Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Once again, one last time, I have been tempted into another 57. 

My progress on the coupe has virtually stopped for the past year while I worked on a smaller project in a 4 door and awaited the stars to align to complete the metal work.  Given that, I was not looking for another car but was picking up a part here and there.  After buying one such part, I had to ask, "do you have any other 57 parts for sale?".  I was surprised to learn that not only were there many more parts available, but a Roadmaster convertible as well.

The car was partially disassembled, there was no title, most of interior was missing, unknown other pieces were missing, and the parts that were not missing were awash is numerous other parts.  Since it would have been time-consuming and impractical to quickly find all of the parts that belonged to the car, I bought everything.  As of now, I have sold off many of the extra parts already to make space and to bring my cost of the car down and free up funding for the parts I'd have to acquire.

I couldn't pass the car up because it is pretty solid actually, and a great color of Antique Ivory with a Red interior.  Much of the original paint is still visible with exception of where a prior owner installed new rocker panels, and parts on upper body where there appears to have been a partial repaint with house paint at one time that is flaking off.

The trunk lid is in poor condition but it's there, and an extra in much better condition came with the car.20190406_173122.thumb.jpg.dd669776839da0ac58121f3ce15c3dd3.jpg

 

20190406_173004.jpg

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

In the months since I made the purchase, I spent a lot of time reshuffling the garage to make room for parts, and trying to figure out which parts I was missing.

 

Many thanks thus far to Cabellero2, who has provided a tremendous amount of help figuring out what is what and what I had and didn't have.  Also thanks to Dei, for making available the seats from his 58 Limited parts car.  Help like this is what really makes the people on this forum great.

 

As of now, I have nearly all of the convertible-specific parts I'll need.  A few things will need a little fabrication, but nothing insurmountable.  I do still need one top bow.  I have a lead on one, in reportedly poor condition.  However, it's much more feasible to fix one in poor condition than make one from scratch.  With a nearly complete car at this point, I'm confident it can be put back together.  I wasn't so sure when I got it.

 

Not too much will happen on it over the next couple years.  If I have waiting time while coupe is in paint, I will likely start assembling the top and some other pieces to ensure I am not missing any more critical parts.

 

This car is very unusual and I think very cool, as it was ordered with NO POWER BRAKES AND NO HEATER!  How cool is that?  Check out the pic of the delete controls on the dash.20190203_141511.thumb.jpg.b0c618fe88e41118b93c68fa77a4f9a2.jpg

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

The car came with a dark green top along with the Antique Ivory paint and red interior.  I will definitely leave the body and interior original colors, but may make the top black.   We'll see; I have quite a while to make that decision!20190203_120050.thumb.jpg.f4b5f97bed3b5bc23b0d1b60837dfad2.jpg

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

As I said to you, I think it is so cool to have three (or is it four?) of the Roadmaster series in your collection!

It was a little hard to see the car under your lift in the garage but from your pictures looks like it is a solid car to do up.

Looking forward to your progress down the road.

Doug

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, EmTee said:

How will you deal with the lack of title documentation?

I have already received a court order for a title and applied for it.  I should have it in the mail any day.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

After looking at the 56C in OK, I went looking for my rear interior trim pieces below the window.  I was shocked to actually find them in a box!  Only a couple convertible-specific parts left I need to locate.  As far as I know, I am down to trunk hinges and one top bow and maybe a few miscellaneous hardware items.

20190704_173220.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, lancemb said:

As far as I know, I am down to trunk hinges

 

Shoot Lance, would the hinges from my 2 dr Limited have worked?

I didn't save them but would have had I known....

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, dei said:

 

Shoot Lance, would the hinges from my 2 dr Limited have worked?

I didn't save them but would have had I known....

I don't think so... still need to check part numbers but my understanding is that they are convertible-specific.  Is the carcass crushed already or is it still sitting somewhere? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Today was a good day!  Got the last major convertible parts today (with extras) and free delivery!  A-pillar interior trim, and a near-complete top assembly in great shape that had the bow I need!

 

The remaining couple parts I can acquire or fabricate (rear interior panels, door interior moldings).

 

20190718_205739.thumb.jpg.57864a5975422aeace486c25ea9a144a.jpg

 

 

Edited by lancemb (see edit history)
  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

Another good day today from the parts gods.  Although I'd already bought a set from a coupe I'd planned to shorten, I managed to find a true needle in the haystack...correct original trunk trim!  Not only is this convertible-only, but it's Buick only unlike most of the convertible stuff that interchanges with Cadillacs.  What's more is that it's Roadmaster convertible only!  I'm amazed these existed...20190723_202233.thumb.jpg.d4d5a46a564737a4b4560f094e6d7147.jpg

Edited by lancemb (see edit history)
  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, dei said:

Keep that "find streak" going Lance!

 

I'm going to rub the magic lamp and wish for door panel trim and a back seat next so I don't have to fabricate from others...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 months later...

Time for a brief update.  I finally got another lift installed a couple months ago, which allowed me to finally get a good look underneath this car.

 

The good: the floors, inner rocker panels, and floor braces that were installed from a parts car look perfect!  My guess is the sheetmetal came from the same Super 4 door that the 2x,xxx gauge cluster in mint condition and perfect side emblems came from that came with the car.

 

Also, the trunk is nearly perfect as original with only one rust-through spot in a corner and rough edges around the drain holes in the bottom of the spare tire well.

 

The bad: the frame rails up front are rusted badly in a couple places but everythingbehimd that looks okay.   Also, the extra-thick x-frame specific to the convertible looks great.  I confirmed the extra trunk lid that came with the car is not correct and I can't identify what it's from but definitely not a 57 Buick.  As a result, the very rough convertible-only trunk lid will have to be repaired.

 

If this car had been received in a very good unmolested state, I would still just leave it sit until I could restore it in earnest.  However, I would rather take care of the missing parts and major concerns regarding its restorability sooner rather than later.  If anything is going to put this car beyond what I am wanting to deal with, I don't want to find that out after having had it sit and take up valuable space for years.

 

Given that, I decided to take the car to another local place I recently found out about to try to confirm ability to align the doors, repair the frame, and pending success on those items possibly do a bit more while it's there and separated from the frame.

 

To prepare, I removed most items from the car that were stored inside of it.  I then roughly hung the doors on.  The gaps front and rear looked pretty good on the passnger side.  The gaps are too small on the driver side.  I am hoping that this can be remedied by adjusting the fender, but if it turns out to be an issue resulting from when the floor was replaced this is the sort of thing that I want to know early on.

 

20191214_154719.thumb.jpg.b500babd407db72421247f8bd8da4814.jpg

 

Off it goes!

 

20191216_072907.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

To repair the frame rails, I summoned what was left of the parts car at Smartin's place.  This parts car will have lent parts to his car, the black 1957 75 recently sold, my coupe, and now this convertible.  It was made very good use of, and not much will be left wasted. 

 

After arriving at the shop with the convertible, it was picked apart and the body was removed from the frame right away.  With the mild weather we've been having, much of this was able to be done outside.  Inspecting the frame, it's in fantastic condition and the original black paint was still perfect underneath the rubber body mounts when I plucked them off.

 

 

 

20191227_122833.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I dig the new steering wheel!

 

I'm anxious to see what the situation is with the door alignment.  Hopefully it's an easy fix.  It concerns me that the floor and outer rocker were replaced and nothing was braced beforehand.  It looks like progress is fast there...looking forward to updates!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Smartin said:

I dig the new steering wheel!

 

I'm anxious to see what the situation is with the door alignment.  Hopefully it's an easy fix.  It concerns me that the floor and outer rocker were replaced and nothing was braced beforehand.  It looks like progress is fast there...looking forward to updates!

Ha ha...The steering wheel is indeed cool!

 

There is no saying for sure that it wasn't braced, or to what extent it wasn't.  I'm assuming the rockers and floors were not done at the same time. 

I'm hoping the front fender is just pushed back a bit.  The door does fit and close, but barely.  It needs only about 3/16" more to have a proper gap.

The shop owner seems confident that they can work it out one way or the other.  I hope he's right!  We'll know soon.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Correct - I should have worded it this way - "I am suspicious that there was no bracing when those panels were replaced."   I cannot assume anything...it just makes me wonder.  It was my first gut feeling when you mentioned the door not fitting.😲

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Some progress.  Convertible body was braced well first and is now off.  The shop gave some feedback that the installation of the floors was very well done. 

Also, they acknowledged that the alignment of the door door alignments would require some adjustments, possibly to the body, but that it was entirely doable.  However, it was best to do this after frame was back on and body was properly sitting on new body mounts.

With the convertible frame and parts frame next to each other, surgery has begun.  Here is with one side of frame already removed.  While the other side is not rusted through, it is quite thin so that will be replaced as well.  The portions that hold the trans brace will also be replaced, and some lighter work will be done to the front of the X frame.

20200114_1357101.thumb.jpg.0a7391089466c7a5facebbe3b155bcba.jpg

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Some more progress:

 

Major repairs have been completed to the frame, and it's been stripped and sandblasted.  This uncovered a couple small areas up front that will need a patch welded in.  Overall, looking much nicer though!

20200214_110613.thumb.jpg.11bd5ccc3cc0e0e1c8d8e64729ac170d.jpg

20200214_110631.thumb.jpg.72e9557198fa5e629d3ea0bc3db56aea.jpg

 

 

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

They noticed these marks, same on both sides, where it looks like frame had been modified and then repaired.  Right above this in trunk the sheetmetal was separated.  We speculate this was where the frame for the gates for the harness racing were mounted originally.  Kind of cool, and the repair is good, so I might just leave the marks for history.

 

20200214_095846.thumb.jpg.b382dc506d1175413b0f310f187fcc26.jpg

 

 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

The body is on a rotisserie now, and most of it will be sandblasted soon, especially underneath since that will be painted before going back on the frame.  I am going to leave dash and most of firewall intact for now.

 

20200214_110637.thumb.jpg.963f66e336afa0b39a93b22334c1729c.jpg

 

.

 

 

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

The trunk lid has been repaired (that thing was ugly) but not finished yet.  After its sandblasted it will be finished off.  Since it is specific to 1957 Roadmaster and Super convertible only, I was not about to count on finding another!

 

20200214_105917.thumb.jpg.8c494ce900199cf9813a3f2c69f89b52.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Lance

Looking good. I didn't realize this was a harness racing car and a Roadmaster convertible with heater delete! I had a white 1956 Roadmaster Convertible that was used to open the gate for harness racing and it had bars welded on the frame in the exact same spot as yours. Unfortunately for me, it was missing the trunk lid. The car is fully restored now, but was a big project.

 

If they are going to blast the entire body, might as well strip the firewall and remove the dash, everything will be nicely cleaned up.

 

Keep up the great work.

 

Steve

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Gets me every time...that heater delete!

 

Great progress...thanking my lucky stars I didn't get to deal with the trunk lid.🤣

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/14/2020 at 11:12 PM, FireballV8 said:

Hi Lance

Looking good. I didn't realize this was a harness racing car and a Roadmaster convertible with heater delete! I had a white 1956 Roadmaster Convertible that was used to open the gate for harness racing and it had bars welded on the frame in the exact same spot as yours. Unfortunately for me, it was missing the trunk lid. The car is fully restored now, but was a big project.

 

If they are going to blast the entire body, might as well strip the firewall and remove the dash, everything will be nicely cleaned up.

 

Keep up the great work.

 

Steve

 

 

Steve, that's great to confirm that your car was affected in the exact same spot on the frame!

 

After further consideration, I think it makes sense to blast the outer firewall as it's pretty flaky.  I do want to keep the dash intact for now, though.

 

Thanks for the encouragement

Edited by lancemb (see edit history)
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

One more difference in convertible frame I discovered with this process is that in addition to a thicker X-frame, the convertible frame has an extra body mount in the center.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Makes some sense regarding the extra centre body mount if one thinks about it.

Without the solid metal roof helping to stiffen / distribute any frame flexing, having the body bolted more solidly would help I guess.

Can tell you from experience though, keep your arm away from the door and body gap when cruising over a set of RR tracks! 🙁 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Kosage Chavis said:

When spraying the frame, do you feel it necessary to also spray inside all of the inner parts of any openings?

Well I'm not personally doing this frame, but when doing my other car my approach was to get to as much as I could.  The only way to get every nook and cranny is to dip it.  That would be nice, but not neccessary.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Assembly is underway.  Note the NOS Delco front brake shoes.  I also have NOS front aluminum drums that are going on it (I will probably never find another pair).  Also fitted with NOS ball joints. 

 

20200313_1112241.thumb.jpg.9ac674a92dae7475e1a420bcda4eeb3e.jpg

 

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites

NOS, Man that is something to die for, especially those drums (let alone the ball joints) !

 

I have a good spare set of drums that I want for the Roadmaster as I don't know the condition of them now. Found them at a swap meet a few years ago.

IMG_6409.thumb.JPG.d0d1b2f0a1fc03e76b73dc5d168c59fe.JPG

 

Your frame is looking better all the time!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...