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55 Buick...

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Gender: Gender:Male
Joined: 10 Mar 2005
User's Age: N/A
Posts: 111
Location: Near Newcastle, Oz-trail-ya

PostPosted: Thu, Aug 19 2010, 2:26 am    Post subject: 55 Buick... Reply with quote


I like seeing what other people are up to, and noted that its pretty quiet in here, so figuired it only fair that I 'put up or shut up' Wink and offer some dribble about one of my toys.

A couple of years ago now, circumstance forced me to look at finding a new form of transport to get to work, and whilst traditionally it has always been a ute, I decided to look at ‘family hauler’ this time around, but on a ‘classic’ kind of level, plus with the dollar being viable to go ‘shopping’ overseas.

At the time, I had a few friends also sourcing cars from Cal, and I had a ‘good’ friendship with a ‘individual’ from Bakersfield, who offered to help me sort out a deal. My budget & perspective Ied me to looking for a mid 50’s Buick/Olds, and resulted in buying a 55 Buick 2 door hardtop from Texas, having a local Texas friend look at the car on my behalf prior.

I had the car shipped to Bakersfield, and did some homework and ‘shopping’, whilst organizing the import approval etc. everything went ok, got the approval, and in the mean time, another friend from Melbourne also bought a car, what was similarly stored at this Bakersfield address.

Another friend did a quick photoshop to illustrate my intentions (at the time)

Lots of things happened, and the expected timeframe of sending the cars kept getting pushed back and back, all good reasons, but annoying considering the investment and the period of time moving cars around the world takes.

Sadly, the 'experience' didn't turn out as expected, and seemed to go from bad to much worse real quick. In the interest of time, will cut out a lot of the detail, but after a lot of phonecalls/emails/money & frustration, and approx. 12 months, we finally had the cars released from the ‘caretaker’, and delivered to Long beach.

Cars got here, and after some more stuffing around and money, the Buick was sent northbound from Melbourne, to my friends workshop, with the view of doing a ‘quick’ tidyup so that I could get it ready for rego.

It was such a relief to finally be able to see the ‘investment’ (that’s how I described it to Mrs Drewfus Wink Very Happy ), and for my 3 year old to finally see ‘daddy’s Boo-ick’, that was until I put it up on the Hoist.

Note: keep in mind we had already been treated to a ‘lifes learning curve’ when my brother bought his 49 merc, which turned out to be a POS, requiring a major overhaul, I should have know better….

Based on previous photo’s and information sourced from my Texan friend, I knew it was going to need a bit of attention to detail, but was told that it had the potential with just a bit of TLC and effort, sadly he didn’t really look too hard underneath the car at time of inspection…

Again, in the interest of time, will cut to the chase, and say that my Taxan contacts perspective on ‘acceptable’ rust levels, and my perspective are dramatically different.

My friend mentioned that he couldn’t lift the carpet to check the floors as it had been contact cemented down, but after putting the car on a hoist and seeing the crap underneath, I proceeded to remove the interior, to find sheets of alloy tech screwed to what was left of the floorpan (not many screw used…)

Here’s a sample of what I found..

Not happy.

Decided to do one half at a time….first the front

And the back,

much nicer...

Having access to a hoist proved to be a valuable commodity, with my perspective changing to now wanting a 4 post hoist of my own, and whilst I am yet to get it, hopefully soon.

Went through the car, and tidied a lot of things, got things actually working, and sorting out detail for NSW rego, this included H4 headlights, with inbuilt parkers, dipping to the left, new brake lines, getting the brakes to work, new steering items, kingpins, tierods, all that detail crap. Removed so much dirt from under car I’m amazed it got through customs (note: I did pay for the car to be cleaned in USA prior).

Re-did fuel supply, from tank to carb, although I aim to put it on gas in the near future, and fixed a bit more rust in the front gaurds etc.

Lots of stuffing around, but slowly ticking through the issues, ready for rego.

With a few days to spare, I got the car rego’d in time for my brothers wedding (Nov 2009, 2 years after originally purchasing car in Texas),

Plans for the future….do similar to what we did to the Merc, this involves fitting either a 401 Nailhead/T400,or prefferably a 455 Olds/T400, fit a Series 2 Jag front end, bags, 4 link rear, and a 9”. Lots of work, but, having done it all before, will be much easier this time around.

There are body repairs lurking, as the existing paintwork looks to be ‘questionable’, and I feel hiding some sins….hope to sort these out, and repaint in a Metallic Red roof (Toyota 'Wildfire" Wink Very Happy ), and white body.

I hope to make some discrete custom touches hopefully, looking for either a 55 pontiac or olds dash assembly (would a 56 Buick dash fit?), and some straight stainless side trim (removing the standard buick profile, thinking along the lines as the single spinner side spear). If I can find some 56 Chrysler tail lights, the buick units will be removed also.

With the above mods, and sitting 3” lower, I think it will start being what I want it to be, it will take a lot more time and money, but having goals are good.

One day at a time, for now, it’s making do with it’s bad habits, and enjoying it for what it is, sure beats driving a tired old ute home from work.

Kids love it, Mrs Drewfus is starting to appreciate it …..(although yet to drive it, she preffers to drive my brothers merc which I look after on his behalf).


Drewfus Very Happy

"Dear God,
help me be the MAN that my dog thinks I am......."
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chimp koose

Gender: Gender:Male
Joined: 10 Sep 2007
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Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada

PostPosted: Thu, Aug 19 2010, 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice car,too bad it wasn't what you expected when first delivered.
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Joined: 27 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Tue, Nov 23 2010, 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work Drewfus.
The floor condition is pretty much what I got in my 62 Buick Spec Convertible ,also the trunk floor. My "bonus" is bondo covered rust under a fresh paint job also.
Sadly this vehicle was sold to me by a supposedly large specialist reputable dealer in Miami. as a good running vehicle with "good floors".
Plus a list of suspension components newly replaced.
Non of the described items had been replaced.
It is a fact of life that sometimes peoples perception of good /reasonable or bad differ. Sadly also we have people who are prepared to blatantly mis represent vehicles for sale.
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