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Parts and materials used for restoration


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Hi folks. I just want some opinions. 

When you do you restoration, how do you decide on material/parts selection. Original, or newer more efficient if available. 

For instance - would you upgrade front brakes to disks if available. 

When you chose heat/sound insulation - will you use original or something more efficient, more up to date?

Upholstery materials - original or something newer?

I understand when parts/materials are no longer available or ridiculously priced, then you have no choice. 

Personally I'd like to keep it as original as possible, but ....

 

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You asked for opinions and that is all you will get.

Ultimately,your question(s) cannot be answered by anyone but you. You are the one that has to make these decisions and be happy with them.

As far as I am concerned I consider myself a "purist" and, as you said, whenever possible I want things as original on my car(s) as possible.

I would go as far as leaving something original even if it is not "perfect" but it is still safe and functional.

The biggest turn off to me when I look at cars is when the upholstery is redone, and it may be a very nice job, in a material that just doesn't "fit" the car. I would rather, if at all possible, leave the original upholstery alone and if need be cover it with period correct seat covers.

 

Just my opinion(s)

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The general rule is to restore things correctly--the 

way things were done at the factory, to preserve the

historical experience.

 

Mr. Skvitt, please know that anything mechanical or

visible that isn't done that way will actually DETRACT

from the value of your car.  You will be spending thousands

of dollars, but not getting a return from it, and even hurting

your car's future salability and value.

 

BRAKES:  If a car offered disk brakes as an option, you might

convert it. But drum brakes were effective in normal conditions,

and I doubt you'll be driving your car in extreme situations.

 

UPHOLSTERY:  Very visible, and unauthentic upholstery will

absolutely hurt your car's value.  Keep your original upholstery

if you can't duplicate the material exactly, even it it's worn,

because these days people appreciate original cars.

SMS Auto Fabrics has a huge variety of correct fabrics.

 

Hidden items such as insulation could probably be upgraded,

especially if the old car's was deficient.  I'll let others tell more.

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13 minutes ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

If you tell us what car you are working on,

we can give you more specific, and better, advice.

Is it the 1949 Buick Super listed with your signature?

Thank you for the input. And yes it is 49 Buick Special. 

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Keep it a original looking as possible.  Insulation that is not seen is a good idea to use more effective material is OK.

DIic brakes and a Chevy V8 are out for me, but it's your car.  A stock 49 Buick was a good usable car as original, enjoy it.

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There's something else to consider. Any change from original makes it that much harder to diagnose problems and find correct replacement parts, which can be a mild obstacle for you so long as you remember where everything came from, but a huge issue for whoever owns the car next -- which could be a family member. That's why non-originality hurts the value of the car -- experienced collectors have already been down that road. For example, a conversion to disc brakes might require a change to suspension parts. What does that mean when it's time to align the front end? 

 

 

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It's YOUR car, do whatever YOU want to do with it. Personally I like to keep everything as original "looking" as possible. Absolute show field restoration perfection will never happen for me as I have found it way too time & cost prohibitive. Modifications such as Chevy V8s, disc brakes and custom wheels are out with me too. In my opinion anyone who refurbishes an old car to any extent, sees the project to completion and takes it out on the road to drive and enjoy will get a smile and a big thumbs-up from me. I've got 6 turn-key old cars that I can just jump in and drive anytime I want and that's what I like most about ownership, the ability to actually use the vehicles. They will never see a show field but get plenty of exposure at Cruise Nights, ice cream runs & an occasional Saturday Night Out. In 45 years no one has ever informed me that my car has the wrong seat material, window crank, radio knob or that my taillight lenses should say Guide and not Glo-Brite. It's a great hobby, it's different things to different people, I've made a lot of life-long friends, everybody does their own thing, and you should do whatever makes you happiest with your car. Enjoy. 

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About the only thing I can add is to increase the insulation with a modern product. It will never be seen and will be worth the extra expense. When I did my 77 T/A every part I used was either nos or original with the exception of a few items. I even went with the original sound deadening material (as it was an option checked off when the car was bought new). The stuff is like a heavy tar paper. I think the only thing it did was add another 30# to the overall weight. My current project will get major insulation upgrades.

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42 minutes ago, The 55er said:

It's YOUR car, do whatever YOU want to do with it. Personally I like to keep everything as original "looking" as possible. Absolute show field restoration perfection will never happen for me as I have found it way too time & cost prohibitive. Modifications such as Chevy V8s, disc brakes and custom wheels are out with me too. In my opinion anyone who refurbishes an old car to any extent, sees the project to completion and takes it out on the road to drive and enjoy will get a smile and a big thumbs-up from me. I've got 6 turn-key old cars that I can just jump in and drive anytime I want and that's what I like most about ownership, the ability to actually use the vehicles. They will never see a show field but get plenty of exposure at Cruise Nights, ice cream runs & an occasional Saturday Night Out. In 45 years no one has ever informed me that my car has the wrong seat material, window crank, radio knob or that my taillight lenses should say Guide and not Glo-Brite. It's a great hobby, it's different things to different people, I've made a lot of life-long friends, everybody does their own thing, and you should do whatever makes you happiest with your car. Enjoy. 

Thank you for the input. I realize that it is my car and I do whatever I want, but it never hearts to know what other guys have in mind. I consider myself a purist, and for me classic car supposed to be all original. I've done a meticulous '77 Bronco restoration lately. Pretty much stock except heat/sound insulation, which original Bronco didn't even have at all. I have good idea of what I will do to the Buick - as much stock as possible, specifically where visible. I'm 100% sure that my tube radio for instance, will still be a tube radio. Will stay with drum brakes, obviously no V8 😊. Funny that you say that no one mentioned wrong parts to you. Actually once I was the one that done that, not to the owner, but to my friend, who was with me. I saw this beautifully restored 76 Bronco, but when owner opened the hood I saw all fender bolts were from hardware store, I wondered why on such a good restoration one would save $10 on hardware😊

 

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I agree with The 55er.  Please yourself. You will NEVER please every one else. I could not afford the "correct" SMS fabric. AND IT DID NOT MATCH PERFECTLY.  I chose some thing similar and saved thousands. Insulate well. Still wont be enough . 

 Brakes will be fine.  Twenty thousand miles plus  and still stop well. 

 

  I enjoy my car. Others may not.

 

  Good luck

 

  Ben

Edited by Ben Bruce aka First Born (see edit history)
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That is a very good point regarding the bolts. I suppose it all depends on the end game. Personally I like a car to be as close as I would have found on the dealer floor. I go out of my way to keep everything correct to the labor of cleaning and buffing bolts!  I dont plan on selling and could care less what others think, its just a personal goal of mine to do the best that I can.

 

I go to shows as often as possible because I like old cars, all kinds.  If I see something that doesnt look right I wont comment but think to myself that it could be better if........ I would never criticize someone else car unless my opinion was asked.

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I'm with Ben. This hobby is different cars, different eras, different things, different levels. Restoring a car for the show field is great and if that's your thing go for it. To me as far as the nuts & bolts go and splitting hairs, life is just too short. I'm not really concerned about little incorrect things that detract from the car's value, the next owner can worry about that if they want. Participation in the swap meet part of the hobby is fun for me as well. Whichever direction you go I wish you all the best. 

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VOLTAGE:  Another question that sometimes arises is

whether to convert from a 6-volt system to 12 volts.

Keep it original.  It worked fine when new.  A conversion

just complicates everything for future owners:  old

electrical diagrams and parts lists are rendered useless.

I would never buy a converted car.

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1 hour ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

VOLTAGE:  Another question that sometimes arises is

whether to convert from a 6-volt system to 12 volts.

Keep it original.  It worked fine when new.  A conversion

just complicates everything for future owners:  old

electrical diagrams and parts lists are rendered useless.

I would never buy a converted car.

Yes, I agree. It will stay 6v.

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Skvitt, Welcome to the forum. If your Buick is a running , original car, I would stay away from  disc brakes, Chevy motor, etc. Don't get me wrong, it is your car, so do what you want, but there is a lot of fabrication involved when you are changing things from stock., and a lot more expense. John

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One more vote for original. As some others have said I would prefer the original upholstery even with some wear over new that is not exactly the same. I also prefer the mechanicals original, drum brakes, 6volt etc...

I like to experience the car as it was when new.

 

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2 minutes ago, vintage1 said:

One more vote for original. As some others have said I would prefer the original upholstery even with some wear over new that is not exactly the same. I also prefer the mechanicals original, drum brakes, 6volt etc...

I like to experience the car as it was when new.

 

Unfortunately original upholstery is not an option😊

20210716_203917.jpg

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I would not add sound insulation.

 

Upholstery fabric I would use better quality of the original type of fabric if possible. And like maybe a double layer of burlap over the springs, cotton batting use more than original, etc. 

 

Looks like you're missing at least one coil spring.

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Bob Giles, a forum member is selling some wool fabric that might look pretty good in your car. He has a thread for this under the "parts for sale" section> Check it out!

 

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Jupiter FabricWinchester FabricBedford Fabric

 

If it would have originally been wool you should use that. But these polyester fabrics are much cheaper and there may be something which might look good. I like this they call the "Jupiter Fabric"

Jupiter Fabric

Definitely don't use that Alcantra stuff. 

 

I'd like to get some of this wool carpet, it's $100 per yard though

 

German Wool Square Weave Carpet

 

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Your original upholstery is wool.  You are not going to "upgrade" with newer stuff - price wool if you don't think so.  The sheen and pile of synthetic blends is very noticeably different from wool.

Most of the cost of upholstery is labor.  I'd advise using striped wool, in the original pattern/pleating.  Upholstery weight is not the same as wool broadcloth for suits.  Whether you get exactly the same pattern or something close is up to you.  You are fortunate to have the original as a reference.  If this expense needs to be deferred, I'd put on seat covers for now or a blanket over the tear rather than waste money on cheap fabric.  This can be a strength of your car instead of a very obvious detraction.

 

As far as non-visible insulation, my car originally had a tar-paper-like material, in poor condition.  For the floor it doesn't matter a lot what you use.  I used the original type tar paper with jute padding, which is also inexpensive. For the "ceiling" I used insulation with a single sided foil, and the recommended 3M adhesive applied exactly as recommended.  This worked very well.

 

my two cents

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Here is a bummer. I had a suspicion that black is not original exterior color. And it it isn't. I thought it is a grey primer underneath black coat, but it is actually grey paint.

Now the question I'm facing - go original grey that I don't like, or stay with black, which I like better. I have couple years to decide.😊

20210722_181956.jpg

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1 hour ago, Skvitt said:

Now the question I'm facing - go original grey that I don't like, or stay with black, which I like better. I have couple years to decide.

 

Few people would disagree:  As long as your car is

painted in a color that the factory offered, you're fine.

 

And you certainly wouldn't want to paint a car--and

own it for decades--if you despised that color.

You're supposed to enjoy the car and the hobby!

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11 minutes ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

Few people would disagree:  As long as your car is

painted in a color that the factory offered, you're fine.

 

And you certainly wouldn't want to paint a car--and

own it for decades--if you despised that color.

You're supposed to enjoy the car and the hobby!

It looks like factory didn't offer black,

I've checked a few websites like this:

https://www.uniquecarsandparts.com.au/colour_swatch_buick_1949

However there are tons of black 49 Supers pictures on the internet.

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I've never heard of 1949 Buicks not offering black paint,

but I'm no expert.  An internet site isn't the last word,

but even that one does have a reference to "Carlsbad Black."

 

Sometimes, black is not shown on paint chips, 

and has just a notation, because black is black

and doesn't need to be shown.

 

Here is another website, which has images of actual

old paint chips from paint suppliers such as DuPont:

https://www.autocolorlibrary.com/pages/1949-Buick.html

 

And here is the picture copied from that site.

I see that there's a notation for black, but only in 1950:

1949-Buick-pg01.jpg?5204

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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3 minutes ago, Skvitt said:

Interesting, thanks for the link.

That Carlsbad Black refers to wheel color though.

 

On that Australian website, the "Carlsbad Black"

also has a listing under "Body and Fender Color."

But is it for Buicks sold in Australia?

1949 Buick Color Combinations (Standard on all Series)
Combination Number

DUCO® Body and Fender Color

Wheel Color

DULUX® Striping Color

49-01

246-2048 Carlsbad Black

Carlsbad Black

95-110 French White

 

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On 7/21/2021 at 6:41 AM, Skvitt said:

Hi folks. I just want some opinions. 

When you do you restoration, how do you decide on material/parts selection. Original, or newer more efficient if available. 

For instance - would you upgrade front brakes to disks if available. 

When you chose heat/sound insulation - will you use original or something more efficient, more up to date?

Upholstery materials - original or something newer?

I understand when parts/materials are no longer available or ridiculously priced, then you have no choice. 

Personally I'd like to keep it as original as possible, but ....

 

Probably the most used color in old/classic car restoration is green. No, that’s not the color most used for engine paint, or even for that snappy, old looking simulated tweed upholstery. It is the color of money spent on paying a professional to do something, because it should look “original” and Lordy, doing upholstery, body work, electrical, wood work, paint, glass work, replacing worn or missing rubber….and on forever, has little to do with being able to restore a 114 year old car to its “original” condition. Too many people get into old car restoration because it wakes up memories of the years when they HAD to do their own mechanical repairs, and banging out a dent was always worth two or three relooks to admire the handiwork. Then comes the remembrance that sewing upholstery or doing rotted floor boards is better left to the professional. And then comes the chrome work and custom paint….oops, forgot to mention that there was no garages or paved roads in 1921, and the car being restored to its “original” condition was a abandoned rust bucket which had been parted out decades ago….but it is now our job to restore it to a rolling show piece. Too bad that so many of these old cars will never see the road again because of the age, amount of money available, and limited time left to live or the people who start the restoration. 
My cars are done within my limitations, and the only one I have to please when I sew up the top or do the upholstery is me…..and my little mix breed dog.

I had a friend post to his Facebook page a comment about a encounter he, and his children, had with a elderly couple, and their immaculately restored Model T’s in a local grocery store parking lot. The post begin by saying what beautiful cars relics were, and how his kids were so anxious to look at them. However, during their period of admiration, the older man returned and immediately ordered the father to get his kids away from his car. For shame…..these cars are rolling history, and a major part of the admiration for the car is directed toward the owner as appreciation for making the car available to share with others who love its history.

My 1927 Willys Knight was no more than a rusty tin shell when I bought it. It had sat abandoned in a grain silo for 30 years, had been ravaged by hungry rats, the top tattered and missing, and then sat abandoned outside for another 30 years after the GGF died, the GF inherited, and started restoration of the car, and then he died. The Grand daughter brought the car to Washington State in 2012, and quickly abandoned it also. And then I bought it.

Since that time the $9.99 each fax velour blankets and road kill upholstery I done the interior upholstery in has heard the laughter of a hundred kids who enjoys riding in it, and the expressed admiration of their parents for me providing the memorable experience. My 1923 Dodge Roadster can expect to have several butts seek comfort on her seats, be a learning lab for youngsters who are interested in a vacuum fuel tank or how external contracting, mechanical brakes work…….and I will love every minute of it.

Probably the best way to own a un-driven, totally, and professionally restored car is just watch the local paper, read the obituaries, and go to the estate sale……lots of old cars are passed from person to person this way.

0CA4F2C9-40BF-420C-B126-ABEFADC77298.jpeg

Edited by Jack Bennett (see edit history)
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20 hours ago, Jack Bennett said:

Probably the most used color in old/classic car restoration is green. No, that’s not the color most used for engine paint, or even for that snappy, old looking simulated tweed upholstery. It is the color of money spent on paying a professional to do something, because it should look “original” and Lordy, doing upholstery, body work, electrical, wood work, paint, glass work, replacing worn or missing rubber….and on forever, has little to do with being able to restore a 114 year old car to its “original” condition. Too many people get into old car restoration because it wakes up memories of the years when they HAD to do their own mechanical repairs, and banging out a dent was always worth two or three relooks to admire the handiwork. Then comes the remembrance that sewing upholstery or doing rotted floor boards is better left to the professional. And then comes the chrome work and custom paint….oops, forgot to mention that there was no garages or paved roads in 1921, and the car being restored to its “original” condition was a abandoned rust bucket which had been parted out decades ago….but it is now our job to restore it to a rolling show piece. Too bad that so many of these old cars will never see the road again because of the age, amount of money available, and limited time left to live or the people who start the restoration. 
My cars are done within my limitations, and the only one I have to please when I sew up the top or do the upholstery is me…..and my little mix breed dog.

I had a friend post to his Facebook page a comment about a encounter he, and his children, had with a elderly couple, and their immaculately restored Model T’s in a local grocery store parking lot. The post begin by saying what beautiful cars relics were, and how his kids were so anxious to look at them. However, during their period of admiration, the older man returned and immediately ordered the father to get his kids away from his car. For shame…..these cars are rolling history, and a major part of the admiration for the car is directed toward the owner as appreciation for making the car available to share with others who love its history.

My 1927 Willys Knight was no more than a rusty tin shell when I bought it. It had sat abandoned in a grain silo for 30 years, had been ravaged by hungry rats, the top tattered and missing, and then sat abandoned outside for another 30 years after the GGF died, the GF inherited, and started restoration of the car, and then he died. The Grand daughter brought the car to Washington State in 2012, and quickly abandoned it also. And then I bought it.

Since that time the $9.99 each fax velour blankets and road kill upholstery I done the interior upholstery in has heard the laughter of a hundred kids who enjoys riding in it, and the expressed admiration of their parents for me providing the memorable experience. My 1923 Dodge Roadster can expect to have several butts seek comfort on her seats, be a learning lab for youngsters who are interested in a vacuum fuel tank or how external contracting, mechanical brakes work…….and I will love every minute of it.

Probably the best way to own a un-driven, totally, and professionally restored car is just watch the local paper, read the obituaries, and go to the estate sale……lots of old cars are passed from person to person this way.

0CA4F2C9-40BF-420C-B126-ABEFADC77298.jpeg

Well put, thank you. I'm a DIYer, so far I managed to do everything on my cars except for painting and chroming. If I had to pay for each step in restoration to somebody, I wouldn't even start. And it saves me from getting upset if job is not done to my satisfaction. On this project I'm contemplating my own paint job too. Also did some research on DIY chroming, I might try that too, probably won't be able to do bumpers, because of the size.

https://caswellplating.com/electroplating-anodizing/chrome-plating-kits/reprochrome-chrome-plating-kits.html

 

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I'm sure the missing back "code" for 1949 is just a misprint on Ditzler's part. It would be code 1 on the body tag, like yours show 8 for gray, which is noted as 4908 code (1949 code 😎 on the Ditzler (PPG) paint chip page.

 

Carlsbad Black is body color also for many years of Buicks.

 

That autocolor site is great for PPG color chips/codes. 

 

https://www.autocolorlibrary.com

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