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owning, fixing and driving a Snapper's era Buick


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This month I started to replace the 35 year old top of my Model 31 by making patterns, ordering new 59" steam bent top bows and 12 yards of black on black Stayfast topping material.  Mark Shaw replaced his top recently and I copied his photos because it is beautifully done and he used the rear window shape I have seen in original Buick literature.  Ontario entered a stay at home order for the next four weeks to flatten the Covid curve, should be about the time I need to replace my top.  Being a home body it is good to have an interesting hobby which can keep you home.

 

The first two photos are Mark's new top and then our car.

 

Get vaccinated,  Gary

 

 

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Began my Model 31 top replacement project.  I received new oak bows yesterday from an Amish wood shop in Ontario, $20.00 each times 4 or $15.00 USD.

I marked them for orientation in case they are different side to side.

 

I made a window pattern with 8X 41/4" square lights with 3/4" bars between.  Seems about right.

 

Stay well, Gary

 

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16 hours ago, cxgvd said:

Began my Model 31 top replacement project.  I received new oak bows yesterday from an Amish wood shop in Ontario, $20.00 each times 4 or $15.00 USD.

 

Curious about your supplier Gary. Would they do wood spoked wheels also?

 

The Overland has a wheel that was creaking making me wonder about it's safety going down the road.

 

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Not sure, Doug.  Classic Coachworks in Blenheim arranged for the bows.  There is a fellow in Ontario, I don't know him but I know a guy who knows a guy.  I believe the go to company for respoking wood wheels is from Ohio.  He is well known in the hobby but I can not remember his name right now.

 

Thanks, I'll get back to you, Gary 

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3 hours ago, cxgvd said:

Not sure, Doug.  Classic Coachworks in Blenheim arranged for the bows.  There is a fellow in Ontario, I don't know him but I know a guy who knows a guy.  I believe the go to company for respoking wood wheels is from Ohio.  He is well known in the hobby but I can not remember his name right now.

 

Thanks, I'll get back to you, Gary 

Gary,

Are you thinking of Noah Stutzman?

 

Stutzman Buggy Shaft & Wheel Works
33650 C. R. 12 Baltic OH 43804
ZIP Code: 43804

 

Larry Schramm will have the phone number.

 

 

Edited by 95Cardinal
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Posted (edited)

I like a website called BrassBuicks.  Recently I had a thought how to modernize my ignition/lights switch mounted on the dashboard of our 1915 without destroying the original.  The original switch is a mass of insulators and connections, some hot all of the time such as the horn and there are two different ignition push pull buttons.  They are marked B or M depending if you want the wet cell battery, which you do, or a set of dry cells, which are not rechargeable.  It is reasonably robust but I found the connections to be iffy and difficult to understand.  When one of the many insulators fails there would be problems.

 

Back to BrassBuicks, I posted a request if anyone had a switch as photographed and would be amiable to letting me have it to contact me.  I got a positive response and said it was perfect for my purposes, he mailed it to me the same day with the request to pay what I thought was fair.   Two weeks in the mail before it was delivered and it is ideal.  The change is even easier than I imagined, there is a heavy brass plate which I bored out and tapped for the modern push/pull switch and jam nut I previously acquired.  The original brass buttons even screw on to the new switch.  I have room in the face plate for four new switches.  More than enough, and I replaced the troublesome circuit breaker with a six panel fuse box, now every wire has it's own blade type fuse.

 

Some BrassBuick readers posted on the site information with diagrams how to rebuild my original switch.  It is a valuable internet resource and I am glad they let a guy like me be a member.

 

The first photo is the backside showing the connections of the 1915 switch and then the first connection on the modernization.

 

Thanks Buick members, Gary

 

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Edited by cxgvd (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Began to install the new wooden bows into the prepared sockets of the 1913 this afternoon.  Photos show the old top being removed and the interior pads and straps.  Then the primed irons stacked and waiting, then the progress is slow as the bows are wedge shaped to fit tightly into the sockets and finally the first bow is in place.  Nearly, I left it a bit long so I could adjust the look when all four of the bows are in.  And a vine almost covering a farm shed along the path of Bev and I walk past everyday for exercise.

 

Stay well, let's get this virus in the rear view mirror, Gary

 

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Hey Keith:  You are welcome to my old top, maybe it would supply material to plug your hole and keep you dry.

 

I am going to be in Dorchester Friday morning and I could bring the piece along.  It is about 94"X 54".  A real good friend is going to try to silver solder some fine cracks I discovered in my windshield frame.

 

Here is another Model 31 photo with a beautifully fitted top.  Gary

 

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Keith;  Haartz cloth is the standard for antique cloth tops.  In America, Eric Haartz's company manufactures it and wholesales it to companies such as LaBaron Bonney or Bill Hirsch who then retail the fabric.  In Canada a company called Triden handles Haartz cloth Stayfast but they are a wholesale outfit.  Stan Uher, of Classic Coachworks has an account with them and he ordered me 12 yards at $89.00 each.  Long story short, Stan made a phone call to Toronto, had it shipped to Blenheim and I picked it up there, locally.  I sent Triden a cheque in the name of Classic Coachworks.

 

In your situation with the '16, I think I would attempt to bond a piece of my old top onto your old top and improve the appearance and cover the hole.  More than that you probably should entertain a new top.  At least you have a good pattern?

 

You want the old top let me know.

 

For the '15 McLaughlin the upholsterer is back on duty and I have hopes the car will be finished in the next few weeks.

 

Gary

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Gary, I definitely want a new top. I put mine up last winter and it actually has all of the centre part missing entirely. This is the part which goes from to back. I know about Haartz cloth. I think yours is black, or a dark colour? Mine is tan, so it wouldn't work to patch mine with. Also I wonder about the size?

I'll pm you.

Keith

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