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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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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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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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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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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.

20200113_172727.jpg

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20200113_172625.jpg

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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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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14 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

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

Bernie, 

 

Thanks for the advice but selling it is not an option. I intend to keep in the family. Part of the fun for me is going to be the restoration part. It's not about the money, because I don't plan on being the richest man in the cemetery when my time comes. My family is already taken care of when I go. I plan to pass the car down to my step son because it did belong to his grandfather.

 

I've restored a 1970 Buick Gran Sport with my father when in my late teens. Only difference with that one is that it was all there except the stock hood with the air induction openings a grilles. In fact, there was no hood. It needed a lot of TLC but it ran when I put a new battery in it so I drove it off the back of the used car lot two blocks to my home. I worked for a Buick dealer back then and it was easy to still get some stuff without having to track down aftermarket and swap meet parts.

 

I'm determined to keep it. I will start breaking it down once I get it to my garage and start tearing it down.

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6 hours ago, KongaMan said:

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. ;) 

KM, 

 

Yeah, selling it isn't an option. Like I stated previously, I am going to pass it down to my step son regardless of whatever I decide to do with the restoration because it was his grandfather's vehicle.

 

I am up to the challenge of putting this baby back on the road.

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11 minutes ago, 36Special said:

I'm determined to keep it. I will start breaking it down once I get it to my garage and start tearing it down.

 

Take LOTS OF PICTURES!!  They will come in handy during reassembly.

 

Also this is a great place to get help.

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Its the middle of winter.

 

Start your parts search NOW, for the correct 1936 components besides the drivetrain, including instrument cluster, steering column, etc.

 

That way, you'll have it 'in stock' in your basement when you're ready for that stage of the restoration.

 

Craig

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1 minute ago, 8E45E said:

Its the middle of winter.

 

Start your parts search NOW, for the correct 1936 components besides the drivetrain, including instrument cluster, steering column, etc.

 

That way, you'll have it 'in stock' in your basement when you're ready for that stage of the restoration.

 

Craig

Craig, 

 

That was exactly my goal. Although middle of winter here in NC is pretty mild, lol. I have been researching parts options and availability since the weekend, lol.

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My advice is to find a reasonably complete 1936 Special parts car with the correct chassis, engine, suspension, steering  etc that perhaps is to far gone body wise with rust. Remove the rusty body and restore the complete chassis, engine etc. THEN use the car you now have to start to transfer/donate  its body, fenders etc onto a restored running chassis . Yes, a lot of work , but it will save you a lot of effort trying to find parts ( since you do not have a stock car to look at to see what parts you need /fit etc)

Walt

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4 minutes ago, Walt G said:

My advice is to find a reasonably complete 1936 Special parts car with the correct chassis, engine, suspension, steering  etc that perhaps is to far gone body wise with rust. Remove the rusty body and restore the complete chassis, engine etc. THEN use the car you now have to start to transfer/donate  its body, fenders etc onto a restored running chassis . Yes, a lot of work , but it will save you a lot of effort trying to find parts ( since you do not have a stock car to look at to see what parts you need /fit etc)

Walt

Walt, 

 

Does make some sense. 

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Makes a lot of sense.   You'll be money and time ahead.  Buying everything you need part by part will prove to be very expensive and consume a lot of time just looking.  I think that all you'll be able to use from the car you have will be the body and seats.  To make the car the way it now sits, the builder had to of hacked into everything else.  

 

There is a 36 - 38 Buick Club.  I'm. Getting it will be a great source of parts and information.  www.3638buickclub.org

 

The CTC Auto Ranch in Denton Texas has a couple of 38 Specials that appear to be fairly complete.  They sell whole cars as well as parts.

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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1 minute ago, RivNut said:

Makes a lot of sense.   You'll be money and time ahead.  Buying everything you need part by part will prove to be very expensive and consume a lot of time just looking.  I think that all you'll be able to use from the car you have will be the body and seats.  To make the car the way it now sits, the builder had to of hacked into everything else.  

 

There is a 36 - 38 Buick Club.  I'm. Getting it will be a great source of parts and information.  www.3638buickclub.org

Ed, 

 

I get it. Will toy with the idea. Will need to find something someone isn't looking for an arm and leg for that needs restoration for that. Not looking to over pay for it or I could just drop the money for one that's restored already if that was the case. Not looking to do that. I will be doing something with this car, that I know.

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14 hours ago, KongaMan said:

I saw that yesterday morning. If I had $17, 000 to drop down right now and money to have it shipped here or the time to go get it, that would be an option. Restoring it I think is a better option because I can take my time with it. But duly noted. Thank you.

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19 hours ago, Walt G said:

My advice is to find a reasonably complete 1936 Special parts car with the correct chassis, engine, suspension, steering  etc that perhaps is to far gone body wise with rust. Remove the rusty body and restore the complete chassis, engine etc. THEN use the car you now have to start to transfer/donate  its body, fenders etc onto a restored running chassis . Yes, a lot of work , but it will save you a lot of effort trying to find parts ( since you do not have a stock car to look at to see what parts you need /fit etc)

Walt

It does make perfect sense!

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