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The Buick Owner's "Bookshelf"


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I stole this idea from a thread on the Packard forum.

Many of the people who read this forum are novices looking for insights into their newly purchased and/or dream cars. Most people know to look to owner's manuals, shop manuals, and sales literature to investigate their cars (for restoration information, authenticity, service information, etc.). However there are many other sources of information available to the novice that they may not be aware of.

Please use this thread to post a list of whatever sources of information might be useful to the inexperienced in researching their Buick, including published information (books both technical and of general interest, specific periodicals or articles in periodicals, etc.), internal GM documents (bulletins, catalogs, etc.) and any online sources (for specific models or for general reference--including the BCA tech services).

Many clubs incorporate a list like this into their web site. I don't think we do as yet (except for online links). Maybe we can encourage such a page be added. smile.gif

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"The Buick A complete History" by Terry Dunham and Lawrence R. Gustin with the staff of Automobile Quarterly is and excellent reference book (approximately 500 pages depending on which edition). It is updated every so often to include the newest models. It is the only complete history of the marque.

Woody Michel

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Guest imported_MrEarl

Dave, way to go, this is a great thread. I had also seen it on the Packard Forum, and in fact had you not 'stoled it" then I would've. smile.gif Brian Harpst aka B.H. on the Packard Forum spent a lot of time and did a fine job of starting their's off. Perhaps Roberta will consider making this a "sticky note" so it will be in front of us all the time. At some point it might be good to abridge or condense and add it to the BCA web site.

Well I see "the Buick Bible" (The Buick A Complete History) has already been added to the list but I want to add that IMHO that is the greatest automotive book ever written by the most dedicated author(s) to an automobile there ever was. Terry Dunham and Lawrence Gustin have done a great job on all six editions. Thank you Terry and Lawrence!!

<span style="font-weight: bold">SEVENTY YEARS OF BUICK by George H. Dammann </span> is another great book by someone that gets personal and writes with his heart about Buicks.Copyright 1973, 352 pages.

<span style="font-weight: bold">BUICK THE POSTWAR YEARS by Jan Norbye and Jim Dunne </span> is another hardback that is fairly comprehensive in it's coverage of Buicks after the WW II through 1978.There are a lot if little known facts contained in this book. Copyright 1978, 166 pages

Those are a couple of my favorite hardbacks. Will post more later.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Brian Harpst aka B.H. on the Packard Forum spent a lot of time and did a fine job of starting their's off. </div></div>

I would've as well but my schedule wouldn't allow it, nor would it allow my brain the capacity to hold the idea until I had the time. blush.gifsmile.gif

I have every copy of the Crestline series (<span style="font-style: italic">Seventy Years of Buick</span> et al), and I find them to be the best photo records available. The Norbye & Dunn and Dunham & Gustin books are indispensable too. I'm particularly fond of my <span style="font-style: italic">The Buick, A Complete Story</span>. The <span style="font-style: italic">Standard Catalogs</span> series from Krause Publishing (<span style="font-style: italic">Old Cars Weekly</span>) is the most complete source of production and technical information out there, but there are errors to watch for (especially in the early editions).

Richard Langworth's <span style="font-style: italic">Illustrated Buick Buyers Guide</span>, like many of the early books in this series, covers way too much ground for it's size to be very useful. It is entertaining and an good early introduction to the cars though.

Brooklands Books' Portfolio series has a number of books compiling Buick articles from past periodicals. I have their 1947-1960 Buick book as well as their Riviera book. They're more fun than useful, but nice to have.

I think probably the most important book a novice can buy is the proper parts catalog(s) for the car in question. I consider this more important than even the factory shop manual(s). I've found it's best to have the book from 3-5 years after the year of your cars manufacture, because by then most of the parts numbers for your car that were superceded are included. If there's a specific book available for just your year from GM, that's a MUST! I have one for my 1960, and I'd be lost without it.

I also make it a point to purchase a copy of every Chilton, Haynes, Motor, Clymer or other manual for the car. This information is often better to have than the shop manual, as it is usually written with the home mechanic in mind.

"Tune-Up Information Cards", usually sold out of files that were kept by old service stations, often contain information that no other source sill have. The most common ones are published by A.E.A., but there are several others.

--more to come-- smile.gif

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Great topic, should stay "ttt" for a while.

While these may be specific to later Buicks (turbos and V6s) and some may cringe at the thought of modifications....

"The Buick Free spirit Power Manual" by John Thawley

"How to Hot Rod your Buick V6" by HP Books

These books have alot of useful specs if one were to get their V6 machined. Also there is some historical info on the V6 as well.

Both may be out of print, but they do pop up on ebay quite a bit.

Color and Trim books corresponding to one's year/model. At Carlisle, I usually check out Bob Johnson's Auto literature (www.autopaper.com) since he has a wide assortment of these trim books for various makes.

Another neat little book is a quality control assembly information manual. If you go on ebay and type a keyword search once in while: 19XX engine manual (check the search title and descriptions), sometimes this will pop up.

I see alot of folks will reproduce this little book (scan, enlarge and photocopy), however the resolution is low quality compared to the little factory book.

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Guest imported_MrEarl

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Great topic, should stay "ttt" for a while</div></div> smile.gif

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I'm a HUGE fan of a full bookshelf!

Here are a couple of my personal favorites:

Motor's Service Manuals are at the top of my list. DO NOT get the "Flat Rate" manuals--those were just books that told how long a procedure would take.

Be picky when you buy them--I've put together a full set covering the first years (I think 1937?) through 1985, and all the books are in perfect condition--no broken spines, no grease stains. Paid between $10 and $15 each for them over 2 years of swap meets. That was with some hard, dedicated shopping. Typically, the average price seemed to be around $40. For the one book covering your car, that's not a bad deal. I just really wanted a full set.

Next is a good set of the un-abridged version of the Technical Service Bulletins. It's amazing what you find in these. In a bind, the abridged versions will be okay, but the unabridged, 3-hole-punched versions are full of much more information.

John Lawlor's Auto Math Handbook is also a must-have. It isn't Buick-specific, but when you want to start figuring out tire sizes vs. RPM, etc. it can't be beat. And I've had that particular conversation with a lot of resto guys!

Finally, the best book out there is one you can make yourself. Every magazine article, web-thread/post or scrap of useful information should be printed/photo copied, 3-hole punched, and put in a binder on your shelf.

I have one, and the categories are (for hot rod stuff): Engine, Transmission, Rear End, Suspension, Brakes, Electrical, Misc.

Ever had a question, and just KNOW you read it somewhere, but can't find/don't have the time to dig through 15 years' worth of old magazines? Build your own book, and it's always there, easy to find.

-Brad

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Guest imported_MrEarl

One of the most informitive and helpful books (actually a bulletin/manual) when it comes to restoration is the "Fisher Body Service News". They go into more detail of the removal and installation of body parts for each one of the body styles than the Shop Manual.They are typically around 50 pages each. Willie Pittman, aka "old-tank" has scanned and made several of these (54 and 55) available for purchase. I have all the 54's and most of the 55 and 56 originals but hate like the Dickens to have to use them when my hands are all greasy (and bloody). I called him up and after a "Downloading for Dummies" shortcourse I downloaded them and will be getting them copied so I can dirty up the copies instead of the fragile vintage ones.I consider his prices as very fair!! Thanks for this great service Willie!!

Willies Fisher Body Service News

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> The <span style="font-style: italic">Standard Catalogs</span> series from Krause Publishing (<span style="font-style: italic">Old Cars Weekly</span>) is the most complete source of production and technical information out there, but there are errors to watch for (especially in the early editions).

</div></div>

I agree, The standard catalogs have great information but like in many other sources of informations there are errors in it. However, it's an inexpensive way to get the details about Buicks from all the years it covers. I wish there was more information on pre-1976 cars in it.

"The Buick A complete History" is also a must. I bought the 1988 edition when I was 12 years old. I gave it to a friend when it began falling apart and I got a newer edition a few years ago. Very interesting book also showing a few errors. It would be almost impossible to make such a huge book without errors. Some were not corrected in the 5th edition I have such as the "1967 Buick Wildcat" picture which shows a GS 400 post coupe or a California GS (I think?).

One information that all sources that I found seem to lack is the production information on many canadian Buicks. I wish I could find a book which shows them as well as the diffrent prices, equipment and trim on cars that were built here.

Even the "The Buick A Complete History" or our club's membership roster didn't include the canadian Buick production so cars like my 65 Wildcat aren't included in the model production records that we take as facts...

I really enjoy reading the Buick Bugle. I wish I could have all the articles from the past issues on a CD like it has been done with the ROA's Riview. I know this must require considerable work but it would be great to have it!

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  • 6 months later...

I made this post a "sticky" cause I think it will help alot of folks out, looking for info on Buicks and Buick Stuff. Beware though there are several books out there that have alot of mis-information, one in particular is the Buick Muscle Car book. Norb has a list of all the things wrong and page numbers, I think he even wrote to them about it. I got the '70 Years of Buick" book for Christmas from my parents way back when I wasn't even driving or just about to get my license, learned alot reading that. But I guess most of my knowledge of Buicks and how they work and how to fix came from reading the shop manuals for the '56 and '64 Buicks that we had at the time, everything from carbs to transmissions. And then later in life actually doing alot of the work myself and referring to the shop manuals when necessary and so on!

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Thanks Roberta. I was hoping this thread would've taken off better than it did. Making it a sticky should help a lot.

One series of books I can't believe that I forgot to include originally is from a publisher that went defunct in the 1980's. Bookman Publishing (through Motorbooks International) published a series of small books that reproduced period literature with a slant towards technical data and authentic illustration. The "<span style="font-style: italic">Source Book"</span> series was only available briefly, not more that 3-5 years (in some cases 1), and are <span style="font-style: italic"><span style="font-weight: bold">highly</span></span> sought after and collected today. Depending on rarity they can go for between $20 and $200, and sometimes more.

I saved up a bunch of these over the years. I just sold a duplicate I had of the Jaguar XKE book to an Italian buyer for $62, and it's not even one of the rare ones. Don't ask me for my Z-28 book still in the protective wrapping! tongue.gif

The only Buick book in the series that I have is <span style="font-style: italic">Big Buicks A Source Book</span>, R. Perry Zavitz ed. Unfortunately this book covers a huge range for this series, 1936-1973 in just 144 pages. It's one of the least informative of the series, but is still a good one to have if only for enjoyment sake. Their are also <span style="font-style: italic">Buick Gran Sports A Source Book</span> & <span style="font-style: italic">Riviera A Classic Source Book</span> published in the series, but I've yet to see one in 20 years of collecting the series. If they're comparable to the GTO/442/Mustang/etc. books I have (and I'm sure they are) they'd be invaluable, especially to people who collect similar models accross model years.

The same publisher in 1985 (again briefly) published <span style="font-style: italic">Muscle Buicks</span>, by Thomas Bonsall. This was part of small <span style="font-style: italic">"Muscle"</span> series that covered most American muscle cars. Part introduction/part literature reproduction, this 96 pager is more an entertaining read than a technical guide.

Finally, for diecast model & literature fans, there's <span style="font-style: italic">A Guide to Buick Diecast and Collectibles</span> by Joey O'Connor. This is almost exclusively a (single) photo guide to different kinds of Buick collectibles. For someone new to the hobby it'd be useful to present the range of material available out there, but there's virtually no text and no values ascribed to the illustrations. Also it's heavily slanted to 1980's and later material (i.e. the oldest 1/24th scale model illustrated is from 1983, and the oldest item in the book is the brochure from 1970).

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Guest my3buicks

I think a fair warning for any of the aftermarket books to Buick owners is don't take any of the information as fact without checking more sources first, especially if it involves documentation for correctness on some aspect of restoration.

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Dave,

I was reading your post and the title "Buick Gran Sports A Source Book" by R. Perry Zavitz sounded familiar. I just checked my Buick bookcase and there it is! I picked it up at Hershey about ten years ago and had almost forgotten it. I noticed in the back there is an order form and there are 31 books available. It would be a great collection to have all 31.

Woody Michel

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Dave,

I was reading your post and the title "Buick Gran Sports A Source Book" by R. Perry Zavitz sounded familiar. I just checked my Buick bookcase and there it is! I picked it up at Hershey about ten years ago and had almost forgotten it. I noticed in the back there is an order form and there are 31 books available. It would be a great collection to have all 31.

Woody Michel </div></div>

Hang on to that one Woody, it's a very rare bird! cool.gif I've got 29 from that series, the highest numbered volume I have is #41. After #33 they stopped listing the rest of the books inside, so I don't know how many they eventually made. book.gif

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When it comes to 1982 Grand Nationals, I've got a collection of material that resulted from 15+ years of research. And all that time yielded very little, but I have it. If you have a need for any specifics on the 82 GN, just ask. I may have the answer.

I know, there's so few left around that prolly nobody will have any interest, but I figured I'd offer since I know an 82 was recently offered for sale on the board.

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Some picks I didn't see listed yet:

1)There is an obscure book called "The Good Old Days at The Buick" or something like that. I think the author is Lynn Reuter, or something similar (don't have the book handy). This is a great book of personal recollections from Buick employees....from General Managers to foundry workers. Many interesting stories from all eras.

2)How about Don Bent's new book on the history of the Buick site in Flint? It's available from the Sloan Museum.

3)Larry Gustin's book on Billy Durant. Has good info on the early days of Buick and its part in the formation of GM.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> 1)There is an obscure book called "The Good Old Days at The Buick" or something like that. I think the author is Lynn Reuter, or something similar (don't have the book handy). This is a great book of personal recollections from Buick employees....from General Managers to foundry workers. Many interesting stories from all eras. </div></div>

That is the exact title and author. I picked up a copy at one of the Nationals but I haven't read it yet.

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  • 3 weeks later...

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Their are also Buick Gran Sports A Source Book & Riviera A Classic Source Book published in the series, but I've yet to see one in 20 years of collecting the series. </div></div>

I just took delivery of <span style="font-style: italic">Buick Gran Sports A Source Book</span>, which I snagged off of eBay for a relatively low price because it was poorly described and in a bad category. It's much better than the Big Buicks book, and should be sought after by any GS <span style="font-weight: bold">or</span> Skylark fan, as it covers the "normal" Skylark as well from '61 on (with seriously diminished detail after 1965, naturally, with coverage missing entirely from '67 through '71). Wildcat and Riviera GS's have some small coverage as well, the Wildcat GS more thoroughly covered here than in the Big Buicks book.

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Guest imported_MrEarl

Santa brought me this neat little book of photographs, advertising and sales brochures from 1903 to 1973. Copyright by Highland Enterprises 1974

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  • 3 weeks later...

I don't know when they started but Buick had several "instruction" manuals for sales people. These were three ring binders, they contain lots of information, some of which is wrong, but at least it keeps us on our toes.

What I have for the 1988-1991 years is..........

* Product Manual

* Selling Manual

* Press Information

* Ad Planner

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"Buick's First Half Century" is a buick nut's "HOLY GRAIL".I wrote BUICK in '58,asking for info and BUICK sent me and my brother each a copy of their great history book.These should be reprinted and every buick nut surely would love a copy.Mine is looking tired and my brother passed away and his copy was lost.

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Greetings Buick fans,

Here are a few more ideas for your bookshelf. In every car show I go to, I carry in my car the RED BOOK, a value guide for used & new car dealers. It's a small, pocket-sized book crammed full of data; Serial #'s by factory/assembly plants, engine & tire sizes, new for the year features, weights, wheelbases, FOB & used car prices...really too much to list. I keep them in the trunk in a cigar box & they're INVALUABLE for on the spot research; like having a mini travelling encyclopedia. I have them from 1979-1926 (each one covers @ 7 model years, so you only need 7 or 8 overlapping issues to cover many decades).

We actually changed the BCA judging manual some years ago re tire sizes for a '47 Roadmaster, based on info in the Red Book. For many years, they even include front end pix of all models for easy identification & include domestic, foreign & truck data. You can find find them on ebay & at swap meets for not much money. Attached is a page from a '51 Red Book covering '50 & '49 Buicks. Look what you can learn from them! The only ones that matter are the ones that cover the 3-month period (@300 pages); the thinner monthly issues only have prices and are not good for reference.

Natch' you'll want the other books mentioned above, but I disagree about MOTOR's Flat Rate Manuals; it doesn't hurt to have a few around to give you an idea of how long a typical job will take when you start turning wrenches on your car. Also, pick up the shop manual updates that affected the running changes made each year for any given model; they're usually bound at the end of the model year, but you can find them separately as well. You'll be surprized what you'll find in them.

Lastly, consider investing in the Salesman's Fact Book for your year of car; they can be pricey, but are chock full of important data. The earliest one I have is for 1934, plus a '40 & a '57. Expect to pay $100-300 (OUCH), but they really are worth it.

There's much, much more out there than you'd expect, and as the saying goes, Knowledge is Power.

Happy Collecting!

Tom Gibson

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  • 2 months later...

I am looking for some help out there. We just bought a 1960 Buick LeSabre 4 door and a 1959 Buick (no name)2 door. The one I am mainly puzzled about is the 4 door. The man that we got it from said the motor was either a 364 or 401. I have not had any luck with the sites that I have visted to find out which motor it has. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> Can someone please point me in the right direction? <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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Guest imported_MrEarl

Crask3, if anyone can help you these guys can. Click here BUICK59 G'luck and would love to hear more about these 2 Buicks. the 59 and 60 are really gaining in popularity. You did good in obtaining two.

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I found a new one!

The Iconografix series is finally releasing a Buick version of it's <span style="font-style: italic">Photo Archive</span> series. <span style="font-style: italic">Buick: 1946-1960 Photo Archive</span> ( Amazon.com listing, Motorbooks.com listing) will be released on 11/24/06. If you haven't seen these, they're photo galleries of (usually) promo photos. They can be quite useful as a restoration reference. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

1583881786.01._AA240_SCLZZZZZZZ_V63564827_.jpg

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  • 5 months later...

hay,

i was wondering that as you have the book with fukll details of all buick engines, as to whether or not you could please tell me what the usual bore strock is for a 3.8 buick v6. if you could this would be most appreciated as i need the details to be able to put this motor into a standard stock.

thanks

lena <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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  • 2 months later...

I just bought a 69 skylark, it is a GSX cloan. Engine is a 350/350 turbo. Posi rear end, flowmasters. I want to put 411

gears, stall, intake, carb, ignition, cam kit, etc.

Are there any proven combinations for the 350 buick? My goal is to have the car run 13s, on 93 octane.

any suggestions?

Chris

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