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72 Electra, aka "The Queen"


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It's hardly news that we acquired the 72 this summer. I have been doing some cleaning since we've been home and finding it is much better than I thought. Tonight I wanted to tighten the power steering belt and discovered I needed a new one. Naturally it is the first belt on next to the engine and the AC , Alt and air pump belts needed to be removed to get at it. Well, actually I could have left the air pump belt on since it only goes around the water pump and the PS belt does not. But I wanted to make sure that belt was tight too since I was hearing some chirping at idle. The only reason I mention any of this is cause every bolt came loose exactly like a new car bolt. With 4 belts off the engine I had the job done in a half hour. It is so nice to work on a vehicle and not break anything taking it apart.

Yesterday we had the Chrome Rallys installed so here's a few pics. Gotta get some new centers and may just buy a set for my birthday. Found a garage in town for up to one year. But working on a storage solution right here at home. More on that as it progresses.

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Sweet looking Buick there John!

Can`t get over how the look changes with the rallys & blackwalls vs the caps & whitewalls, kinda like the Banker`s Hot Rod.

LIKE!

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Thanks Doug and Bill for the kind words.

Thanks to Willie too . As for Blue, yes, i can see blue just thinking about that. As for performance, we recorded 14.6 mpg on average. Thats running around 65 with the A/C on and pretty much maxed out with weight. Its less around town even though its empty. I think it will do better now that it has blackside walls, but we wont know till Sunday nite when we meet up with Matt and Ken for dinner.

One nice thing is it runs good on regular octane gas. Another is no vapor lock. But the better part is no washing whitewalls.

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Nothing changes the personality of a full size Buick like chrome road wheels! Car looks great. Agree once you get an old car that doesn't have rusty seized bolts after that you never want to go back.

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Guest my3buicks

John, you should be able to pull a couple mpg better from the car, 1 always pull 16.5 with the 455's traveling. I am a purist, the wheels just don't work for me, but it's not my car lol. As i am sure you already know, you will love the 72.

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Thanks all, and thanks for the information and the honesty Keith. I know not everyone will be a fan of that look. To each his own I guess. But you are absolutely right. Linda and I BOTH love this car.

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John, this car would even look great with no wheels and tires. While I'm partial to the grandfather look, the rally wheels and blackwalls are great. I've had a couple of West Coast cars - my dd Valiant is one - so I know what you mean about nuts that just spin off. It adds real pleasure to otherwise mundane mechanical work.

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John, as you know, I've had my '56 almost as long as you've had yours, and after always having and working on Ontario cars, it was amazing to work on a California car, and just have all the bolts come off as if they were put on the week before!

I think the rally wheels look great.

Keith

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Thanks Rob and Keith... I appreciate your comments on the Queen. When I first saw the caps and whitewalls I really liked the set up. But my wife was not that enamored with the car at first. Actually, this was one of two colors she would have never picked. But just the other day as we pulled up next to it from an errand she blurted out, That's such a pretty car!

We are two steps away from buying a premade shed, which will be put in the back yard for storing it. I hope we have it in by October.

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The rally's really transform the car! I, like Keith, prefer the look of white walls and I think those would have looked great with the rally's. I am surprised how much I like the look of the car with the blackwalls though... just gotta keep em clean! Glad you got the PS to stop chirping.

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Edited by dmfconsult (see edit history)
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John, the car looks great. The style of these cars was outstanding, and, as you've discovered, they are remarkably comfortable for long-distance touring.

It was great to meet you in Portland, and I apologize for not connecting beyond our initial greeting.

Dan drove the car up to the Tacoma area a few years ago, and we managed to shoot some photos of the '72 with my '71 Centurion. Thought you might enjoy seeing these:

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Edited by Centurion (see edit history)
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Thanks Brian! Dan did mention he brought it up for a show once. Your car is absolutely beautiful. I like the grill on yours a little better. It is too bad we did not get a chance to have a parking lot pow wow at Portland. I' m still trying to figure out where the time went?

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Yes it was a great dinner with terrific friends! We really enjoyed having a chance to get together with you and your wonderful family. Sorry it rained on you on the way home. It did rain on us too, just as we pulled into the driveway. Meanwhile the bugs were plastered all over the front of the car. A small price to pay for a good time with Buick friends. Till next time...

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Thanks for the kind comments guys. Rob, We did talk briefly about the headlight dimmer on your car. I was surprised to see it. I thought that was out of production way before 72. You never know what will show up at a Buick show.

Meanwhile, there's no chance of putting white walls on the rally's in my view. To me white walls go with hub caps, Rally's should be blackwalls, except for instances of raised white letters on muscle cars. I know GM sold them with white walls and advertised them in the catalogs that way too. But I think white walls on the mags detracts from the wheels, and to me the rally's are some of the nicest factory rims out there.

I had the opportunity to change the heater hoses yesterday. The block heater looked like it was leaking and the heater control valve also was very rusty. Plus I was dinged for the red hoses. In the process I found the passengers side valve cover needed to be tightened, which appears to have stopped the leak. It was a crappy day today but I hope to have some nice weather next week to try and clean some of the engine compartment.

Got the shed ordered, and the building permit, and have been working to open up the area where the shed will go. Can't believe the summer is over already.

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  • 1 month later...

Ok, the dust has settled. The Queen is resting inside her new home and I am glad to report that it is dry as can be in New England.

We had a few trees removed, a stone pad built with a rodent screen barrier throughout. The "Shed " is 12 X 30 and we had the floor insulated with Rigid Styrofoam board, aluminum foil clad. The insulation was installed on cleats that kept the insulation tight to the underside of the floor, foil face down for a vapor barrier. Then the entire bottom of the shed was enclosed in a rodent barrier to prevent anything from digging up or under the building.

We had a 9 foot wide steel garage door installed which has been a blessing, and three single hung windows, with a six foot wide access door on the far end. We have a lot of space and I was able to move some stuff around in our regular garage so now we have some space around the 56 and the GS besides. So we are calling this stuff quits for this year right after I replace one more thing on the Queen. The battery is leaking and it has to get out of there. Pictures to follow

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As promised, here's a photo journal of the new shed installation. This is the before pictures. This shed is pretty much at the minimum clearance from my property line. We don't have a large lot so size did matter.

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This is another "Before" picture, taken from the vista of the road. 4 pines to the left of the driveway will be removed.

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This is the last Before picture. The 8 x 12 shed will be removed after virtually all the trees in this picture are cut down. I hated to cut them all, but while the crew was here we decided better to do it now than have them working on top of the septic system in the future.

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In prep for the tree crew, and the future driveway, we had to remove half of this dog kennel.

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We also had to move this pile of firewood, which is what is visible in the first picture above.

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I also had a pile of mulch that had to be moved out of the way, and some of the smaller trees I actually dug out instead of leaving the stumps under the new shed.

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The tree company at work, and the space gained after 3 of the first 4 pines are eliminated.

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A second shot where the bucket and crane are in position to remove the larger oak and maples. Those things were really tall.

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Now the shed company will come to retrieve the existing unit and transport it to my son's home.

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The base of the stone pad was laid and the 1/2 inch galvanized screen was put about 6 inches below the top layer. This is intended to stop rodents from digging under and coming up in the middle of the shed. This area has a deep layer of sand below the surface, and it is great for self leveling, but very inviting to tunneling vermin. So there's no guarantee this will work, just an expectation. We'll see.

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Also you can see my next project, splitting the firewood. I've already started with some of the largest pieces. It's not fast doing it by hand but it gives me something productive to do while trying to replenish car playing funds.

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The shed is a fully constructed unit, minus the garage door, upon arrival. 12 x 30 is the largest they can deliver this way. Cost explodes if they were to build on site.

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We had the floor insulated with Rigid foam boards, clad with aluminum. Without any guarantee, the expectation was that it would provide a vapor barrier , and rodent deterrent, and insulation if we ever want to complete the inside .

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Backing into the location. This was delivered by one guy with the help of a trick trailer. The trailer can move forwards and back on it's frame, side to side on a second set of wheels tucked into the center , and tilts. This unit was dropped in place without damage to the stone pad in less than 20 minutes.

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Voila instant garage! Well, not a garage to work in per se. We really plan to just use it for storage.

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The rodent barrier is installed between the building base and the pad of screen in the middle of the stone base. Note the opening under the length of the building. We wanted to keep that air flowing.

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So a simple 2 x 6 with a 2 x 4 topper and spacers to rest against the main 4x4's were employed.

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Once the 4 yard stone driveway was built we checked and on a windy day you can feel the air moving under the shed on the opposite end of the unit.

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I'm pretty much done with it for this year. The Queen is high and most importantly, dry! And we picked up lots of additional storage space.

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And the bonus is it's right at home, so I can run it anytime I want.

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It's not the same as a real garage. I could have gone 2 to 3 feet wider if I had built on site. But one ridiculous rule this town employs is the roof on an auxiliary building is not supposed to be more than 15 ft high. Now I'm sure that is overlooked in rural areas where homes have multiple acres surrounding them. But in this development I'm sure that would have been a problem.

Anyway, it's done.

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Well done John - looks great nestled right in there and look sharp with the road wheels. Pretty smart to do the 6 foot doorway at the other end of the shed. Gives me ideas...

Watch that bicycle hangin so ya don't bump yer head :D

Edited by KAD36 (see edit history)
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Yes, well, regarding the bicycle, I went and bought a hangar designed especially for bikes and put that up there. Then I could not sleep that entire night cause I kept imaging the hangar broke and the bikes fell on the car. The next morning I went right out and took those bikes down, and stashed them in the extra space at the end of the shed.

I did manage to get the bad battery out yesterday, without cracking the casing open. (( YAHOO)) The area underneath is bare and coated with rust from the acid leak, But the metal is all there and appears solid. I'll be addressing that area before the end of the month.

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Nice looking building, and a good home for "The Queen", I'm sure. Zoning bylaws can get kind of strange at times. We have some here too, the wierdest one still on the books, says that you cannot drag a dead horse along Yonge Street (a major road that dates from the beginning of the city) on Sunday.

Keith

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