philipj

Opinions re. Condition II

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Hello there,

 

It is quite unfortunate that I deleted the entire previous string (post) regarding a few 37 and 38 vehicles I was interested in; as well as a 39...;) There were some interesting and fun replies from a few forum members I wish I still had.. I was actually trying to edit my last post and ended up deleting the entire thing, not much of a computer guy I'm afraid!!

 

Anyway, here is one I was seriously following...

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1938-Buick-Other/292425369684?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l9372

 

Surprised to see more action above, than a nice running counterpart. Maybe the year makes all the difference regardless...

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1937-Buick-Special-40/222810987521?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l9372

 

While this still lingers, way above the market value... Would make a nice car with a few changes.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1937-Buick-Series-40-/122950421100?vxp=mtr

 

And this Roadmaster still for sale as well, needing too much work for the asking price, but still a nice original...

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1937-Buick-Roadmaster/162723811858?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l9372

 

Lastly, and probably the best priced for an honest driver is here... I would more than likely get this one, if I had not decided to wait for a 38 Century... A hard decision to make in many ways... Why can't I have both!..;)

 

https://mcecars.com/vehicles/448/1937-buick-40-special

 

With a nice short video and song below....

 

 

 

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

#1: Current bid is fair money. Nice woodgrain, looks original. Looks like Raphael Green. A friend has a car that color, and it's sharp! #2: If you can get past the upholstery.....otherwise, not bad. #3: Run, don't walk. '37 Roadmasters have a lot of wood framing, and at that dealer price, there must be a lot wrong. #4: Not too many folks looking for a purple car, and a good repaint is more expensive than you might think (remove fenders, etc.)

Folks will start pulling cars out of winter storage soon, and you should see more on the market. Be patient!

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Philip , I clearly recall from all the previous discussion , that you ABSOLUTELY MUST have a Century. I also remember why. Now where I am confused is I recall potential availability of just EXACTLY the Century for you. Owned by a gentleman well known for his abilities and honesty , vouched for by Matt , his name might have been John. What is the status of that one ? And no , I haven't forgot about owing you the story of my hunt for the oldest V8 Cadillac which would satisfy my needs. There was a point in the evolution of these cars at which the world's first inherently balanced V8 was offered. 1924 , though I would have had to go for the almost identical '25 if the cookie crumbs had fallen on just the right one. Combined with Cadillac's first use of 4 wheel brakes (rather good ones for the era) , it defined and narrowed my search. Took just over 3 years to find it (I call it the "Summer Car" , it was never intended , nor ever was , driven in Winter). Sold originally in Michigan before the balmy globally warmed Winters we blissfully enjoy these days , the original owners must have had a "Winter Car". That one took around 20 years to find. Both are original , unrestored cars. Well worth the clearly defined search. I sure wish the 1927 Sedan had come as quickly as the open , 7 passenger touring did. I recall you did want me to recount that search. There will be pics , but first , what has become of the "Century of the Year" , "John's" (?) car. Seems you have a low patience threshold. Is this a factor in that particular car ?    - Carl 

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5 hours ago, philipj said:

 

Owned by an old white guy: look at all that O-gauge train stuff. :o

 

5 hours ago, philipj said:

And this Roadmaster still for sale as well, needing too much work for the asking price, but still a nice original...

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1937-Buick-Roadmaster/162723811858?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l9372

 

Seller has a lot of negative feedback.

 

The only advice I would offer is this: think seriously about what you want from this car, then decide if you can live with a car that is challenged to keep up with modern traffic (e.g. a Special) or if a higher comfortable cruising speed (e.g. a Century) would be more appropriate.  If you're still undecided, cruise through the forum to see what others have to say about their period cars and the costs and hassles of adding overdrive and/or swapping rear ends.  The point is that settling for something that doesn't quite meet your wants might lead to frustration rather enjoyment.

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The Roadmaster looks like a lot of car for the money. I wouldn't necessarily chalk up the price to the car having major issues--that same dealer sold a '37 Century coupe a few weeks ago for under $24,000 (I was in talks to buy it when someone walked in and grabbed it at full asking price--smart of them). They don't seem to know how to price these cars and are either getting them from people who don't follow the market very closely or their heirs. Don't write it off simply because it seems too cheap. I don't see any description with a laundry list of issues, but what I do see is what appears to be pretty good paint, a tired but serviceable original interior, a scruffy but not rotted undercarriage with some recent work, a tidy engine bay with no glaring faults or incorrect parts, and maybe some new chrome. The only thing that makes me twitch a little bit is that generic VIN tag but if the numbers match the title, your state will register it without problems. There's probably also a number on the frame.

 

Gateway isn't known for having a staff full of knowledgeable car guys and I'm betting people on this board will know more about the car just by looking at the photos than any of their sales guys will. I would also recommend an in-person inspection before buying (as in, you go personally to look at it) given the spotty quality of their inventory. But that looks like the winner in this particular hunt to me.

 

I don't know if it has any value to you, but the 1937 Buick 80 Series is now a Full Classic as well. That opens up some doors and may even bolster the car's value in the future.

 

I understand wanting one thing and one thing only--I only wanted a 1941 Century sedanette, not a Special, not a 4-door. So if you want to hold out, I get it. But if I were looking to get into the game with a car like this and I wasn't being too specific, the Roadmaster up there would be my first stop.

 

Just my $0.02.

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)

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6 hours ago, philipj said:

Hello there,

 

It is quite unfortunate that I deleted the entire previous string (post) regarding a few 37 and 38 vehicles I was interested in; as well as a 39...;) There were some interesting and fun replies from a few forum members I wish I still had.. I was actually trying to edit my last post and ended up deleting the entire thing, not much of a computer guy I'm afraid!!

 

 

philipj , can you give the actual title of the thread you deleted? I'll try to revive it no promises.  you have several going both here and in the AACA I get lost trying to keep up but I get lost easily anyhow. Are you sure this is not the one you think you deleted? 

e

 

 

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Phillip,

 

From everything you have posted in the past, I think you want a 1937 or 1938 Century. If, however, you decide a slower car is OK with you, go look at that Roadmaster. While it is far from perfect, it is a nice looking car at a nice price. The only substantially "wrong" things I see on it are an aftermarket steering stabilizer, the red wheels, the replacement serial number plate, the valve cover painted the wrong color, the aftermarket gas filter, the sealed beam headlight conversion, and the wrong heater. As long as the serial number plate matches the paperwork, that car in that condition appears to be a reasonably priced car. If I wanted a Roadmaster, I would seriously consider that one. 

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Hello All,

 

I hope I don't appear to be wishy washy... I should emphasize that I really appreciate all the input being brought up for discussion here.. The reason why I decided to relist the cars we reviewed before is not so much because I have changed my mind (not at all) I am hoping that someone else looking for a car might find this information useful... There is no doubt that I am waiting and choosing a 38 Century, since I realize now I will be happier down the line with that car than any other.. Carl, to answer your question, my #1 choice is indeed the vehicle belonging to John (Original/unrestored/running) for which I have not all details or photos. Should know something tomorrow.. My #2 is actually a Century model 67 (more desirable than the 61?) that has not run for 10 years and will need a bit of work to get on the road.. Lastly, I have another 38 Century model 61 that has been all redone, but with the incorrect motor (fireball) and needs little work... It sure would seem like the easiest and obvious choice since it is all done, but pricing is another matter... As soon as I know more and decide on a car, I will post the rest on the information I have available if anyone is interested.. I wish I could have more than one car, but I can only afford one! so I better make the right choice for now and down the line. That includes any work that the car may need.. If I really had it my way, I would have a  38-61, 38-60 C and 38-67...Not asking for much, am I?..;)

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philipj, your thread which was actually in the aaca cars for sale forum has been restored.

 

here's hoping you find what you are looking for ...soon...:P

 

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btw, my choice would be the ever elusive '38 Model 44 :P:D

 

1938 Buick-05_jpg.jpg

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philipj,

I went Gateway a week ago Sat.  and saw the '37 RM. Most of the items needing attention were already mentioned by others, except the running boards, they were worn. Did not open the hood or look underneath. I'm about 30 minutes from Gateway, I'd go look again on your behalf. Does Gateway have a lift, not sure if they'd let one drive it, esp. with the snow/icy roads. There may be some method to check if the door wood is bad w/o pulling the interior panels off, perhaps someone may suggest a way.

Let me know if I can assist further.

Jerry

BCA #1518

AACA

ROA #8691

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Hello Jerry,

 

Thank you for offering to look at the roadmaster... A few weeks ago I would have been all over your offer, but as I mentioned earlier, I have decided to go for a 38 Century; since it has a better suspension, is faster and a year newer!..;) However my wife likes the finer grille/nose on the 37 model which I have come to appreciate...

If we must examine the roadmaster for a second, just to pick one flaw.. say the steering stabilizer; that tells me the front end is in need of service and must have a lot of shimmy going down the road... (and if that's their idea of a fix, what else have they done to the car? ) In the same fashion, the exhaust has a patch repair, the headlamps are incorrect (Very expensive retrofit to originals) and it has a transmission leak (at least they're upfront about the condition). Also fitted is a 12V battery (but somehow still 6 volt) needs an interior and a few other minor things, so 19K is way too much if you start to add it all up...  Don't get me wrong, I like the car, down to the red wheels (It was my first find online) , but I still feel it is dealer priced...Naturally. 

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An exhaust patch would be the least of my worries.  It's hard to buy a single pipe for a lot of these cars.  Everyone wants to sell you a whole system.  If you were getting ready to sell a car,  would you put a whole new system in it, knowing you won't get a dime more out of it if you do?  Same goes for most mechanical work.  No one pays extra for the mechanicals but they pay extra for paint chrome and interior.  I could sell a beautiful looking car with a seized motor,  much quicker than I can sell a cosmetically needy but solid car that has all new mechanicals and drives like a new car that year did.  Ask me how I know. 

As far as leaks.,  most old cars leak, unless they are very fresh.  All those old seals dry out and don't bounce back.  The old style seals are just not as good as many modern ones.  

I have a friend that worked as a field engineer for Cadillac and he said in the 1960's the new Cadillacs leaked on the show room floor. 

Just things to take into consideration while you are looking. 

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Totally agree with Matt in regards to the 37 Roadmaster. Of what links you put up the 37 is the winner. First its a 320 driveline with all its perks. Second its very low mileage I repeat low mileage! and it sure looks it to me by the fact that it has its original carpet which is quite telling. The interior and dash is untouched and quite amazing really for a car this old. Dash paint steering wheel and gauges are beautiful untouched shape. The price is negotiable and if I was fixated on this period Buick I would not hesitate to start here and make a cash offer. . Just look at the engine compartment and you can see the time capsule it is. I dont see this car as anything but a drive and enjoy and tinker with car . Cannot see how good the repaint is but this is a lot of car for the money and the year you said you liked. Outside of a 37 two door duel fender mount spare coupe or rag top roadmaster which are really pricey this is it,  or a Century a wee bit shorter and lighter.   Looks to have a damping shock on the tie rod that might indicate rebound in the steering caused by worn king pins and tie rods drag link etc but I kind of doubt it was needed as even worn Buicks dont flail around like Fords over the railroad tracks when things get loose. Also the whole thread about how bad it is having wood in its construction is a bit over the top. Wood last thousands of years if cared for or stored properly. I am betting this 37 was stored very dry for a long time. And buying from Gateway is a bonus for many reasons and sometimes dealing with an owner is quite dicey and frustrating.  After having owned Specials Centurys and Roadmaster straight eights I could never be happy with the 248 drive line. The 320 spoils you even as it burns gas like a DC-3 . I just converted my 41 duel carbie Century to parallel linkage with matching AAV 16 Strombergs. It was really easy to do using off the shelf inexpensive Summit racing parts and all bolt on no modifications needed.Too cold for figuring out mileage but I think it might actually improve with this setup as if I care!  Point is power and speed in a vintage car is fun ...a very good thing! ...No great thing!   

 

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Sight unseen and having no idea of his price, I would still give serious consideration to John Young's 1938 Century that you have mentioned.

 

As I said earlier, If I wanted a Roadmaster, that one that you posted the link to is a good looking car at a good price. I personally would not want a Roadmaster instead of a Century, but if I had the space and the money to have another car, I would put that Roadmaster on the list for serious consideration. 

 

If John's 1938 Century does not work out for you, I may have a winner for you now. I previously made you aware of this car, but I now have the photos that I was waiting for. Please check out the first car on the advertisements page of the 36-38 Buick Club website,  a 1937 Century that I just added to the website: http://www.3638buickclub.org/advertisements.html

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Roadmaster is a BIG car. Century gives you the 320 motor in a more manageable package. The Roadmaster's roomy rear compartment is nice, but you're not driving from the back seat. That '37 Century on the 3638 website looks like a great car, and a good price.

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The only way I could be happy with a Century or a Special is with an overdrive. Either car with the stock gearing is not very good on the freeway but both are just fine around town. Our 38 will cruise effortlessly at 65 or 70 mph at the same rpm's as if it was going 40 or 45 mph with the stock gearing when it is in overdrive. Ours is a Special and although its fine a Century with the same set up would even be better. I like the 37 model a lot but the 38 even more. To me they both look good but the 38 has the suspension that made the Buick ride famous. The 38 was the last year for the floor shift which for me is a must and has no wood, at least in the Special. 

REAR GREAT.JPG

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Well yes, given Mr. Young's reputation for outstanding cars, his 38 Century is high on my list as #1 candidate-as mentioned earlier... Granted this is an unrestored but  running and complete vehicle as I understand, I hope that everything is in order and I can enjoy it as it is for a while.. I like patina and originality, provided it functions as it should and it is mostly there cosmetically.. I only have two photos of the car which I am presenting, since they always speak volumes. I hope I am not jinxing myself for doing so!.. I wanted to keep this a secret-have something exciting to show later!..;)  but here it is! The Roadmaster is nice, but still a bit overpriced in my opinion for the work needed...

 

The 37 you mention belonging to Mr. Price is also a nice candidate... I spoke to him about the car and he mentioned he had recently replaced the radiator, water pump, carburetor,  had the fuel tank relined plus additional turn signals... He did also mention that the car needs a clutch, interior work, wiring (only front was done) some paint touch up, tires,  and reseal or replace the  right rear quarter window (leaking) and judging by the photos the correct headlamps? Sorry, but to me, that is the one feature of these cars that sets them apart and must be right... Having the correct headlamp lenses. A nice car indeed, but I am hoping for the 38 you see below!

Gray Ghost.JPG

image1.jpeg

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Las Vegas Dave, I have admired your car for a while... Love the color and of course the overdrive. Can you still purchase it? Where from? Can you post detailed photos of your vehicle, including the overdrive of course!  Don't mean to take this off track, since he is not selling, but I do think his car is just fine!..;)

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While I have my cards on the table, I might as well show you my last candidate... 38-61 restored about 10 years ago... It has a 49 fireball engine. Needs the speedometer repaired, 2 spare tires and something regarding the clutch pedal spring... Clutch pedal does not fully return upwards sometimes. I thought it was odd unless something is missing or not adjusted properly... Price is right up there, 22K! untouchable for me...

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Edited by philipj
Upside down.. (see edit history)

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Not to put a damper on the excitement of the hunt, but I might interject a comment about keeping your expectations reasonable. You say that $22,000 for that nicely restored Century sedan with sidemounts is way too much but that the cheaper Roadmaster is overpriced because it has needs (and I don't think a running, driving Full Classic senior Buick for under $20K is overpriced by a long shot, needs or no needs). Once you dip into the sub-$20,000 price range you're going to find cars with needs. There will be no restored, perfect, fully operational Buick with all its parts intact for under $20,000. You dismissed the Roadmaster because it had an original interior and a leaky transmission (which I guarantee is the torque ball, an affliction that is VERY common in old Buicks) but embrace another car with a longer list of needs and dismiss a yet another good one as too expensive. You're kind of setting yourself up for disappointment no matter which way you choose to go--a cheap car will have a lot of needs and a good car is too expensive.

 

It is always my advice to spend more money up front and buy the best car you can find. If you have to reach a little, so be it. If that $22,000 Century appeals to you, that's probably the one you should own. If it's a bit of a reach, find a way to make the reach and get into the game instead of spending another season on the bench. It's still cheaper than buying a fixer-upper and waiting for the money to fix it. Always buy a finished car--don't fall into the trap of thinking with a little elbow grease you can fix up a car with needs and have something great for less money. We will all vouch for the fact that it doesn't often work that way. If you need a cheap buy-in, well, then prepare yourself that you'll be buying a car with a list of needs that may not be ready to go immediately and you'll spend a lot of cash fixing it (you may not know this yet, but one thing always leads to another when fixing up an old car).

 

Personally, I think $22,000 for that Century is a good deal and it seems like the right car for you at a price that's only a small reach out of your range (unless your range is $15K at which point you're going to be VERY disappointed with your potentials). Spend a little more up front, save a lot on the back end, that's usually how it works.

 

Once again I'm reminded of my favorite saying, dropped on us by a fellow board member here: the bargain hunter usually screws himself. Keep that in mind while comparing cars and not just their price tags. Value is more than just how much you pay.

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Last candidate: I wouldn't discount the later-model engine too much if everything else is right. The balky clutch pedal might be the result of the counter-balance spring on the clutch intended to lighten pedal action, or the mechanism needs needs cleaning/lubrication. But if it's not, changing the clutch is a bear. Price is optimistic, and hopefully negotiable. It's been for sale for a while.

Good luck!

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8 hours ago, LAS VEGAS DAVE said:

The only way I could be happy with a Century or a Special is with an overdrive. Either car with the stock gearing is not very good on the freeway but both are just fine around town.

 

Dave,

 

I am guessing your meant to type Roadmaster or Special. If you meant to type Century you have no idea what you are talking about. That statement is 100% wrong.

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