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My 1937 Roadmaster 80C Four Door Convertible Phaeton


MCHinson
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I recently added a 1937 80C to my collection. It is survivor, although it has been repainted and the interior and convertible top have been replaced in the past.  It had 56,607 miles on the odometer when I picked it up. I put about 20 miles on it today. I have been told that the car was sold new at Valley Buick in Monroeville, PA. The car was reportedly traded back in to Valley Buick and the owner had the car on display in the Dealership for a number of years. The dealership reportedly refreshed the car with the paint job, interior, and convertible top before it was placed on display in the lobby. Apparently the dealer liked the 1939 color Sequoia Cream so he had the color changed from the original Samarra Beige. I have a few minor issues to address, such as the fact that they mounted the bumper bars upside down when they put them back on after the paint job.  

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17 minutes ago, GARY F said:

Great car. Will it fit in garage with the other two? 

Just barely. My garage is 24 feet wide and 36 feet deep. On one side, I can just barely fit the 1937 Century and 1938 Century with about 6 inches to spare. On the other side is the 1937 Roadmaster. The modern car is having to stay outside until I can get the 1938 Century sold. I am still trying to get a few minor interior details done by a local upholstery shop. As soon as those are finished and installed, the 1938 Century will be for sale. I would like to get my modern vehicle back in the garage soon.   

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15 hours ago, 37_Roadmaster_C said:

Quick question...  Is that car in the known surviving car count? It is my understanding that the 1937 80c is only known to have about 30 survivors. It is very nice to see one in that shape. I will be PMing you with some questions...

There were 25 listed as owned by current BCA members in the online roster. I added this one to the online roster so there are currently 26 listed as owned by current BCA members. The previous 2 owners of this car were not BCA members.

 

There were 42 1937 80C's listed in the most recent printed roster, but the addional 17 cars do not belong to current BCA members. As to whether those additional ones listed were the previous owners of those same 25 cars or addional cars that are still owned by former members of the BCA is not something that I can answer.

Edited by MCHinson (see edit history)
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Whatever you see in BCA roster is probably overstated.  There is not a good process for accounting for changes in ownership.

 

Looking at the 1957 76Cs in most recent roster for example, I know for a fact it's overstated by at least a couple based on cars and/or people I know personally.

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Yesterday, I removed and reinstalled the bumper bars to correct the fact that they had been installed upside down after the car was repainted. Today, I drove the 80C to our local "unofficial during the pandemic" Cars and Coffee. Lots of people were interested in the car. You will recall that the car had 56,607 miles when I bought it earlier this week. Today, I had a chance to check out a small detail that I had not paid attention to previously. The driver's door has an oil change sticker on it. The mileage of the car at the time of that oil change was 55,869. The oil change was on 8-27-71. The car that I have put 30 miles on in the past 5 days, was only driven 738 miles in the past 49 years! Much of that time it was apparently on display in the original selling dealer's showroom. After that, it spent a lot of time sitting in an air conditioned and carpeted room in the dealer's home, before he sold it to his friend who just sold it to me. He bought the car about 3 years ago. He went through the fuel system, brake system, installed a new set of Auburn branded Wide Whitewall tires from Diamond Back, and otherwise got the car back to operating condition before deciding that he should sell it due to advancing age and medical issues. There are a few small items that I will address in the near future, but the car is a pleasure to drive.  

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Edited by MCHinson (see edit history)
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Dang, it just keeps getting better Matthew! I hope you're counting your blessings on finding this low mileage, unmolested jewel. Look forward to seeing more in detail pictures of the interior and engine bay. I gained an appreciation of these beautiful cars while hanging around @38Buick 80C and look forward to seeing yours and his side by side in Charlotte in June.  Again congrats on the find and acquisition!

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Today was a rainy day so this afternoon, I spent a little bit of time working on the Roadmaster. Previously the clock, radio, heater and defroster did not work. I cleaned up the switches for the heater and defroster motors, and now they both work. I will need to install new defroster hoses but that is not a priority at the moment. It looks like the large series used a flexible rubber connection for the defroster hoses to the defroster ducts and I will have to re-engineer that as they have not survived too well. The hoses are hard as a rock.  I also temporarily put a new fuse in the clock and it started working. I don't trust the clock since it obviously blew the fuse that was in it, so I pulled the fuse and plan to remove and clean the clock mechanism in the near future and have my local clock guy oil it. Then I will put a fuse in it for good. I will have to try the radio another day. I will be really surprised if I can get it working, but time will tell. 

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I will get some more photos in the next few days. The past couple of days have not had ideal weather to take photos. Although I did take the car for about a 20 mile ride today to visit a local sick AACA member. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and I will get some addional photos soon. Today, I received some LED bulbs that I had ordered, so I installed them and I now have even brighter taillights and brake lights.  

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Today, I drove the car about 30 miles. I took it to a friend's house to help him work on an issue with his 1937 Buick Century.

 

One of the things I really love about this car is the original unmolested dash. I have still not taken the time to take a lot of photos but I had a couple of specific photo requests from a few people so I have taken a few interior photos that I will post until I get a chance to do an extensive photo session. This car is equipped with one of the most unusual aftermarket accessories that I have ever seen on a car. When I bought it, the previous owner did not really know what it was. He thought it was an ashtray. I did an online search and discovered that it is actually a cigarette dispenser/lighter that dispenses a lighted cigarette for you. The wire is not currently connected, but I may just have to try hooking it up just to see if it works some day. It was sold under at least two different brand names. This youtube video shows a similar one sold under a different brand name. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPS7wPm-ZEA&ab_channel=409randy     

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Edited by MCHinson (see edit history)
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Matt,

 

Thanks for posting pictures of your car. My uncle purchased a 1937 Roadmaster Model 80C in the early 1950's in Jackson, Mississippi. His car was originally black but he had it painted a very similar color to yours. While he was in the Army in Germany for 4 years my parents "babysat" the car for him. They had a ball driving the car during that time and have many stories about their adventures. They took it on many road trips. In late 1959 early 1960 my uncle returned from overseas and ended up selling it in Mt. Vernon, Illinois to a Volkswagen dealer. I have often wondered where that car is now. Several years ago The Great Race came through my town (Lexington, Kentucky) and one of the cars was a 1937 Roadmaster Model 80C very similar to yours. I got to meet the owner and he showed me his car. He was from Chattanooga, Tennessee.

 

Thanks again for sharing your car. 

 

Greg

 

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On 12/10/2020 at 9:59 AM, AGHodge said:

Several years ago The Great Race came through my town (Lexington, Kentucky) and one of the cars was a 1937 Roadmaster Model 80C very similar to yours

 

Might that have been Bob or maybe Harold Coker, I think it was blue?

Edited by MrEarl (see edit history)
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5 hours ago, MrEarl said:

 

Might that have been Bob or maybe Harold Coker, I think it was blue?

there was a 36 80C in sequoia cream that ran the great race as well. it is memorialized in a poster. but this was late 80s early 90s.

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Today I decided to remove the radio from the Roadmaster. I confirmed on the bench that it does not work. In the near future, I might do some more troubleshooting to see if I can get it working.

 

Over the past few years, I have purchased several 1937 and 1938 Buick radios thinking I might replace the aftermarket radio in my 1937 Century, and also thinking I would get an original one restored for my 1938 Century. I decided to do some quick testing on the bench, and one of the 1937 Radios that I purchased in the past is in working condition. I cleaned it up a bit and will plan to install it in the Roadmaster in the near future. I did not install it today because I want to replace the defroster hoses and it will be much easier to do that before I install a radio. 

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Matt, Mr. Earl,

 

Yes, that is the car (Sequoia Cream) that came through Lexington, KY for an overnight in the Great Race. It was in the early 90's. The Great Race is coming through Lexington next summer and will overnight here as well. I wonder how many Buicks will be a part of the race? 

 

I just joined the Buick Club of America today. I don't see a chapter near here but I am finding some Kentucky folks on this site. Looking forward to meeting some of the local Buick folks in and around Lexington, KY. I currently do not have an antique Buick but had a 1950 Super Dynaflow Sedanet but sold it several years ago. 

 

Thanks,

 

Greg

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This morning I installed the radio in the 80C. I now have a working original 1937 Buick AM Radio. The radio sounds good but I need to check the firewall mounted "Dual" speaker, as it does not seem to be working. I also have a small AM transmitter/bluetooth kit on order. When it arrives, I will be able to transmit period music via Sirius XM Radio from my phone to the original AM radio. 

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4 hours ago, MCHinson said:

I also have a small AM transmitter/bluetooth kit on order. When it arrives, I will be able to transmit period music via Sirius XM Radio from my phone to the original AM radio. 

more info please. Thanks

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With a working AM Radio, all you need is a small AM transmitter that is compatible with bluetooth. I ordered this kit to build one.

 https://www.ebay.com/itm/AM-Transmitter-Kit-For-Vintage-Retro-Or-Antique-Tube-Radio-With-Bluetooth/143727409161?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

 

It is fairly simple. When it arrives, I assemble the kit and then I can use the transmitter to send the audio from the bluetooth connection on my phone to the car's radio. 

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1 hour ago, MCHinson said:

With a working AM Radio, all you need is a small AM transmitter that is compatible with bluetooth. I ordered this kit to build one.

 https://www.ebay.com/itm/AM-Transmitter-Kit-For-Vintage-Retro-Or-Antique-Tube-Radio-With-Bluetooth/143727409161?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

 

It is fairly simple. When it arrives, I assemble the kit and then I can use the transmitter to send the audio from the bluetooth connection on my phone to the car's radio. 

 

please detail this out when it arrives. Thank you.

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This afternoon/evening we had a socially distanced drop by AACA holiday get together at an outdoor restaurant patio. The 80C was a very popular car with the chapter members. We had a nice 24 mile round trip for the event.  

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I am in the market for a right side rear view mirror for this car. It would make it quite a bit more fun to drive. I would prefer a used original King Bee Right side mirror with some patina rather than a new reproduction one with perferct chrome. The mirror that I need would be a "mirror image" of the left side one shown in the photos. The bolt holes are 2" on center. If anybody has one that they would like to sell, please let me know. 

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