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Help with 1929 Graham Paige


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I have the chance to pick up a 1929 Graham Paige 4 door sedan. Trying to figure out value and whether the parts missing can be located. Not sure which model it is. Are there serial numbers somewhere on the car or did they just use the engine number? What is a rough value of the car the way it is. No title, not registered since 1952 in California. 

The good: Top wood all replaced with new vinyl.

Floor has new wood with vinyl

Engine and transmission work done

Has all six wheels

Has inside dome lights

Rust free

Bad: missing all interior and exterior door handles

Missing all the seats

Missing crank

Missing cowl trim

Missing drivers running board

 

How hard will the missing parts be to find?

 

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Very, very difficult to find any missing parts. The car in that condition has a very low value. Is there an asking price? If this is going to be your first antique car I would find a diffrent car, one that isn’t so difficult to deal with. As far as value, less than five thousand, and probably something more in thr range of three.............I’m sure who ever owns it is probably thinking much higher.........rare and obscure does not translate into money. Take your time, use caution, and join a local antique car club.....you will get lots of good advice.

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Mr. or Mrs. Lelshaddai, any car is a part of history

and is interesting to preserve and restore.  Many

old-car hobbyists spend tens of thousands of dollars fixing up

a car, well knowing that they will never recoup their costs.

 

However, we want you to be aware of this near-universal

fact:  Cars cost more money to fix up than their actual

value will ever be.  The model you show, if in nice

running, driving condition, not 100% perfect but looking new

from 20 feet away, might be worth $8000 to $12,000.

A person might spend $50,000 to get your example to

that point.

 

We assume you're fairly new to the hobby.  New swimmers

shouldn't dive into the deep end of the pool.  You should

accordingly start with a car requiring much less work.  Perhaps

a 1928-1931 Ford Model A, where parts are readily available

and a whole network of hobbyists exists who know that model.

And you could drive it while you are taking care of its few

modest needs--enjoying the hobby immediately.

 

Welcome to a satisfying world, and enjoy the tropical pool

and the sun-drenched patio without swimming over your head!

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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John and Ed have sound advice. The Graham is a great looking car, nice it has side mounted spare tires. Trying to locate the seats and their springs will be a major task. If the engine and transmission were "done" who did it and how well?  As mentioned if you are new to the hobby then you want a really fun experience, not one you may eventually see full participation in 5+ years down the road because you have a "project" you have difficulty  find parts for. It is indeed neat to have an "orphan " car that is no longer manufactured and hasn't been for over 70+ years but for someone to start on something if you have never worked on one before, even with club support can be very difficult. All of us here want you to be happy and become part of the old car collector and preservation hobby, but it should also be a good experience.  Try to take the advice of us who have been collecting and enjoying cars of this era for 50+ years. Wishing you the best of luck.

Walt G.

PS join a local AACA region, attend meetings and when there is a meet ask some of the people who have cars if you can go for a ride! that is the way you can best appreciate the different years, makes etc and that will give you a better perspective.

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I agree with you on spending more than the car is worth, thus trying to see about the missing parts. I have restored 14 different cars from a 1940 Plymouth truck to the current 51 Studebaker. Always wanted to go a bit older. I can probably get the car for less than a 1000. But like you say if the parts are not available then it makes it hard. Are there substitute seats and handles from different brands that will work. The inside cranks are standard squares with pins. Could find nice older handles to work.  Outside handles may be the problem.It would not take much to make it a driver. They also have these two cars. 1928 Chevy and 1927 Buick. However the wood on top  and bottom is in seriously bad shape. I have not dealt with that before. Does it need to be hand made? Are pieces available. I have worked with wood before as a shop teacher. These could be had for about $500 a piece. They are all there but the radiator caps. 

Buick

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Chevy

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Seriously. with your background at those prices I would buy all 3 if you have a workaround for the title problem (not sure how CA works). People here in the east seldom see rust free old cars in their original state .....

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Just a side note....the headlamps on the Buick are incorrect for that car. They should look like these. Also....try to get in touch with thehandleman here on the forum. He may have all of the door handles and window cranks for the Graham.

Here you go....https://forums.aaca.org/profile/112535-thehandleman/

1927 Buick car.jpg

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)
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9 minutes ago, Mike36 said:

The owner of the Graham better reconsider selling it. If he does where will he store his junk ?

I don't see much trash IN the Graham....just around it.

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No one has mentioned the new woodwork and top.  As a driver it is probably okay but the work done is not a restoration or anywhere near it.  It makes me wonder about anything the owner says.  $1,000 is not a bad price.

Good Luck if you buy it.

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8 minutes ago, Tinindian said:

No one has mentioned the new woodwork and top.  As a driver it is probably okay but the work done is not a restoration or anywhere near it.  It makes me wonder about anything the owner says.  $1,000 is not a bad price.

Good Luck if you buy it.

Yes....very interesting wood in the top.

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Another question. Which is easier to find parts for out of the Buick and Chevy? I am looking at just good drivers. They do not need to be concourse. Which has more end value Buick or Chevy. Buick has the 6, a bit more driveability. I do like the wood spokes. I was going to pick up all three but a friend wants either the Buick or Chevy and was trying to decide the best route with easeier restore at lessor price.

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That's a interesting Graham-Paige, the only series listing four window Town Sedans are the Model 629 and 835.   Since the model numbers denote number of cylinders and wheelbase length, a quick measurement hub to hub will answer which series it is.  The 1928 and First Series 1929 629 had their largest six cylinder engine 288.6 shared with the 619.  At $1,985-$2,185, these competed with Studebaker President FA & FB, Buick Six 129, Willys-Knight 66A & 66B, Hupmobile Century 125 & M, Jordan 8JE, Auburn 8-88 & 8-120, a crowded market segment.

 

While it would be a worthwhile restoration of a rare car, not one to do if this is one's first collector car and/or have any hope of recouping the investment.  Please let us know what model that Graham-Paige is.

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25 minutes ago, 58L-Y8 said:

While it would be a worthwhile restoration of a rare car, not one to do if this is one's first collector car ...........

 

He stated above that he has restored 14 different cars over the years ...

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My 2 cents, you would be better off with the Buick or Chevrolet.  Chevrolet seems to be hard to restore when the wood framing is bad.  I’ve never done either so it’s strictly here -say that I’m quoting.

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I would say worth $1500 or so, less with no title, only if the structural wood body framing is intact and solid.  Not a car I would necessarily recommend as a project, though, given the missing items.  Locating them would be unlikely for this orphan car, leaving one to fabricate them from scratch.

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None of the cars are worth your time or effort, sad but true. Find a better project that will be a better driver and more rewarding than what your looking at. 

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If you are in the United States, that Renault

would certainly be an unusual conversation piece

at shows.  Even if not perfect, people may walk

right past a $100,000 car to ask what it is.

 

It also appears to be in much better condition--

already running, or close to being running.

 

I agree with Ed and others that those rough sedans

are regrettably not worth your time.

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I suppose at this point I should try to walk back my original statement but at $2000 for all 3 vehicles it's hard to do. I totally agree that if the intent is restoration it's a no go. But at least in upstate NY the sight of rust free sheetmetal (forget the wood ) and a chassis that isn't pitted make the heart beat faster. If the intent is to have fun I see possibilitiee of a speedster project, a 30's "farm pickup" project, rebody to a more desirable body style, or even making a few bucks by parting one or more out or selling as a parts car. 

 

At 70 I should know better but the kid in me still remembers all the things we used to drive around the back roads and farm fields in the 60's, get running, use up and finally abandon in the weeds somewhere when they quit for good. Falling apart 49 Ford convertibles, 34 Ford coupe with a nailhead  Buick, falling apart 58 Chevy with a 348, Harley police tricycle, Morris Minor convertible, Model "A" Fords, Tri-five Chevies with holes in the floors and etc - all considered eminently expendable but a lot of fun...price of admission from free to $50 tops....

 

Oops, time for me to put on my "responsible adult" hat again - 

 

"..... but I was so much older then I'm younger than that now" - Bob Dylan (My Back Pages)

 

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We have had several local people in AACA with Grahams and they all enjoy them via touring and I understand they have a decent enough club.  

 

The body style being a "Club Sedan" is very nice (and rare enough too).  

 

Also, nice it is disk wheels and sidemount spare tires. 

 

The price is decent enough to (around or  under probably 5K for the car is fine).  

 

As to the door handles and interior/exterior window cranks and handles DO NOT KID YOURSELF - THEY WILL BE EXPENSIVE IF YOU WANT THE CORRECT ONES (anywhere from $100 to $400 each unless you can find something for another car that will at least fit (ex. vintage Chevrolet, Buick, or ....).  The problem with the handles is that they are die cast and even if you find a new one in a box it could have a short life in use (and replating generally is a nail in the coffin to vintage die cast).

 

The woodwork is somewhat questionable - usually in the CCCA stuff I am use  to working with White Ash is used and occasionally a piece of Poplar, Oak, or ... - but what is in car does not appear to be that.  My guess is production lower price cars used something cheaper, but that also means it may not last as well.  Also, you have to seal all the wood (not sure thay have followed that step).

 

As to one of those AACA people - I found one a taillight and it was a bear to find (these are pretty uncommon cars).

 

As to seats - you would have to find someone in Club with a parts car or at least find something that would retrofit in (car is bigger than a Model A Ford so probably not an alternate, but Chevrolet seats and springs may work.

 

My guess is you will need a bunch of trim stuff - hubcaps, radiator cap, all the handles, bezels, and ...

 

And, my rule of thumb with a car like this is 10K to just get it decently running and complete (and then you have all the work to do after that) - sure it may cost less, but may actually cost more too. 

 

And, all the people that say run, say it for very good reason (they all are quite familiar with 30K chrome bills, 20K interiors, 15K plus engine rebuilds, and ...), have lost plenty of money on projects, and ...

 

My best advice is do not fall into a false dream (aka cars are not cheap to restore and miracles rarely happen).

 

All, being said though, whatever makes you happy.

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I would definitely skip the Buick and the Chevrolet. Both need a lot of wood work. I don't believe there's enough left in the Buick's roof to even get a good pattern and the doors on both are sagging which indicates deterioration in the structure of the lower body. . Unless you're a talented woodworker you would be in over your head from the start. I believe they are both 2-door sedans which is probably he least desirable body style on cars of that era.

 

The Chevy is a 1927, not 1928 which means it has mechanical bakes on the rear only. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of the 1927 Chevy. I had a coupe which is a much more attractive body style. Parts are readily available, but with its underpowered 4-cylinder it was most comfortable cruising about 40 mph. Forget about trying to merge into modern traffic much less stopping quickly in an emergency. In a panic stop the rear brakes will lock up. Like a bicycle, with little weight on the rear axle the narrow tires just slide along on the pavement and the car keeps going -- at least that's what it feels like.

 

If you're up to the challenge the Graham Paige is well worth the price difference, in my opinion. The club sedan is an attractive body style and the sidemounts and disc wheels add to its appeal. With a 6-cylinder engine and (I assume)  4-wheel brakes would make a good tour car when finished as well as being. It would be a standout at any car show.

 

Don

 

 

 

 

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The Graham Owners Club would be a good place to investigate what parts sources are available.  There used to be a warehouse in Auburn, Indiana that still offered NOS Graham and Hupmobile parts from the leftover stocks of those companies, tracking it down would be worthwhile.    The 629 is in specification almost identical to the Packard 526 and 533, wheelbase between at 129", same displacement six cylinder, long-stroke and torquey.   The Graham club could enlighten as to what the survival rate is for known cars, I'd surmise its quite low and rare.  Good luck.

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2 hours ago, 58L-Y8 said:

There used to be a warehouse in Auburn, Indiana that still offered NOS Graham and Hupmobile parts from the leftover stocks of those companies, tracking it down would be worthwhile.    

 

It will take some tracking as it is no longer there in Auburn. IN. The contents of the building were sold maybe three or so years ago and were showing up on eBay for a while and maybe still are.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The Graham Paige is supported by a  good club. Parts are not that difficult to come by. Handles are either available or reproduced. They are reliable drivers. The Graham Owners International Club will be meeting in Brockville, Ontario in 2019 and will have numerous examples not only on display but touring daily.  Many will be driven to the meet.

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Keep in mind that the value in a car is only important when you buy it or sell it. The value in displaying a seldom seen car can be priceless.

 

More then forty years ago I fell in love with a Graham Page that was in the old Harrah's collection. The car was a beautiful close-coupled sedan, which if memory serves me, was in dark blue. Maybe someone connected with G-P knows this car and is willing to comment. This highlights one of the differences in a seldom seen car vs a Chevrolet and the Buick. I have a reasonable degree of certainty that someone knows the car I'm writing about. I'm not sure that I could say that if it were a Chevrolet or a Buick.

Edited by Buffalowed Bill (see edit history)
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Sorry I got here late.  Yes 1928 Graham-Paige 629 Town Sedan; 288 CID; 4 speed transmission..   This car has the Big Six and I believe is the  ONLY remaining "Graham-Paige 629 Town Sedan".  I have been watching Graham-Paige cars for the last 20 years, and have thousands of pictures of Graham cars, and personally own seven Graham cars, including my Grandfathers.  So I don't say ONLY without some experience..

 

All of the chrome trim parts are reproduced.  The problem with the 619 and 629 is they used purchased parts for the interior....let me explain.  The 619 and 629 had to be upscale of the small sixes so they purchased unique interior hardware unfortunately it is near impossible to find (it is a wave pattern).  On the bright side all the small six parts fit and nobody will ever know....except me (Oh yes I also own a 619 (1929, only 200 made)).

 

The serial numbers are in two places, under the radiator on the frame and passenger side rear floor board, with a new floor most likely all three tags are gone (color, body and VIN number) most of these were registered to the engine number, something about horses.  So most likely title matches the engine number, tag on the side of the engine, near the generator.  The Graham-Paige production book still exists so you could possibly get the build sheet for this car.

 

Great car to own and drive, it will cruse at 60 mph all day long, yes extra large hydraulic brakes on all wheels.  Too bad seats are lost, they are all wood I could get you all the information you need to build new seats.  Looks like someone has rebuilt the entire wood top/roof, and he has rebuilt the shocks.  Hopefully it retained its one piece rear bumper (the only really scary part to find) if it has a two piece bumper (center missing) that means someone installed the dual side mounts, not a big deal.

 

If you do get the Graham, plan on spending the day (more hours the better) searching the garage for parts.  PM me I will get you my phone number so you can send me pictures, I will tell you if they are Graham parts or not.  Anything you forget will be hard to replace, and cost you more money.  I would bet most of the parts are in the garage or the house.  

 

My research shows these are optional colors, with only this example... Most likely it was Graham-Paige blue with black fenders, blue wheels.  The disk wheels are great, easy to clean and usually straight.  The tail light is hard to find, Nash is the same three lens, one on ebay now.

 

1928 GP 629.jpg

 

 

Hope I answered your questions, I think I have a set of cowl lights.

Edited by Graham Man (see edit history)
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Let’s see do I need another project.    No.   Do I want another project.    No.     is the graham interesting.     absolutely,  if your not going to pursue it how about sending me a message with info if it’s close and I can make a deal we’ll talk.    Dave

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