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Lucy - 1950 Buick Convertible - Need parts


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Good Morning- I would like to introduce you all to Lucy, our latest addition to the family.  She is a 1950 Buick Convertible of somewhat questionable badging.  I was told she is a Riviera Super, but they did not make a convertible.  The top functions/fits fine but does not have hydraulics.  It may be a converted hardtop.  Any opinions?

Several questions:

Does anyone make replacement floors? Outer rockers? Lucy has a heater/defroster in the floor (not operating as someone cut all the wires!)

The top does not have the locking mechanism to secure the the top to the windshield. Everything is there but the locking pins that secure the top to the windshield.

There are lots more questions, but I will save them for later.

Thanks for any help,

Don

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Is that lump at the top/middle of the windshield for the rotary radio antenna ? Does the windshield frame have the holes for the top guide pins ?

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Buick was very good at identifying each model and body style within a series with numbers.  What are the numbers on Lucy's data plate?

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It is not uncommon that coupes were converted to convertibles via some rusted out convertible donor car, but the clue probably is to look for the heavier beefing of the X frame and then to make sure you have matching numbers to data plate, plate states it is a convertible by numbers, proper frame number, detective work via looking at welding and construction, quality of work such as welding, and .... - comments above state more photos needed and the answer is YES.  And, often someone buys something and takes the few needed parts they want and puts it back on marketplace (aka someone needed some top parts to finish their project) or the chrome plater looses them, or they get broken and never picked up from machinist/welder, someone cannot finishes their project and/or looses parts, or ....  Perhaps you can get a build sheet through the General Motors Archives.  And, there are probably some serial number decoders out on internet for Buick matched to a lot of really knowledgeable people. 

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20170414_171608.thumb.jpg.fb9e64886b8aec563e91c497cc386088.jpgplease dont tell my friend that 1950 Super convertibles were never made! He will be completely devastated after spending a ton of $ restoring one!

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It may not have historical correctness or value, but i like the maroon one.  I bet at shows he hears "I had one like that when they were new"

Just smile and say I bet you wish you had kept it.

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Don : Regardless of what other's have said I think you have a very good car and do not let them discourage you I would love to have the Buick

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Thanks for all the replies.  Regarding the Model, the previous owner said it is a Model 56R.  Re: the top, the vertical pins are in place on the windshield with horizontal holes in them, BUT there are no horizontal pins in the top to engage the pins on the windshield.

The floor is a total disaster.  There are 3 layers of fiberglass, roofing mastik over paper and some galvanized  sheet metal screwed in place.

to make matters worse, there is the heater/defroster  (with all the wires cut)under the seat.  Do all the convertibles have that? I am working on the floor now.  I have ordered rear floor pans but am still looking for vendors for outer rockers.  The ones that have them are 19 awg and that seems thin.  Any referrals would be appreciated.

This was supposed to be a "buy it, do miner repairs and drive it for the Summer". HA!!

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For some reason I just saw this now. It must have been redirected from another section. A ‘50 Buick convertible will not be a 56R. A super series would be a 56C. It would also have additional body mounts on each side. There are a few vendors that sell inner and outer rocker panels.

Edited by retirednow (see edit history)
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On 7/23/2020 at 4:23 PM, 2carb40 said:

20170414_171608.thumb.jpg.fb9e64886b8aec563e91c497cc386088.jpgplease dont tell my friend that 1950 Super convertibles were never made! He will be completely devastated after spending a ton of $ restoring one!

 

 Of course there were Super, Mod 56C, made in 1950!  I had one.   No Special, 46C.

 

  Ben

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www.oldbuickparts.com sells floor pan panels. You need to join the Buick Club of America and get the ads in the monthly magazine. We recently did an issue of the magazine on the 1950 Buicks.

 

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Production numbers for 1950 56C Super Convertible Coupe is 12,259 units.

 

What Model number is stamped on the ID plate which should be screwed to the top right hand side of the cowl? 

 

All 1950 Buicks had the underseat heater.

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The cut wires to the heater is chump change and worry about that when you finish Up the floors.

My understanding is The 3 pins are on top of the windshield frame, but the locking mechanism (pins) are gone in the header on the convertible top??
please take a picture of the data plate that should be on the cowl.  The more pictures you can post, the easier it is for us to help you out.

 

Matt

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More questions, observations, etc.  Stuart Syme that is a beautiful car!  There is no ID plate on the firewall at all.  The top has 3 chrome "pockets for the pins on the windshield to drop into but no pins in the top to secure it???  How did the car start originally? Mine has an aftermarket ignition that has a "start" position.  The original key was as "off/on" switch, so it must of had a starter button somewhere? On the floor like other GM's of the era?

Thanks for continuing the trip down confused lane with me.

Don & Lucy

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Donald, the original starter "switch" was on the carburetor.  Really!  It was activated when the accelerator pedal was depressed. Now go crawl under the side of the car. Not far. starting up front near where the frame rail bends inward, count the body to frame outer mounts. They are sticking out from the frame towards the outer edge of the body. Should be six before the rear wheel if a convertible, only five for a closed car.  .

 

  Ben

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just got my front floor pans in the mail. Just "set" them in place, sort of, as it isn't obvious which direction they go.  I will wait until my son looks at them, he is an excellent body man.

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Lucy update: The GOOD news is I found the ID plate on the passenger side of the firewall and it is a56C Super Convertible Coupe.

My son and I have been working on repairing the floors the last few days. they are a MESS.  He has got unbelievable fabrication skills so I pretty much stay out of his way and let him work.  The seats are going in for upholstery next Tuesday, but if the floors are done, I will have the carpet done also.

I have a question, but being the new guy I don't want start any trouble.  I have a 6 Volt positive ground system and haven't had any driving time in the car, but I saw somewhere someone offers a 12Volt conversion kit.  Any thoughts/opinions?

As always, thanks in advance for your comments.

?

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You SHOULD NOT have a positive ground.  All Buicks are Neg ground.

 

  I changed to 12V. There was a reason.  If you have no reason other than changing, don't bother.  Be certain the starter is in GOOD shape. Be certain the Battery cables are large enough.  The will be the size of your thumb, not your pinky. Think 000, [ three ought ].   If you decide to change . a  "kit" is not needed IMO.  I just mounted a one wire GM alternator,  changed all the bulbs, used a "runtz" resistor for the fuel gauge,  Have not hooked the radio and heater up. The starter will work, just spins faster.  May eventually break.  Mini starters are available.  I bypassed the Amp gauge. I prefer a volt meter anyway.

 

  Ben

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Your 1950 Buick came from the factory Negative ground. I would keep the 6 volt system but that's just my opinion, I've owned a lot of stock 6 volt cars and they all worked just fine. 

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Thanks for the input. Re: positive ground, when I purchased the car the owner had a 12V battery installed for starting.  I purchased a 6V battery, installed with negative ground and the car would not turn over. When I hooked it up with positive ground it fired right up???? Any thoughts as to how I should proceed?  This is the first 6V car I have owned and thought it would be easier to start as 12V, no other reason.

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You MAY have a 12V starter.  While a 6V will work on 12V , a 12V probably would not work well on 6V.

 

 If you want to change to 12V, go for it. As I said, I did and no regrets. Follow my directions. Message me for more personal help.

 

  Ben

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just about finished "piecing in" the floor.  Seats are out for upholstery, should be done in about a week.  If the floor is done I will get the carpet done also. These are as many pictures as I can get! They say I am limited to 9.77MB but won't let post more than 5.6???

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Donald, I purchase a set of inner & outer rocker panels from Classic 2 Current Fabricators for my 1950 Super Sedan Model 51. They did not fit properly and major modification was in order. I decide to fabricate new ones from scratch. A local metal man that work on old cars did it for me. You can see them here under “Me and My Buick” “Meet Toby my 50 Model 51 Project” thread. I kept the car 6 Volts. I love Lucy, wish I had a convertible!

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On ‎8‎/‎5‎/‎2020 at 11:47 PM, Donald Sylvia said:

can anyone give me the direction I should take to make my top lock to the windshield.  I assume that it will be pretty important before I start driving

 

It appears that you have the center and two outer studs with the horizontal holes in them on top of the windshield surround. A picture of the underside of the front roof rail (if you have it) showing the three guide plates and center crank-handle would answer a lot of questions. It's hard to imagine removing what I'm calling internal sliding rods (you are calling them pins?) without removing and noticing the underside of the front roof-rail sheet metal was worked on.

 

Those horizontal internal rods (pins) connect to the crank-handle (EJ in the picture below) and when the handle is pivoted 90°, the rods slide toward the outer sides of the roof rail and engage the horizontal holes that are in the left and right-end studs to lock the top bows to the windshield's top. All 1950 Super/Roadmaster and early-1951 Super/Roadmaster convertible front roof rails are interchangeable if you are missing the internal sliding rods.      

 

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A picture showing the Car Serial Number stamped on the frame, visible once you raise the hood and look down toward the front tip of the driver's side frame rail, would tell me whether you have a 1950 or later frame. From what you're saying about the frame's number of outer body supports, it's obvious that the convertible body wasn't original to the frame that the body is now sitting on. Plus, no signs of any hydro-electric lines or motor/pump to operate the power top and/or windows?

 

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Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

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Thanks for posting the requested pictures. Did you feel around to verify if the sliding rods were removed?

 

The tapered-end of the internal sliding rods should be visible from an angle. I don't see them. You should also be able to stick your finger further into the guide plate hole to verify whether they were removed. I'm now thinking that if they were removed for some reason, maybe the metal surgery was done from the topside. If so, it might be easier to fabricate a pair rather than trying to find a front roof rail replacement.

 

Handles are advertised as being available from either Fusick or Hydro-E-Lectric convertible parts:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1948-1953-GM-Buick-Cadillac-Oldsmobile-Chevrolet-Convertible-Top-Latch-Handle-/112030841280?vxp=mtr&hash=item1a158ef9c0#vi-ilComp

 

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Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Al- I did try fishing around for the rods, but without a lot of enthusiasm as the car was parked for a number of years and I didn't know who may have taken up residence in the hole.  I will try again but I don't have much hope.  Is my best option to make the rods? Any suggestions?

Also, I just received my new accelerator pedal and bellows and carb return spring.  Does the bellows fit though the cowl and "snap" in?

How do I route the spring? The carb has an indentation for 1 end but what about the other end?

Would you recommend manuals for me to purchase so I can stop asking all these dumb questions?

As always, thanks for any input!

Don & Lucy

Edited by Donald Sylvia
misspelling (see edit history)
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Al- I looked for the rods for the top and they are not there.  I guess I will have to take the front roof rail off and figure my next step.  I did contact Hydro E lectric and left a message for them.

The thing that has me confused is I received a Carburetor return spring, tried to connect it where I thought it went, broke the end off and I - can't figure where the damned thing attaches at the opposite end from the carburetor!!!

I just finished detailing the battery box to install the battery and I will try to figure out the whole positive ground thing.

The seats are supposed to be ready Saturday, I hope my Son will have the floors ready!!

That's enough whining for now.  Thanks for listening,

Don & Lucy

 

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I just finished the floors, but I cannot get my stupid phone to download them to the computer to post them!! The seats will be ready this Saturday and they will put the carpet in.  Then I will start to try and get running and driving.

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1953mack-I see that I received a message from you but I don't know how to retrieve it.  Updates: Lucy should be back from the upoulsterer (sp) today or tomorrow.  Re: battery- I tried to start the car and the battery went dead. I have it charging and have 2aut cables ready to install when I pick the car up NEGATIVE GROUND!!  Cranking the car melted the cables. Re: top locking rods, can someone furnish me with dimensions so I can reproduce them?

Looking forward to see how it drives hopefully!!

As always, Thank you for your patience,

ME and Lucy

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