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1957 Buick Special Restomod Project


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Did not mean to imply that transplanting an Olds dash had not been done before. Actually the inspiration for this project was a '57 Buick Special that I saw in Southern California a few years back that had a '57 Olds dash. I know that 421 6speed that used to post here is doing a similar install in a '57 Super. That is a bit more involved as the Super body is wider that the Special/Century body. Will be interesting to see how he accomplished that. I also sold a factory A/C '57 Olds dash to a gentleman is SoCal that is also doing a Super/Roadmaster install. As far as I know 421 6 speed,  the guy in SoCal and I are the only ones using a factory A/C dash and or components. Likely more out there but I am not aware of them.

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36 minutes ago, g-g-g0 said:

Did not mean to imply that transplanting an Olds dash had not been done before.

 

I'm not trying to take away from anything your are doing, your dash swap simply made me think of this.  Probably the only way to make a F*rd any cooler would have been to put a Buick engine and dash in it.:P

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Well it's time to clean up the engine compartment. The goal is to get rid of all of the unsightly holes, crazy corners, wires and hoses. Remember this picture? So let's clean it up a bit! We fill some holes, make a cover for the windshield wiper mechanism, and smooth it all out.

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Since the project is going to need a fuel tank and the rear wells are going to be mini tubbed, there are going to be some serious mods to the trunk area. The original trunk floor was removed and is going to be used in another BCA members project. So now we do some serious cutting and fabrication.

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What pump system did you end up using? Looks like a one way deal, PWM? I know I don't need to say anything because this is pro work being done here, but I remember my dad had to get a new tank when he was modding his 502 pickup. They didn't flush the tank after welding it up and it filled his injectors with slag.Oops lol. The truck is long gone, but the memories aren't.

 

Edit: Just saw the return inlet.

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
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A bit of info on the wheels and tires. The fronts are 255/50ZR 17's and the rears are 295/45ZR 18's NITTO NT555 Extreme Performance. The wheels are Deltona Superior Series made by Colorado Customs. Nearly 12 inches of rubber on the ground at each rear wheel. Sure hope that 425 has enough in it to break them loose on occasion!!! Hub caps are one off designed for this car but won't be shown until the car is complete!!! Ya gotta stay tuned!!

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Well, I think it is time to consider putting some seats in the car. This IS a BUICK so there was no other choice but to use BUICK components. I wanted bucket seats and some that were some what period correct. Sooooooooo, I decided that we would go with first generation Riviera seating, front and rear. Again mods were necessary for proper mounting and seat height. For the front seat I found a somewhat elusive power drivers seat mechanism that required a major cleaning.

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So on to the rear seats. Again from a first generation Riviera but mods were necessary. Fillers had to be fabbed to fill the gaps between the seat back and the interior quarter, upper corners of the back rest were modified to blend in with other contour's, panel between trunk and rear compartment was filled. Also incorporated was an again elusive center "pop up" center arm rest.

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The package tray is an issue of it's own. The original '57 tray was pretty much flat and fit the contour of the rear glass in the car. With the installation of the 1st gen Riviera seats the package tray now needed to have a radius to fit down into the seats to the speaker grille and the outer ends of the seat back. The original Riviera trays were cardboard and we were not sure they would fit/fill the whole surface of the '57. Therefore it required fabbing one out of metal and creating the correct curvature to fit the new opening. I am especially thrilled as to how it turned out! Also had to make some provisions for speakers in the tray as I will certainly require some cool 50's tunes while cruising!! "Ya' Ain't Nothin' But A Hound Dawg!!!! LOL

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  • 2 weeks later...

More console build. All of the wiring and controls run through the console and fitted so that they can be unplugged and the console removed for any repair/diagnostic work required.

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Well this concludes the build thread for now. Still lots of work to be done! Paint, upholstery, final assembly and then test drive and etc. The goal is to have the car ready to go so that it can make the drive to Allentown. It's going to be tight but we are all working to meet that goal. If it makes it's debut their, then I will continue this thread or start another one to show the final project. Hope to see you in Allentown!!!

 

Thanks to all that have followed and commented on this thread to date. I has been a long project but I believe the final product will be quite pleasing to the eye and a real enjoyment to drive.

 

Thanks again, especially to Verne and Shane for their interest and excitement to build this project. A job well done!!!

 

Gary

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12 minutes ago, smithbrother said:

Cool build, and what's even cooler, is that some members are enjoying a MODIFIED Buick build, instead of picking on the fact it won't be ORIGINAL.

 

Dale in Indy 

                                                      

12 minutes ago, smithbrother said:

    Agitator!:D

 

  Ben                                                                                 

 

 

                                    

 

 

 

 

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Love your choice of seats. I had planned on using same in my 54 Special custom that never got off the ground. After seeing all the work (and beautifully executed at that) it took to accomplish, it's probably a good thing I never got that far. 

 

That console is aewsome. And I hear you about the pop up center being elusive. And pricey when found

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OK, no scallops, but  NO white tires, or SUN VISORS, no fuzzy dice, stuffed animals, fox tails, dual antennas, although a high school friend said his added 10 MPH top speed, 5 MPH per side, no lights below frame, no curb feelers, no vertical plastic door guards, no blue dots, no musical hours, no skirts, no spot lights, and a few I'm forgetting.

 

If it goes fast PROTEST, if it doesn't, CHROME it.

 

Dale in Indy 

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As high schoolers we ALWAYS had a work bench on the back seat, a (BLANKET).  hehe  

 

Mothers called other mothers, said, don't let your daughter ride with that wild driver Dale Smith, one mother said, it's to late,nthey are out on a date now.....I never hurt anyone.  For sure!

 

Dale in Indy 

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2 hours ago, smithbrother said:

As high schoolers we ALWAYS had a work bench on the back seat, a (BLANKET).  hehe  

 

Mothers called other mothers, said, don't let your daughter ride with that wild driver Dale Smith, one mother said, it's to late,nthey are out on a date now.....I never hurt anyone.  For sure!

 

Dale in Indy 

My dad always told me to take the blanket out so you don't get the picnic pitch all over the back seat. Haha

 

Looking forward to seeing it complete, I want to see those custom hub caps!

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  • 1 month later...

Well an update. Pretty bummed out today! Met with Verne and Shane yesterday and finally had to face reality. The car will not be completed in time for Allentown! To say the least I am really disappointed, but at this stage of the game it makes NO sense to start taking short cuts to speed up the completion. No more pictures for now but will do a spread after it rolls out of the shop for the final time. I think it will be awesome! Pictures will not do it justice rather will need to be seen to pick up on some of the detail and craftmanship. Oh well there is always NEXT YEAR! Hang with me guy's. It will get done!

 

Gary

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On 5/21/2016 at 10:30 AM, g-g-g0 said:

Well an update. Pretty bummed out today! Met with Verne and Shane yesterday and finally had to face reality. The car will not be completed in time for Allentown! 

 

It's okay, Gary...  As long as it's done by October for our Kansas Buick show!;)

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  • 3 months later...

Well it has been just over 3 months since I have posted an up date but first of all, thank you to all that have shown an interest in this project!! Hard to believe that there has been nearly 2500 "views".

 

Really not a lot to show for the past three months. However the body has been sprayed inside as well as the underside with LizardSkin Ceramic Insulation. Really like the stuff. It seals everything plus gives sound and heat insulation. The trunk was sealed with Dynamat. So not the body is sealed and now in final prime. Body is ready to set on the frame this week and FINALLY some visible progress. Hated to miss Allentown but Good Lord willin' and the creeks don't rise I will make Milwaukee next year!!

 

Stay tuned. 

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  • 1 month later...

Well, nearly a month has passed since I shared a progress report. Still moving along but not a lot of visible progress. Wiring is coming along and being labeled. Under hood wiring an plumbing is almost complete. Dash is temporarily set in place so that wiring can be laid out. Upholstery work is moving along also on loose parts. In the middle picture (the dark photo) you can see a glimpse of the chrome window frame (w/glass) peaking above the body. Power window mechanisms are mounted and wiring being completed. The sound system is coming together also. Sub woofer is in place. Sorta looks like we may have TUNES before we hear the engine run!!!

 

Verne and Shane are off to SEMA today and will be gone for the week so no progress next week. They need a break and who knows, after seeing all of the neat stuff at SEMA they may come back and want to do a complete make over! NOT!!!!!

 

Stay tuned and thanks for following this build.

 

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16 minutes ago, g-g-g0 said:

Sorta looks like we may have TUNES before we hear the engine run!!!

Maybe when parked.  I don't think I would need any additional entertainment after starting the engine and putting in gear.:P

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