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In 1995 I had just sold my ’65 Mustang and wanted a late fifties Olds, Buick or Caddy. A friend of mine who had a small business selling cars and parts had a 58 Olds 2 dr HT and this wonderfull 57 Buick 2 dr HT. I took both cars for a short drive. The Olds went first, but as soon as I was behind the wheel of the Buick I was sold. It was my first ride in a Buick, but what a ride.

 

It was built in South Gate. It is single color GG, Dresden Blue and trim 621, Medium Blue interior. It was in decent shape. Most importantly only had minor rust. I knew at some point I wanted to do a complete frame off resto so I immediately started looking for NOS parts. I clearly remember that the first thing I bought was NOS hubcaps.

 

I drove the car each summer. Each year I did some improvements, heater core exchange, torque ball replacement and in 1998 I rebuild the engine. It showed that one cam on the camshaft was only half the height it used to have been, however I never felt that the engine was not running well.

 

In the summer of 2002 I had just replaced some pieces in the fuel system and I was just leaving the gas station with a full tank when steam came out of the left side exhaust. To me it looked like the block had a crack in one cylinder. Damn that was annoying. I only had 6000 miles on it. But it was a sign, that now was the time to start the frame off resto.

It took more than 2 years to take car apart. Meticulously taking notes of all nuts, bolts, washers, clips, brackets, etc. As the years passed I was sometimes very productive and sometimes no progress for years. I would never have dreamed that it should take so long time to do the frame off resto, but I guess that is the way life is.

 

IMG_6048.thumb.JPG.b4f1fe46a3ee109bd83a2174396ff499.JPG

 

The last 4 months things are really moving again. The body is at a body and paint shop, it has been stripped with high pressure water to remove all paint, filler, sealer, etc, revealing a few more places that needed some work.

Just got the engine back from the paint shop. It is back in the frame and assembly is progressing.

 

 

I will try to post the progress. The plan is that it shall be finished in 1 to 2 year’s time.

 

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Thanks for all the support and positive feedback. Much appreciated 🙂

 

On 1/10/2020 at 7:49 PM, lancemb said:

Awesome car!  Do you have some "before" pictures?

Yes, I have some pictures when it was for sale in UK in early nineties.

The panels and lower part of the doors had some rust, so they "fixed" that and painted it. Also did dome upholstry work. It was a nice driver and I had good fun with it.

 

 

57 century UK1.jpg

57 century UK2.jpg

57 century UK3.jpg

57 century UK4.jpg

57 century UK5.jpg

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On 1/9/2020 at 2:49 AM, dei said:

Love your work shop!

Thanks dei. It's not huge (22ft x 22ft) but just enough room to hold 2 cars. My '70 GS is at friend's place now, while I'm trying get ready for body to come back from the paint shop. 

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6 minutes ago, lancemb said:

Very nice!  I assume you'll apply the correct two-tone scheme when you repaint it?

Thanks. Yes, all in all I try to make it as factory correct as possible.

From the factory it is single color Dresden blue. But it will definitely be two-tone.

However, the big question is what combination 🤔

Wife and I can't agree and it is very difficult to decide. Have looked at so many pictures of diff. two-tone blue combinations.

Have ordered a sample of each of the 5 blue colors you could get in 57 and Dover white. So hopefully that will help us decide.

 

 

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Got some more work done. Factory correct Carter 2507S and throttle linkage. The linkage will be refurbished when I'm sure the adjust is working correctly.

Exhaust hanger over rear axle and lower shock absorber bolt, washer etc. installed.

 

IMG_6073.JPG

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  • 1 month later...

Since last update I have been preparing smaller items that need to be rechromed. Many parts and all the large parts like bumpers are done.

I have also worked on exhaust manifolds and exhaust system. I have a set of NOS mufflers, really looking forward to hear how it would have sounded from new.

Today I got the main mufflers hanging in the rights hangers and position.

 

I have also been at the body shop. The repairs that was needed are done. Front fenders and hood are primed and ready for test assembly.

A deck lid is on its way from Idaho. The media blaster company ruined the original one.

 

Samples of the 5 available 57 colors are in progress. Here are Biscay blue and Starlight blue.

57 main muffler.jpg

57 rear muffler.jpg

57 paint samples.JPG

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2 hours ago, 57Century said:

Samples of the 5 available 57 colors are in progress. Here are Biscay blue and Starlight blue.

 

 

57 paint samples.JPG

 

Looking great!  If you like blues, here is what Biscay Blue over Arctic Blue looks like on a car.

 

20180331_180358.thumb.jpg.f19195c37f05b7d4a646751a3da6867b.jpg

Edited by lancemb (see edit history)
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On 2/15/2020 at 12:10 AM, 1956322 said:

So what ended up being the cause for the smoking?? Looks great!!

Thanks.

I pulled the left cylinder head and to me it looked like a crack in bore #2. So I took it to a machineshop / engine shop. They were convinced it was not cracked.

To be sure they bored the block again, so now it is 0.040" over.

To my mind the only thing that could have caused the issue is a leaking head gasket.

I use the original thin metal head gaskets.

Now the engine is all back together and the dynaflow has also been completely rebuild. Before the engine was painted I had it all assembled in the frame and started.

It ran smoothly so it should be all good now.

I attached a photo of the engine and trans during rebuild.

 

57 engine .JPG

57 dynaflow.jpg

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21 hours ago, Smartin said:

Did you have the wiper motor connected to the oil/vacuum pump when the smoking started?

Yes, it was connected.

When I did the complete engine rebuild around 1998 it also got rebuild oilpump.

Please elaborate?

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15 hours ago, Kosage Chavis said:

Man!  The engine is looking nice.  Are those new or reused pistons that I see?

Thanks.

Yes it is. As the engine was bored from 0.030" over to 0.040" I needed to get new pistons.

They are from egge.

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2 hours ago, 57Century said:

Thanks.

Yes it is. As the engine was bored from 0.030" over to 0.040" I needed to get new pistons.

They are from egge.

Did you have to modify this set of pistons in any way after you got them?

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If the vacuum diaphragm fails in the oil pump, the engine vacuum will suck oil up through the wiper motor and into the intake manifold, causing smoke to come out of the exhaust.  I had this happen to me on my 58.  It was only coming out of the left side exhaust.  I thought I blew a head gasket.  Thankfully Gene Reynolds was near by and "fixed" my problem by plugging that side of the wiper motor.  The smoke cleared up in about 30 minutes.

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21 hours ago, Kosage Chavis said:

Did you have to modify this set of pistons in any way after you got them?

No. Not to my knowledge. The engine shop did not mention anything.

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18 hours ago, Smartin said:

If the vacuum diaphragm fails in the oil pump, the engine vacuum will suck oil up through the wiper motor and into the intake manifold, causing smoke to come out of the exhaust.  I had this happen to me on my 58.  It was only coming out of the left side exhaust.  I thought I blew a head gasket.  Thankfully Gene Reynolds was near by and "fixed" my problem by plugging that side of the wiper motor.  The smoke cleared up in about 30 minutes.

Thanks for the info.

I remember it as being steam and not oil smoke. When I fired up the engine again after the rebuild with new pistons and head gasket it ran without any issues. Same oil/vacuum pump.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 5 months later...

Choosing the color combo was so difficult. Still cross my fingers that is looks great on the body.

I had samples of the 5 blue colors that you could choose between in 57. And looked at many, many pictures of diff color combo's.

Saw some combo's with grey and that looked interesting. So looked into the Castle Grey.

Got a sample and found that the Castle Grey on top and Starlight Blue below would look awesome.

I know the car was original single color Dresden Blue, but it needed to be two tone.

 

So now the paintshop is on it again. Hopefully I can get it home within the few weeks so I can get it back on the frame. Get fenders, hood, etc. mounted.

 

 

57 sample paint.jpg

57 body paint 2.jpg

57 body paint 5.jpg

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On 9/7/2020 at 3:12 PM, 57Century said:

Choosing the color combo was so difficult. Still cross my fingers that is looks great on the body.

I had samples of the 5 blue colors that you could choose between in 57. And looked at many, many pictures of diff color combo's.

Saw some combo's with grey and that looked interesting. So looked into the Castle Grey.

Got a sample and found that the Castle Grey on top and Starlight Blue below would look awesome.

I know the car was original single color Dresden Blue, but it needed to be two tone.

 

So now the paintshop is on it again. Hopefully I can get it home within the few weeks so I can get it back on the frame. Get fenders, hood, etc. mounted.

 

 

57 sample paint.jpg

57 body paint 2.jpg

57 body paint 5.jpg

 

Have you seen the 1957 paint configurator that lets you get an idea of how the colors will look?  Nice choices! 

https://www.hometownbuick.com/content/configurator/1957/46r/index/

Screenshot_20200908-174515_Chrome.thumb.jpg.fcbe522d0e7f06db6441f85fbafc0a8b.jpg

Edited by High Desert (see edit history)
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Greetings Kasper

 

Thank your for responding to my question concerning the interior headliner “bows” for a 57 66R. I have several bows for cars that I have parted out. Most were 4 DR HT’s bit at least one was a coupe. I’m trying to confirm that I have a set from a coupe.  Do you have a picture of the interior, especially the headliner, before you started your restoration! If so I would really appreciate a copy! Also if you could measure the width and the height (distance of the bow when placed on a flat surface to the crown of the bow). Would really appreciate any info/dimensions that you can provide.

 

Also wonder if you have ever met Joern ....... (Topper1961 on the Forums)? He is from Denmark I believe and he has several Buick’s, including a 66R. I think I sent him some parts several years ago. I see that you are in Norway but thought maybe by chance you had met. With the number of Buick’s in Scandinavia there is always a chance of paths crossing! I sometime think there are more Buick’s there than in the US!

 

i seldom look at the ME AND MY BUICK Forum but discovered your project yesterday! Very nice work and it is going to be a BEAUTIFUL car! Keep up the good work! 

 

Thank you,

 

Gary

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19 hours ago, High Desert said:

 

Have you seen the 1957 paint configurator that lets you get an idea of how the colors will look?  Nice choices! 

https://www.hometownbuick.com/content/configurator/1957/46r/index/

Screenshot_20200908-174515_Chrome.thumb.jpg.fcbe522d0e7f06db6441f85fbafc0a8b.jpg

Hi Don,

Yes, I know that site and have used it several time. A lot of good information. Very good to get ideas on the color combo.

Thanks, I really hope it looks like I imagine 🙂 but time will tell.

 

Thanks.

 

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3 hours ago, g-g-g0 said:

Greetings Kasper

 

Thank your for responding to my question concerning the interior headliner “bows” for a 57 66R. I have several bows for cars that I have parted out. Most were 4 DR HT’s bit at least one was a coupe. I’m trying to confirm that I have a set from a coupe.  Do you have a picture of the interior, especially the headliner, before you started your restoration! If so I would really appreciate a copy! Also if you could measure the width and the height (distance of the bow when placed on a flat surface to the crown of the bow). Would really appreciate any info/dimensions that you can provide.

 

Also wonder if you have ever met Joern ....... (Topper1961 on the Forums)? He is from Denmark I believe and he has several Buick’s, including a 66R. I think I sent him some parts several years ago. I see that you are in Norway but thought maybe by chance you had met. With the number of Buick’s in Scandinavia there is always a chance of paths crossing! I sometime think there are more Buick’s there than in the US!

 

i seldom look at the ME AND MY BUICK Forum but discovered your project yesterday! Very nice work and it is going to be a BEAUTIFUL car! Keep up the good work! 

 

Thank you,

 

Gary

Hi Gary,

 

Sure, I will get some measurements for you.

I will look for a picture, don't remember if I have one, but I will look.

 

No, I have not met Joern and yes there are a good numbers Buicks in Scandiavia.

 

Thanks 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally we could pick up the body at the paint shop.

And a few days later the body was back on the frame after 16 years, that is crazy.

Never thought that it would take that long.

Really happy about the notes I took back then.

 

57 body on trailer 23092020.JPG

57 body on frame 23092020.JPG

57 bolts for frame 23092020.JPG

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1 hour ago, 57Century said:

Finally we could pick up the body at the paint shop.

And a few days later the body was back on the frame after 16 years, that is crazy.

Never thought that it would take that long.

Really happy about the notes I took back then.

 

57 bolts for frame 23092020.JPG

 

Beautiful!  Where did you get the pointed body bolts, or are those the originals cleaned up?

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13 hours ago, lancemb said:

 

Beautiful!  Where did you get the pointed body bolts, or are those the originals cleaned up?

Thanks. Yes those are the originals. Cleaned and galvanized.

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