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Want to Purchase 37 or 38 Buick Century/Special


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I am interested in a 1937 or 1938 Buick Century or Special (4 door) sedan... It certainly does not have to be a brand new restoration, just something period correct and properly serviced... I will also consider something that will require minor work to be finished.. I can be reached by email: p_jeanneau@hotmail.com, or on my cell: 754-779-1733 anytime between 9.00am and 9.00pm.
 
I am located in South Florida...
Thank you all for your help...
 
Best regards,
Philip
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Saw your post up in AACA and was coming down here to see if you had found us. Looks like you have. Welcome and you've come to the right place. These guys like to spend other folks's $$  but will take care of you once you're on the road. 

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Keep an eye on Craigslist.  I use Google and tend to find some decent looking cars on there.  Most are street rods or overpriced projects but every so often a gem will show up.  You will probably have to travel to get one unless you're lucky enough to find one in your back yard.

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Hello Bob,

A bit worn out by looking on Google, Craigslist, Ebay and others... It seems that everything nice sold about 4 to 6 months ago.. The rest is way overpriced or with a modern V8; but I'll keep looking until the right one shows up!..:)  I now that more than likely this gem will come from far away. I am resigned to that fact..

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Phillip,

 

I realize it is not quite what  you are looking for, but did you see the 1936 Special that Matt Harwood has for sale? It looks like a nice driver, not perfect but a good decent car for the price. it looks like repainting the fenders and engine and cleaning it up, would make it a really decent car. 

 

 

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Dear Sir, Thank you very much for pointing out this fine vehicle... It is a very nice example and reasonably priced, with the only detriment of having a12v system and headlamps... I am afraid I will hold out for a 37 or 38 model though, as much as I would love to have a car right now; believe me, I've been bitten by the "B" bug!...

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On 1/15/2018 at 5:37 PM, philipj said:
I am interested in a 1937 or 1938 Buick Century or Special (4 door) sedan... It certainly does not have to be a brand new restoration, just something period correct and properly serviced... I will also consider something that will require minor work to be finished.. I can be reached by email: p_jeanneau@hotmail.com, or on my cell: 754-779-1733 anytime between 9.00am and 9.00pm.
 
I am located in South Florida...
Thank you all for your help...
 
Best regards,
Philip

 

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Hello Dan,

 

Thank you very much for the two leads... The 37 on Haggleme.com may require a bit more work than I can embark right now... The 38 Special from Baltimore looks promising/nice... Curious what can be wrong with a master cylinder that needs replacement under a year's time... I wonder how bad a paint job it is/what is hidden underneath.. Be interesting to get close up photos of the 10 footer! I think I will contact the owner to get some answers...

 

Bringing up KongaMan's statement, how much slower is a Special compared to a Century anyway?  Is the performance difference under normal driving conditions really that noticeable? Thank you.

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2 hours ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

Philip, normal driving you will not notice much difference.  Perhaps during hard acceleration.  The increased speed is mostly due to rear gear ratio. The Special will run 65-70 all day.  

 

  Ben

 

Ben, I think you meant to say that the Roadmaster will run 65-70 all day, correct?

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I have a Century. I can tell you that a stock 1937 or 1938 Century performs well at Interstate speeds. I have been led to believe that a stock Special is better equipped for regular cruising at 55 or 60 but can go faster. I think that the heavier Roadmaster with its rear end ratio is also not quite up to regular Interstate speeds. I would welcome more information from other 37 or 38 owners with stock Specials but there is a reason that lots of Specials have been converted to Century rear end differential gears, or had overdrives added.    

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2 hours ago, neil morse said:

 

Ben, I think you meant to say that the Roadmaster will run 65-70 all day, correct?

  No, Neil. I meant the Special. Was basing that off my '50, which came with essentially the same engine.  With a 4.1-1 ratio rear end. I drove it at 65-70 a LOT.

 

  I have done a little research just now.  May not be precise, but close.

 

  1938 Special, I believe, came with a 3.9 to 1 or a 4.4 to 1.   

 

  Max horsepower is 108 at   3400 rpm

 

    4.4-1 should run 60 mph at about 3200 with 26 in high tires

 

    3.9-1  should run 60 mph at a bought 3000 with 26 in tires.     Each 1 inch of tire height drops rpm by about 140.

 

  Rpm would be about 250 more for 65 mph.

 

  At 65  with a 4.4-1, the engine will be near the max horse power,  but way below the max rpm .

 

   At 65 with A 3.9-1 with a 27 in tire will run out at about 3150 rpm

 

  We are spoiled with the low rpm engines of today.

 

  Ben

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1936-1942 Special rear end ratio was 4.44 to 1. The Century ratio was 3.9 to 1. The Century also has the larger 320 engine.  I am not sure about your tire size information. I am not home right now and don't have access to all of my reference materials. The attached Torque Tube issue has information on rear end ratios and rear end swaps on pages 21 to 23.

Torque Tube, The - Volume XI - Issue 6 (May-June 1993) (From Dug Waggoner’s collection).pdf

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36 minutes ago, neil morse said:

Sorry, I didn't mean to challenge you at all.  I was just confused by your post since it said the opposite of what I have read from others.  

 

 We're cool!  Did not take it as a challenge, although I do like a challenge now and then.

 

  Ben

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16 minutes ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

 

 We're cool!  Did not take it as a challenge, although I do like a challenge now and then.

 

  Ben

 

Here's a challenge for you Ben - see if you can work out the speedo reading on this photo ( the one with my mate Merv behind the wheel )

I know what speed he was doing but we have a blanket upper limit of 60MPH in West Australia so I better not drop him in.

 

The car is a 1950 Super with Dynaflow and 3.6 rear end.

 

Easily maintained that speed right across the Nullarbor  with the odd burst higher just to blow out the cobwebs!!

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6 hours ago, JRHaelig said:

Here's another one...not quite sorted out to spec, but gives you an idea of what's available

 

https://philadelphia.craigslist.org/cto/d/1938-buick-8/6450991375.html

Seen this car on Craigslist before. Just couldn't remember where I seen it last. Lol I look on Craigslist to much! Think this one is a good find and a great deal at that ! Dont look like it would take to much to make it nice again.

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1 hour ago, 50jetback said:

 

Here's a challenge for you Ben - see if you can work out the speedo reading on this photo ( the one with my mate Merv behind the wheel )

I know what speed he was doing but we have a blanket upper limit of 60MPH in West Australia so I better not drop him in.

 

The car is a 1950 Super with Dynaflow and 3.6 rear end.

 

Easily maintained that speed right across the Nullarbor  with the odd burst higher just to blow out the cobwebs!!

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 Loafing along at about 2600-2800 rpm.   Mine runs a couple hundred lower at that speed, due to the 3.4.

 

  Lots of open space. How far between facilities out there?

 

  Ben

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3 hours ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

 

 Loafing along at about 2600-2800 rpm.   Mine runs a couple hundred lower at that speed, due to the 3.4.

 

 

7 hours ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

  No, Neil. I meant the Special. Was basing that off my '50, which came with essentially the same engine.  With a 4.1-1 ratio rear end. I drove it at 65-70 a LOT.

 

 

Okay, now you are really confusing me.  What rear end do you have in your Special?

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4 hours ago, neil morse said:

 

 

Okay, now you are really confusing me.  What rear end do you have in your Special?

 

 Hey, I have been told I am good at that.

 

  Mine came with the 4.1 to 1. I drove it a lot with that rear end, running 65 /70.  From Missouri, where I lived then, to Charlotte, NC an back. I don't recall [  how is that for protecting my a**e? ] the exact rpm but around 32 - 33 hundred. I have it recorded, just to lazy to dig it up . Will later.  In 2012 ,  I think it was,  I changed the gears to a 3.36 to 1 set. This dropped the high gear rpm about 600 rpm.  

 

 Bujt I did drive 65 to 70 with the original 4.1 gears.

 

  Ben

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Going back to the topic of cruising in a Special series 40 with a stock rear end (4.4) and stock tires.. If you're doing 65mph your rpm would be roughly 3,200 correct?

Max horsepower is 100 on the 248 Cu. engine @3400 rpm... Where is the redline on that motor? If everything is 100% mechanically, how long do you suppose you could hold that speed without losing a conn. rod or piston? 

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On 1/15/2018 at 5:37 PM, philipj said:
I am interested in a 1937 or 1938 Buick Century or Special (4 door) sedan... It certainly does not have to be a brand new restoration, just something period correct and properly serviced... I will also consider something that will require minor work to be finished.. I can be reached by email: p_jeanneau@hotmail.com, or on my cell: 754-779-1733 anytime between 9.00am and 9.00pm.
 
I am located in South Florida...
Thank you all for your help...
 
Best regards,
Philip

Here is one more be worth checking out.. Its a 1937 on ebay for 22,500 obo ! Located in new Jersey...

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On 1/20/2018 at 8:03 PM, philipj said:

Going back to the topic of cruising in a Special series 40 with a stock rear end (4.4) and stock tires.. If you're doing 65mph your rpm would be roughly 3,200 correct?

Max horsepower is 100 on the 248 Cu. engine @3400 rpm... Where is the redline on that motor? If everything is 100% mechanically, how long do you suppose you could hold that speed without losing a conn. rod or piston? 

 

Anybody knows this answer?

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I try to keep my speed on my 37 special below 55mph. At 60-65 the engine is very uncomfortable. On route 81 here in PA , Maryland and Virginia with some rolling hills , 50 mph uphill and 60 mph down seems comfortable. But even at 60 you feel that you are pushing the car down hill. To me, 50 to 55 is the engines comfortable limit.

Larry

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20 minutes ago, philipj said:

There's no way to know how long you can abuse a motor before it breaks. If a 248 is in top condition, I think it's safe to say you can run it faster than it sounds like it wants to be run. I've always considered the optimum running speed for these long-stroke motors to be something close to where the torque and HP curves cross, and for a 248, it's just under 55 mph. I don't know of any official "red line". There's a pamphlet called " Engineering Features of the 1938 Buick" that's available in reprint that you may find interesting. If you want to drive 70 on the freeway, get a Century or plan on changing the rear end/getting an overdrive, or just relax in the slow lane (except in Los Angeles!).

Anybody knows this answer?

 

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By any means, I did not meant abuse of any kind, just normal driving... Still curious to know what the redline limit is. Wondering how far car I push it if I am ever in a bad situation, that's all... I will look into the pamphlet. Thank you.

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18 hours ago, philipj said:

By any means, I did not meant abuse of any kind, just normal driving... Still curious to know what the redline limit is. Wondering how far car I push it if I am ever in a bad situation, that's all... I will look into the pamphlet. Thank you.

Sorry, "abuse" was a bit harsh. Maybe "pushing the limits"? You can certainly floor it in a passing/evasion situation, but as strong and advanced the design is, it's still eighty year old technology and metal. I recall reading a post by a Series 90 owner who ran his car a couple of hours at 80 until the tired motor blew, but with the cost of a rebuild at $5K-plus, it's not a practice that can be recommended. If your cooling system isn't optimal, the motor will heat up if you push it. Straight 8's generate a lot of heat.

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Pushing the limits is a good phrase, my thought would be more in line with 5-10 minutes at high speed, but you really have to be confident about what you have under the hood... I am finding out that most of these so called "restored" cars are only done on the outside... paint, maybe new wiring and interior but they never touched the drivetrain; and you're also lucky to find them clean on the underside... But they're restored, and people want 25K!

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Again not exactly what you are looking for (wrong year and body style) but I need to find a new home for my 1939 Century Sport Coupe.

I intend to first advertise in the Bugle and if BCA members are not interested then list in Hemmings.

Restored in 1994.....everything original (I am sure the interior was redone then also) and they added the visor, fog lights, and spot lights.

It has the factory front markers, stream boards, and side mounts.

$29,000

#2 _39 Buick Century - 579.JPG

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