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1950 model 46-S to be liberated from shed after 20 years


Pete Phillips
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I have known about this car for at least the last 20 years, and always told the owner I was interested in it if he ever decided to sell. It was his father's car, been in this area since new; he began restoring it by doing the body work a few years ago, but he lost interest in the car and died last year. At that time, I offered to help his wife dispose of his other cars and told her I still had some interest in the 1950 Buick, but nothing came of it. Yesterday, the daughter called me and said they are selling the house and moving to Waco in a couple of weeks, and would I still be interested in the old Buick?

Yes, I've only been chasing it for 20 years! It's a black, 1950 Special 2-dr. fastback, straight eight, standard shift, AM radio, not sure of the mileage, here is one photo from the very crowded shed. The car is ready for paint right now--body work and primer done, even the guide coat has been applied. I opened the hood and the wiring looks good, everything is fairly clean and in its proper place, but the engine may be stuck since I could not turn it by hand. Floors are solid, all of the chrome pieces seem to be there. Clyde was a skilled mechanic/machinist, so I have a feeling that the engine will be in good shape. He had several antique cars, mostly Fords.

I bought the car and got the title today from his wife and daughter. Yes, I am excited to find an old Buick only 17 miles from home, and in pretty good shape, with no transport costs to pay. I may have paid a little more than it is currently worth, but the lady is a personal friend, and so was her late husband, and she is not well and can certainly use the $$ in the upcoming move. I got it for under $4000. It will need new tires, paint, maybe some rechroming, though the bumper guards and teeth look pretty good as-is. Upholstery is a 1960s or 1970s black vinyl which is not correct but is not worn or torn. My goal is to get it running, painted, and then decide how much further to go with it.

Three days from now, on Tuesday, I will go back there and liberate the old Buick from the shed where it has been stored for some 20 years--exciting stuff, to say the least. I promise to take photos and post them here. It will take some work just to remove the clothes, furniture, and other stuff that is piled around it. Stay tuned....!

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

Leonard, TX

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Edited by Pete Phillips (see edit history)
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Looking forward to the rest of the story Pete!  Looks like a great car to add to your collection. And I'm sure it will be since you treated your friend right at the point of purchase. I fear more people, then not, would do the opposite. Good Luck!!! 

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Another Buick awakening! This is getting to be a common occurrence Pete. Nothing as exiting in the old car hobby as pulling a nice old car from long hibernation. That body sure does look nice and makes the project very attractive. Never ceases to amaze me what people still have squirrelled away. Findings like this help keep the enthusiasm up for all.

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All of the sheet metal is perfect, except driver's front floor pan, so I don't need any quarter panels, thanks. The car's original color was black, but an un-air conditioned black car in Texas is not always a good idea. I was thinking of a gun-metal gray, and there are several grays in the 1950 paint chart. Interior is black and gray, so a gray exterior would work. We got the engine running today, no smoke, good oil pressure, but it is not smooth and sounds like it needs a valve job. Did a compression test and it varies from 70 pounds to 90 pounds, but #7 cylinder has zero compression. All valves are going up and down, so no stuck valves. Found an oil change sticker from 1960, and it had 80,000 miles then; now showing 45,000 with a lot of wear on the foot pedals, so I'm sure it is 145,000 at least. I guess the next step is to remove the cylinder head and see if the valves are sealing.

Pete

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Oh my goodness, Pete ... that is simply awesome.  Congratulations on finally being the owner of that Buick; such a cool story to go with that ownership.

 

 

Cort :) www.oldcarsstronghearts.com

pigValve, paceMaker, cowValve | 1979 Caprice Classic (awaiting new owner)
"A promise you can't take back" __ Shenandoah __ 'I Wanna Be Loved Like That'
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  • 2 weeks later...

Welcome and Good luck buddy!  Will be watching for photos/build updates.  Wishing I had the two-door Sedanette model myself.  Mine's the Tourback Sedan.  I concur with above for parts.  CARS and Buick Farm have been very helpful to me.  Bob's is pretty good too, but being an east coast guy I've had a little bit more luck and speedier shipping with the two aforementioned sources.  Buick Farm, as of last check had a bunch of different NOS moldings still avail.  They also come up on eBay as NOS pretty often too.  I think I saw in your pics that yours is a Deluxe model as well due to the emblem holes in the bottom front qtr. panels above the spear mounting holes.  If you don't have the "Special" emblems that go in those locations...good luck in finding some.  I've been chasing those dang things for a few years now.  Be wary on some that get listed as they look nearly the same, but they end up being '51 trunk script and not '50 qtr. panel scripts; material is thicker and the mounting pegs are in different locations.  The replacement grill teeth come up every so often too, but I've hardly ever seen the turn-signal teeth; most that get listed are worse off than the ones I have.

 

With that said, I've got a bunch of the manuals that pertain to the '50 models, so I'll share if you get stuck on something.  

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  • 1 month later...

The rechromed bumpers arrived in time for Christmas, and I just got them reassembled this morning. Turned out pretty well. I won't put them on the car until car is painted, but I wanted some inspiration to look at. The grille teeth are the original chrome--all I did was polish them up with steel wool and chrome polish. #0 has a pretty deep dent, so if anyone has a good #0 grille tooth, I will buy it.

Pete Phillips

P.S.: No snide remarks, please, about what's lurking in the corner next to the Buick. It's a lot rarer than the Buick and is patiently awaiting its restoration.

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Edited by Pete Phillips (see edit history)
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Wow those bumpers look great!!  I've got the same issue on mine where the grill teeth held their chrome finish pretty well, but the bumper faces themselves as well as the front turn signal bumperettes are pretty messy.  How much did it run you, if you don't mind sharing, to have the work done?  I'd at least like to get my turn signal buckets cleaned back up.  I'll check to see if I have an extra #0 grill tooth that looks to be in good shape and will let you know. 

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$800 total cost for front and back bumper assemblies including the back-up light housings and parking light housings and license plate cross bar for rear, and there were a couple of other smaller parts in that $800. Minus the grille teeth, which, as I said, I merely polished up the originals. The parking light housings were bent and dented but solid to start with, as were the rear back-up light housings--that alone is a rare find! Appreciate any effort on the #0 grille tooth.

Pete

FYI, to continue the story, the engine did indeed need a valve replacement on #7 so we refaced all of the other valves while head was off. Probably ready to crank it up for the first time since the head was off, tomorrow, to see if it runs smoother. Did the brakes; did the master cylinder; replaced the leaky radiator with a good one that I had on hand (anyone need the old radiator--it has one leak and can be repaired without too much trouble?); replaced all hoses; cleaned out and rebuilt the Carter carburetor; it ought to run fairly well now--famous last words (?)

Edited by Pete Phillips (see edit history)
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Yes, I pulled and cleaned out the oil pan; did a valve job on the cylinder head, installed new timing gears & chain, and just this week got the car back from the paint & body shop. Here are a few photos--apologies for the spot on the camera lens. The small chrome emblem midway up the trunk lid is the original dealer's insignia, which I found in the glove box. Car was sold new in Wichita Falls, Texas about 150 miles west of here. I have not had time to find and install the rest of the moldings yet. As you can see, I decided to go with black paint, which is the car's original color.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

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Edited by Pete Phillips (see edit history)
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Welcome to the JETBACK club Pete.

I think 1950 and 1951 were the only years Buick officially referred to this fastback style as Jetback in both advertising and the Shop Manual.

1950 listed

Model 43 4 door 6 passenger Jetback Sedan

Model 43D 4 door 6 passenger Deluxe Jetback Sedan

Model 46 2 door 3 passenger Jetback Coupe ( no rear seat I guess ).

Model 46D 2 door 6 passenger Deluxe Jetback Sedanet

Model 46S 2 door 6 passenger Jetback Sedanet

Model 56S 2 door 6 passenger Jetback Sedanet

Model 76S 2 door 6 passenger Jetback Sedanet

By 1951 the only Jetback left in the lineup was the Model 56S 2 door 6 passenger Jetback Sedanet.

I sometimes have trouble convincing younger people the 1950 Jetback is a factory configuration and not a " customised " Buick.

Enjoy that 1st drive - doesn't look far off!

Edited by 50jetback (see edit history)
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 Beautiful car, Pete. 

 

   Question.  In the engine pics, the wiper motor looks to be electric. Or am I seeing things?. And where did you get the timing gear an d chain? I have heard so many stories, I am gun shy.

 

  We will have to get pictures of the two together sometime. Neat that it came from here.

 

  Ben

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I'm interested in following your progress because your engine is the same as mine even though I have a 1940 Special it has was replaced long ago with a 1953 Special engine (the 263) which is the same as yours. I've torn mine apart and back together so I am very familiar with it. Let me know if you have any questions.

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I'm interested in following your progress because your engine is the same as mine even though I have a 1940 Special it has was replaced long ago with a 1953 Special engine (the 263) which is the same as yours. I've torn mine apart and back together so I am very familiar with it. Let me know if you have any questions.

 

 

  Morgan , Pete's car, a 1950 Special, had the last 248.

 

  Ben

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  • 2 weeks later...

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