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1930 Buick Model 30-61 Never-ending Restoration


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Your car is supposed to have the vent and ventalation windshield. The board above the windshield should have a regulator mounted to it to raise and lower the windshield. There are two pockets on the upper sash that the pins from the regulator go in and are visable in your pictures. So you are not only missing the wood board, but most likely the regulator. Your Buick is basically the same as my 31' Chevy 4dr Special Sedan. Did you ever try contacting Jim at Autowood Restoration, he specializes in Chevy and all GM cars. He could help you with that windshield header board. It will have very specific routed areas and holes located for the windshield regulator.

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  • 10 months later...

Actually, I do have that piece and the associated regulator. It is the front crosspiece that I am missing (goes behind the metal sun visor). A crappy old plywood scab was all that was there, and way too crude to go by.

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  • 10 months later...
1 hour ago, No1Packardman said:

It is? What are the clues that it may be?

The hood and radiator has the 1928 and earlier contours. I believe the oval window may have come only on the 1927 and 1928 Buick. I could be wrong about the window. The edges of your windows have a crisp edge which leads me to believe it is a 1927.

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Sounds like you know these cars very well. I have had more experience with Packards as you may have guessed. I have a couple more questions if you don't mind?

1. Did these cars have electric starters?

2. Do you think this car is worth restoring? The owner wants $1500 for it and I am not sure it has all the parts.

 

Tim

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Yes, it should have an electric starter. It is worth restoring if you like it and plan on keeping it. There is a lot of wood inside that is structural, so if it needs the wood replaced, the cost of that is way over what someone would pay for the finished restoration. I try never to buy a car to restore on speculation as to whether or not I will make money off of it's sale. I don't see any sags in the doors, but it looks like the roof is missing it's covering, so be prepared to see wood rot from water coming into the doors or body. More photos would tell us if it is worth $1,500.00 or not. One thing you might do is to start a NEW thread about the car. That way, the guy who posted this thread will not feel like we hijacked it.

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)
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Ernie,

I would like to know if it I worth restoring. I have do some wood working, made furniture and such. Can I find all the parts I need? I know I can get all the rubber, the electrical wiring and glass since it is flat, but tell me about the manuals, and all the other info of how it all works.

 

Tim

 

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It is not a big money car, so don't do it with profit in mind. The wood work isn't that difficult for the most part, just time consuming. There are lots of publications out there and the '29 Buicks are similar enough to reference for some things. I highly recommend visiting http://www.oldcarmanualproject.com

to see some info. Tons of it there; great resource. A big factor in restoring your car...if you are going to try to keep the original engine, check for cracks in the block, especially behind the manifold. It can be a show stopper. Mine has a 27" crack that I haven't determined what to do with yet ($$$). Spare engines are all but gone out there. I looked for many years. I am pretty sure my project is going to get handed down to my son or sold one of these days, as I am 63 and it hasn't progressed much in the 17 years I have had it.

 

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  • 3 years later...

Well, after years (literally) of procrastination, etc., I am back in the game. When I last posted I was just starting with the re-wooding. I have since remade just about every piece of wood in ash with the exception of the windshield header and the 10 or so slats in the roof. I say I remade them, not remade them well. I am very happy with some of the pieces. Some will need some adjusting and final shaping. I actually had the whole thing assembled (not permanently or glued) and was trying to figure out the shape of the windshield header, which was very crudely replaced with plywood in the past. I started looking at the bottom section, main and cross sills, and decided it needed work. So I took it all apart again and fiddled with the bottom end. I set the cowl on it to make some measurements and did some cutting. This car was missing the original front third of each main sill, so it has been a guessing game. Then, when happy, I glued the cross sills in place. Debated doing that for a long time, but figured it was time.

Then I retired from my job after 36 years and sat on my butt for a while and enjoyed doing so.

Well, like I said, I am back into the thick of it. Mostly thanks to communicating with several members here on the forums. I started by taking those pesky multi-curved rocker pieces out to my shed to test fit them against the metal skin. They both required quite a bit of dressing up with a bench sander. I also rediscovered several broken-off fender bolts that were in the way and required several days to remove. Fairly satisfied, I moved to the front hinge pillars, which I had been rather proud of in my work. To my chagrin, I discovered that I had woefully miscalculated the dimensions and they will have to be remade. I hoped that I could just add wood in needed places, but some of the missing mass is in critical locations. Live and learn. In my defense, the original pillars were in pretty bad condition and I was guesstimating some of it. One of you fine gentlemen suggested using the metal cover plates as a guide to the shape. Well, duh! That is a terrific idea and no, I did not think of that. It makes it very obvious where some of my errors were.

Well, that is where I am at at this point. I need to see how much ash I still have and go get what I need. Then I will do some very careful recreating.  That bench sander is going to come in handy, too, I think. Hopefully, I will get this done before I die of old age so my son doesn't have to figure out where I left off and learn by mistakes all over again. Fortunately, people in my family live a long time. No guarantee, though.

 

 

Edited by Erndog (see edit history)
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So, I am slightly encouraged about remaking the front pillars. I think I can do it again. However, it suddenly dawned on me after all these years just how difficult it is going to be to install the cowl section, especially with the engine and steering column in place (no room to remove the engine in my little garage). I am thinking the cowl will need to be sitting approximately in place and then slide the sill section into it. Then set the pillars in place with the "windshield lower cross bar to pillar" braces pre-installed on them. Then try to "roll" the windshield lower cross bar into place while praying the carriage bolts for the "windshield lower cross bar to pillar" braces don't pop loose. After that the rest should be easy. That's my theory, at least.

 

And here I thought the hardest thing was how to deal with those pesky quarter window belt bars.

 

I had an epiphany that woke me up out of a sound sleep this morning. I am of the opinion now that many of these "shells" of old cars out there, with little or no wood left in them, are not just rotted hulks forgotten in time. They are actually the sad remnants of re-wooding projects that were given up on. I am trying real hard to not let this car become one of those. Maybe my wife was right. She has been trying for years to get me to unload this white elephant.

 

I think the hardest part for me overall is the fact that I am trying to do this in my 1 1/2 car garage that has lots of other stuff in it, too. I long for where I grew up and did all my vehicle work when young. We had six acres of buildings and tons of working environment, including a gantry crane. I am considering moving in the near future and several outbuildings are on my list of must-haves.

 

 

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Oops. Never mind about the difficulty of the the crossbar. I just looked at the cowl and see that it won't be much of an issue. I also started thinking I could remove some of the forward toe-board metal, but no, it's spot welded in place. So, the slide-in part will still have to happen.

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I removed the wiring under the cowl today and put it in storage for future reference. Of course, it will need to be replaced eventually, but that is in the unforeseeable future. It would just be in the way when I try to install the cowl section onto the frame...someday. I think I may have enough ash to get a good start on the new front pillars. I think I will be smarter this time and make plywood or wallboard templates first and possibly "pine dummies". Great plan, now to do it. It is so easy to procrastinate and blame it on planning, but planning is definitely important, as my errors prove. This project is starting to remind me of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance".

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