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Electra GSX Road Racer

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Thanks for the compliments man! Texas is nice, been to Dallas once. Y'all are really friendly folks! Keep Roll'in that big body Rivy and your cool '68 Electra sedan! cool.gif

I picked up my bumpers from Sandy's Bumper Mart yesterday. I've never seen Electra bumpers glisten like these. The rear bumper has 8 major modifications done by Machuga Chassis to accept the new placement of the strenthened chassis rails and my special "N-225" through the bumper exhaust modification! cool.gif

I just wish the boys from the old neighborhood in Brooklyn, NYC could see my "Deuce" now! More than 25 years ago, I ran with the 22nd Street "Holder" clan. We were young Buick fanatics and looked up to hard core Electra racers, including and 10.93 sec Joe Buiga, of the time. "Uncle Buddy" was the Buick racer of mythic proportions that old rodders still talk about as "hard to beat"! cool.gif Scotty Guadagno was just getting started and would make a name on the street in the early 80's with his green 11.7 Second 4,700 lb nitrous oxide injected 1970 Electra 225 coupe! "Shock shocked.gif and Awe blush.gif!!!" to borrow Tom Wagoner's favorite Big Buick racer expression.

We had fun back in the '70s. smile.gifWe complained when gas hit 50 Cents a gallon. crazy.gif We had burn out contests from sewer cover to sewer cover. smile.gif Spent Friday and Saturday nights at the Conduit, Redhook, and Columbia Street. grin.gif John Holder introduced me to my wife laugh.gifwho has cruised in Buicks with me for 25 years now! From humble beginnings...

Per Aspera Ad Astra

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We had some delays along the way and I thank all of you for hanging in there as I put this stuff down. BuickRacer and BigFella, thanks for the recent additions. The Scotty Guadagno article is one of my all time favorites. The Electra site is really nice too!

Here is the link to a Norweigan Electra crew!


Anyway, The braided stainless brake lines are on order and due tomorrow. The brake brackets are nearly completed. And you thought just because they were on meant we were done! Everything on this car is special. If I had a dollar for every blank stare I got when I told the parts guy I wanted a disk brake kit or sway bar, or headers... If this setup works, I'll be happy to sell Electra brake brackets that would allow you to put Willwoods on your 225!

The steering column is hooked back up finally. The shaft got pushed in with all of our maneuvering of that massive body as we layed it on the chassis. We had to bust fingers jack hammering that thing back out! The rear anti-sway bar is giving Dave fits. It has to go in now because the exhaust has to be rebent because the bumper with the "N-225" has to fit, because the painter needs the bumper to fit...! Well, you know what I mean.

The shop looks great! White tin all over everything, its much brighter than before. Still can't find anything because the tools and everything got scrambled, but we are gaining on'er.

I talked on the radio yesterday about the Faithful Pursuit and what the Machuga guys are doing for us. We will be doing a few crazy things to earn enough cash to go to Nevada in 2005. We will have an auction of art work, model planes, model cars, whatever we can. I got 7 confirmed Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. members who will come to Corning to help out with the dinner on April 24th at the National Warplane Museum in Elmira.

Last weekend was lots of travel handling the business side of this program.

So, I drove to NYC to meet the Tuskegee Airmen, inc., Bethlehem CT to visit an old Navy ship designer bud, Syracuse 106.9 FM Clear Channel with Rick Wright., then back to Corning in 2 days. This morning I checked my milage at 7:17am, it was exactly 777.7 miles! My eyes were bloodshot and swollen from some infection as well.

God Speed

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Just read all the posts in this string for the first time today, and just wanted to compliment you on both the concept and execution of what looks to be an <span style="font-style: italic">AMAZING</span> Electra. Thanks for sharing the details of your project, although I gotta admit to being more than a little jealous. grin.gif

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Buick Racer,

I couldn't get that article to open, all I got was a green square that said "New Page 2 confused.gif. One reason for my great interest is the name of the car "Das Boat" which is close to that of my boat, named for the great movie of the same title: "Das Boot." It's a '61 Trojan runabout with an inboard 292 Ford "Interceptor" Y block. The name came from my concern over whether it would stay "sufaced" after I rebuilt it (it did, and cruised 900 miles down the Mississippi from St. Paul to Hickman, KY in '88). It would be great to exchange some photos and/or recollections of "Das Boot" for "Das Boat." Also, the boat is still operating and used every Summer. grin.gif

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The rollback $$$ and painter downpayment were in hand, the gas was bought and mixed, the painter was standing by, the pipe bender was waiting, T minus 24 hours and counting, it was 9:00am Friday morning and all seemed ok smirk.gif.

The painter backed out at 11:00am shocked.gif, pushed hard on an engineering project for work and frantic over lunch trying to find a replacement painter with equivalent skills tongue.gif, transmission fluid squirted everywhere at 7:30pm tongue.gif, the brake lines did not fit the proportioning valve 8:30p crazy.gif, Dave's blood sugar acted up around midnight frown.gif, Several episodes of Speed Racer on Speed Channel later... grin.gif

By 2:15am when we set her down for the last time, we had a new painter, fixed the brakes, and she drove under her own power for the first time since 1982! cool.gif

I video taped the moment and it was awesome...! smile.gif

8:30 am loaded up to pipe bender. Pipes were re-bent for the underbody mods and N-225, 9:30a Breakfast; 11:00am Rollback for other car to long term storage, 1:30pm pick up racer from pipe bender, drive 70 miles to Putman's Body shop...,

Broke off at 1:00pm and let Dave handle the rest of the stuff including giving the painter the downpayment.

Whew! tongue.gif That was just part of it! At 2:00pm I gave a presentation to a youth oriented Christian group on Black Inventor Extrodinaire, John Dove, cool.gif who developed some technology for potential use in Faithful Pursuit but died unexpectedly. (This quiet 79 year old invented the technology leading to the creation CD & DVD as we know it today. US Patent 3,226,696 dated Dec. 18 1965. He did so at the Rome Air Development Center back in the 60's!)

We met our schedule and goals, well most of them! Just thanked the Chief Financial Officer, wife, for approving the expenditures and took her out to dinner to show my appreciation. smirk.gif

God Speed,

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Ok boys and girls....

A few pics, and then a link to the video you're all anxiously awaiting to see!!!




Right click on the link below and click on "Save Target As" then save it to your computer to view it when it is finished downloading...


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Work is going to be bringing me "home" to Rochester, NY in May. The weekend of the 15th is the way it looks right now. I'll be there for the week before and after. They want me to work through the weekend on a special project. Any chance I could come on down during the week in the evening and see the Faithfull Pursuit, get an interview and some pictures for the new version of the electra site? I'd love just to meet you and see the car. It sounds wicked...

btw, for everyone, if you have the quicktime plugin for your web browser the above posted link will play right from there without saving it to disk first ;-) The plug is free from apple...

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Thanks for hooking me up with the mpeg connection! laugh.gif At 10mb It takes a little time to load but if your patient its worth the wait. cool.gif The "QUICKTIME (NOT Outlook) from Apple" download tip from Big Fella helped too. smirk.gif


BigFella, It would be great to show you the Faithful Pursuit when you are in this area again! We plan to have an unveiling at the National Warplane Museum at the Corning/Elmira Airport in New York State on April 24, 2004. cool.gif She will still be a bit rough around the edges. blush.gif

We should have her painted and track prepped by the time you arrive in May! We probably will still have several months of development work and planning

before the 2005 Silver State Classic Challenge in September. laugh.gif

God Speed,

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Local autobody legend Tim Putman has the Faithful Pursuit in his shop. While there I saw another buddy's street rod, a late model import pickup truck with a dual quad small Chevy block poking through the hood. Also, Tim had a race team in years past and built many professional road race cars. A photo of a 1954 Buick Skylark convertible hangs in his office along with a Shelby Cobra, a 409 Biscayne, and a few of his race cars. Dave Machuga of Machuga Chassis even raced for him years ago.

I brought Tim a 1/18 Saturn Yellow GSX and a '70 GSX Spoiler and told him that I want this Electra to look like this, only blue with a white vinyl top. We reviewed the artist concepts of the Faithful Pursuit.

He said something about after 40 years he ought to know what to do. Remember the painter who bailed and I said he was the best in the area? Well Tim is the man that taught him. Tims shop is about 20 miles out of town and there are no signs. He is that good.

The body is stripped and Dents are pulled the rough body work is done. Tim has a guy on it full time. 4-5 weeks. Then the top goes on at "Flyboys" We just might make the 23 April deadline!

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The original body color was Crystal Blue Code D with a White vinyl top. As you recall this car was rebodied with a brown body. My original 1969 Chassis was modified to accept the Ford 9", Gear Vendors overdrive, and dozens of other improvements. I am most proud of the Pee Gee built BUICK 455 Stage I which was built in 1997 and has less than 2 hours of total run time!

Here are some parting thoughts tonite.

"The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly."

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Announcing his candidacy for

President of the United States

(January 1960)

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Its Friday night and I'm helping my 10 year old with a science fair project smile.gif. We are building the first optical disk drive which was developed in the late 1950's by a US Air Force cool.gif research group called RADC. Its about 3 feet long and about 10" in diameter! tongue.gif

The Faithful Pursuit is at Putnam's and they "stick sanded" the body wink.gif. The fenders were stripped, straightened and getting primed today. They will be ready to paint door jambs, trunk, inner fenders in the next week. smile.gif

I picked up all the stainless and chromed pot metal trim and have it in the van. We will polish it over the next two weeks in my little shop in the basement. I bought a variable speed buffer and have been working on the larger pieces of trim. smirk.gif


Why bother with all the trim stuff on a high speed car you ask? Wont it slow you down? Wont it add drag?


There are enough skimpy rockets out there. We wont cut or compromise the Electra concept of luxury grand touring.

We will go fast with class! cool.gif

God Speed,

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Thanks for posting some old pics of the original car and parts aquisitions. The photo of my Crystal Blue '69 Electra 225 cool.gifwas taken by me with a Kodak 126 Instamatic back in the fall of '78. Here is a VERY abbreviated summary of activities the pictures illustrate.

* 1978 Purchased the car. smile.gif

* 1979 Car was damaged in a bad accident that winter. mad.gif

* 1982 Took car off the road and began dissassembly. ooo.gif

* 1994 Bought parts car from Colorado with rust free body & disk brakes. smirk.gif

* 1996 Original body was junked. Chassis was stripped and painted. smirk.gif

* 1997 Pee Gee Built the 1970 "Intimidator" BUICK 455 STAGE I in 1997

493HP/535 Ft-Lbs on Scotty's Dyno. cool.gif

* 1998 GT Performance, Inc. FORD 9", NODULAR CASE, MOSER AXLES, STUDS wink.gif

* 1999 Competition TH375, Redline Comp. Clutches/Allison Converter smirk.gif

* 2000 Chassis was narrowed by late motorsports Hall of Famer Gary Shaw cool.gif

* 2002 Machuga Chassis takes over after Shaw's death, September 2002 confused.gif

* 2003 Suspension, Cage, Cell, Floor, Body mated back to chassis smirk.gif

* 2004 February, runs under its own power for the 1st time since '82! cool.gif

* 2004 March, Tim Putman begins paint. T - 4 weeks to deadline! blush.gif

April 24th Unvieling at Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. Event at Wings of Eagles

Museum, Elmira-Corning Airport.


God Speed,

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The <span style="font-weight: bold">Faithful Pursuit</span> has some Blue Paint. The trunk, door jambs, rockerpanels and doors are painted! grin.gif

Tim Putman says the balance of the car will be painted this coming week. "We will be rocken and rollin' here!" The chrome and stainless trim is about 40% done. My buddy the "Buick Doctor" is getting me the stainless trim pieces I needed for the trunk. laugh.gif

The cage is a stumbling block for the <span style="font-style: italic">Flyboys Streetrod Design</span> interior guy. crazy.gifWe will work it out over the next week. <span style="font-weight: bold">We need another GSX spoiler to make one that will fit the Electra. blush.gif Anyone out there got a crappy one cheap???</span> tongue.gif

<span style="font-style: italic">Energy Suspension, Inc.</span> makes no hard bushings for this car but they sent me a few samples and one was close. With some machining we could get it to work. They sent me the last three this week for free! Thanks John! laugh.gif Thanks <span style="font-style: italic">Racers For Christ</span>, those late night prayers are paying off! cool.gif

Our event is shaping up too. 7 <span style="font-style: italic">Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.</span> cool.gif members will be at our unvieling and Wegmans is handling the ticket sales. We expect about 300 people, on April 24th at the Elmira-Corning NY Airport at the "Wings of Eagles" center with all the the money going to charity! wink.gif (The Airman's Scholarship Fund)

God Speed,

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Today I brought my wife to see the car for the first time since paint was applied in spots. She seems to be getting excited about the Faithful Pursuit wink.gif.

There are some alignment issues crazy.gif to be resolved as the body is positioned for best front clip/bumper/frame alignment. Tim looked over a super pristine 20K shocked.gif original 1970 Electra 225 on the premisis I had trucked in to help with these fine details. cool.gif

Electra's have varied fits of panels which have to be present if the car is to look correct. smirk.gif Some factory flaws were left in, ie quarter panels are slightly sucked in where the wheel wells are mounted. smirk.gif I wanted a "factory" looking job on this Electra GSX. cool.gif

Wait till you see the wild ram air hood! shocked.gif The final wet sanding of the primer is going on and it sure look sweet! cool.gif The bad news is my "Star Wars" air cleaner will not fit! tongue.gif I ordered some solid motor mounts from PAE that may help drop the STAGE I "Intimidator" some but who knows? confused.gif

We have lots to do before the April 24th unvieling but its looking good so far!

Thanks for all of your interest and spiritual support out there! wink.gif

God Speed,

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T-5 Days till we must be ready to show. Actually the show is next Sat but we have a safety margin.

* Paint is 95% done

* GSX Ram Air hood looks FACTORY! cool.gif

* "Cruiseline Ventiports" are now functional!!!

* 99% of Stainless Steel trim has been polished or replaced as of today smile.gif

* Stock Interior panels will be dyed today. (Custom set will come in a few months) tongue.gif

* Diamond Auto Glass is scheduled for Tuesday wink.gif

* Top and headliner to be installed by Flyboys Hot Rods Wednesday laugh.gif

* Carpet was delayed till Thursday (Roll Cage cannot go in until headliner and carpet are done) blush.gif

The custom GSX spoiler cannot be completed in time for the unvieling frown.gifbut we will work to put in the stripe, approximating its final position. smirk.gif

The Faithful Pursuit still has about 6 months of qualification runs, instumentation installation and calibration, yada, yada, yada before her hard target of Septemebr 2005 competition in Nevada. tongue.gif

Consider April 24th to be like a "Christening Ceremony" or Launching of a ship!

There is always more to do after she slides down the weighs!!! cool.gif

Here are my past and present Electras! As you can see, I love them!

1969 Electra 225 Custom Coupe, Crystal Blue, Code D (now GSX)

1969 Electra 225 Custom Coupe, Lime Green, Code H

1969 Electra 225 Custom Coupe, Antique Gold, Code Z

1969 Electra 225 Custom Coupe, Burnished Brown, Code B (Discs)

1969 Electra 225 Custom Convertible, burnished Brown, Code B (Low 15s stock)

1969 Electra Limited, Coupe, Regal Black, Code A (Posi)

1970 Electra 225 Custom Coupe, Antique Gold, Code Z

1970 Electra 225 Custom Coupe, Bamboo Cream, Code (19K original)

1968 Electra 225 Custom Sedan, Burnished Brown Code B (Posi)

Favorite saying:

"A 455 STAGE 1 powered Electra is like...well...picture chrome plated brass knuckles!"

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Can't wait to see the "interim" results with all the paint and brightwork. cool.gif Don't let Jay Leno hear about this car or he's going to want it! His restored "bone-stock looking" '56 (I think) Buick with a Chevy BB "crate motor" and Corvette underpinnings is a hoot. I'm sure he'd love to add a Grand Touring Electra to his huge collection. On second thought, maybe a pic to him would get a response... and possibly some support??

Eye spy: On Lake Street in South Minneapolis last week-- a yellow '69 Electra convertible with black top. Looks rough around the edges, but I'm going to give it a "once-over" soon when I'm in the neighborhood.

I had no idea you had/have so many '69s. Still my favorite year for Electra, although I spent a lot more time drivng my '65 4-door "with-a-post" back in the '70s.

Good luck! (although I think you make your own luck with hard work and good faith).


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I firmed up my travel for work and I'll be in Rochester, New York May 13th to the 23rd. I added a day on the end so I was hoping that Sat. May 22nd would be a good date for me to travel from Rochester down your way to see the car and take *alot* of pictures of the near final product. Is this date ok for you? Let me know. I'm excited to see this car!

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Guy & John,

Thanks for your messages and votes of confidence and encouragement. Smartin will post some photos shortly of the latest. I'll be pretty busy over the next several days so you may not actually see the photos of the show until the next week or so.

There are so many parts that have to come together! Yeah, I'd be happy to show the car off to anyone who is interested. John, May 22nd is fine. I appreciate the many people who have come by, including Roberta Vasilow & Tom Wagner long time Buick racers.

Best regards,

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It would be great for you to come by. Just let me know when and I will look forward to it. Also, the car will have much work still to be done over the next year so there will be a lot of other fine details to see in 2005.

Good luck with your car, I wish I could be there!


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Michael, I will try to plan it better that at Christmas! Good fun this weekend, sent my Mom the info, don't know that they will come, but she did say someone knows how to plan a party, so if she got that out of your flyer for this weekend then is should be awesome, take lots of pics, wish I could be there, but too much else going on! Life gets in the way or maybe more appropriate too many Buick things to do and not enough time!!!!!!!!

Go Fast and Safe in your BUICK, always!

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What a day!!! tongue.gif

* Satin inserts painted into hood cool.gif

* Trucked the car 20 miles to Flyboyz Custom Rod Designs crazy.gif

* Vinyl Top Installed smile.gif

* GSX Emblems placed on sides of top, correct placement for 1969 GS smirk.gif

* Headliner installed laugh.gif

* Internal trim paint completed smile.gif

* Carpet arrived. Just in time!!! grin.gif


* Truck the car back to Tim Putman's tongue.gif

* Roll cage Install(painted last week) crazy.gif

* TENZO R Rally seats. cool.gif

* Pin Striping Stainless Trim cool.gif

* Black out Grille cool.gif

* Cleaning and detail cool.gif


* Deliver to Wings of Eagles Museum for unvieling blush.gif

I think the 1969 Buick Electra is one of Buick's best offerings with luxury great looks and low 15's out of the box and potentially high 14s with the super rare PX Code Electra. Lots of people are taking notice. Some might say "I guess you can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear!" smirk.gif The Electra has always been number one in my book! cool.gif

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What a weekend! The Tuskegeee Airmen flew in and all things came together finally for a great event.

The car was not finished and she developed a leak on the display floor, her battery died, but by display time she was ready! Lots of Wings of Eagles museum volunteers helped us get Aviation 100+ low lead (She took 22 gallons, 2/3 max capacity of 32) They cleaned her after her trailer ride from Putmans, lots of work!

Pic will come over the next few days!!!

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The Faithful Pursuit was designed in 1982 to honor the all black 99th pursuit squadron cool.gif, part of the all black 332nd Fighter Group cool.gif, commanded by then Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Col. Davis, since promoted to four star general passed away on July 4th 2002. General Davis' Fighter group provided escort for the heavy bombers of the 15th Strategic Air Force, United States Army Air Corps. under the command of General "Hap" Arnold. This was the only black US fighter group of the war cool.gif. And the only group never to lose a bomber to enemy aircraft ever! wink.gif

Pictured here from RIGHT (Front of car) to LEFT are members of an organization called the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. The non profit organization was founded by WW II fighter pilots after the war and incorporated in 1972. They work to preserve the history of their outstanding contributions to the war effort which were largely left out of the history books because they were black.

1. George S. Reed, Original WWII Tuskegee Airman, Military Policeman, MP.

2. Tommy Tyndall, Original WWII Tuskegee Airman Figher Pilot, 99th Pursuit Squadron, 332nd Group flying the famed Red Tail P-51 Mustang.

3. Ruby Bostic, Secretary, Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. also a Civil Air Patrol Commander and a pilot for 30 years.

4. Richard Brathwaite, Historian Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. Richard is a "Torchbearer", a new generation of airman.

5. Howard Bragg, WW II Original Tuskegee Airmen mechanic. Trained men to maintain and repair fighter aircraft during the war.

6. Michael A. Joseph, II Aeronautical/Mechanical Engineer and Designer of the Faithful Pursuit. Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. "Torchbearer" new generation of Airman.

When I developed the WW II theme "Faithful Pursuit" design for "Ground Superiority" back in 1982 cool.gif, I could only dream that some day I would meet the people from the WW II squadron the car was developed to honor. ooo.gif At the time, I did not know if there were any of the Tuskegee Airmen or 99th Pursuit Squadron left alive. confused.gif All I had to go on was an old black and white photo of their insignia, a winged panther, and rumors of Black men who flew red tailed fighter planes in WW II. confused.gif There were no books, articles, historical references, to them. It would take me years after I designed the car to actually find them. tongue.gif

The Electra GSX Road Racer, the "Faithful Pursuit" was designed with a bit of a Tuskegee Airman P-47 Thunderbolt or P-51 Mustang Fighter Plane theme cool.gif. The venti-ports are functional like the ports of fighters with in-line engines, it has underslung intakes for both the engine oil cooler, under front bumper, and transmission oil cooler, under rear bumper, like the P-47 Thunderbolt smirk.gif. Eventually you will see a red tail (GSX Spoiler) currently specially made for the '69 Electra. The big Electra is like the big P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter Plane the men flew for a short period in 1944.

The people that you see are affiliated with the specific WWII Pursuit Squadron and group that the Faithful Pursuit project drew its inspiration from more than 20 years ago. Last December as the project was nearing completion after 10 years of design and fabrication, I went to the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. in NYC and asked if it was okay for me to paint the car in scheme that honored them. They loved the idea and voted to support my racing efforts by coming to Corning and giving a presentation to a group thereby helping me to raise money to finish the car.

Since I needed my company's corporate plane to transport the Tuskegee Airmen and sponsorship money to help pay for the event, I could not accept any monies from the event. To do so could be perceived as favoritism or worse crazy.gif. Once we realized we could not do it ourselves, instead of cancelling the event we decided to do it anyway and give the proceeds to the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. Scholarship fund.

The Faithful Pursuit received recognition, the airmen told their story, and everone had a great time!


What you do not see is the 99th Pursuit Squadron insignia that was just affixed temporarily until the spoiler and stripes could be affixed.

There is still a lot more work to do, but now that the "Faithful Pursuit" has had an official coming out party, it wont be long now. We will shake down at Watkins Glen, New York International Speedway, and SCCA events this summer and prepare for our first run in the annual Silver State Classic in 2005.

God Speed,

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Great history! The Tuskegee Airmen have finally gotten a lot more "ink" in the past several years, including a chapter in "The Wild Blue--the Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24's Over Germany" by Stephen E. Ambrose. One of the B-24 Liberator bombers that the 99th Fighter Squadron, Fifth Air Force "Tuskegee Airmen" escorted with their Mustangs was piloted by George McGovern of the 741st Squadron, 455th Bomb Group, Fifteenth Air Force. He flew 35 missions. I think he'd be interested in a project like yours honoring the Tuskegee Airmen.

My father, Anton ("Tony"), was stationed at Victorville air base in California during the war, ultimately becoming Hanger Chief, responsible for the airworthiness of every plane that went through the maintenance procedures. He was thoroughly familiar with the B-24, flew many hours as Engineer during test flights, and passed along a lot of inside information and anecdotes to us over the years. He died on March 11, 1999, and is buried with a marker designating his rank as Technical Sergeant in the Army Air Force. (It was changed from "Air Corps" during [or possibly even before] the war, but many didn't seem to notice.)

Best regards,

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