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Xander Wildeisen

34 Buick

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Well guys I have had a 1932 Buick 57S for over 50 years and it is an overhead valve 8 cylinder motor.  I am the second owner and purchased it from an Estate in Boston MA and when I did that the Dealership that originally sold the car was still in business and called Noise Buick.  I still have this car and it is one of twelve in my collection and it is totally original and it has never been restored - just well maintained.

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Edited by gehlhaar (see edit history)
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Beginning with the 1931 model year, all Buicks were inline 8s. For 1934-35, the new smaller Buick was the Series 40, which used a smaller division's basic body but had the new 233 cid (later 248) vastly improved engine with downdraft carburetion.  The 50-60-90 series for 1934-35 had the same trim, dash, instruments, etc. which were different from the 40's.  Series 40 had painted headlight buckets; the other series had chrome buckets.

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I guess the new,  more up-to-date '34/'35 series 40 Buicks could run rings around their more traditional bigger brothers (at a substantially lower price, too); but, unfortunately, they suggest glorified Chevrolets or Pontiacs -- at least when compared to the "real Buick" gravitas of the senior editions.  However, the 40 series at least had a respectable new straight 8 -- as would have been expected in the days before the vaunted GM brand differentiation devolved into mere "badge engineering."

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Gert,

The big Boston Buick dealer was Noyes Buick (pronounced the same as "noise"). I did an article on them in the Buick Bugle a few years ago. Noyes was the Buick distributor for all of New England in the 1920s and 1930s. Their main building is now owned and used by Boston University. That's a beautiful '32. I have its close cousin, a 56-S, also unrestored and with its original black paint.

Pete Phillips

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I called the owner, Gordon today, Saturday. Sadly, he lost his father a year ago, who owned the car. It has not been started in about 5 years. Original paint, interior (original), suffers damage. Door panels good. Tomorrow (Sunday), I will drive down to my friend Gary's house who lives fairly nearby. We will look at it and report back.  -   Carl 

 

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Edited by C Carl
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First glance seemed pretty good. Engine had not been run in over 5 years, maybe closer to 10. BUT :         Uh, oh.    More pics and impressions to come. Too late for much more at this point. I think I will post more pictures now, though.  -  CC 

 

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O.K. These are the last of them. I will have to write up my impressions later. Do understand that this is a very solid car. Doors close perfectly. Clutch has exactly the right amount of free play. Right front vent window too tight for me to risk. Also left rear vent window. The left rear door window will not go all the way down. It does not smell of mold. The original paint is dark blue. We got a bit lost, so time and daylight got munched. Turns out that Gary had been there before and met Gordon's father. Gordon is down the his last 4 or 5 cars. Has already sold about 20, including Cadillacs and a Bentley.     -   Carl.  206-790-6912 

 

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Hi "X" ! I am indebted to you for the wonderful late afternoon - early evening yesterday. Thanks for the heads-up. The only reason the pictures turned out at all, was that I had to brace my mini iPad on something solid to damp camera motion. The fluorescent lighting was dim, and I had to rig the only drop light on hand (which you can see in a few pics). Fairly long exposure time.

 

Gary and I went equipped to pull the plugs and the rocker cover (I should have done the same with the spare engine), and do a preliminary  initial lube, and determine the best  next step. That cover had not been removed for many years. Broke one ear off the center wing nut, and  finally a good whack with the heel of my somewhat functional right hand, and was pleased to see the total lack of condensation corrosion. Closer inspection revealed existing valve train damage. We all know what that means. 

 

Now, Gordon was going to try to put a battery in the thing and see if it would fire. I had convinced him on the phone not to try this without well informed S.O.P. He immediately understood the implications of what he saw. He knows that there will need to be partial dismantling before even verifying whether the engine is free. Does this engine still have the fiber timing gear?  Gordon is totally realistic, but doesn't have the time to do the procedures necessary. He understands quite well,that in situations like this, a purchaser MUST assume the worst. But there is the spare engine, complete with transmission. Also a rear end, steering wheel w/column, and hood as seen. The engine hand crank is present.

 

Although there is no substitute for  meeting a car personally, we all have been around a sufficient number of old cars for a great many years. Therefore, I feel that these pictures give a fairly accurate peep through the keyhole. They probably convey the "feel" of this old car. And, due to over reliance on our "cyber homing pigeon", we lost precious time. I could, and possibly will go back. If any of you may be interested in this car, let me know if I can be of some help. I like the car, and it is the kind of thing I would love to have methodically put back on the road. I would just deep clean and polish the old Bu' (simply quite filthy in and out -my degraded sense of smell could not detect pest piss), and be fairly confident that what you see is what you get. There are no holes through the seats, and I did not sit on them. I should have. There has not been periodic water events, so it is possible that the structural integrity of the seats/springs is good. Gary and I thought the indicated mileage could be accurate. Again, the doors are solid, and close absolutely perfectly.

 

I am open to a debriefing interrogation,  (206-790-6912), and requests for further information from a follow up. For example, I should have checked steering play.As I said, with a thorough clean up, once running well, I myself would be proud to cruise this '34. Ancient rather thread bare cars have a certain charm. You can get away with it quite well on a totally original car which is essentially "all there". (I see what appears to be the original cigar lighter). Oh : and that dent at the vulnerable area of the R.H. headlight, has a little brother on the other side. 

 

Let me "mail" this off. I might remember something later, but I hope this gives a realistic dimension to what may be a lovable old sedan. The interior could be habitable, particularly due to the instruments, steering wheel condition, and good glass all around. Many of you know how elegant these old sedans can be with well worn old oriental rug remnants cut to fit and hemmed. The handmade ones have a certain character more compatible with the old cars, but there are many QUALITY machine made rugs like Karastan, or Bigelow out of the '20s that will do nicely. There are fantastic old silk tapestries to use as seat covers (they have sufficient "tensile strength" since they are woven to hang) - I will try to find a picture good enough to show what I use to preserve my beautiful front seat in the '27 Cad. Not easy to find though, it might be easier to find NOS period seat covers. Isn't there still some source for these? 

 

                                                 I wish I could get this car, you could call me :

                                                    "Bubba Buick"  VERY close friends and my 

                                                  Brothers do use an affectionate "Bubba" 

                                                  frequently. Goes back almost 50 years to 

                                                  my Cadillac Cowboy days. Chasing the fast 

.                                                  girls from bar to bar with a smuggled Cuban

.                                                  " rope" dangling from my mouth, and a cold 

                                                   6 pak couched comfortably on the car seat.

                                                   Oh the delights of a short-term hedonist's

.                                                  misspent youth! Then, as now, they all used 

                                                   to call me :   -   Cadillac Carl

 

O.K. I have found a picture of the the tough silk tapestry and how I folded it and brought it around the robe rail. I was actually given this by the high end carpet cleaners I have been using since the early '70s. The previous owner had stained it very slightly. Could not get it out, and abandoned it to my benefit. Cleaners often have damaged goods at fair prices. Especially if you are a customer.

 

 

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Be careful C Carl, I think there might be someone in the back seat of your car taking pictures.:o The Buick looks like a nice affordable project. With a little work, a person could be driving a car that has a lot of class/style, for a very low buy in price. 1933-34 cars have wonderful styling. Sedans from those years look very elegant. I think it will find a new home. If someone on this forum buys it, would like to see a picture of it cleaned up.

Edited by Xander Wildeisen (see edit history)
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When this was first posted, I contacted one of my Buick buddies in the Seattle area about this car.  He went to see it over a month ago and said it was a 60 series.  Too bad Carl didn't get a shot of the firewall nameplate to confirm the model number.

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10 minutes ago, Mark Shaw said:

He went to see it over a month ago and said it was a 60 series. 

It looks like a 50 to me, and the spare engine is definitely a 50. (I owned a 1934 56S for 45 years.)  Wheelbase will tell:  119" for 50 series, 128" for 60 series.  On the subject car, the RF door seems short, suggesting the shorter wheelbase.

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The driver is a fellow CLC member with his daughter by his side. He became such a good wheelman (had never thrown a double clutched shift before I "learned him up" - he is a great learner with a PhD and  a Jd), that I hade the rare pleasure of seeing my old car in motion from all angles as I drove my E550. 

 

"X", you are a genius ! In one short posting, you have conveyed the impression I spent so many "column inches" trying to describe! Thanks again for getting me out and about doing an old car thing.

 

Mark : What were your friend's general feelings about the Bu' ? Was there something about it that put him off ? You guys obviously didn't buy the car. Also he did not take the rocker cover off. Gary and I were prepared to do the first step towards eventually going back to turn and possibly start the engine. Neither he, nor I, nor the owner (the title is now in his name rather than his father), have time for the complexities implied  by what we found with the valve(s). Does this engine have the fiber timing gear ? I am trying to rationalize some way to multitask my way back down there.   -   CC 

Edited by C Carl
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C Carl, a Series 50 DEFINITELY has a fiber camshaft gear. 

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