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My Summer Adventure: Edwin the Adult? 2 54 Buicks? Living in Allentown?


Edwin The Kid

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Hello Buick friends! It's been a while, so here's a long rambling post about my recent life and old Buicks. 

I first joined this forum when I was 15 years old, after buying my 51 Buick. Although that car was a total disaster of a project(I still have it), it ignited my love for Buicks and working on old cars. I am now 21 years old! Maybe I should change my username, although I'm still a kid compared to most of you old farts 😜

 

I am very grateful for this corner of the internet we call the Buick forums, and all the wonderful people I have met here(and in person!) I've even had the opportunity to work for Pete Phillips and Adam Martin as interns over the summers at my time at McPherson college getting my degree in auto restoration. 

This summer I am more than fortunate to be interning at The NB Center. Wow. This place is unbelievable. If things continue to go well this summer I will likely return full time after I graduate next year. 

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While I am here in Allentown another Buick opportunity has presented itself to me in the form of 2 1954 Buicks. Ok, they're actually in Connecticut, about 3.5 hours away. They're rough, but the price is right(free!) 

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A Super Riviera hardtop 56R, and a Roadmaster convertible 76C 

Both cars are rusty, needing partial floors, full rocker panels, and rear quarters, plus some fender work. The Roadmaster comes with a replacement rear clip in nice original shape, as well as a good engine. There's some new chrome goodies as well, like a new grille and a few other trim pieces. 

The Super is a complete car, but the engine does not turn over(I don't know how bad it is internally yet) 

 

As long as I can find somewhere to store the cars for a while, I'll be getting them. The owner needs the cars out of his barn so he can do structural repairs, and he would like to see the cars go to a good home. 

 

My question for the members of this forum is this: what would you do with these cars? They're not really nice enough to get running and drive as is, like my 65 Skylark was, so I see them as either parts cars or full resto projects. I probably won't keep both cars, and am leaning towards getting the Super running and cleaned up as much as possible, then selling it and having the Roadmaster as a long term restoration project. I'm open to suggestions! Let me know what you think. Worst case scenario is I part them out and make a few bucks, but I'd love to save them. 

 

 

 

 

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Congratulations on the NB Center.  Is am amazing collection of cars and restoration facility, with skilled tradesman. The 2016 Buick meet was held their.

 

Free old cars can be expensive. But convertibles are always of value.  Do they have titles in Connecticut? Documentation can have more value than (rusty) metal.  How much rust, rust and rust?  The small and/or broken pieces, trim etc can be hard to replace. And $$$$.

 

1970's VW beach buggies can be fun (on the roof)

 

On the forum MrEarl is the 1954 master

https://forums.aaca.org/topic/303001-my-retro-1930s-buick-sales-and-service-garage/page/29/#comment-2677946

Quote

Lamar in Athens, Georgia
BCA - 39474, AACA - 228846
1954 Roadmaster 76R, 2 DR HT - DoraB
1954 Century 66R 2 DR HT 3 Speed - '54 Muscle II aka Morning Glory
1938 Special 44 2 DR Streamlined Sport Sedan (Slantback) - Tugalo Gas  
1979 Estate Wagon Limited - Southern Belle   
 An assortment of 14 '54,'55,'56 parts cars

Gone but not forgotten
1954 Roadmaster 72R 4 DR Buttercup, 1954 Special 48D 2 DR Deluxe Sedan - LaCarrera , 1954 Special 41D 4 DR Deluxe Sedan-The Blue Bird ,1954 Roadmaster 76R 2 DR HT - Morticia , 1993 Riviera - Black Beauty , 1954 Century 61 4 DR Deluxe Sedan - Marilyn , 1954 Special 46R 2 DR HT - Texas Pete , 1954 Century 66R 2 DR HT 3 Speed - '54 Muscle I , 1954 Special 4 DR 3 Speed - Sugar Magnolia , 1954 Century 66R 2 DR HT - Mary Jane , 1965 Sportwagon - Rusty , 1956 Century 66R 2 DR HT - Bulldog , 1954 Roadmaster 76R 2 DR HT - Irene First Buick in 1974 - 1954 Special 48D 2DR Deluxe Sadan - Breeze

Edited by 1939_Buick (see edit history)
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Wow, those are quite the challenge. 

 

The 54 Super would have a 264.  The Roadmaster a 322.  otherwise, largely the same cars.  But If it were me I'd be thinking about where I could move them to that was local and convenient enough to meet the owners request.  Do you have a spot? 

 

As for your plan, there are many nice 54's around so to get any decent money for the Super it would probably require quite a bit of investment.  The Roadmaster would need even more, but be a bigger dollar car if completed.  I think I would just part the Super and use what I needed for the Roadmaster, to do that as efficiently as possible. 

 

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29 minutes ago, 1939_Buick said:

 

 

Free old cars can be expensive. But convertibles are always of value.  Do they have titles in Connecticut? Documentation can have more value than (rusty) metal.  How much rust, rust and rust?  The small and/or broken pieces, trim etc can be hard to replace. And $$$$.

 

1970's VW beach buggies can be fun (on the roof)

 

On the forum MrEarl is the 1954 master

https://forums.aaca.org/topic/303001-my-retro-1930s-buick-sales-and-service-garage/page/29/#comment-2677946

 

They do have titles, and all the pieces are there for the convertible, it's just all apart. The buggy is a VW pan with a Corvair engine, but his family wants to keep that one. The floors are remarkably solid on the convertible but the rocker panels are toast. All the small bits are definitely going to be the biggest expense 

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25 minutes ago, JohnD1956 said:

Wow, those are quite the challenge. 

 

The 54 Super would have a 264.  The Roadmaster a 322.  otherwise, largely the same cars.  But If it were me I'd be thinking about where I could move them to that was local and convenient enough to meet the owners request.  Do you have a spot? 

 

As for your plan, there are many nice 54's around so to get any decent money for the Super it would probably require quite a bit of investment.  The Roadmaster would need even more, but be a bigger dollar car if completed.  I think I would just part the Super and use what I needed for the Roadmaster, to do that as efficiently as possible. 

 

The main concern right now is definitely finding a spot for them! I'm probably going to find a storage unit in the area I can put the cars for a while. Realistically I think the Roadmaster either is or needs a parts car

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Wow real barn finds! Let’s see…..my car has been driven and being “running restored” for over 40 years since I was in college and shoved it out of my grandparents shed….you have lots of runway left in you to finish🤣.

 

Go in eyes open, this will not be cheap.  Twer me I’d figure out how to redo the Roadmaster, convertible top of the line model, you seen what others have started with and with common sense, skill and perseverance what beautiful cars they have now.  

 

Some blunt pointers would be 1) won’t be quick if you’re doing it yourself, plan for at least 10 years and define up front what your definition of “done” is (the old think with the end in mind trick) 2) set a final budget with reserve,  plan for yearly installments and price increases 3) systematically decompose the project into sizable subsystem “chunks” you can get some quick victories on and keep commitment through thick and thin to maintain steady progress. 4) Life will get in the way - keep people a priority.

 

Nice find and good luck with your decision!

 

PS - read @Bhigdog restoration thread if you’ve not already done so - both for inspiration and approach to executing the project

 

 

 

 

Edited by KAD36 (see edit history)
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Wow what a find! Since you’re a kid, go for them. The Super looks to be a great parts car. Appears to be a spare possibly rebuilt 322!!! The 54 Roadmaster convertible is a highly desirable car, you can’t go wrong spending your time and money on it, especially if you yourself have a true passion for it. 
 

14 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

The 54 Super would have a 264.  The

Just to clarify, the Super would have a 322 but with a 2 vs 4 barrel in the 76C

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The painted engine is the original 322 for the Roadmaster, allegedly rebuilt. It does still turn over! There is also a 1955 322 and transmission, in unknown condition. I understand the 1955 transmission is different. 

 

I'm definitely leaning towards having the vert as a long term restoration project. I'm not worried about getting it running and driving right away since I have 2 driving projects already to keep me entertained(Corvair and Franklin) 

 

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Congrats on your progression in life!  I know you are young, energetic, and energized, BUT there are limits.  Be cognizant of that AND what it will cost to store the cars until you can get to them.  I know you have been learning from some great teachers, but you can't save them all, in reality. 

 

Getting a que of projects at a younger age can be daunting to deal with as time progresses.  Then, after decades of "fun", the time comes to liquidate, or at least whittle things down somewhat.  So "keep the inventory as fresh as possible", identifying the moving target of what you like the best, from time to time.  Key thing is to know when to "turn the inventory" to get different things to enjoy preserving and restoring.

 

Best of luck in your ventures!

NTX5467

 

PS . . . Don't worry about "The KId", he'll always be there regardless of physical age.

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Great news - working at the Nicola Bulgari Center has to be a 'dream job' for you!  And finding these Buicks (esp. the Roadmaster) is icing on the cake.  Sounds like you have the right idea about the '54 convertible.  Happy to see good things happening for you.  ;)

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1 hour ago, BUICK RACER said:

Edwin, the Buick Driving Enthusiasts Fall Tour will be visiting NB on September 24th afternoon, hopefully you will be there still to greet us~

I will be back in Kansas mid august for my senior year of college, so unfortunately I will miss the group. Enjoy the tour, its a wonderful place! 

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