lancemb

My 1957 75R - Big Gray

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Here is my latest project - and my biggest!  It shall be fully restored and I've got a fresh small block Chevy for it.

 

Just kidding!  About the last part at least...

 

Here is how I found it.  Smartin sent me a link on an abandoned and neglected vehicles page on Facebook.  Nobody would say where it was though, as if it was better off sitting there a number of years more.  Somebody gave a clue though so knew the area.  With the help of a couple emails to BCA members in the area, I had it's location within a couple hours!  I threw the guy a maybe price over the phone, looked at a couple days later and he stuck to it.

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It's rough...I know.  But, it's exactly what I've been looking for and saving parts for, and it's not too far gone.  Another 10 years there, and it might be.  Believe it or not though, the rust isn't quite as bad as it appears at first glance.  Make no mistake, it will need some patching.  Fenders are junk.  Hood is marginal...could go either way.  Trunk lid and doors solid.  Trunk pan has a few holes and needs spare tire well.  Rockers have a couple small holes.  Floors appear solid, or nearly so.  Rear quarters are rusted through on outer skin - pretty big on right, small hole on left.  Frame looks good.

 

Here are the goods on the car:

Model 75R - 2nd rarest 1957 Buick right behind the 56C.

Rare original 2-tone top.  Beautiful original colors of Sylvan Gray (spring color) under Arctic White top will be returned to the sheetmetal.

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Original engine, and original everything including Trailmaster spotlight (took it off already), electric antenna, Wonderbar radio, rear speaker with fade switch and original grille on back package tray.

100% complete, although many parts on body are not salvageable.

I already have many of the hardest to find parts, and have begun to collect the rest already.

I love a nice survivor, but this car was just too cool to let rot or be rat-rodded with clearcoated rust.  It will be a worthy recipient of many valuable parts I've collected.

Check out some more pics and tell me if you can see the potential that I see?  As of tonight, it's finally home...

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Edited by lancemb (see edit history)
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Wow, that's a big boy.  Good luck with the work.

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Wow Lance, congrats on tracking it down. It and your 4door will be quite a pair and a site to see some day. Quite a project and undertaking but oh what a prize when complete. Look forward to following. 

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8 hours ago, lancemb said:

Check out some more pics and tell me if you can see the potential that I see?  As of tonight, it's finally home...

 

Oh yes Lance, I'm able to see the potential!

I understand from your previous posts you are familiar with the 57's and as you state, having collected some major parts moves you in the right direction on this one.

Having said that, being the top of the line series that year and a 2dr hardtop makes it the next best thing to having a convert to me! 

Will be following along.:)

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 Good find. Certainly it will be quite a project to make a nice car out of it again, but worth doing, esp for a Buick guy!

 It doesn't look nearly as bad as my '41 Roadmaster was when I got it.

 You are quite right that if sat there for more years, it would either go for scrap, worst case, or perhaps a parts car. So it is very very good that you will be saving a rare and interesting car. 

 Keith

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You gotta have a passion for a car like that and knowledge of same --- seems you got it covered!

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1 hour ago, old-tank said:

You gotta have a passion for a car like that and knowledge of same --- seems you got it covered!

For sure...I was thinking if I didn't save that car I don't know who would.  When complete it will be a thrill!

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Service sticker from 1962 shows just under 50k.  The title I have is from 1963.  The odometer reads 66k.

 

I bought it from a guy who owns an engine shop.  Something was wrong with engine when he got it, and upon tear down he found that the vacuum pump had failed, and one of the vanes had become wedged and stuck.  He fixed this and went through the rest of the engine, and said everything else looked good but did a basic rebuild since he had it apart.

 

He surmised (probably accurately) that some time in the 1960's, the vacuum pump failed, and the car never moved again and sat out a lot, hence it's current state.  They probably assumed it "needs an engine" and just didn't mess with it.

 

However, the previous owner determined it was a much simpler fix.  He still had the engine out, so I already have the long block and all the pieces on a stand in my garage.  This will actually help me out quite a bit in time savings!  Plus, the engine and most of the parts have been washed in an industrial washer so it's basically ready to paint with no grime removal.20170512_145151.thumb.jpg.e56aaa9aadc220f1d2a205c462e317a9.jpg

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1 hour ago, JanZverina said:

That's a true find and a stunning design - looking forward to your progress. Not too long ago someone told me that the upward swept rear quarter glass at the C-pillar is known today as the 'Hofmeister Kink' for all you trivia fans. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hofmeister_kink 

 

 

Thanks!  Well Buick did it best!

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The 57 RM coupes are just so cool.  Very excited for you, Lance!

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20 hours ago, Smartin said:

The 57 RM coupes are just so cool.  Very excited for you, Lance!

Thanks!  How much fun would it be to strip that rust and paint it?

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Hey Lance!

 

Great find! You are just the guy to tackle that job for sure. Collecting spare parts is what it's all about when you find THAT CAR! Can't wait to see progress shots as you move along on it. Congrats!

 

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Congratulation!

 

A great find a great challenge! Looking forward to follow this project as well!

 

Thanks for saving another 57!

 

 

Edited by Topper1961 (see edit history)
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I love this car and the original color combination, Lance.  I'm thrilled to know that this one will be saved and restored to its former beauty.  I will follow with great interest.

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Thanks for the encouragement!  I hope this weekend to get Big Blue over in the other bay and then just soak this car down with PB blaster.  I want to get the engine together before I take too much else apart, but may take some stuff off before then...

Edited by lancemb (see edit history)
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Did the first soakdown on some of the bolts underneath.  Went parts swapping and got a good core left tail light, solid fenders, a good 6-way power seat frame, and a buncha nice interior chrome to replace my rusted junk...

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On 6/21/2017 at 0:17 PM, lancemb said:

Service sticker from 1962 shows just under 50k.  The title I have is from 1963.  The odometer reads 66k.

 

I bought it from a guy who owns an engine shop.  Something was wrong with engine when he got it, and upon tear down he found that the vacuum pump had failed, and one of the vanes had become wedged and stuck.  He fixed this and went through the rest of the engine, and said everything else looked good but did a basic rebuild since he had it apart.

 

He surmised (probably accurately) that some time in the 1960's, the vacuum pump failed, and the car never moved again and sat out a lot, hence it's current state.  They probably assumed it "needs an engine" and just didn't mess with it.

 

However, the previous owner determined it was a much simpler fix.  He still had the engine out, so I already have the long block and all the pieces on a stand in my garage.  This will actually help me out quite a bit in time savings!  Plus, the engine and most of the parts have been washed in an industrial washer so it's basically ready to paint with no grime removal.20170512_145151.thumb.jpg.e56aaa9aadc220f1d2a205c462e317a9.jpg

Have you considered doing away with the combo oil/vacuum pump and swapping in the next gen pump without vacuum? '59-61 Shhh! I won't tell the restorers if you don't.

Edited by Guest (see edit history)

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9 hours ago, 2carb40 said:

Have you considered doing away with the combo oil/vacuum pump and swapping in the next gen pump without vacuum? '59-61 Shhh! I won't tell the restorers if you don't.

If I'd received the engine with the problem intact, I might.  But since it's been repaired, I think I'll see how it goes.  Plus, I have a couple of NOS vacuum pumps so if I run into an issue I may as well utilize one! 

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As I figure out the remaining pieces I need, I figure there are some that will require new chrome and I am going to gather those and set them aside before I take everything else apart so I can just stuff all the parts I won't be reusing into boxes for now.

I was setting aside a few pieces for rechrome but decided to clean them up first.  I figured tge better they look maybe the more positively it will influence my chrome estimates.  Well to my surprise these handle escutcheons cleaned up pretty well!  I think I'll keep. them as is.

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It's crazy how these ash tray/window switch bezels look so crusty up top but like new underneath!  It makes me hopeful that the switches themselves are okay.  Unfortunately they didn't clean up well enough up top not to rechrome.

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Here is a pair of rear bumper ends I just got back.  They each had a couple small holes and some rust on lip of opening.  I was afraid how they'd turn out and was not going to use them on this car but after seeing them they will be going on the coupe!  I am impressed at the results.  Since they weren't totally rotted out they were able to just patch the small holes and maintain the proper contour.

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REAL NICE LANCE! :)

Might I ask what shop you used?

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