks for it to fully harden/cure. Maybe I should have used more hardener, maybe it doesn't like being sprayed over non-hardened primer, maybe I am just being impatient.

Comparing the fender to the original car paint colors, it appears the guy at the paint shop nailed it, but my eyes aren't calibrated.

Good luck on the Estate Wagon. Those are so cool!

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Happy Wife, HAPPY life.

I too am married to a SMART lady, 54 years she has been teaching me.

I love this build,

Dale in Indy

P.S. Getting the Limited ready, heading to Louisville Friday for the Street Rod Nationals. Short drive, 120 miles south, so put in neutral and coast, coming back it's pedal on the metal.

Edited by smithbrother (see edit history)
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That paint you used is alkyd enamel also known as synthetic enamel which takes years to get hard although hardener should speed the process. Also the supplied reducer and hardener are store products instead of Nason/Dupont products. The paint store probably chose that product because there was a mixing formula for it and not for acrylic or urethane enamels which are more durable. For your project it will serve you well, but would be a poor choice for a restoration that you want to last a long time. I have had some alkyd enamel mixed to get the right color and then had them match it with a more durable paint. Alkyd enamel is good choice for engine enamel and is what most specialty (Buick) suppliers sell. Inexpensive paint like that is good to practice with, although you don't need practice...good job!

Willie

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That paint you used is alkyd enamel also known as synthetic enamel which takes years to get hard although hardener should speed the process. Also the supplied reducer and hardener are store products instead of Nason/Dupont products. The paint store probably chose that product because there was a mixing formula for it and not for acrylic or urethane enamels which are more durable. For your project it will serve you well, but would be a poor choice for a restoration that you want to last a long time. I have had some alkyd enamel mixed to get the right color and then had them match it with a more durable paint. Alkyd enamel is good choice for engine enamel and is what most specialty (Buick) suppliers sell. Inexpensive paint like that is good to practice with, although you don't need practice...good job!

Willie

Wow! Willie, thanks for the great paint info and the compliment. The paint I used on the fender reminds me of some of the "John Deere" paint I used in my teens, except the JD paint didn't use hardener. Later, I did some amateur motorcycle restorations, and I remember being impressed that the metal-flake base/clear paint I used would dry so much more quickly than the tractor paint. Being a teen, I didn't spend much time trying to figure the ins-and-outs of paint.

The info you provided will be very helpful as this car progresses. Again, thank you very much!

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Just a few points …. That is Nason's older Acrylic Enamel line that can be used with or without hardener. If sprayed with a hardener it is reduced 10% or so for better application spraying. Use a conventional gun rather than a HVLP gun and it will lay out and blend much better. Yes you will use more paint but your potential for runs and flats will be reduced considerable than it you chose to use a HVLP gun. HVLP guns are basically texture and orange peel application guns IMO. HVLP guns spray base and clears well since you can color sand out the orange peeled/texture layers of clear applied. A compliant gun with compliant tip and cap will come close to a conventional gun for superior atomization when spraying this type of enamel paint and in the overall ease of laying it down. TCP sells both the acrylic lacquer or the acrylic enamel paint lines both from PPG and their own in house PPG wanna-be line called Restoration Shop. The enamels spray heavy and are a bear to color and chip match later down the line. The lacquer paints are the easiest to spray and lay down. They are very easy to melt and blend in and repairs are very easy. Lacquers require multiple coats that need to be rubbed down between coats but have a deep pool like depth and color hue that is unmatched by any other paint configuration type. Acrylic lacquer is what the 57 Buick came out with originally.

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I've always wondered how the factories could accomplish multiple coats of lacquer on the assembly lines. I thought only one coat of paint was applied.

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  • 2 weeks later...
The red stripe came with the optional red wheels. Factory on the wheels was black outside and grey on the inside I have not seen blue on a mint green car, However it would not look bad. Other than the red (Tangerine) there was Blue and green. I have the Duco color codes if you should ever want them. Note the stripe on the Wagon is green. As far as A/C is concerned, It is a Factory Option that is quite rare and valuable on your car. Accessory code 'N'. My convertible also is a factory A/C. - Dan

Dan, you were correct. Today I cleaned the gold paint off the driver's door trim to find it is actually green underneath like on your beautiful wagon. It looks a lot nicer than the gold in my opinion.

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I dug up the bill-of-sale today to ensure I had the date correct when grandpa bought the Roadmaster. It is in mint condition, and states 8-22-1963. Also, maybe of interest to any BCA members, Dad had requested a membership application in 1982. He never filled it out though. Think they would still honor those prices if I sent the paperwork in my name today?

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  • 11 months later...

Any updates on this car? Last pics it is looking in very similar condition as mine!

 

I haven't seen any photos of your buick.  Is it running and driving?

 

Not many updates on the convertible.  I did finally strip the tattered remains of the top off the convertible frame.  The top portion of the header bar is in pretty bad shape rust-wise.  It isn't beyond saving, but will take some significant work to repair.  I have been researching fuel tank restoration since mine is dented and leaking.  I donated the 1956 wheel covers to the hardtop coupe since I would rather find the correct 1957 covers.

I attempted to get the top to fold back down out of the way.  Unfortunately, when I shifted the convertible to make room in the shop for the hardtop, it moved to the portion of the building where the ceiling drops from 10' to 8', and the frame needs more room than that to come down.

I asked my dad to write the story of how he acquired the Buick, since he loves telling it so much and he won't be around forever to keep telling people.

When the appraiser came to evaluate the hardtop, he told me that he expected me to have the convertible in a car show by this time next year, and I laughed at him.

 

So, while the convertible is still something I think of daily, I'm restraining myself from really doing anything else of significance until I can get the engine out and rebuilt.  I have the skills and tools to rebuild the motor, just need to raise some money and make sure I do it in a way that doesn't detract from the value of the car in the long-run.

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I haven't seen any photos of your buick. Is it running and driving?

Not many updates on the convertible. I did finally strip the tattered remains of the top off the convertible frame. The top portion of the header bar is in pretty bad shape rust-wise. It isn't beyond saving, but will take some significant work to repair. I have been researching fuel tank restoration since mine is dented and leaking. I donated the 1956 wheel covers to the hardtop coupe since I would rather find the correct 1957 covers.

I attempted to get the top to fold back down out of the way. Unfortunately, when I shifted the convertible to make room in the shop for the hardtop, it moved to the portion of the building where the ceiling drops from 10' to 8', and the frame needs more room than that to come down.

I asked my dad to write the story of how he acquired the Buick, since he loves telling it so much and he won't be around forever to keep telling people.

When the appraiser came to evaluate the hardtop, he told me that he expected me to have the convertible in a car show by this time next year, and I laughed at him.

So, while the convertible is still something I think of daily, I'm restraining myself from really doing anything else of significance until I can get the engine out and rebuilt. I have the skills and tools to rebuild the motor, just need to raise some money and make sure I do it in a way that doesn't detract from the value of the car in the long-run.

Mine is running and driving but needs some things to run and drive well and reliably, and in general a lot of TLC here and there but is a great original. I'll get to some basic stuff this summer still but it will probably take a couple years to knock everything off of my list. You can see it in the thread linked below. I have been around 57 Buicks since birth and currently have 2 so may be able to help with any questions or locating parts, but I don't think you need a lot. I do have about a dozen 57 hubcaps if you want me to get a nice set together for you. Good luck on the coupe sale, it is definitely worth restoration.

http://forums.aaca.org/topic/257439-1957-roadmaster-convertible/#entry1382602

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Mine is running and driving but needs some things to run and drive well and reliably, and in general a lot of TLC here and there but is a great original. I'll get to some basic stuff this summer still but it will probably take a couple years to knock everything off of my list. You can see it in the thread linked below. I have been around 57 Buicks since birth and currently have 2 so may be able to help with any questions or locating parts, but I don't think you need a lot. I do have about a dozen 57 hubcaps if you want me to get a nice set together for you. Good luck on the coupe sale, it is definitely worth restoration.

http://forums.aaca.org/topic/257439-1957-roadmaster-convertible/#entry1382602

Wow! I had seen that thread before and remember thinking how lucky for someone to find such a nice convertible, while mine needs so much work to even drive. I would be interested in four 1957 wheel covers. If you find four good ones, PM me a photo/price. It looks like I can replace the center logos pretty easily, so I am mostly interested in finding some without significant scratches/dents. Edited by High Desert (see edit history)
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Sold the hardtop to a gentleman from Memphis. He and his daughter picked it up today. He said they were building her a 57 Super. When he found my Roadmaster, the plan changed. He said they had a whole blog on the Super build so far, and gave me the address to share. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/showthread.php?t=653170

I think what he is doing is really cool, and I can keep tabs on the old Buick now to.

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Working on the engine today. I am rebuilding the carburetor (Rochester). The butterflies are stuck shut, so that is taking some time to fix. Pulled the distributor to verify the skipping rotor problem and found missing teeth. Then I looked down in the engine. The distributor drive gear on the camshaft is also missing teeth. Guess I'll borrow my neighbor's cherry picker and get started.

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I've never seen a carburetor that was so frozen up. Both butterflies were super stuck, even after an overnight soak in carburetor cleaner on Saturday. Used several iterations of propane torch heat and penetrating oil. The mains cracked open on Sunday. The secondaries needed lots of oxy acetylene torch heat and much more penetrating oil, but they creaked open tonight! I may be able to salvage this carb after all.

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Edited by High Desert (see edit history)
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Oh man, the fuel tank is in bad shape. A friend says a local radiator shop can fix fuel tanks, but this looks like it needs a complete replacement aside from the filler neck! Not just rusty, but my brother-in-law accidentally smashed it with a forklift while helping the car onto the trailer.

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The engine is out! Soaking out with simple green from a pump sprayer. Can't wait to get it clean and open it up. Also, I found a "factory rebuilt by Buick" sticker on the transmission. Dad said the transmission probably only had 2,000 miles on it when the engine quit running.

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Did you have to remove the fender and front end to get the engine out?

I was trying not to, but was fighting with the air conditioner. I wanted to remove the pump and hoses, but couldn't reach the lower house connection without removing the right fender and fender well. Then the engine was still a tight squeeze getting between the radiator supports because the exhaust manifolds were still in place. If I had to do it again, I would probably just remove the front fenders/raditor assembly first.

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Here is what to expect when you get the right-front quarter off.  By the way, next time you visit Denver or Cheyenne,  give me a PM, I have a decent fuel tank for a fellow 76C.   -  Dan

 

 

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The engine is now clean enough for partial disassembly. It was so filthy that I had to soak, scrub, and power wash six times.

 

It may have been greasy, but it looks like it was well preserved. 

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More good news today. Early last week I contacted the Kansas Department of Revenue in an effort to discover all who owned the car prior to my grandpa. I sent them a check for $25, and they performed a microfiche search. Turns out that the car was brought into Kansas, used, from Missouri in January of 1963. They sent me grainy copies of all title transfers starting on that date. One includes the name and address of the last Missouri owner. Tonight I contacted the Missouri Department of Revenue in hopes they can help me trace the owners back to new. I'll keep my fingers crossed that they have a similar program.

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