Jump to content

Update on my 1941 Series-A Special Coupe


Grant Z
 Share

Recommended Posts

My 1941 Buick Series-A Special Business Coupe has been a fabulous purchase as it was in excellent condition all-round and has only required normal maintenance (see last photo below from the day of purchase). I have been able to personalize the car to make it my own also. I’ve grown to appreciate the fat-fender cars from the mid-1930’s through to the late 1940’s as they capture the late Art Deco styling well. Adding numerous accessories from the period enhances the look of these cars. In nearly 3yrs of ownership, I’ve achieved quite a lot.

 

In 2yrs & 8 months, I’ve driven the car 8,500 miles (13,680km) which averages 60miles (96km) per week on average. I was surprised when I made this calculation.

 

I’ve also removed the following incorrect items & replaced them with the correct parts from the US;

 

 

Removed                                                                                    Replacement                                                    

 

·         1980’s Ford interior rear-vision mirror                        GM mirror (reproduction)

·         Late 1970’s Holden exterior rear-vision mirrors         GM mirrors (reproduction)

·         Aftermarket reverse/back-up light                             GM unit (genuine original)

·         English Notek ‘Fog Master’ Fog-lights                        Guide 859-C (genuine original)

·         Spot-lights mounted off the side of the hood           No spot-lights fitted

·         Front (only) original hubcaps                                      Rare after-market 1950’s Lyon hubcaps

 

I’ve also made the following additions to the car;

·         Rear fender skirts handmade by a friend

·         Lowered the car 3.5” (rear) and 1.5” (front)

·         Genuine original Fulton series 800 visor

 

I have also recently been very fortunate to snap up a 1947 Buick Deluxe steering wheel (see photo) out of Sydney on an Australian Buick Parts Facebook page for a very reasonable price (couldn’t believe my luck). It’s in very good condition, but I will get the rim ‘plastic’ recast. Fortunately, I’ve found 2 such places in Australia who do this work and both come highly recommended. My Buick has the simple 3-spoke (non-banjo) wheel in good shape, but it’s very plain and somewhat boring especially in black.

 

I’ve also wanted to get my dash back to being wood-grained (as it should be). Fortunately, I have a friend who can do this (he’s done nice work on several cars). The engine-turning on the glove box lid and instrument panel however is my main challenge, but we’re working on ideas for this.

 

The original upholstery in the car was Tan & Grey Bedford Cord (Trim Code 900), but when the car was purchased by an Australian in Waco TX in 1989 and imported to Australia, it had a Bedford Cord interior that appears (from photos I have) to be very light tan. However, I recently took my seat base to my trimmer to see he could make adjustments as I sit too high in the car and the seat is quite firm. He discovered underneath the leather there is several layers of ‘packing’ on top of a Tan & Grey Bedford Cord (see photo), but none of the light tan cloth from the 30yo photo was in sight. I can only conclude the car had been recovered in a light tan Bedford Cord over the top of the original Tan & Grey Bedford Cord before it left the USA, then when it reupholstered in leather by the 2nd Australian owner, the light tan Bedford Cord was removed (and not the Tan & Grey original) before being covered with leather.

 

I have always admired the cozy look of the nice Bedford Cord interiors (rare in Australia), so I now was starting to think – could this be my excuse to get a Bedford Cord interior?

 

I decided to email SMS Auto Fabrics (Oregon) with the trim code, description and a photo of my cloth. They replied 1 day later saying “I have that stuff. I’ll mail you a sample.” I was amazed! Now that I have the opportunity to obtain the correct Bedford Cord to have my car re-upholstered in, along with a Deluxe steering wheel and wood-grained dash, I am very excited as this will totally transform the interior of my car giving the driving experience a very special feel indeed.

 

Meanwhile, I will keep putting miles on the old girl while I make my preparations. We are currently in Winter here in Australia (June-August) so this will probably not happen for another 12 months at the earliest.

 

Below: as the car looks today.

2021 07 10 6.jpg

Below: as the car looks today.

2021 07 10 4.jpg

Below: my recently acquired 1947 Steering wheel (it will have a new '41 horn button fitted)

Deluxe Steering Wheel as purchased.jpg

Below: my original Tan & Grey Bedford Cord (Trim Code 900)

Bedford Cord Tan & Grey Trim No 900 2.jpg

Below: The day I purchased & collected the car in September 2018 (in Melbourne).

2018 09 08.jpg

Edited by Grant Z (see edit history)
  • Like 12
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is a fine looking car. At the risk of losing friends here on the forum, I noticed you added an outside visor which I think looks great. Could I trouble you for any information you may have on it, make, type, size??

I’m thinking about adding one to my ‘41

75179754-BCDE-492B-BFD2-9551CB9B0598.jpeg

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well guys, I can't resist adding a picture of my '41 coupe as well. This was taken a few years ago at the Parkwood Estate in Oshawa, Ont. The building in the background was for one of the staff, I'm sorry I cannot remember who for now.

 This car built only a few miles from where this shot was taken. It's a '41 McLaughlin Buick Roadmaster Coupe.

 

 41BuickCoachHouseSml.jpg.e511d02405c1f84355fc86ee76ec9696.jpg

 

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, valk said:

That is a fine looking car. At the risk of losing friends here on the forum, I noticed you added an outside visor which I think looks great. Could I trouble you for any information you may have on it, make, type, size??

I’m thinking about adding one to my ‘41

75179754-BCDE-492B-BFD2-9551CB9B0598.jpeg

Hi my friend, I state in my post that the visor is a “Fulton Series 800”. The ‘Fulton Series 1000’ was also optioned on the ‘41 Buicks I’m told. There are reproduction versions made but I obtained an original one.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Buicknutty said:

 I hope you don't mind me adding mine to your post, but it makes such an interesting group of lovely Buick Coupes.

Keith

The more the merrier my friend!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is really an excellent original steering wheel and would be a shame to have recast as examples needing recasting are cheap and plentiful. It has only few fine cracks.  It can be wet sanded and buffed up. I wish mine looked this good. lots of 41 owners would pay the price for one this good. They just never turn up!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/13/2021 at 10:25 AM, Lawrence Helfand said:

That is really an excellent original steering wheel and would be a shame to have recast as examples needing recasting are cheap and plentiful. It has only few fine cracks.  It can be wet sanded and buffed up. I wish mine looked this good. lots of 41 owners would pay the price for one this good. They just never turn up!

Thanks Lawrence, I understand what you're saying but when I have the entire interior bought up to a high standard I do believe an un-restored wheel would look out of place.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The tan and blue (gray) bedford cord looks great. I have the same under my seat cover. I have a question regarding the medallion in the steering wheel. looks like a later medallion than 1941.  Also, are those correct hub caps for a non-US model? I am sure there are many differences. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Grant explained that the steering wheel is from a '47 and he's going to fit it with a correct '41 horn button.  He also says that the hubcaps are "rare after-market 1950’s Lyon hubcaps."  I'm not sure what that means, but I'm sure he will explain.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not many cars are better looking to me, than '41 Buicks, and especially the coupes just have such a nice shape to them, and the first 3 posts are all beauties!

Im not always the biggest fan of visors, but i have to say it actually looks pretty good on there, but more importantly, doesnt look goofy and out of place, and i think compliments the shape of the car. Great color too! 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/18/2021 at 11:31 AM, Den41Buick said:

The tan and blue (gray) bedford cord looks great. I have the same under my seat cover. I have a question regarding the medallion in the steering wheel. looks like a later medallion than 1941.  Also, are those correct hub caps for a non-US model? I am sure there are many differences. 

Hi Den, it's very interesting to find you have the same Bedford Cord material.

 

As Neil stated above, my new wheel is from a 1947 model so it has the 1947 horn button (they were different year). I will simply replace it with a new 1941 horn button after getting the wheel fully restored.

Also as Neil also stated, my hub caps are not Buick but an after market hub cap made in the early 1950's I think to loosely replicate the 1948-52 Cadillac hub cap. Lyon is the company who made them I'm told but there is little on the internet about the history of them. They are universal and will simply clip onto any 15" rim quite easily and stay there. I'm led to believe the Cadillac ones secure on the Cadillac rims quite differently and won't transfer to non-Cadillac rims. The guys with custom cars like to 'improve' their cars with these caps. These hub caps were quite expensive for me to buy but in excellent condition. I'm a bit of a custom/hot rod guy, but like my cars to be very traditional with modifications (if any) kept strictly within the character of the car, or out of sight.

 

Thanks for your comment, regards Grant

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/20/2021 at 4:16 AM, Stooge said:

Not many cars are better looking to me, than '41 Buicks, and especially the coupes just have such a nice shape to them, and the first 3 posts are all beauties!

Im not always the biggest fan of visors, but i have to say it actually looks pretty good on there, but more importantly, doesnt look goofy and out of place, and i think compliments the shape of the car. Great color too! 

Many thanks for your kind comments. I'm very much a coupe-man.

Cheers, Grant

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/19/2021 at 11:54 PM, kingrudy said:

Great looking car. Thanks for the post. IMO the skirts on these cars make them look a little lower and add to the appearance. 

Great minds think alike regarding the skirts. I only like the skirts on cars that have been lowered in the rear. But, I am a custom-guy. To me, 'styling is everything'. Cars were produced at a standard, practical height, but to make a car look it's very best I think lowering it enhances the natural lines and proportions if closer to the ground. I understand this makes the car less-practical (depending on how low). I know many restorers won't agree and I respect that. My own views have become more conservative as I've aged.

 

Regards, Grant

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/12/2021 at 6:15 AM, Buicknutty said:

Well guys, I can't resist adding a picture of my '41 coupe as well. This was taken a few years ago at the Parkwood Estate in Oshawa, Ont. The building in the background was for one of the staff, I'm sorry I cannot remember who for now.

 This car built only a few miles from where this shot was taken. It's a '41 McLaughlin Buick Roadmaster Coupe.

 

 41BuickCoachHouseSml.jpg.e511d02405c1f84355fc86ee76ec9696.jpg

 

Your car is gorgeous, and next to a beautiful house also. Is your car a 56C (Super)?

Regards, Grant

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Grant Z said:

Your car is gorgeous, and next to a beautiful house also. Is your car a 56C (Super)?

Regards, Grant

Thank you very much Grant. I do love this quickie shot of my car too. It is the same as a 76S, Roadmaster Sedanette, in Canada it was known by it's Fisher body number 4727. The body from the firewall back is the same as a Super. A great driving car too.

Keith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Buicknutty said:

Thank you very much Grant. I do love this quickie shot of my car too. It is the same as a 76S, Roadmaster Sedanette, in Canada it was known by it's Fisher body number 4727. The body from the firewall back is the same as a Super. A great driving car too.

Keith

Thanks for your response, however I'm a little confused. Your car isn't a Sedanette as that bodystlye has the sloped body. Also there were no Roadmaster Sedanettes. Are you saying yours is a Roadmaster Sport Coupe (which is what 76S stands for)? Are you from Canada? I guess then the models may have had different names (as here in Australia).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/19/2021 at 2:46 PM, Stooge said:

Not many cars are better looking to me, than '41 Buicks, and especially the coupes just have such a nice shape to them, and the first 3 posts are all beauties!

Im not always the biggest fan of visors, but i have to say it actually looks pretty good on there, but more importantly, doesnt look goofy and out of place, and i think compliments the shape of the car. Great color too! 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Hello Grant, it is amazing but your car looks better every time I see it posted. I am patiently waiting till you can come state side and visit us in California hopefully soon.  Recently started be casting our wheels and I agree your wheel is really too nice to recast. If decide that the individuals in Australia are not going to help you with a recasting if you decide to got that way, let me know. We just sent out our first wheel and though it took some time, my partner is a perfectionist, and the customer was very happy with the result. Let me know if you need more information. Love the spot light on your car and how it was mounted. In regards to the "Visor" controversy

, I love them and would have one on mine if it were not a convertible. Good job.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, 1941Buicknut said:

Hello Grant, it is amazing but your car looks better every time I see it posted. I am patiently waiting till you can come state side and visit us in California hopefully soon.  Recently started be casting our wheels and I agree your wheel is really too nice to recast. If decide that the individuals in Australia are not going to help you with a recasting if you decide to got that way, let me know. We just sent out our first wheel and though it took some time, my partner is a perfectionist, and the customer was very happy with the result. Let me know if you need more information. Love the spot light on your car and how it was mounted. In regards to the "Visor" controversy

, I love them and would have one on mine if it were not a convertible. Good job.

Many thanks for your kind words 1941Buicknut (not sure of your name). Thanks also for your offer re my wheel, but I have full confidence in both people here to do the work.

I've been to the USA 6 times (mainland 5 times, Hawaii once), but not since 2010 now. I'd very much like to catch up with other 41 Buick owners like yourself.

 

Re my "spotlight", there are 2 of them and they are mounted with the original mounts.

 

I'm now planning a whole new interior for the car as I really do prefer Bedford Cord and it's still available. This will include woodgraining the dash, and engine-turning the 2 panels as original.

 

No a visor doesn't look quite right on a convertible. Man I'd like a Roadmaster convertible but it's out of my league I'm afraid. Cheers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Grant, how are you going about getting the engine-turned dash panels? I recently got burned buying what were advertised as Doug Seybold panels but they were pretty bad. Had dents and the panels were chromed which is wrong. So I’m keeping my pretty good old ones starting over…won’t make that mistake again. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very pretty and very expensive. Study correct factory pattern as two different techniques are out there both claiming to be correct. When seen without side by side comparison its hard to discern difference. Wonder what the judges have determined that encounter these at judged events?

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, I’ve read lots about the different patterns and tints. Speaking with Bill Anderson (noted ‘41 expert), he was digging deep into this and I thought close to making some conclusions but I haven’t heard anything yet. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, 2carb40 said:

Wonder what the judges have determined that encounter these at judged events?

 

I wondered the same thing in an earlier discussion of this subject.  The Seybold refinished panels seem to be the "gold standard" when it comes to Concours restorations, and they look beautiful.  But they are very clearly different from the originals.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/13/2021 at 4:00 PM, valk said:

Just to be clear, I don’t think the panels I bought were done by Doug. His work is stellar from what I hear. 

I've seen the work from Doug's shop and it has always been top notch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/13/2021 at 11:30 AM, valk said:

I recently got burned buying what were advertised as Doug Seybold panels but they were pretty bad. Had dents and the panels were chromed which is wrong. So I’m keeping my pretty good old ones starting over…won’t make that mistake again. 

 

If they were not as advertised, did you try to get your money back?  Seems like a rip off.  If it was eBay, they have pretty good policies about such things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No I have to take responsibility for it. The seller sent pictures but obviously they weren’t revealing. I rolled the dice and lost. Thanks for the concern, no big deal, I’ve moved on…

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/14/2021 at 4:00 AM, valk said:

Grant, how are you going about getting the engine-turned dash panels? I recently got burned buying what were advertised as Doug Seybold panels but they were pretty bad. Had dents and the panels were chromed which is wrong. So I’m keeping my pretty good old ones starting over…won’t make that mistake again. 

Hi Valk, I'm so sorry to hear you were "burnt" buying panels that weren't what they were claimed to be.

I'm intending to have a go at the panels myself as I'm a fitter & machinist by trade (been out of my trade for a long time, but I'm sure I could give it a go). I'm quite convinced the swirls are 3/8" round. I'm in no hurry at this stage as my car is on the road currently. When I get my new Bedford Cord material for the new interior, plus have my recently acquired Deluxe steering wheel restored, I'll take the car off the road and my friend will woodgrain the dash & window surrounds. This will all happen in 1 hit probably next Winter (June-Aug here in Australia).

Thanks for your interest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Valk, I'm so sorry to hear you were "burnt" buying panels that weren't what they were claimed to be.

I'm intending to have a go at the panels myself as I'm a fitter & machinist by trade (been out of my trade for a long time, but I'm sure I could give it a go). I'm quite convinced the swirls are 3/8" round. I'm in no hurry at this stage as my car is on the road currently. When I get my new Bedford Cord material for the new interior, plus have my recently acquired Deluxe steering wheel restored, I'll take the car off the road and my friend will woodgrain the dash & window surrounds. This will all happen in 1 hit probably next Winter (June-Aug here in Australia).

Thanks for your interest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...