MrEarl

Favorite Pictures of My Pre War Buick

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Mike, the house in the photo is the old Price Mansion here in Hutchinson.  Mr. Price was the Division Manager for the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad.  He had the house built in 1885 and reportedly spent over $5,000 at the time.  This was a horrendous amount of money at that time.  The folks who own the house now have had it since 1965.  My wife went to school with their son and we of course have been all through it.  They started in the early 1980's and restored it.  It took about 10 years and almost a half million dollars to get what you see in the photo.  There is a carriage house with servant quarters behind the house proper.  There is even a two-lane regulation bowling alley on the back side of the carriage house.  The house is completely furnished with period antique furniture that the owners scoured the whole Midwest gathering up while the house was being restored.  At Christmas time it is decorated like it would have been back in the day.  They open it up for two days to the public.  They charge $5.00 a person to go through it and all of the money is donated to charity.  It is a very fascinating place to see.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas 

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We had our 8th annual Mason-Dixon car show on Saturday. 57 cars registered. It is always great when something special shows up. Pre-War cars only 3. Last several years we had as many as 7 or 8. This stunning 1933 Victoria Coupe was trailered from Mars PA around 240 miles to our little show. The good thing was that the owner received the Best of Show award and the Dealers Choice award. The photo shows my shabby 1937 Special in the back round.

33 BuickFry [2087].jpg

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 Longest ride yet in my 41 Century sedanette out to the Oak beach lot and down the ocean drive on eastern Long Island NY's Jones Beach.  After having worked on the front suspension and getting an alignment it was time to get off the local 45 mph streets and hit the open road and see what the fastest car in America in 1941 had to offer. My first impression was how light the steering was and how stable the chassis was at speed, very relaxing. It was a hot day but the cabin was very comfortable and surprisingly quite with windows and cowl vent open and door vents closed. Air flow by the open windows is so smooth my hat stayed in place and we could still have a conversation. This is the first vintage car I have owned that was so well insulated from the engine sounds heat and smells. The real treat was putting the pedal down and feeling that rear carb kick in which was really impressive and not a myth as we rocketed up the Sunken Meadow State Park Bridge grade to 75 mph which really felt no different then 50. The 320 eight stayed at 180 all day with a steady 45 lbs of oil pressure and not burning a drop. The one unfortunate moment was the familiar smell of an electrical meltdown in the Sonomatic and indeed it died while listening to the ball game. Yes power steering would be really really nice at low speeds but a pair of Willwood disc brakes would have to get installed if I keep driving her. Even keeping a large distance the casual stopping power of modern cars with giant caliper four wheel discs makes it a little scary sometimes to slow two tons of seventy five year old Detroit steel. I love that this car will easily hang with modern traffic but it needs to stop like it too. The exercise really had its effect and everything except the radio is working better. I'm hooked! 

 

Like the Greatest the Buick Century floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee!   Rest in peace.. Ali 

 

 

    

 

 photos from Long Island Buick Club meet 2 weeks ago..just a few prewar cars showed up.

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Edited by Lawrence Helfand (see edit history)
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 Great pictures, Lawrence! What you said about the air flow through the car is quite remarkable compared with modern cars. My theory is that virtually all modern cars are designed for areodynamic flow and to have A/C, but then you had to rely on the flow through the car to keep your cool, and I think that they were designed with that in mind.

 The steering and tracking on mine is great too. These are very impressive cars, and considering they are 75 years old makes it more amazing.

 Keith

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On 6/23/2016 at 7:16 PM, Lawrence Helfand said:

Hi Keith, Thanks! As you drive your cars have you any thoughts regarding braking? Ever thought it was an issue? Kind Regards Lawrence

 

 

 

Not to digress from the awesome photos, but I don't think disc brakes will make your car stop noticeably better--at least the first time. I've gone back and forth on this with my own cars, and yes, old car brakes are pretty crappy--my '29 Cadillac has mechanical drums that are about as effective as a headwind. But by 1941, the brakes were considerably more powerful and effective; the brakes on my '41 Limited are hugely powerful and I've never gotten close to their limits. Granted, they're about 20% bigger than the Century's brakes, but I'm still extremely impressed with their stopping power and fade resistance. Buick engineers totally nailed it here.

 

The big advantage discs offer is fade-resistance and repeatability. I'd argue that your stock brakes will stop the car in an emergency just as well as discs. But they'll only do it once. Any brake system can be made to lock up the wheels, disc or drum. Fade is a significant factor and here is where discs are superior. If you have multiple high-speed stops or live in an mountainous area, then discs are definitely worth considering. But if you drive it like most of us drive our collector cars (modestly, defensively, and not often in heavy, high-speed traffic) then I don't think they'll be notably better than the drums.

 

Yes, I'm a purist in most forms, but with two little kids who often ride with me, I'm big on safety. Nevertheless, I can't make a good argument for a disc brake upgrade given the way I personally drive my cars (flat country, quiet roads, lots of following space, etc.).

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Lawrence, I did not notice your question till today. I am quite happy with the braking performance on my '41, manual of course, so it takes some effort, but they certainly have some bite to them. From what I have heard, lining material makes a huge difference. The modern type, sans asbestos, is harder and doesn't seem to have as high a friction coefficient, at least at a given pressure as the newer type. My case in point is my '56 Roadmaster. It has bigger front drums than the '41, so you would expect it to be better, but its' not right now.  I completely redid the brakes on it about three years ago. It still had all original lines, except for one that got damaged. So I changed all of them, rebuilt power master cylinder, new wheel cylinders and linings, and it stopped terrible. I drove it a few hundred careful miles to break them in, and it improved a bit, and now it is better, but still not as good as it should be. And nowhere as good as the '41. I have got an old style set, and I think that I will change at least the front shoes to them and see how what how it is.

The other thing is, if I didn't know that car could be much better, I'd be condemning the drum brakes big time. So that is at least a possibility on your car, and my opinion is, a likely one. The other possbility is that they are not adjusted properly, and it too can make a huge difference on these cars. Long pedal travel is a sure sign that the brakes may be out of adjustment.

I think that Matt mentioned somewhere about fade, and discs would certainly be more fade resistant, so that would depend on the type of driving you do, but if the drums are working right, they should work well.

Keith

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Just to prove it does not rain all summer in England, a picture of my Buick 24-34 roadster on the BF 5031 BUICK 24-34 ROADSTER 1924.jpgway to  local show in Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire .

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15 hours ago, Morgan Wright said:

 

 

That's a funny picture but the handle is more than a foot long. Nice joke though.

 

 

 

You must be fun at parties...

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