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32' Oldsmobile Deluxe Convertible Roadster

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Purchased this car last year out of what appears to be a long time storage of a large collection of automobiles. With about an hours worth of time I was able to get it up and running and it ran well. I put it back in storage for about 6 months and recently started it's restoration. With a little research done off the sill data plate, I determined that the  car was a early manufactured (first week of Feb) 6cyl, 6 wooden wheeled model, with just 249 produced. While it appeared mostly complete, there were some unique parts missing. What was missing was the decarbonizer, the Stromberg automatic choke, the proper air filter, the golf bag door lock, the rumble lid handle, and the rumble seats themselves. While the majority of the missing parts are year specific for the 32-33 model years, the rumble  seats and the missing rumble latch are the same as 32' Chevrolet. Turns out the Olds DCR is almost identical in many ways  to the 32' Chevrolet Cabriolet. While Olds called this car a "convertible roadster'' it is really a cabriolet with door windows. With the help of three fellow Olds enthusiasts, I've been able to procure all the missing parts but one. That one part was the golf bag door lock which I was just able to get the latch part, including the cam. The lock cylinder and lock tumbler were gone. I made up the missing cylinder with the help of a machinist friend and now have all the parts for my restoration. I will try and post all my progress as I go. First 4 pictures was how it looked when I first bought it. Second 4 show it when I stored it after purchase and quickly put up the roof and some fenders on for a look.









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Before I could get the car home this summer, I decided to work on getting all the missing parts. Joined the Antique Olds club and using the member list, I solicited all the 32' owners with email telling them what parts I was looking for. With the help of one member in CO, Joe P, and one in PA, Jim C, I was able to purchase all those missing parts and the partial lock. Again, with help from Joe P supplying me with micrometer measurements and photos, I was able to duplicate not only the lock cylinder and dust cover, but the small brass vacuum fitting on the bottom of the Stromberg Choke. My lathe and vertical mill have been a godsend for this restoration. So while I couldn't bring the car home, I was able to work on these parts. If you're curious why the car couldn't come home is because I do restoration work for others as a hobby. From interiors, roofs, tune-ups, to wood reconstruction/replacement, metal fabrication, and full blown rotisserie jobs. I had three other vehicles I was either working on or scheduled to come in, so the Olds had to wait!


1st: Original golf bag door lock with the Basco diamond

2nd: Another view of the original

3rd: Lock parts I was able to acquire

4th: Parts assembled

5th: New lock cylinder with tumbler made on the lathe

6th: Lock tumbler with brass intermediate key to lock cam

7th: Lock with assembled cylinder on top (no dust cover yet)

8th: Machining of the inside of the dust cover and making of the wire spring

9th: My restored lock w/dust cover, minus the Basco diamond logo

10th: My lock with key inserted


1932 Golf Door Latch Assembly.jpg

1932 Olds Golf Door Latch Assembly Parts Photo 1 of 2.jpg

1932 Olds Golf Door Latch Assembly Photo 2 of 2.jpg







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The Stromberg automatic choke that I acquired had a broken thermo spring drum mount and was missing the vacuum fitting on the bottom which enters the intake manifold and supply the vacuum for proper operation for the choke. Inside the mounting hole of this fitting is also a check valve disc which was also missing. With the pictures and dimensions I was supplied I was able to duplicate the fitting and the mount.


1st: The Stromberg choke as I purchased it, minus the vac fitting and the broken drum mount

2nd: Mounting flange of the broken drum mount

3rd: Thermo spring drum with the piece of the mount in the center

4th: New drum mount I machined and mounted in place

5th: Picture of original fitting and check valve

6th: New vac fitting I machined

7th: Other end of fitting

8th: Bottom of choke showing mounting hole for vac fitting

9th: Picture of another car's engine showing location of choke mechanism1932 Olds Auto Choke Photo 2 of 2.jpg








32_olds_air cleaner.decarbonizerf32_34-600x337.jpg

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The Olds finally came home in mid July this year and I started to go to work. First thing to do was to take a closer look at everything to get a better assessment of what this restoration was going to entail and what other parts might be missing. After removing all the parts from inside the car, the following all came off and were cataloged for condition, parts missing or needed, and what was going to be required. Off came the, roof, doors, front seat frame, gauges, bumpers, body floor pans, windshield, and other part that could be unfastened. Once I got a better look at the wood I realize that I would be able to use about 50% and replace about 50%. Luckily both the hinge and lock pillars are perfect. Deck rails, lower deck rail, upper band, mail sills, kick ups, and the rear sill will all be replaced with new ash. With the general condition of the body assessed, off it came.


A temporary dash and seat were mounted on the chassis to evaluate the mechanical condition better. While the motor ran and started well, it did smoke under acceleration and a compression test revealed 5 & 6 had much lower compression. The trans shifted well but was noisy while in neutral/clutch released. It will need bearings. The brakes, rear, and steering were all excellent. Removing the drums and further disassembly of the axles revealed generous brake linings, like new brake springs, and like new king pins! While this car definitely had been used, it had also been kept up with mechanically.


1st: Floor pans and all body mounting bolts removed. Rolled into place under my hoist

2nd: Rear view

3rd: Body lifted off the frame

4th: Body off the frame ready to be put on a low cart

5th: Chassis stripped of the body, ready for a evaluation drive

6th: Body on the roller cart

7th: Temporary dash and seat for test drive








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With the motor, trans, driveshaft, shocks, linkages, fuel tank, front and rear axles pulled, the chassis was mounted on the rotisserie, dustless blasted, and etch primed. The head was pulled off the motor along with the manifolds and blasted in the cabinet. The heat riser was freed up and the missing weight for the heat riser was removed from a spare parts chassis I was able to purchase earlier this year. The axles have also been blasted and after the ends are hand cleaned, will also get etch primed. Up next are the springs that will get the same treatment.

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Yes , indeed ! I love wire wheels ! I love disc wheels ! I love wood spoke wheels ! I love 'em all ! You might have seen this pic , but maybe you might enjoy it ! I was holding my breath , hoping you would "love her as she is". Everyone who has been here a while knows this is a set of "touring wheels" I had respoked for long distance cross country driving on my '27 Cad. Hand pinstriped exactly duplicating the 'stripes on the original wheels which are painted : solid , presentable , and being preserved. Those stout short spokes on your wheels have a very formidable appearance , as wood spoke wheels of the '30s do. I saw a pic in some book of a 1930 V16 Cadillac 7 passenger touring on wood artillerys. Car was black , stout spoked wheels varnished. EXTREMELY rare on such a car. The appearance was almost overwhelming. That is the "Sixteen" I want when I grow up and get a good paying job. Yeah , but I have been drooling on the shadows of V16 Cads since I was a toddler. Just after gas rationing was lifted after WWII , rich folk brought their expensive cars out from the basement garages of their dwellings to again bask in the peaceful light of day. I wish you could have seen them in the parking lot of Morton's in Chicago. Didn't last too long. I remember when the '49 Cads came out. So modern ! Ya just gotta have the latest new thing. Then as now. But I thought this might give you an idea. I also enjoy seeing your skills unfold. Great work , very cool drop top ! Thanks very much for sharing.  - Carl


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I love the look of the heavy wooden spokes on this Olds. The car came with 6 natural finished wheels but 3 of them have been chewed on by raccoons and it came with 6 more wooden wheels painted red. I will be trying to effectively strip the red paint and hopefully be able to natural finish them. The natural wheels were with what came with the car originally. The car was stored for basically 50yrs and it was during this storage that the raccoons got to them. The car got a repaint at some time with the yellow but it was originally an all black car with the natural finished wheels. As of right now, it will be repainted in a yr/model correct color combination of Vancouver Blue and Oyster Bay Blue. All the chrome and the natural finished wheels with the correct painted accents should really make this car pop.

   Dustless blasting of the frame produced a nice clean surface to apply the etch primer. During the blasting, the two areas where the serial numbers are stamped revealed nice crisp numbers matching my motor and the sill mounted data plate. It's a matching numbers car.


1&2. Frame on the rotisserie, blasted and primed.

3rd. One of the frame serial numbers. 306345

4th. Sill data plate with matching #'s





Edited by chistech
pictures out of order (see edit history)
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Cleaned, rebuilt with new float/seat, and new gaskets then polished up the very rare Stromberg EC-2 carburetor. Even before I touched this carb and after 50yrs in storage, the car ran wonderful and even the accelerator pump worked correctly. From idle to full acceleration, the carb was spot on. All that's left to do is to remove the cast base and paint it black.





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Here's a picture of another wire wheeled 32' that was recently for sale. Pictures like this help drive me through to the end when other things get in the way. I just picked up 1934 original Olds radio. While not year correct, this car did have a radio and it's possible it was this very radio as this radio was part of the same collection that the car came from. I'm curious how many would even know that it was made two year later.

32_olds roof snaps _f32_15.jpg




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  • 2 weeks later...

Got the rear and front axles disassembled, blasted and etched primed. Also blasted and primed the tie rod and brake baking plates. Need to scotch pad the chassis and all parts to get them primed with Nason urethane primer. The springs still need to be dissembled, blasted, and etched. All etched parts need to be urethane primed to separate the finish paint from the etch. Once all is primed, the chassis will be assembled with the axles and painted gloss black on the rotisserie. 


I'm currently working on a customer's 30' Chevy 4dr so the Olds will be put on the back burner for a while. I hope to keep working on different assemblies like the transmission, free wheeling unit, and motor in between the customer's car.





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  • 1 month later...

Haven't done much on the Olds while I finished up the 30' Chevy for a customer. I am still waiting on the newly painted window garnishes and the front fenders. Should be back to me in a day or two so I can have the car finished by this Friday. Have disassembled my Old's springs, blasted, primed, and painted them. Chassis will be going to the paint shop in the next week to get painted gloss black so I can put it all back together into a roller to free up my rotisserie. I already have another customer's car in from AZ that I will need the rotisserie for.


Work on the customer's car included: install new wiring harness, install rear window stop light, new safety glass, rear roof bow replacement, roof side bow repair, install restored distributor, remove all floor pans (blast, paint), install new roofing with original style aluminum roof moldings, paint upper roof, paint fenders, install new complete Hampton Coach interior (Heavy Duty Broad cloth material), install other new interior pieces, cover original rear window cane garnish and installIMG00604-20161104-1737.jpgIMG00528-20161027-2157.jpgIMG00580-20161103-1830.jpgIMG00623-20161106-1558.jpgIMG00627-20161106-1842.jpgIMG-20161113-00008.jpgIMG-20161114-00013.jpgIMG-20161115-00015.jpg.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Tore down the motor this past week to get it ready to go to the machine shop. Rod babbitt will need to be redone and it will need a new timing chain. Don't know if it will need pistons or not but have arranged to get custom ones by Ross Racing pistons if needed. The main bearing seem good and the journals look good also. The lobes on the cam are in nice shape and not worn. Have located most of the part that could be needed once the machine shop tells me what needs replacing. Spoke with Pauls about doing the rods but also found some reconditioned rods that will cost less and I can use if they are the correct under size I might need.









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Tore down the trans to rebuild. When I had the car running earlier the trans was real noisy. Turns out most all of the bearings were worn out and loud. Found two of the 3 synchronize springs broken and the high speed synchronize drum's brass friction ring was loose(spinning)  in the outer drum. A snap ring that retains the low speed drum on the shaft was also found broken with pieces in the synchronize drum. All bearings have been found, snap rings, and 2 springs were acquired. It is going back together this week. Luckily I was able to pick up a parts chassis with spare motor, trans, driveshaft, and axles. I am using the best parts from both trans to put together the final assembly for the car. I drilled and pinned the brass friction ring into the synchronize drum to keep it from spinning. The rear felt seal in the free wheeling unit at the driveshaft yoke will be replaced with a new lip seal.






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Finished up all the internals on the trans/free wheeling unit and assembled it. Currently have my spare shift lever in place as the other is going to chrome. Trans is shifting nice and smooth and turning without much noise even though it's still dry. Will be de-greasing the entire exterior then etch priming it. One more piece of the puzzle mechanically done.




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Nice to see what the 32 Olds transmission looks like, as I have wondered about those, and wondered if the Olds 8 was similar.  The Olds 8 engine and trans was used in the "down-priced" new 34 LaSalle, and that trans is beefier than your 5 bolt.


I work on quite a few 36-up GM 6 bolt transmissions and modifications, so that is where my interest came from.


Not positive, but does your transmission need a "full-face" gasket between it, and the bell?  The later ones did, to keep oil from seeping from the shift rail holes, etc.



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Yes, it requires a full face gasket and the bell also helps hold the input shaft bearing in place sandwiching it between the bell and a snap ring in the front of the trans case. I would love to find more of the flat synchronizer springs. The trans has three of them. They contact the tips of the sychronizer drums, both high and low speed. There is a picture of those springs in the above posts. I'd like to have spares.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Dropped the engine off at the machine shop this week. Owner thought the crank looked good and all journals looked good. It will need a rebore and the rods done so he broke down the rods/pistons yesterday and I picked them up today. I'll be shipping out the rods to Pauls and the pistons to Ross Racing. Rods will take 8wks and pistons 3wks. Machine shop quoted me approx. $1,500 to bore, do all the valves, deck head, balance the crank, and assemble the motor which I thought was a great price. I will be acquiring/purchasing all parts needed and supplying them to the machine shop to save him time. The machine shop projected return time, 4-5 months and he has already started on it. Hope to get some pictures of the rebuild from the machine shop as he works on it to post.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've been prepping my 32' olds chassis and axles for painting. I pulled the rear cover off the differential to check all the components and make up a new gasket. Pulling the cover I found no bad issues. In fact, what I found was very good issues. Sometimes the ring gear rivets on these old cars get loose letting the ring gear move around on the carrier. No such problems and looking at the contact areas on the ring, the depth of the pinion is perfect with proper contact being in the center of each tooth with lighter tailing off of the contact at the bottom of the ring gear teeth. The depth of the ring on the pinion is also perfect, not too shallow or too deep. Same perfect contact areas on the spider gears also. I made up a new gasket, sealed it up, and loaded it up on the trailer along with the chassis to go to paint.




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The chassis got a good going over at the paint shop today. The etch primer got scuffed down with a red pad and then sprayed with gray urethane primer to just fill any rough areas from blasting. It did NOT get all imperfections removed. These cars were far from perfect and the wrong thing to do it to OVER restore it. I needed to put a new steel strap across the battery box side because the original had been rotted from batter acid. Once that was installed and primed. The chassis got sealed to prevent any areas from rusting then it got painted in a single stage black. Here are a couple pictures in the booth before painting. Going to pick it up tomorrow from the paint shop. More pictures to come.



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My neighbor and friend, Scott Ciardi, owner of "Brass from the Past" worked on the Old's brake cables. Luckily, the cables were not rusted, pitted or frayed. The cables had old grease and some surface rust. The cable housings had the same thing plus lots of road dirt in them. Some glass beading and some light polishing to a stock satin type finish, yielded some amazing results. They virtually look like new and will look great on the newly painted, black chassis. Scott does incredible work!




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Got my chassis and axles back yesterday but haven't taken a picture of the chassis as of yet. I have installed the new felt outer axle seals on the rear and put on the backing plates. I made a seal installation tool from PVC pipe. I heated the pipe to put a flair on it and glued thin PVC shim stock inside to center the pipe on the axle. A smaller PVC pipe glued in the end fits over the threaded section of the axle. I put the tool in my vertical mill and milled a 1/4" slot in it to fit the shaft's keyway. The tool stays firmly in place and allows the new felt seal to slide over the metal seal ring on the axle. The axle and chassis were painted with a single stage, high solids, black. John LIma, brother of the owner of the owner, Moses, of Extreme Paint and Collision in New Bedford, MA really did a great job on this and all my other paint work I've sent to them.









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Got the chassis back from the painters and off the trailer. Put on the leaf springs and front axle. Installed the king pins and bushings along with backing plates. Nothing is fully tightened as I'm waiting on some specific rubber parts. Have to make up the felt washers that go in the shackle ends also. Installed the rear springs but waiting on the new rubber/fabric spring pads to install the rear axle. Starting to come together piece by piece.




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Needed to replace a broken wheel stud in one of the rear drums. The 32' Olds uses a unique wheel stud that has a coned shaped flange sandwiched between the drum and the hub flange. The stud are put in from inside the drum and then the whole assembly is pressed together sandwiching all the studs in. They cannot be removed like a conventional stud can. I mounted the drum to my vertical miller and milled off the remaining part of the broken stud, then bored a hole through the original stud's flange that remained in the hub. A new conventional 1/2-20 wheel stud was pressed in from the back repairing the wheel.


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My 32' DCR is of fairly early production (1st-2nd wk of Feb) and my spare frame/driveline is of late production. I observed a major frame change between the two that I thought was interesting. The early frames require the front motor mount metal bracket to be removed from the frame for the rubber mount to be changed out. This means that the metal part of the mount is bolted in, both through the bottom of the rail with 5/16x24 bolts and through the side rail with the 9/16 x18 shock bolts. The center bolt running through the rubber mount is a large slotted head bolt.

     The later production frame has the metal part of the motor mount riveted in. The lower chassis rail has a bulbous area with a 1" hole allowing the mount center bolt (now a hex head) to be removed from below the frame and no longer requiring the removal of the metal mount or shock bolts/shock. The engine splash pans were also changed along with the frame to accommodate the bulbous lower rail.


1.) my early production frame with bolt in motor mount lower frame

2.) my parts frame with bulbous lower rail and hole to access mount center bolt

3.) drivers side rail. rotted piece of engine splash pan with a shaped area for around hole is to the left of the mount

4.) late production serial # 311068





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Thanks Jerry. It keeps coming along. Blasted the drums today and with take them for paint. Installed the brake cross shaft with a new stainless steel 3/8" shaft. Put 1 1/2" pieces of heater hose on the front brake cables for anti-chafe and mounted the casing ends in their brackets. Temporarily attached the cable clevis to the brake cross shaft. All brakes will be adjusted to specs once the drums are on. Finished installing all brake components on the rear axle preparing it to be mounted to the springs. Got all the shock control rods blasted, primed, and painted.






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All the rubber parts came in today and got both axles all bolted up tight. Installed all shock arm bushings and connecting link bushings, then bolted all up tight. The new front rebound bumpers on he front axle fit perfect and the rear axle got mounted with all new spring pads. The shock valve control rods were all mounted and new rubber eyelets run on the supports. This chassis is virtually new to this point and should go down the road real nice and quiet.









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Picked up my brake drums, drive shaft, fender supports, floor pans, and tool tray from the paint shop. All the sheet metal has been put away until needed. Completely checked/cleaned all the bearings and replace one inner front race. Bought new modern seals for the inner bearing on the front. Installed all 4 drums then adjusted all the brakes per specs in the manual. Installed the brake/clutch pedals, stop light switch, and put the wheels on so I can drop it off the rotisserie. Still need to do the wheels. I have two full sets (12) with 3 of the natural ones damaged from raccoons. I will be soda blasting three of the painted ones I have to get them back to natural.





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Disassembled both the starter and generator replacing the bearings on the generator. It is a full ball bearing unit with a through shaft. The generator is in a fixed position on the Oldsmobile and the water pump is driven off the back shaft. Both units were pretty crappy on the inside so the field coils were removed and the housings fully bead blasted and painted. Once the generator was reassembled, I put it on my lathe to adjust the 3rd brush. It is running right at manual specs, 8.5volts cold. Both units had their respective labeling applied and will be stored until needed.





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Got the frame off the rotisserie and on it's un-restored wheels. Rolled it outside for some fresh air and loaded it in my car trailer to store it while I'm working on another car. Found all the parts for my engine rebuild and the rebuild is coming along nicely.






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