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Not mine, regrettably... thoughts on whether stock original or older restoration.

 

https://losangeles.craigslist.org/sgv/cto/d/west-covina-vintage-buick/7308437775.html

 

1938 buick special coupe, straight 8 runs, good brakes solid car for a 38. Interior is in great shape, jump seats in back. Has all trim, no cracks on glass all roll up. Newer gas tank, newer wide white tires (Coker). Og woodgrain dash, will make a great custom, og bomb, just leave stock. Asking $18,000 Obo.

 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, kingrudy said:

Seems awfully reasonable for a beautiful styled coupe. 

 

I kinda agree Mike. If it is indeed solid and in original condition I'd love to own it, leave pretty much as is.

edit) but I don't see how that interior could be original, do y'all

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

 

I kinda agree Mike. If it is indeed solid and in original condition I'd love to own it, leave pretty much as is.

edit) but I don't see how that interior could be original, do y'all

I doubt mohair seats were available from the factory. Only door panels, etc. I had a '38 sedan with an all-mohair Hampton Coach kit installed, and didn't care for it. Itchy.

Besides the running boards, It looks like it needs new tires. And while the buyer is at it, wheels are pinstriped, but not factory. My vote is to powder-coat them in red ( a factory option), get 'em properly striped, throw on trim rings and Diamondbacks. That'd really dress it up!

If it runs good, asking price is a good starting point.

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I spoke with the seller and he seems down to earth and a stand up guy!  He said the car drives but it does sputter which he says is the carburetor needing to be rebuilt.  I am skeptical because I have heard that one before and usually it needs quite a bit more. Additionally he says the car has been sitting so it would make some sense that carb is varnished and/or the internal rubber and leather pieces of the carburetor are dried out and cracked.  Apparently there's new Coker tires on it.  I am going to look at it and I'll get a feel for what the car is.  Who knows, maybe I'll come home in a '38 Buick.....

15 hours ago, lancemb said:

Really cool car!  My guess is upholstery has been redone and it's an older enamel repaint.

He said the paint chipped and cracked in some places and if you look closely the right rear fender does show an area of crows feet.

Edited by deac (see edit history)
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11 hours ago, deac said:

I spoke with the seller and he seems down to earth and a stand up guy!  He said the car drives but it does sputter which he says is the carburetor needing to be rebuilt.  I am skeptical because I have heard that one before and usually it needs quite a bit more. Additionally he says the car has been sitting so it would make some sense that carb is varnished and/or the internal rubber and leather pieces of the carburetor are dried out and cracked.  Apparently there's new Coker tires on it.  I am going to look at it and I'll get a feel for what the car is.  Who knows, maybe I'll come home in a '38 Buick.....

He said the paint chipped and cracked in some places and if you look closely the right rear fender does show an area of crows feet.

Surely this is not a perfect car, but if this car lived most of it's life in California, rust is not an issue. Might be a little negotiating room with it not having been on the road recently.

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Being a California car I’m surprised it’s still available at any price or condition, folks out there appreciate the heck out of 30’s Buicks 

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It's a Flint built car. Built late in 1938. Motor is from'38 as well. So the car appears to be original. Seller says he got it out of Virginia. There is undercoating undercarriage that is old and pealing off. Waiting for more pictures.  

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Just now, deac said:

 Motor is from'38 as well. So the car appears to be original. 

 

Motor is wrong colour for 1938 so has been worked on and repainted or may be later motor fitted ( do we have engine number to confirm? ).  The carb appears to have been recently worked on - appears much cleaner than rest of the engine bay and is it the correct carb for 1938 Series 40?

 

 

Edited by 50jetback (see edit history)
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19 minutes ago, 50jetback said:

 

Motor is wrong colour for 1938 so has been worked on and repainted or may be later motor fitted ( do we have engine number to confirm? ).  The carb appears to have been recently worked on - appears much cleaner than rest of the engine bay and is it the correct carb for 1938 Series 40?

 

 

Correct me if I am wrong but the '38 engine was painted forest green.  I did get the engine number:  43545485.  It is indeed a 40 series motor and I believe the following digits are a match for a '38. The seller says "it needs some carb work because it sputters.  But why is the carb so clean?  The carburetor is supposed to be a Stromberg however I am unsure of the correct model number.

Edited by deac (see edit history)
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Just now, deac said:

Correct me if I am wrong but the '38 engine was painted forest green.  I did get the engine number:  43545485.  It is indeed a 40 series motor and I believe the following digits are a match for a '38. The seller says "it needs some carb work because it sputters.  But why is the carb so clean?  The carburetor is supposed to be a Stromberg however I am unsure of the correct model number.

 

Correct. The actual rocker covers are different, compare the ribbing. 

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Edited by 50jetback (see edit history)
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Judging by the engine number I believe the block is either a 38 or a 39.  The seller said he pulled the plugs and they were no oil fouled or full of carbon which indicates to him the engine has most likely be rebuilt.  But that's what he said and I can't prove it.

Edited by deac (see edit history)
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Valve cover ribs look OK to me. I had two '38 sedans-one had a replacement motor ("R" prefix on the serial number) with two acorn nuts holding on the valve cover, the other had an original motor with three.

Yeah, it'd be REALLY cool if you could wedge a 320 in a Special!

I can't tell what brand of carb is in the car, but if it has a Marvel carb rather than a Stromberg,  those can be trouble. Or it could be something else entirely.

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The pictured carburetor is a Stromberg, not a Marvel.

 

A picture from the choke side would let us know if it is a Stromberg from 1938.

 

The picture provided by 50jetblack shows the hokey Delco not-so-automatic choke assembly, unique to 1937 and 1938 Buick.

 

Jon.

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Between Team Buick and the BCA judging hand book I have confirmed that the frame number and the engine number are from 1938!  As for the ribbing and the color on the valve cover I cannot confirm those.  The pictures on the web show some '38 engines painted gray some green.  Same with the ribbing; some show the ribbing looking like the one in the car and some show it to be like the picture above.   If I get the car than I'll call Dave Techeny regarding the valve cover.

 

The issues with sputtering of the motor and the condition of the undercarriage are the things that I question.  Hopefully the seller can show it tomorrow.  Can anyone tell me what the model number of the carburetor is supposed to be?

 

Chris

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As MCHinson posted, answering your question; the original Stromberg would have been model AAV-1.

 

This tells you very little, as Stromberg produced 19 different model AAV-1 carburetors.

 

However, the hokey choke on a model AAV-1 would denote 1938 carburetor. The 1937 with the hokey choke would have been a model AA-1.

 

Jon.

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Well, I passed on this car.  It NEEDS a paint job like yesterday.  The cracking is too severe for me to leave it and drive it!  It's not just surface webbing , it cracked through to the under lying primer and the dried paint chips are starting pop out.  The weather stripping is so old it coming away from the body panel.  There are rust spots in the headliner just above the right rear glass.  Seller said it doesn't leak.  BS, where would the rust be coming from?  The driver's door drops when you open it and the front fenders sound like you're knocking cement instead of sheet metal.  The wheels are a mess and tires don't as new as the seller says they are. The radiator has a a lot of corrosion build up. To its merit the interior is in pretty good shape and the woodgrain on the dash and windows sills is in pretty decent shape.  Additionally it does have good bones  The previous owners have squeezed the life out of it for far too long.  In my opinion it's time to put money into it.  At the seller's asking price of 18 grand it does not make sense unless it becomes a labor of love.

 

I don't mind buying a car at fair market value, if there is one these days, but this car would leave anyone upside down and drowning with just paint and bodywork!

Edited by deac (see edit history)
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Everyone restores/repairs cars to different standards.   Everyone's standards are different,  so be it.

Look at the heap of junk I started with.   As for "barn finds"...  all sorts of different degrees of completeness and conditions....  most times I'd say all of them need complete restorations or customizations(what ever your heart desires).   Ultimately it depends on what the owner wants to do with it and that's the only person it should matter to....  Everyone else's opinion is just that...  their opinion.

 

 

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As I said this would be labor of love and I love late 30's Buicks.  If the seller works with me on price I MIGHT reconsider my opposition to this car.  It begs for love as previous owners have just kept it road worthy and did nothing more!  

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17 minutes ago, deac said:

If the seller works with me on price I MIGHT reconsider my opposition to this car. 


 

 

I personally wouldn’t have a big problem with much of what you reported on the car but based on what you did report I understand why at the price he has it listed, it hasn’t sold. 
Hopefully you can negotiate a deal on it, keep us posted 

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7 hours ago, deac said:

As I said this would be labor of love and I love late 30's Buicks.  If the seller works with me on price I MIGHT reconsider my opposition to this car.  It begs for love as previous owners have just kept it road worthy and did nothing more!  

 

Don't  let the seller convince you that they're not making anymore!

 

 

 

 

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54 minutes ago, 1937McBuick said:

 

Don't  let the seller convince you that they're not making anymore!

 

 

 

 

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38 coupes are just not easy to find anymore....

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It's still a really cool car.  If body is solid and straight, a nice paint job and some weatherstripping would make a gorgeous car it sounds like.

 

Was this originally a black car?

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These coupes are a tough sell here in Europe. Not really a body style people are looking for, including me. There is a Pontiac Coupe like this for sale already for ages in the Netherlands. But you need just one serious buyer as usual. 

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19 hours ago, lancemb said:

It's still a really cool car.  If body is solid and straight, a nice paint job and some weatherstripping would make a gorgeous car it sounds like.

 

Was this originally a black car?

 

Quote

 

This is a really cool car.  I have reached, at least I think, a tentative agreement with the seller on price!  The paint however is the big ticket item and of course after it's painted then I can replace the weather stripping.  I need to get a photo of that data plate to find out how the car was built in '38  I am going back to look at it again and use my paint meter to get and idea how thick the paint really is and then hopefully seal the deal. 

 

 

12 hours ago, Hans1965 said:

These coupes are a tough sell here in Europe. Not really a body style people are looking for, including me. There is a Pontiac Coupe like this for sale already for ages in the Netherlands. But you need just one serious buyer as usual. 

 

Funny you mention that.  The seller did say that an inspector was there just before me inspecting the car for a dealer in the Netherlands.  What year and model is that Pontiac Coupe you referenced?

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The Dutch guy contacted me as well. I cannot find this Pontiac coupe anymore, but it was for sale for at least 3 years there. After sending the inspector he decided against this '38. 

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On 4/29/2021 at 3:26 AM, Hans1965 said:

These coupes are a tough sell here in Europe. Not really a body style people are looking for, including me. There is a Pontiac Coupe like this for sale already for ages in the Netherlands. But you need just one serious buyer as usual. 

That's surprising, Hans.

What are the preferred body styles in Europe?

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Convertibles as everywhere, hardtop coupes and sedanets/fastbacks of course.  The latter are extremely rare here. The 30s/40s business coupes are for a very small crowd. Most popular US  car since ages is the Ford Mustang from the 60s. But you find a lot of cars that former soldiers had left here, so it is a huge mix of everything. Only few people really import cars themselves. But when I go to RD Classics in Emmerich, one of the bigger US car importers in Europe, I believe, there is a shift away from 50s and 60s cars to 70s and 80s. Quite obvious and surprising to me. 

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Posted (edited)

I'm out!

 

Lotsa work and I just don't have the time....

 

It has good bones, no rust and from what I can deduce an original interior that's in pretty good shape which includes the wood grained dashboard, and all the window garnish.  The trim #401 translates to a "taupe mohair fabric interior!  To an originality guy like me that's awesome!

 

I really hope some Buick guy buys it.  IMG_0078.JPG

 

 

 

 

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Edited by deac (see edit history)
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A great car for somebody with the time to bring it back.

Looks like the interior is redone. Woodgrain is about the right color, but not the right pattern. Nice, though.

Stitching on the driver door panel looks a little cockeyed.

Paint code 520 is Whistler Gray, so it's been repainted. Black would be paint code 515, as I recall.

Nice banjo steering wheel.

A lot to like here.

 

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It did pass the magnate test and the paint meter readings were decent.  That where most of the good parts stop and list of repair goes on and on and on.

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On 5/2/2021 at 9:05 PM, suchan said:

A great car for somebody with the time to bring it back.

Looks like the interior is redone. Woodgrain is about the right color, but not the right pattern. Nice, though.

Stitching on the driver door panel looks a little cockeyed.

Paint code 520 is Whistler Gray, so it's been repainted. Black would be paint code 515, as I recall.

Nice banjo steering wheel.

A lot to like here.

 

Totally agree, there are some good and some bad here. I paid some large dollars to do my interior, so that is one issue that doesn't need to be straightened out. Compare this to the sedan that sold for 20k on BAT. The sedan had someone's red valour drapes used to do the interior. This could be a stunning car when done. 

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