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1922 Buick Touring side curtains


Mark Kikta

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Well, I'm off to start these side curtains next.  Another first for me.  Seems like I have had a lot of "Firsts" lately with this car.  Glad we have this forum to garner help and advice when needed.

 

I decided to try a different approach to making my side curtains from scratch. Instead of laying posterboard up on the car and drawing the shape, I made single digital slides for each side curtain and thought I would project these slides on to posterboard and trace out the shape.  I used the pictures from the 1922 Buick Parts manual and cropped them to use one side curtain at a time.

 

I put them on to a memory stick and projected them using my digital projector.

 

I went out to the car and took measurements between the attaching hardware for each curtain, and I assumed that when I started projecting these up on the posterboard, everything would stay relative, and all would scale as I moved the projector in and out to match the measurements.  At the point they matched, I would have the shape and size needed.

 

I taped the posterboard on to a piece of plywood and off I went.  After tracing the picture, I cut it out and took it out to the car to see how it fit.  

 

Amazing enough, it was a close fit!  I think I need to move one side 1/2" longer and drop the window location about one inch.  I don't know how accurate the parts book pictures are but seems as though they are very close.  So, I'll correct these changes on a new piece of posterboard and it should fit just right.

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I think Hugh might have them, I don’t.   But Hugh has provided lots of good photos of the details.  
 

Thanks Brian.    Not sure I need them right now anyway.

 

Appreciate the offer!

Mark

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Mark, 

    That is absolutely an excellent process that you have put together to get the side curtains accurate from the original photos in the parts book.  I am looking forward to seeing how they turn out.  

 

Brian, 

     I do still have those original side curtains.  1923 Buick model 35.  I took a lot of detailed photos of these that Mark has on a USB.   I have also created dimensional drawing files for anyone that needs them.  I have done the same with side curtains from Jeb Bailey and Chuck Nixon that would work for 1921 and 1922 Buick model 45.  I have the same for 1925 Master and Standard.  I also have details for 1928 Buick Standard from Dave Blaufarb.  Side curtain details changed a lot over this time span.  

 

     Hugh

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Just a comment for new members about 4 cylinder Vs 6 cylinder cars in this timeframe. Almost every part on the 4 cylinder car is ~25% smaller than on the six.  Be careful when buying parts as they look nearly identical. 
 

In this case Mark is taking a 4 cylinder side curtain and blowing up and resizing the image to make it six cylinder size. 
 

Same holds true for Master and Standard series later on. 

Edited by Brian_Heil (see edit history)
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41 minutes ago, Brian_Heil said:

Thx Hugh. 

 

They are doing more good with you than sitting on my shelf.  I bought them with the exact purpose they have been used for and all those they have helped. 

That’s the set I borrowed too, correct?

 

If I remember, they were invaluable to get details, there was a piece of steel strap sewn in to wrap around top of windshield, never would have known that without patterns.

 

Mark, quite a clever way to start a pattern!

 

Thanks dc

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I certainly hope I can take the old style(1922) and the later style(23-25) and make something that works.  Clearly the original 21-22 style was pretty ineffective as a side curtain.

 

I made my first patterns out of poster board then transferred that onto some leftover polystyrene I had leftover from doing my interior door flaps. This works great to add snaps etc to hold them in place. 

 

As you can see they are still rough but they are starting to look like side curtains.  I haven’t decided on how I want to do the windows yet so I just cut rough shapes so I can reach inside to work.

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Regardless of what you see as patterns, you need a clear sight to see at least left front fender when driving, and side curtains in place.  A window low on front curtain does that.  I’d lean toward safety more than originality in this case, and I’m quite the purist.

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Mark, I'd be the last person in the world to try and hijack your thread, however, since the subject is side curtains I have something that I would like to add here.  Almost ALL of these old automobiles getting to this point will be missing the side curtains.  When Gary Martin made the new top for our 1916 I talked to him about the curtains.  My friend Bill Krause out in New Jersey has an extremely low mileage 1916 D-45 that was complete with all of the original curtains.  He lent us the original set of curtains to be used for the original details to be duplicated on the new set.  While we had them here I had them photographed so that anyone else coming along restoring a D-45 would have a good idea what the originals were supposed to be like.  Anyone having a '16 or '17 D-45 and needing curtain information can contact me for the details.  I can be reached at renobuickman@gmail.com  And Mark you are doing a fantastic job on this project for a first timer.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas  -  the ONLY forum member from Way Out in Doo Dah

AACA Life Member #947918

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David, I was looking at that tonight.  I remember what you said and I will need to ensure I can see what I need.  I’m thinking I need much more clear space than I see in this original design.

 

Slow and steady wins the race🤪

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a thought.
 

Would it be possible to make the front curtains on both sides with a good size window for safety.
 

Then have a set of insert pieces that could be held in with Velcro on both sides to bring the window size and shape back to the original for the show field. 

 

The inserts would be made to blend in with the curtain sides and the Velcro would be hidden, yet be strong enough to hold when driving.

 

Just a thought from down under 

Rodney 😀😀😀😀😀😀

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Remember for most judging, side curtains just need to be available, not needed on car.
 

I once worked for a restoration shop, we were tight on time for finishing a car for a specific show.  I made a nice “side curtain” bag/pouch, sewed binding on few edges of top material, and stuffed the bag with a number of layers of the material, sewn edge showing.

 

When asked at show about side curtains, the bag was shown, judge glanced at it,said fine,  and that was that.

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These are original side curtains for a 1917 Chevrolet (courtesy of Brian Meek).  And you think you have a problem with visability!  In today's world, this is an accident waiting to happen.  Judging does allow some exception for safety in some areas.  Maybe it's time for a push to get an exception for side curtains?  David is right.  If they are in a bag, they won't ask any questions, and typically they are not on the car because they detract from the asthetics. 

But back in the day, it was "Isenglas" or Isinglass.  It was brittle and it cracked when cold. So they used fabric between the panels to allow folding and storage of the curtains under the seats.  It also yellowed rather rapidly and then you could not see thru them.  It must have been expensive too as it was used sparingly.     

I think the main reason for keeping a certain part original is to showcase how far we have come.  Photo 2 shows accurate copies of 1921 Buick side curtains (Courtesy Jeb Bailey).  Only about 1/2 of the available window space was used for visability.  You snapped yourself inside to stay warm and dry.

Photo 3 shows original 1923 Buick model 35 side curtains (courtesy Brian Heil). Notice the increased use of isenglass, and more window muntin bars giving the ability to fold the curtains smaller for storage.  A "hand hold" was added to the drivers side curtain to allow the driver to make turn gestures.   What you don't see is that Buick also added a "header" to these curtains advertising them as "Storm Curtains" which had better wind sealing and allowed the doors to open and close without having to undo any snaps in the process.  They also used a 1" x 10" metal plate on the front curtains to facilitate this curtain hinge and to bridge the curvature between the windshield and the side of the top frame.  

The last photo shows the accurate recreation of 1928 Buick side curtains (courtesy Dave Blaufarb).  Even better visibility and functionality. 

1921 to 1928.  A span of 7 years.  Look at the progress of change to cars in the 20's.  Back then you could tell the year of a Buick by the design of the top as well.  The other subtle change is that the roof line was lowering in this time span.  In 1921, the side curtains were 26" tall.  By 1928 they were 18 1/2" tall.         

 Hugh 

 

1917Chevroletoriginalsidecurtains-BrianMeek.jpg.2e8f8e93583ca08d812bb69c95360d49.jpg

1921iModel45Buickleftoutside-correct.JPG.53064d91a573f74506c54a85a560a10d.JPG

model351923Buicksidecurtainsleft.jpg.0dc5e111d519f2b12c8da863c6a58a65.jpgDaveBlaufarb1.JPG.bd831c30039f50acbceafc00b24b243e.JPG

Edited by Hubert_25-25 (see edit history)
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12 hours ago, Hubert_25-25 said:

These are original side curtains for a 1917 Chevrolet (courtesy of Brian Meek).  And you think you have a problem with visability!  In today's world, this is an accident waiting to happen.  Judging does allow some exception for safety in some areas.  Maybe it's time for a push to get an exception for side curtains?  David is right.  If they are in a bag, they won't ask any questions, and typically they are not on the car because they detract from the asthetics. 

But back in the day, it was "Isenglas" or Isinglass.  It was brittle and it cracked when cold. So they used fabric between the panels to allow folding and storage of the curtains under the seats.  It also yellowed rather rapidly and then you could not see thru them.  It must have been expensive too as it was used sparingly.     

I think the main reason for keeping a certain part original is to showcase how far we have come.  Photo 2 shows accurate copies of 1921 Buick side curtains (Courtesy Jeb Bailey).  Only about 1/2 of the available window space was used for visability.  You snapped yourself inside to stay warm and dry.

Photo 3 shows original 1923 Buick model 35 side curtains (courtesy Brian Heil). Notice the increased use of isenglass, and more window muntin bars giving the ability to fold the curtains smaller for storage.  A "hand hold" was added to the drivers side curtain to allow the driver to make turn gestures.   What you don't see is that Buick also added a "header" to these curtains advertising them as "Storm Curtains" which had better wind sealing and allowed the doors to open and close without having to undo any snaps in the process.  They also used a 1" x 10" metal plate on the front curtains to facilitate this curtain hinge and to bridge the curvature between the windshield and the side of the top frame.  

The last photo shows the accurate recreation of 1928 Buick side curtains (courtesy Dave Blaufarb).  Even better visibility and functionality. 

1921 to 1928.  A span of 7 years.  Look at the progress of change to cars in the 20's.  Back then you could tell the year of a Buick by the design of the top as well.  The other subtle change is that the roof line was lowering in this time span.  In 1921, the side curtains were 26" tall.  By 1928 they were 18 1/2" tall.         

 Hugh 

 

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model351923Buicksidecurtainsleft.jpg.0dc5e111d519f2b12c8da863c6a58a65.jpgDaveBlaufarb1.JPG.bd831c30039f50acbceafc00b24b243e.JPG

I am glad I took the last 2 photos. The first one was taken at our Hershey spot. My 87 Chevy S-10 wheel is shown. The one of Dave's car was during the 2016 BCA 50th anniversary. Dave realy needed them as we had hard rain Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning.

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  • 4 weeks later...

So now that I have made some patterns from the Buick original design, I realize that the original design for 1922 was pretty much nonfunctional for daily use.  The 1923 design was much more user friendly with the additional strip (Seal) across the top on the inside so the doors can be opened and closed and the weather was somewhat sealed out. So, I went with a modified 1923 side curtain design and I will use the 1923 window design also which we will show later. 

 

Also, I wanted to make my side curtains with two panels of material sewn together but I don't think I have enough material for all of that with the additional inside seals, so I decided I will make my curtains with reinforced edges as Buick did it.  I can use up a lot of my scrap material to make those reinforcing pieces.

 

I'm waiting for some 1 1/2" webbing to make some straps for attaching the top of the rear curtain to the top irons and waiting for my curtain rods for the doors. I'm also investigating if sewing a strip of steel inside the middle side curtain along the top and sewing some long magnets in the inside seal would provide any better sealing when the doors were closed?  I have also seen photos of cars with the middle curtain sagging at the top and I thought this approach might help reduce that sagging??  More to follow on this experiment.

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Middle curtain inside in work.jpg

Middle curtain inside working.jpg

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I saw a restorer slide a fiberglass rod (used to mark your driveway for the snow plow) down a hem seam.  Light, sturdy, no rust or rot.  Worked like a charm to fix an issue and only a couple of dollars. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I finally got some more time working on my side curtains after all the snow and bitter cold weather along with my annual goose hunting trip. I finished working the upper attaching points for the rear side curtain. On the front corner I attached a lift-the-dot to a piece of 2-inch webbing which will attach to the double post already in the top irons.  Since there were no other attaching points near the rear of the curtain, I attached some webbing and snap to wrap around the top iron and snap to the back side of the curtain.

 

I completed sewing the outer edges of the middle curtain and designed a half-round re-enforced tab at the top to attach onto the snap already on the top iron.  I did not complete sewing the inner stitching yet (2 inches from the edges) because I still don't have my rods made to complete the fitting of the curtain and stitching for inserting the curtain rod.  I completed all curtain attaching points to hold it in place along the bottom and top front edge.  I also completed the sealing strip for the top and its attaching points.  First, I used lift-the-dots to attach the sealing strip at each end and then I used Dot snaps to attach the lower corners to the side curtains.  I then sewed the front of the sealing strip to the front-top of the curtain.

 

I also completed sewing all of the edges of the front curtain and completed adding all of the attaching hardware.  I also made the front curtain sealing strip and attached it the same way to the top irons and curtains using double lift-the-dot posts and Dot snaps.  At the top front corner, I used the original Burco style hardware to hold the side curtain to the inside of wooden bow around the bend.  I added a third between the original two the give a nice, formed corner and turn.  I did not add any metal strips to the curtain to hold the corner, I think the Burco fasteners did a good job of that.  Now that I have used this front curtain as a pattern to make one for the other side, I can sew the sealing strip to the front curtain at the top front edge which is what I'll do next.

 

I checked the rough fit of the right side curtains to the left side of the car and they are roughly compatible, so I used them to draw and cut the patterns for the left side.  My plan now is to sew and attach the left side curtains to the same point and by that point in time I hope my rods are completed and I can finish integrating them into the curtains.  After I complete that. I will be able to mark the curtains for window position and ensure they are all in line before I start cutting the side curtains to install the clear vinyl.

 

More to follow. 

 

 

Rt rear curtain complete.jpg

middle side curtain design.jpg

middle and rewar curtain design inside.jpg

outside of rough side curtains RT side.jpg

inside of RT side rough curtains.jpg

top front curtain fasteners.jpg

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Hi all..

What an amazing group of guys full of knowledge here. 

I'm reading this post and realized that you guys are not afraid to tackle any job on this old Buick. .

And since I'm a guy with a 17 D45 car   you can't imagine how useful is this info for me. I'm here reading every ones comment and it's amazing.!

I'm taking lots of screenshots of the comments and keeping it for future reference.

Eventually one day I will get to the side curtains and definitely will get back to my notes... Cheers to all of you..

Apolo.

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So, I have managed to complete all six side curtains except for fitting the door rods.  I still don't have them back from the machine shop. As soon as they come back completed, I can fit them and finish sewing the side curtains.  While I am waiting, I patterned the clear vinyl windows with blue cardboard and will draw the chalk lines for them when all sewing is complete.

 

The machinist is trying to get the right milling machine bit to cut the grooves in the rods.  Everything in this country is backordered like every other third world nation.

Left rough side curtains installed.jpg

Right side rough side curtains installed.jpg

clear window mockups hung in place.jpg

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While I am waiting to get my side curtain rods made, I decided to tackle the spare tire cover.  

Now that I received my second order of material I can layout the material and cut new pieces using my old one as a pattern.

I bought some new springs from Home Depot and completed the tire cover today.  I checked the fit and then took it to the embroiderer to put the Buick Script on the tire cover.

 

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Edited by Mark Kikta (see edit history)
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