36Special

After 3 Years!!!

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After 3 years of constantly asking my father-in-law what he was going to do with the 36 Buick Special he had sitting in the driveway of his backyard, he finally decided to give it to me!!! Attaching some photos!

 

Going to be a full restoration to, or as close to factory as possibly. No street roddin', chopping or "suping" it up. I am old school and believe classics deserve to be restored to classic condition. Not that I am against what anyone else does with their cars, this is strictly my choice. 

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20200112_123448.jpg

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Great looking Buick.  Appears to have dual exhaust. Is the engine original or switched out?   

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Avgwarhawk,

 

It has a V8 in it, was thinking they came with straight 6's or 8's? Since they did come with Straight 8's in them, so it is not original.

 

So it looks like I will have my work cut out for me if I want to restore it back to original. My father-in-law bought off a local lot in the area a back in early 2000's.

 

Edited by 36Special (see edit history)

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Looks like a good solid car, I have to wonder if it is sitting on it's original chassis 

 

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Y-JobFan,

 

It appears pretty solid, but have not had much time to peek underneath. But I am thinking it may not be, or maybe it's modified as it has a V8 in it and I know they were made with Straight 8's.

Edited by 36Special (see edit history)

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It appears to be a good candidate for restoration.  I am sure you will find a Buick straight 8 to replace the V8. 

The hot rod guys are a good source of parts to keep original cars on the road. 

This fact is often lost in most discussions for those deciding to restore or rod a car.

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How is the interior 36Special?

 

Is she is running (or a quick tune up needed...)?

With a bit of cleaning outside it looks to be a fine driver you could enjoy while figuring just how far you want to go on the restoration / refurbishment.

 

You might want to start a thread further down in the "Me and My Buick" section keeping us posted of you progress. Lot's of good advise here to assist you.

 

Congrats on your acquisition!

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Mark,

 

Thank you! I am sure I will get plenty of suggestions as I have had some already. I am hoping there are some very knowledgable people on here who can help point in the direction where to go to get some restoration parts that are reliable as well.

 

Edited by 36Special (see edit history)
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Dei, 

 

It's currently been sitting a number of years and doesn't run. I have some photos of the interior, but not of the engine, have to shrink 'em down to get 'em posted here.

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2 hours ago, 36Special said:

Y-JobFan,

 

It appears pretty solid, but have not had much time to peek underneath. But I am thinking it may not be, or maybe it's modified as it has a V8 in it and I know they were made with Straight 8's.

 

Wonder if the chassis with V8 is from another vehicle all together.  Appears to have quite a bit of modifying.  The steering column looks to be Chevy. 

Edited by avgwarhawk (see edit history)
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avgwarhawk,

 

It may appear so. Like I said, I've not been able to get underneath it just yet. 

Edited by 36Special (see edit history)
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Hello,Good luck on the 36 , I also prefer a restoration over modified cars, to me they are a part of history when correctly restored, It is more of a learning experience also on a restoration, experiencing how cars were made in that era , the gas pedal starter for example although looking for correct parts can be time consuming.Again best of luck.Gary

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36 Special,

 

I too prefer them as originally manufactured. I hate to tell you but I think that one is going to take quite a bit of work to restore to original. From the steering column and what I think I see of the pedals, I suspect the body may have been placed on a different later chassis. It should have come with a Straight 8 engine. I know much more about 1937 and 1938 Buicks than I do 1936, but if a 1938 248 Straight 8 out of a 1938 Buick Special will work for you, I have most of a rebuildable 1938 248 Straight 8 here that you can have for free.   I am not too far down the road from you in Wilmington. 

 

I would also suggest that Dave Tachney is the best source for parts for any 1936-1941 Buicks. You can best reach him at 763-427-3460 between 4 and 7 pm Central. I would also suggest you consider joining the 36-38 Buick Club. You can find out more about the club at: http://www.3638buickclub.org/. If you are interested in a .pdf copy of a recent 36-38 Buick Club newsletter, you can contact me through the contact the webmaster link on the 36-38 Buick Club website, or send me a PM on this site with you email address, and I will email you a copy of the newsletter. 

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14 hours ago, gdmn852 said:

Hello,Good luck on the 36 , I also prefer a restoration over modified cars, to me they are a part of history when correctly restored, It is more of a learning experience also on a restoration, experiencing how cars were made in that era , the gas pedal starter for example although looking for correct parts can be time consuming.Again best of luck.Gary

 

Gary, 

 

Thanks for the kind words. I know this will be a large undertaking. I am up for the challenge though as this to me is a piece of history also that needs to be restored. I've been told that the chassis is not the original. I've found a place that I can get a new one for this make, model and year though. The stuff is out there, just going to need to try and find it! 

 

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14 hours ago, MCHinson said:

if a 1938 248 Straight 8 out of a 1938 Buick Special will work for you, I have most of a rebuildable 1938 248 Straight 8 here that you can have for free.   I am not too far down the road from you in Wilmington. 

 

I would also suggest that Dave Tachney is the best source for parts for any 1936-1941 Buicks.

Way to go Matt! 

That's an offer that will be hard to refuse!  I too suggest Dave as a great parts source.

Go for it Scott....

Edited by Mark Shaw (see edit history)

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Gary,

I also suspect that if the chassis is still original that the entire drive train has been replaced.  The torque tube rear end has probably been replaced with an open differential.  That means the entire rear suspension has been replaced. The column shift tilt wheel tells me that the small block Chevy motor is mated to a Chevy transmission.  Nice "smoothies" for the wheels and caps.  You might find it easier to get this car up and running as is and sell/trade for an original.  That mossy paint might clean up nicely.

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Forgive me if you think that I'm going too far here, but one other thing you might want to check is the front suspension.  Many times when someone builds a car like this, they will often cut the original frame at the firewall and graft a subframe to what's left.  The subframe gives them the proper motor mounts plus disk brakes, power steering, rack and pinion steering, bolt patterns for newer wheels, radiator and mounts, and modern (easy to replace) suspension parts.

 

Please send pictures.

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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30 minutes ago, RivNut said:

Forgive me if you think that I'm going too far here, but one other thing you might want to check is the front suspension.  Many times when someone builds a car like this, they will often cut the original frame at the firewall and graft a subframe to what's left.  The subframe gives them the proper motor mounts plus disk brakes, power steering, rack and pinion steering, bolt patterns for newer wheels, radiator and mounts, and modern (easy to replace) suspension parts.

 

Please send pictures.

 

Oh please don't think you are going too far or for any reason discouraging me or out of line. I surely know the project I am undertaking I can assure you, lol. As it sits out in the back of his house in the driveway, the weather hasn't been very cooperative in being able to slide under it at all. But I will get some chassis/frame photos and post them I promise. 

I am certainly open to any and all feasible advice regarding this project! I've attached a couple of extra photos I took yesterday when I stopped by.

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Edited by 36Special (see edit history)

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Well, it's not a Chevy with the distributor in the front.  I'm betting on a Mopar big block with a 727 Torqueflight transmission.  Looks like a fun "rod." We'll be interested to see where you go with this. I know you want to take it back to stock mpbut getting it running as is could lead to a lot of fun. 😎

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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The car looks like a lot of attention to detail was done in the modifications. And there appear to be a lot.

 

Maybe it would be a good idea to look at the money you have in hand for the restoration and figure how much of that you could use to go through the car as is and make a clean, presentable driver of it. You might be able to sell the car for some profit to put with your restoration money and get a Buick that wouldn't need as much reversal of the modifications.

 

If you haven't owned or restored many old cars in the past you may find that is a pretty nice car to own and drive after servicing and shining. Maybe not as chivalrous as restoring, but a lot more satisfying in the long run.

 

Looks like a lot to work with.

Bernie

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4 hours ago, RivNut said:

Well, it's not a Chevy with the distributor in the front.  I'm betting on a Mopar big block with a 727 Torqueflight transmission.  Looks like a fun "rod." We'll be interested to see where you go with this. I know you want to take it back to stock mpbut getting it running as is could lead to a lot of fun. 😎

 

A lot of Buick engines had the distributor in front.  I do not remember the particulars of all of the engines, but might be.

 

Also the steering column is a standard GM Saginaw tilt steering column.  Only the length was different for the different models.  I am guessing the age of the column could be anywhere from maybe 1968- 1990 +-.  The column was also used by Chrysler including many Jeep models.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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It's a B-block Mopar. (361, 383, 413, 440, etc.)

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If you want a stock 36 Buick, this may not be the best place to start.  If that's your unshakeable goal, your best bet might be to wash it, vacuum it, get it running, and sell it for seed money to put yourself on a cheaper, faster, less challenging, and more rewarding path.

 

OTOH, wash it, vacuum it, get it running, and drive the crap out of it might provide entertainment for the summer.  Then sell it. ;) 

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