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'53 Skylark


Jim Farrell
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The car is black. It needed paint because of body damage but had the original paint on it when we got it. When we got it about 20 years ago the entire underside was undercoated, and I can't say for sure what was under the undercoating. We chose to replicate the undercoating. We found it unusual but only part of the front wheel wells were hand painted red. The rear wheel wells were not painted. The car was originally sold by Brailey and Graham Buick in Portland OR, But for several years before it was sold it was driven by Mrs. Brailey. According to Mr. Brailey, who has since passed on, it was finally purchased by a bar tender in Lake Oswego and that is where we assume the mild body damage came from. Jim Farrell

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Checked out Cars Inc. In their catalogue, they start with '54 hood insulation. They don't list hood insulation for a '53 Skylark. Someone out there must know someone who has a Skylark with the correct hood insulation I could ask where they got it or how they duplicated it. Please. Jim Farrell

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I've seen several ads for '54 Skylark hood insulation, bur none for '53. I've also looked under the hood of several what appeared to be high quality restorations of '53 Skylarks. It looked to me that '53s had a different style and type hood insulation that was at least partially sewn. As I recall the hood insulation covered most of the underside of the hood except for a "cutout" area for the hood ornament attachment nuts and cup washers. There must be someone out there who made them or someone who has a pattern. Merry Christmas to all and thanks for the interest and help. Jim Farrell

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Maybe someone with a better memory than I have will jump in here...seems that a few years ago the accepted standard for hood insulation for 53 Skylarks was the sewn product in a light color as supplied by an east coast restorer/supplier. Then an original unrestored 53 Skylark showed up at a national meet and it had the same nasty gray material as the lesser cars.

Hopefully someone with a 53 Skylark can take some pictures and measurement so you can have it made locally.

Willie

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We are trying to finish up a '53 Buick Skylark, but need to figure out where to get the correct underhood insulation. Can anyone direct us who to contact? Thank you. Jim Farrell

A few Pics, comments, and ideas here.....

post-41556-143142902652_thumb.jpg

This first Pic is somebody's interpretation of what the under-hood insulation should be on a 1953 Buick Skylark 76X. The insulation is pink in color with a black facing substrate. The imprint says MANVILLE LINACOUSTIC and appears to be one of many commercial sound attenuation blanket-type materials out there. Whether the insulation is sandwiched between two substrates, I didn't do any research. My notations you see in yellow are what I measured and understand to be close to the size and configuration of what the correct insulation should be.

post-41556-143142902661_thumb.jpg

This second Pic is part of what's left on the underside of my 1953 Buick Skylark 76X parts car hood. Note that the OEM fiberglass insulation is YELLOW with what appears to have been a textured/embossed-black substrate under the insulation.....directly against the hood sheet metal.....for thermal protection of the hood paint. I want to say that the felt paper-type insulation installed on the underside of the trunk lid could be the same black material used for the substrate, but I don't know for sure. The 48" x 65" YELLOW insulation, as mentioned/advertised by Rubber The Right Way, might work if it has a substrate and does not have special cutouts for the advertised 1954 Skylark application. You would have to check that out.

post-41556-143142902667_thumb.jpg

This third Pic is an enlarged second Pic showing the noticeable textured black substrate. Note also that the insulation starts 3" from the edge of the rear hood reinforcement.

One final thought. There was an original-owner, low-mileage (8,000+) 1953 Buick Skylark 76X that sold on eBay two days ago. The listing has the contact/telephone number should you want to talk to the seller for any clarifications or confirmation of what I just posted. My suggestion would be to call him in the next day or two before the buyer picks it up. http://www.ebay.com/itm/131382728049?forcerRptr=true&item=131382728049&viewitem=&sspagename=ADME:B:WNA:US:1653

Hope this clarifies a few of the unknowns. Gotta go now. The grandkids are getting up and I hear someone trying to break into our house, down the chimney way. Ho, Ho, Ho! :rolleyes:

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

Edited by 1953mack (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Was there tar or the 1/4 inch tar board above the insulation? My 57 Olds has a nice clean chassis black underhood. When it idles the hood shimmies a little, something tar might have mitigated. The trunk lid was assembled with that tar board in between the layers on the 53.

Pat

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You know I have a '53 Super convertible. I am the second owner and restorer. If it were me, I would not be so convinced there ever was under hood insulation in a '53. From the factory that is......

Bill

You know I love to judge at the BCA Nationals, especially Groups G (1953-1954 Skylarks) and H (1953-1956 V8's). Let me know when you're planning on having your Super 56C judged at the next Nationals. In the meantime, check out Group 8.021 in your Master Chassis Parts Book and let me know if you're convinced yet. :o

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

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Was there tar or the 1/4 inch tar board above the insulation? My 57 Olds has a nice clean chassis black underhood. When it idles the hood shimmies a little, something tar might have mitigated. The trunk lid was assembled with that tar board in between the layers on the 53.

Pat

When you open the hood, you should be seeing the 1.5"-thick yellow fiberglass insulation.....no facing.....no tar.....no tar board.....similar to what you would see if you looked up at the underside of the flat-top area of the instrument panel.

post-41556-143142929356_thumb.jpg

I'm doing some further checking on the black substrate that is between the yellow insulation and the hood sheet metal. Will update this post on what/when I find out. Thanks.

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

Edited by 1953mack
added comment (see edit history)
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Do you think the black substrate was part of the yellow mat, an adhesive to hold the mat, or a previously applied layer of stiffener/deadener?

Pat

Here's what I found out on the black 'whatever' between the fiberglass insulation and the hood sheet metal after looking at four other 76X hoods. Of the four, three of the hood-undersides were OEM-looking, no painted undersides to match the body color, all with remnants of fiberglass insulation, and some small areas being what appears to have been a black adhesive, most likely not tar, to hold the fiberglass mat directly to the underside of the hood. The fourth hood's underside was incorrectly painted with a shiny paint to match the topside, nothing else.

My original thought was that maybe the textured/embossed black substrate looked like the felt paper-type insulation that is used on the underside of the trunk lid. I checked out two trunk lids and came to the conclusion that there was not a substantial thickness of the black 'whatever' that would be similar to the trunk lid material. Both trunk lids have what appears to be a 30# (30 pounds per 100 square feet) building paper or felt paper, sandwiched between the outer and inner trunk lid sheet metal panels, no evidence of any fiberglass insulation, and approximately 1/16" - 3/32" in thickness. The pic below shows the undersides of the two trunk lids.

post-41556-14314293938_thumb.jpg

Can't explain the textured look any further. Would be curious to investigate Rubber the Right Way's facing and or backing, though. Hope this clears up a few concerns.

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

post-41556-143142939373_thumb.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
You know I love to judge at the BCA Nationals, especially Groups G (1953-1954 Skylarks) and H (1953-1956 V8's). Let me know when you're planning on having your Super 56C judged at the next Nationals. In the meantime, check out Group 8.021 in your Master Chassis Parts Book and let me know if you're convinced yet. :o

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

You do know I am Irish.....

Bill

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  • 3 weeks later...

I ran across this article, also in the 1953 BUICK FACTS FOR SALESMEN booklet, where Buick placed the under-hood insulation emphasis on acoustics rather than thermal reasoning.....absorbing sound and preventing oil-can drumming of large metal expanses .....not the protection of the hood's exterior paint.

post-41556-14314297339_thumb.jpg

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

Edited by 1953mack
added new pic (see edit history)
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