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1957 Roadmaster Convertible


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Well I accidentally was hooked into buying another Buick, by way of coming across one of my dream Buicks.  Being so original, and only 30 minutes from my house, I really had no choice.  The top color is even the same as my other 57!  Not only that but it also has the original optional blue paint in the sweepspear, same as my other one!  It was meant to be at my home!

 

The car has about 62k miles, which appear to be original.  Despite not having undercoated (which is the first I've seen around here, although the car originated out west and lived in Texas much of its early life), there is not a single spot of rust through anywhere on the body or underneath.  The car wears its original paint, except for the lower passenger door, although its not in the greatest shape.  It is running and driveable, although there are a host of small things that I will give attention to as soon as I can, but I need to finish some things on the 4 door hdtp first.  Most of the chrome is at or near perfect.  The interior is original except for the carpet, and is in exceptional condition except for some cracking in the seats (especially front).

 

I did NOT think I'd get the chance to own one of these any time soon, let alone one I can actually drive.  I can't wait to go cruising with the top down!!

 

 

 

 

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Lance!!! in the words of Harry Carey. "Holy Cow"!!  What luck! What a great looking ride, and unbelievable that they are a matching pair! What's the probability of that? Looking forward to seeing you at Nationals on Friday. Have a safe journey and see you then!

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Lance!!! in the words of Harry Carey. "Holy Cow"!! What luck! What a great looking ride, and unbelievable that they are a matching pair! What's the probability of that? Looking forward to seeing you at Nationals on Friday. Have a safe journey and see you then!

Thank you Jim! Unfortunately a last minute change in a business trip and my inability to get some brake work done on Big Blue will prevent me from coming down to the show
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  • 2 weeks later...

We are happy for you.  You have a really good calibrator and survivor for the rest of the Buick gang to refer to as what is rich and proper, so please resist the temptation in repeating what you did on the other bookend Buick.  Just clean it up really good on the inside and out and drive it.  Preserve it -  Leave the patina even if don't like patina, as the classic character will grow on you as well as it's overall value.  It can only be original once !

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Buick Man, if you are referring to the fact that I painted the other 57, please note that it had already been painted in the past and was flaking off and rusting. This one has been quite poorly repainted on the lower door and has damage in several large areas on the paint. Thus, I will consider trying to touch those spots up if I can do it with original type of paint. However, just leaving the damaged areas is neglect, not preservation in my opinion.

The engine has almost no paint left on it and appears mostly bare metal, so I will certainly be painting it. I believe leaving the bare metal to rust is neglect and not preservation.

The interior will be kept mostly as-is for the most part. The leather is cracked but complete. I will try to repair where the seam is coming apart and repair where the dash vinyl is peeling up. The carpet had been replaced with loop style so I may replace it with cut style closer to original at some point. The top has no tears but staining so I may try to redye it or something but don't anticipate replacing it anytime soon. I fact, it may even be the original top as it is actual cloth and not vinyl as most new replacements are I've seen. Most of the chrome is very nice so I'll only replace a few pieces that are damaged.

A very finely kept original I agree should be kept as such, but damage or heavy deterioration is not "patina" or "originality" in my opinion. I know some have different views on this, but I don't romanticize on a deteriorated classic, but rather on how it was designed to be enjoyed!

Edited by lancemb (see edit history)
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  • 1 month later...

Got the engine out! Wow that was a chore and thank the lord I was able to summon help or I don't think it would have gotten out any time soon. Now it goes into hibernation for a couple months for rejuvenation!

It has almost no paint but plenty of grease.

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DON, yup, it's the crankcase breather pipe. Not an essential piece to keep the car running but it does keep the engine compartment less oily.

 

LANCE, let me add my Attaboy to the chorus. You picked up a real winner here - or rather, it sounds like it picked you. I note that you've left the Dynaflow in the car. Boy, those top bell housing bolts must have been a bear to access and will likely present a real challenge when it comes time to put the engine back in. You're right about engine removal being a two-person job, although maybe a little less so when you're not manoeuvring the transmission, too.

 

What's your plan for the engine? Just a cosmetic freshening-up or are you going to open 'er up and see where that leads you?

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LANCE, let me add my Attaboy to the chorus. You picked up a real winner here - or rather, it sounds like it picked you. I note that you've left the Dynaflow in the car. Boy, those top bell housing bolts must have been a bear to access and will likely present a real challenge when it comes time to put the engine back in. You're right about engine removal being a two-person job, although maybe a little less so when you're not manoeuvring the transmission, too.

What's your plan for the engine? Just a cosmetic freshening-up or are you going to open 'er up and see where that leads you?

Thanks Rob! I feel very fortunate to have found this car. See what happens when you are away for awhile?

The bell housing bolts were actually easy providing you have a crazy long extension, which my assistant did. I think it was about 3 feet. Otherwise it would be damn near impossible perhaps.

The car only has 62k miles so I am going to leave the engine intact, unless I see something suspicious when I remove the oil pan or top covers.

I will also replace basically every consumable component on the engine when I put it back together so I minimize issues down the road.

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Lance,

 

You really have a beautiful set of Roadmasters. I showed my wife the photos from this thread, and she commented, "Wow! That is a pretty car! I love the blue color."

 

I've been trying to get her excited about my 76C ever since I brought it out to NM, and she doesn't seem to care either way, but your car gets the "Wow!" comment. Maybe she doesn't see the $ signs in front of yours like mine has.

 

Post lots of photos of your work. I'm using the info to document what mine should look like.

Edited by High Desert (see edit history)
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Lance's car is a beauty, but so is yours. If the wife is concerned about $$ in front of the car, make sure to show her pictures of the ones going thru the auctions. She will be much more interested when she sees the $$$ after the car.

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Lance,

You really have a beautiful set of Roadmasters. I showed my wife the photos from this thread, and she commented, "Wow! That is a pretty car! I love the blue color."

I've been trying to get her excited about my 76C ever since I brought it out to NM, and she doesn't seem to care either way, but your car gets the "Wow!" comment. Maybe she doesn't see the $ signs in front of yours like mine has.

Post lots of photos of your work. I'm using the info to document what mine should look like.

Thanks a lot! I will try to document this over the next couple months.

Your car is actually in similar condition it seems with the exception of the engine troubles. It looks every bit as solid and original though, and you didn't have to go buy it to boot! Remind your wife of that perhaps and the fact that every $ you put into this car is worth it.

If there is any thing you need me to help with providing pics or information along the way just ask.

Do you have a top boot, btw?

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After an initial degreasing I found that the left exhaust manifold was cracked. Unable to get a nice one for a reasonable price quickly, I took it to a local place to have it welded since it is in otherwise nice shape and the crack is not all the way around the pipe.

One of my mounts was also completely separated so I sent them in to Steele to be revulcanized. There are some supposed new aftermarket ones on Ebay but they look crusty and figured if I can get fresh vulcanized rubber this would be better than 50 year old dried out rubber, especially since it will be cheaper and the seller won't budge on price. This will bee the last thing I need before putting engine back in so I can afford to wait a few weeks!

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It wasn't long ago that I was at the same stage. I can practically smell the fresh paint still. I guess you must have already peeked inside - did the bottom and top ends look okay?

Yes indeed I took a peek, but didn't take anything apart inside. Looked pretty normal to me with no sludge up top or bits of anything. Some sludge in pan but that's to be expected at this age!

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As an aside, Lance, can you expand a little on that cool ride toy car behind the engine? Just looks interesting. I never saw one like that before.

Yes! This is my daughter's car. It is a Chinese battery-powered plug-in car whose styling is an obvious ripoff of an early 50's Cadillac. Therefore I put a real Cadillac emblem on the hood that I just happened to have and got her a Cadillac key chain. It can be driver operated or with a remote control, which is pretty helpful sometimes when I don't trust her erratic driving on the way to the park! It works great though and was not super pricey.

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Mind posting a picture or two?

 

Also, I love the way the manifold is shaped in the rear two cylinders, so as to make room to access the starter I believe.  The Starter is a tight fit on the 56 with Dual exhaust.  Should there be a heat shield for those two spark plugs?

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Also, I love the way the manifold is shaped in the rear two cylinders, so as to make room to access the starter I believe. The Starter is a tight fit on the 56 with Dual exhaust. Should there be a heat shield for those two spark plugs?

Yes it is a cool looking manifold but unfortunately the same design makes it susceptible to cracking. And yes you are correct on the heat shield! I had to do some touch up on it and will put it on along with the other side by this weekend.

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