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1958 Caballero


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22 hours ago, dei said:

Isn't that always the way Joe?



With all the talk of 3D Printing, would that have been an option?


p.s. By the way, Nice Work!


My son-in-law has a 3d printer that could produce this part, but he told me that his printer wouldn't be capable of delivering the smooth surface finish required for the emblem.

We also would have needed a 3D scan, as Beemon indicated.

The commercial 3D scanning & printing costs were much higher than the casting costs, so I went with the casting option.

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Back at the end of December, I had to get the car back to Masterworks for some paint work. Before taking it back there, I wanted to get the rear seat heater connected and finish up a few undercar tasks.

Time to get the car up on my ramps...



It was not an easy move; the car ran very poorly and the wet tires made it difficult to get up the incline.


Got it on the ramps and went to work...


I had to do a little bit of housekeeping, but in general, everything was looking quite tidy under here.








The rear seat heater requires 2 connections; one on each side of the vehicle. The coolant lines run from the water pump output to the driver's side of the heater, then the return line goes from the heater's passenger side outlet to the temperature control valve, on the passenger side of the cowl, under the right fender.







Of course, BOTH connections leaked with the OEM style clamps, so some additional work was needed to stop the drooling.

I'm back to the rear compartment trim. The rear liftgate and tailgate opening takes a windlace seal along the vertical sides of the body opening and the liftgate opening.

There's a short section of rubber seal on each side of the tailgate, between the vertical body to liftgate joint and the lower outboard corners of the liftgate.

The short, vertical pieces are sewn to a pressboard substrate, folded at both ends and retained to the car by the painted steel quarter trim panels.








Similarly, the upper windlace is sewn to a pressboard substrate and then retained by the garnish moldings.




This is the original rubber seal that was installed along the upper edge of the tailgate opening, between the tailgate and the outboard corner of the liftgate:


It was stapled to a tack strip that was screwed to the inner quarter panel. I bonded multiple layers of 1/8" panel board together to make up the tack strip.


The tack strip was then screwed to the quarter panel, using the 2 small holes nearest the top of the panel.


Cut the weatherstrip to length and glued & stapled it to the tack strip, then installed the steel trim panel.




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Love the finish detail under the car.  This looks so much more authentic than having everything painted chassis black.  But then I wonder about protection from future exposure to moisture.


What are your finishes on the bolts and the trans casing (among other parts)?  I recall you stated that you would show the car for a period of time, then tour it.  I assume that some fasteners and other metal parts may have been unfinished at the time of assembly, true?  I suppose that sequence of use would allow your painstaking attention to detail to remain intact for showing.  I won't make OK this summer, but would sure like to see you in OH next year!

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The fasteners were all zinc plated. 

The castings and any bare steel parts were glass beaded, then painted with "cast gray" or "cast aluminum" as appropriate to retain the original appearance while protecting the bare materials.


There are already a few parts that need to be cleaned and re-coated due to scratches.

Ultimately, I will probably use matte or semi-gloss clear to protect those finishes if I begin to see any degradation.

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When commenting on the fasteners being plated, We took a bunch of fasteners together and had them "drum plated".  Costs here in the metro area about $100.00 or less to have almost a five gallon bucket plated.


Because we are both working on project cars together we at one time had silver zinc, gold zinc, black oxidized and green stuff being plated at the same time.  We did nuts, bolts, screws, washers, clips, brackets, etc...  Just need to sort by color.


Saved both of us money by splitting the cost for a larger quantity.  Just less than a five gallon bucket of stuff of each plating color outcome.


Great to have a restoration friend to work together on this type of stuff and all of the activities to get it done.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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Time to install that massive rear bumper...

All the edges were taped to protect the painted surfaces and I double-checked the clearance between the mounting brackets to ensure they would fit snugly between the frame rails.

Two friends held the bumper while my wife guided us and I installed the frame attaching bolts.

Didn't take us very long to get to this point:




The bumper is centered, but it needs to be rotated up at the rear to align better with the end of the quarter panels. 



Final adjustment will be done at Masterworks when the final paint touch-ups are being done.


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So I'm just stumbling onto your project today and all I can say is it's awesome!  I saw what the car looked like when you picked it up and it's hard to believe came from the same planet.  Beautiful car, thanks for saving the car and the great job posting the progress...



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2 minutes ago, Str8-8-Dave said:

So I'm just stumbling onto your project today and all I can say is it's awesome!  I saw what the car looked like when you picked it up and it's hard to believe came from the same planet.  Beautiful car, thanks for saving the car and the great job posting the progress...




Thanks, Dave!

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There are SO many parts on this car that are "58 only" or "57 & 58 only".


These clips are the "D" pillar exterior reveal molding retainers.

On the left is the OEM part; on the right, the piece I am making to replace one broken retainer.



I started with a piece of spring steel and laid out the centers of the bends, then formed the part to shape using the OEM piece as my pattern.

Finished part - best of all, it works!





January 5: Down off the ramps and back to the paint shop for touch-ups and rear bumper final alignment!



Unfortunately, the car was very difficult to start and it ran very poorly. More work to do...



Notice that the right rear window is open. When I tried to roll the window up, the glass was moving on an arc into the car, inboard of the roof rail weatherstrip.

Another task to add to the list...


Looking quite spiffy!



With the car in for some touch-ups, I shifted my focus to the rear compartment carpeting.

It took some experimentation, but I was finally able to make acceptable, consistent stitches with the vintage Singer over-edger/serger machine.



I had created full-size paper patterns and used them to cut the carpeting to size.



Then ran the carpet pieces through the serging machine to finish the edges.



I think they turned out great.



A little bit of video...



I finished all the ends by tying off the stitches and tucking the "tails" under the adjacent stitches.



Then, I used a hook needle to draw the threads under the adjacent stitches.



And I added a small piece of tape to hold every thread end down until the carpet is adhered onto the steel panel.


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Assembling the front door trim starts with attaching the armrest base to the main panel, followed by a layer of padding and then the trim cover.




The second layer consists of a sub-foundation that carries all the upper trim pieces.



Lots of measuring and double-checking before bonding and sewing the individual panels together.



The two-tone split lines must line up with the narrow, stainless steel trim moldings that surround the center section of the panel.46850000181_d3abefbaf6_b.jpg




I hand-stitched the upper and lower panels together and bonded the joints with contact adhesive.



The completed upper panel is retained to the main board with several bend-tabs above the armrest, and adhesive & staples around the perimeter.



Below the armrest, the beige and tan panels are sewn to the main panel with a seam reinforcement to provide a clean, straight edge at the color change lines.


After sewing both the beige and tan pieces, I test-fit the moldings again:



The beige material is "peeking" out above the lower molding, which meant that I had to re-do the two lower sections.



Now that's better!



Moldings installed and perimeters edgefolded. Waiting for the arrival of the Century script emblems.



To install the emblems, I marked the positions of the studs on the front side of the panel and used a small pick to create the holes for the attaching pins.



From the back side, I used a 1/8" drill bit to enlarge the holes in the main panel, while leaving the small holes in the vinyl cover material.

Here, I am installing the retaining clips. I used a small socket, sized to drive the perimeter of the clip onto the studs.

I used a small mallet to drive the clips and supported the emblems from the front of the panel with a cloth-wrapped piece of wood.



Complete and ready for installation! I will cut the holes for the door and window crank handles when I install the panels to the doors.


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This Power Steering emblem is the center of the horn ring.


It's got a few scuffs and scratches and one of the attaching studs broke when I tried to install it to the horn ring.


I repaired the stud with a Loctite "super-glue" type of adhesive. I also sanded off a bit of the flat side to allow the emblem to fit better in the cavity on the ring.

Then, I re-painted the back side of the emblem with a semi-flat black that matched the original paint.

A very gentle test-fitting of the emblem to the horn ring indicated that the build-up of copper, nickel and chrome (mostly copper) on the horn ring had altered the dimensions of the emblem attachment points.

The holes on the freshly plated horn ring were slightly too small to accept the attachment pins.

I taped off the chrome and enlarged the holes with jeweler's files. I removed small amounts of material (copper) until the pins dropped easily through the holes.





Here's the polished emblem, attached with small dabs of clear silicone:




The painted steering wheel looks great!




And the horn ring makes it look even better!




I masked off the surrounding areas before spraying contact adhesive for the rear compartment carpeting.46970386362_8d96ba54c9_b.jpg



Applied a coat of adhesive to the back of the carpet:



Repeat 10 times, including rolling the carpet down to ensure a good bond.



I applied the adhesive to one section at a time on the long pieces, then rolled the carpet into place.47043224351_300bfacc87_b.jpg


With all the pieces bonded in location, I have to add the hold-down screws in each corner of every panel.



In every corner, I used a small pick to find the original hole location and installed the screw in the original position.



One more step on the road to completion!

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Installing the front door trim panels began with the 6 mil polyethylene water barrier. 

I was surprised to see that the original retainers each had a foam seal incorporated into the clip design. I have seen the simpler clips (on the right) on previous projects, but the integrated seal was a new feature to me.

I inserted all the retainer clips into the trim panel and postioned the panel on the door inner, without fully engaging the clips.

Then I marked the positions of the window and door handle shafts and cut small diameter holes at the shaft positions.

A couple of additional test fits and eventually, I increased the diameter of the handle holes to accept the handle washers.

After installing the panel with the retainer clips, the handles, upper trim panel and lock knob finish the installation.


Oops...snapped this pic before installing the door handle.

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27 minutes ago, Larry Schramm said:

I saw the car Monday and it is STUNNING. 


You are so right Larry!


I can't wait to see it on display at the Detroit Autorama!

Hope to see you, Jim, and Joe and others who might attend the show.

I have not been there for a long time and think the Caballero is a good reason to start. 


You are going to have to remind us Joe what you started with again after you show us the awards I'm sure you will get!

All the best,


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Thanks, guys.

I appreciate the good wishes.


I'm not anticipating any award considerations because the Autorama competitors include many very high end restorers. But it will be a fun experience to go through the judging process at such an event.


I'll post fresh pics on setup day.

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The seat side trim panels came back from the anodizer. Time to install them!

I test-fit the passenger side panel and discovered that additional padding was required along the side of the seat. I inserted multiple layers of thin, felted cotton.

Installation took a lot of finessing and adjusting. The lower panel on the passenger side required an "Ionia Body" tag. 57BuickJim to the rescue!

Using a high-resolution image of an original Ionia tag, Jim re-created and printed new, replacement labels.


The backing plates were made from .030" aluminum and the new tag was attached to the side panel with split rivets. To avoid deforming the thin aluminum side panels, I used a dab of clear silicone on the back of each rivet to bond the tag to the base panel.

The rear corner closeout has to be installed before the upper panel. I used the original cover patterns to help locate teh attaching screw holes, then some gently prodding with a small pick allowed me to find the original attaching holesd in the seat frame. No new holes required!

Near the top of the upper panel, the robe cord escutcheon attaching screws also retain the inboard edge of the upper trim panel.

My grandson painted the spacer needed to align the rear folding seat back latch to the seat back.

The liftgate window has 2 "layers" of stainless steel exterior moldings. The first layer was installed after the glass was installed.

The second layer is retained by unique spring clips, many of which broke or disintegrated when the moldings were removed during disassembly of hte liftgate.

I have not been able to find any replacements for these clips, so I had to fabricate 8 of them.

The clip inside the white circle is one of the replacement clips I made, using a medium binder clip as the raw material.

A heavy bead of glass bedding compound was applied to the liftgate surface and the clips were pre-inserted into the molding. I interspersed my fabricated clips with the original clips, using the originals in the most critical positions.

The masking tape on the glass was marked to indicate the position of each clip (C) and each screw(S) for the two layers of moldings.

I centered the molding on the glass and pushed each clip into position. The outboard, vertical moldings also act as retainers for the pillar scalp moldings. Quite a complicated molding scheme!

I managed to scuff the top edge of the quarter panel with the molding edges. Another touch-up for the painter.

All moldings in place; my clips appear to be working well.

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Well it is move in day for the Detroit Autorama.  Here are some pictures of loading it from the shop and taking it to Cobo Hall in Detroit.


I even got to ride in the car.  Joe told me that I was the first person to ever ride in the car since it is done.


While we were putting it on the floor of Cobo, there were a number of persons coming over to look at the car.  It truly is a stunning vehicle with all of the triple chrome overlay from the '58 model year.  Enjoy the pictures.











Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, dei said:

NICE JOB on the pictures Larry!


And Joe, What an accomplishment!

That smile on your face about says it all for your hard work.:)

This group sure appreciates what you have done!

Hope to see you on Saturday.


Thanks,  Collected them from a number of places & persons along with the pictures that I took.  Thanks to all that contributed.

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I met Joe and saw the car in person this afternoon! Outstanding!!!! Larry has just posted some very nice pictures but seeing it in person is even better! Joe, what a marvelous restoration and the detail is stunning! Thank you to you and your motley crew of helpers!



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12 hours ago, Kosage Chavis said:

Gorgeous car Sir!  It's stuff like this that inspires and encourages me with my project.  Hope you don't mind me asking you questions from time to time.  Thank you for the pictures.


I agree with you 100% as to encouragement with my cars too!

Having seen Joe's car up close and personal while in progress has influenced my thinking greatly! 

Not sure my Limited will be "show quality" but taking advice the way Joe did his, I'm rethinking my goals for it.

Thanks Joe for your inclusion to the Buick family!  


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In the rush to complete the car for the Autorama deadline, I have fallen a little behind on my project updates.

Let's skip the last 4 weeks of work and take a look at the car on display at the 2019 Detroit Autorama.

Move-in day was Wednesday; the show opens at noon on Friday and runs unti 7pm Sunday.

Larry Schramm graciously allowed me to use his enclosed trailer to move the Caballero in the slushy mess on Wednesday. I doubt his trailer has ever carried anything this heavy; we calculated teh trailer + vehicle weight at approximately 7700 pounds.
47210897502_94cb3cdf2d_b.jpg20190227_153613 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

I've never had a car in this show; it's an exciting day for me!
47281409231_1b17c6e022_b.jpg20190227_153554 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

We dropped the 2 cars (my Caballero and the Modified 74 Corvette) in Masterworks' spot and left as soon as possible. There are about 800 vehicles being delivered in a 36 hour window; you can't leave your tow rig in the building any longer than absolutely necessary.
47210898692_8836e72e3a_b.jpg20190227_170331 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

One happy guy...
33386981738_94953a9ff3_b.jpg0227191641.jpg.ef5664229c7ddb1571c395dabffff5ec by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

We made a last-minmute decision to make "Before" posters; Schramm to the rescue...again!
47262708941_d25d68155b_b.jpg20190301_085728 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

I like the "Air Born B-58 Buick" advertising materials and logo; the decorative plate turned out great!
33387002118_93032fd2e7_b.jpg20190301_085756 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

Cloth pull-up sign to tell a little story and thanks the major helpers!
46348227895_e4875123c0_b.jpg20190301_114915 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

Ready for Friday opening
33387009778_a5b69779b4_b.jpg20190301_114943 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

40298092603_b3205631d3_b.jpg20190301_115004 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

33387011608_c38b62d0a5_b.jpg20190301_172323 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

47262717591_accaf3b806_b.jpg20190301_172350 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

40298097303_87cbcc455d_b.jpg20190301_172405 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

40316541613_0356b5d179_b.jpgPOM6 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

47281060101_6e30795e3e_b.jpgPOM10 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

46366569145_26a8df107c_b.jpgPOM11 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

40316536683_e9672f158d_b.jpgPOM12 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

That's me, cleaning and preening the car. I figure I've earned the right to wear that "Authorized Valve-in-head" service shirt by now!

47281051101_e1c569588b_b.jpgPOM18 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

47281045431_2931fb31dd_b.jpgPOM22 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

TRh ecar drew a lot of attention. THere was almost always a small knot of 3 to 12 people checking it out and asking questions. 
32320983037_2df9a84dcd_b.jpg20190302_111636 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

Family visitors; my daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren came to check out our handiwork
46366554225_c1cb8b007e_b.jpgP1050016 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

I didn't win any awards with the car; the class competition (1958 - 1967 Restored) was fierce and I agreed with the judges selections of the top cars in the class. Mine was close, but not as perfect as the winners.

All in all, a great weekend!

I'm going to be off-line for a week. I'll add more photos when I'm back.

Thanks again to Pat (BuickEstate) for his interior work, Jim P (57BuickJim) and Larry Schramm for years of hard work, support and help in bringing this baby home!

Edited by 95Cardinal (see edit history)
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