Australian Pre War - Buick Car Club of Australia Inc. (Qld.)

Australian Pre War - Buick Car Club of Australia Inc. (Qld.)

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BUICK CAR CLUB OF AUSTRALIA PRE WAR DIVISION

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keep the story focused.

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Editor’s Comment We were starting to have some issues starting our ’36 some time ago. Very slow turnover of the motor and sometimes you were lucky to start her. I always suspected that there was an earthing issue, refusing to blame the six volt set up that she came with from the factory.

Editorial Homage

A number of people gave us the “just make her 12 volts and problems are over” story but we always resisted. Rightly or wrongly I believe that if it worked from the factory it should work now. A more recent issue saw the car stop during a routine warm up session, and apparently for no reason. We called in the auto electrician and immediately identified a simple issue and resolved it.

“I always suspected an earthing issue. .”

He then went on to discuss the 6 volt/12 volt issue and agreed that there was no need to change the voltage. He undertook to upgrade the power connections and earths to a more suitable size (they had been changed over time) and also to do a quick review of the starter motor bushes etc.

The end result is that our 36 now turns over like a new car proving the point, to me at least, that if the car is as factory spec’ed it will operate correctly. I am having similar discussions with other enthusiasts regarding the Marvel carburettor on our ’28. Our intention is to leave it as factory whilst others attempt to convert me to inverting the manifold and putting on a more modern carby, plus the 12 volt conversion of course.

you do as well. Great supporter Peter Stone has provided us with some fantastic old factory photos with which I have made a quiz initially and ultimately will share with the readership over the coming couple of editions. Just back on the modified Buick line for a moment, if you are into modified Buicks then you will enjoy our next issue which will feature a number of recently modified Buicks.

After the six volt issue with Cybil, my resolve remains intact to keep the ’28 factory standard.

However to balance it we will also include some Buicks that were modified many years ago and pre-war.

We are happy to take opinions of these matters and more here at Australian Pre War BUICKS [email protected] or by return email when you receive the eMagazine.

I expect that the edition will draw some comment but of course we welcome and respect all opinions.

This edition we have started to look at prewar garages and where possible get a Buick link. Cranbourne in Victoria is our first and I think we got the linkage okay. We’ll see how we go down the track but I find old garages somewhat fascinating and I hope

Tim O’Grady’s newly restored ’36, which we highlighted briefly last edition, does demonstrate that there is still plenty of more traditional restoration ongoing in the Buick fraternity within Australia however variety is the spice of life. Please enjoy this edition of the eMagazine.

Flxible Mooring Mast So why are we looking at the Goodyear airship in this edition of Australian Pre War BUICKS? I have attached a link to a short British Pathe Company newsreel that I came across recently. It was shot to celebrate the first portable mooring mast for airships in 1930.

The name Goodyear will not be new to any motor enthusiast however the Flxible Company may not. The first portable mooring mast turns out to be a Flxible built coach on a Buick chassis. I will touch more on the Flxible Company next issue and into the future. http://www.britishpathe.com/video/ first-portable-mooring-mast/query/ Washington

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First Buick in Cranbourne, Victoria

It was after World War 1 that service stations or garages began to appear around Australia. This example from Cranbourne, Victoria proudly advises its foundation in 1919 and offering a wide range of services including car hire – day or night! LB Poole was Lawson Burdett (Gustav) Poole, born 1898 to William and Mary Poole. The Poole family were leading figures in the Cranbourne area since very early in the Cranbourne history. Lawson opened the first garage in Cranbourne in 1919 after attending Swinburne Technical College and at the age of only 21. Our interest lay with his other notable achievement; he is credited with having the first car in Cranbourne, a 1918 Buick. He also had the first telephone in 1920 and the first talking picture plant in 1929. He must have been quite the entrepreneur. I have not been able to ascertain what model of Buick he acquired but would guess it would have been an open car similar to the brochure shot above. For those that need a reminder of what a 1918 Buick was like here is a link to YouTube for a quick

refresher. https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=zhy5QwGtPO4

“Lawson opened the first garage in

This is a D-45 model.

Cranbourne in 1919 . . At the age

The local football field is now named after him.

of only 21.”

The second photo shows how the garage expanded over time. I do note that air was still free!

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Martin’s ‘29 Sports Roadster Martin Jansen is no newcomer to our pages and his collection of Buicks, both pre-war and later, continues to grow as time passes. It was at the Queensland Buick Club’s annual Christmas break up lunch in 2014 that Martin arrived in this, his latest acquisition - a 1929 Buick Master Sports Roadster. Martin has quite a story to go with this car and its purchase from a Sydney auction back in 2012.

“I bid for the car by phone from Tasmania . .”

I’ll let Martin continue with his story on the purchase and modification processes he undertook: “This 1929 Buick 44X (model code for an export master roadster) was advertised in a Shannons auction in Sydney in 2012. As I was on my way to the Buick nationals in Tasmania

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with Col Hinxman, we stopped off in Sydney to check it out. We were able to hear it run, but not for long as they did not want fumes in their showroom. I found out that it belonged to a Peter Chadwick from Mittagong and that he belonged to the Berrima car club and he may also have been a NSW Buick Club member. The car was at the Australian Bicentennial Castrol world rally in 1988 as fellow club member Adrian Dearling had seen it there. I bid for the car by phone from the Tasmania Nationals Dinner and was successful in buying the car, and then the fun started. I asked for a safety certificate oil and fluid check in Sydney with a view of driving it home. $700 later, no go! They said it had a few issues and would not pass a safety certification so it was trucked to Brisbane to see what all the fuss was about.

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As it turns out I found only three parts on the car that were not worn out, being kingpins, front shackle pins & front wheel bearings. The body was fine; the paint was good, nice green leather upholstery so the car looked the goods. However this was only skin deep and it took a couple of months to assess the situation and a total mechanical restoration was undertaken. For some strange reason I started at the rear end with wheels, hubs, brakes, shocks all being worn out. The diff moved from side to side by what seemed like ½ inch as the locating lugs were loose and worn out. These all had to be repaired. At the same time, the torque tube moved forward & back 3/8 of an inch resulting in worn gearbox housing and a worn out torque ball. So the housing had to be built up and machined, a new ball being made from two old ones.

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Martin’s ‘29 Sports Roadster Axle keyways and hubs were machined true and threads machined, as years of bashing with hammers had taken a toll with the result that no wheel ran true. The brakes were totally worn out and not very efficient, so it was decided to convert the brakes to hydraulic using a split Holden master cylinder for safety using ideas from a fellow Buick member that had done such a conversion using all Buick parts left over from other Buicks [i.e.] front shoes 2 1/4inch X 12inch rear 2 inch front giving ample stopping power in modern traffic. New rear axle bearings were sourced and neoprene seals used. The whole car was converted to neoprene seals in the engine, gearbox, steering box front wheels, no more felts or leather. If a seal size was not available spacers were made up to fit as I have a good machinist who can think things through and make it work. Shock absorber brackets were

made, both front and rear, to accommodate the new telescopic shocks. A single plate clutch was installed in which a 23lb weight reduction of the flywheel was created as the clutch now fits inside the Bell Housing, this necessitating the custom building of a new throw out bearing housing to accommodate a larger bearing resulting in a very smooth clutch and equally smooth gear changes. The car was also changed to 12volt and an alternator fitted. New quartz halogen headlight bulbs were fitted as the original bulbs were 15 candle power both beams. A left hand tail light bracket was sourced from the USA with a tail light so it matched the right. LED indicators were fitted in the white slot of the tail light so it is safe in daylight as well as night.

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Martin’s ‘29 Sports Roadster Now for the engine, it had a lot of blow by caused by a chattering boring bar and not honed out so the rings wore quickly. My machinist had worked at an engine reconditioning business in Benalla Victoria and suggested talking to him about the engine. He was very knowledgeable and had done a lot of homework as by this time 18 months had passed and everything was in a thousand pieces. I was still sourcing and designing modifications but I was lucky enough to buy a spare engine in Melbourne on eBay and was able to use the block for my motor. It was bored out to 60 thou’ oversize making it a 320 cubic inch engine. The engine modifications that were used are as follows: new con rods with slipper bearings, high compression pistons i.e.84 lbs compression to 160 lbs or 4.3 to 7.85 or there about, a new camshaft was made to specs that would suit the new compression ratio. A fully balanced engine, elec-

“It was bored out to 60 thou’ . .”

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tronic ignition and a new inlet manifold to suit a 350 holly carburettor resulting in16 to 20 miles to the gallon and 85 horse power at the rear wheels and 570 Ft lbs of torque at 70 kph. These mods were done to make it reliable and enhance the performance and the end result is fantastic! The last thing now was to try and fit power assist steering to make it easy to park, as it would make it a lovely car to drive. I can be contacted about any aspects of the modifications at any time on 0409664236or [email protected] Cheers Martin”

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Martin’s ‘29 Sports Roadster

“Looks standard .. Runs like a modern!”

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Historic Buick Photos This shot from Western Australia depicts what is believed to be a 1927 Buick Sports Tourer. The caption includes “This car instantly catches the eye on account of

its handsome appearance . .” The bumpers would have been an after-market item as factory fitted bumpers were not available before 1928 in

the US and possibly later in Australia.

It was created by Mrs Ryan circa 1930 on the road between Healesville and Maryville in the Dandenong Ranges. This road remains a

tourist attraction to this day and presents some terrific scenery to the modern motorist as it did to the motorists of the twenties and thirties.

“From your State Archives”

This photo from the Victorian State Archives depicts a Buick car parked by the Rotunda at Narbethong, Black Spur, Victoria.

Black Spur today

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The ’37 Brewster Buick Roadmaster Limo Last edition we started the Brewster Limousine series and featured a 1936 model with open drivers compartment. This edition we have uncovered a 1937 model fully enclosed car that was originally purchased new by Ester Maria Chapin, the wife of one of the founders of MerrillLynch. It should be noted that she originally purchased this body on a 1935 Ford and then had it transferred to a new 1937 Buick as recorded by the Brewster Society. The car is in near original condition with just over 103,000 miles on the odometer. The colour was changed from maroon to a dark green in 1960 and it was reported that whilst still in good condition the car overall was showing some signs of its age. The rear upholstery is original and in good condition with the carpets beginning to show some signs of wear. Overall a good car and at the time of offering on eBay it had a buy it now price of just under $50,000. The car was recently for sale in California through a dealer for a price closer to $25,000. A bargain in my mind!

“A bargain in my mind!”

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From the Brochure of the day

“.. who is believed to have installed the twin carb

A Buick’s Buick

Geoff and Mary Buick from New Zealand have provided some great shots of their 1939 Series 90 Buick sedan to become our first international car in the e-Magazine. They purchased the vehicle from Adams Prestige Car Sales in NSW about 18 months ago and after naming the vehicle “Hughie” after Geoff’s grandfather Hugh Buick, had it shipped to NZ. You may recall the photo of their under restoration 1929-

55X which appeared in a previous edition of Australian Pre War BUICKS, well they have named that vehicles “Annie” after Geoff’s grandmother.

visiting people; we won’t be leaving the car in the shed. It has already been used for a couple of weddings including when our daughter was married last October.”

Previously the 90 Series belonged to David McGain who is believed to have installed the later model twin carb motor from a 1942 donor car.

“We wish to thank all the Aussie Buick Club members who have helped us with information and also parts for the ’29, especially Jeff Bidstrup. Information and parts are thin on the ground over here, but currently there is a movement afoot to get the NZ Buick Club going again. We’d also like to come over to Aussie for a Buick event some time.”

The car has been tracked by a few Buick club members over recent years including one sighting by Jeff Bidstrup who saw it for sale near Cessnock, NSW. Rumours that the car was once owned by Basil Keir have yet to be substantiated. The vehicle was built in Flint and not Canada, as many other imported Buicks to this part of the world have been. Geoff comments that “We will be using Hughie to travel to events, around town and

motor . . “

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Of course we would all enjoy a visit from the Buicks to a Buick event in Australia! Geoff has also provided a copy of the original advertisement wording for this car which may open some interesting dialogue with readers.

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A Buick’s Buick This rare Fisher Body, right hand drive built, 8 seater limousine has a wonderful history which is well documented. There were only 543 of these 90 Limited edition Buicks ever built in 1939. This particular vehicle was built in Canada for Australia, we think it was ordered new by the Australian Government to be supplied for the Commonwealth fleet and was the formal transport for the federal government minister and perhaps even the prime minister of the time Sir Bob Menzies was chauffeur driven in this car. This information was on the Buick car club of Australia website. This vehicle is still largely original and features the dual carburettor system. This vehicle has had the same owner for around 25 years and for the past 8 years it has been used as a vehicle to chauffeur guests on wine tours around a vineyard. This vehicle is in extremely good condition as the photos show. Being a 1939 limited edition fisher body RHD providing 8 seats and a straight eight powerful engine makes this a very rare commodity with a wonderful history on full NSW registration. Ready for you to jump in and drive home. Thanks to Geoff and Mary for sharing their 1939 90 Series Buick with us.

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From the Argentine with Coffin The funeral business in South America can be quite a lavish event. Considerable detailing is done when converting autos into hearses, even more so than in Australia. It is also the norm to have the coffin fully exposed to the elements with the exception of a small parasol roof affair that is elaborately ornate to say the least.

is apparently of a 1929 Buick Argentinian hearse in as found condition.

of the rear detail which could only be compared to the Michael Keaton Batmobile.

The second photo appears to be the same, or a similar, hearse in cleaned up condition. I am sure that both would add considerably to the event on the day!

I have a couple of photos of an even grander Cadillac hearse from Argentina but I will save those for a pre-war Cadillac newsletter at some future date . .

The final photo shows some

The top photo shown here

“It is also the norm to have the coffin fully exposed . .”

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An Evolving Hearse In an earlier incarnation, the 1929 Buick hearse in the last story was used in the funeral of Hans William Lansdorff. He was the Captain of the pocket battleship Graf Spee in the early parts of WW2. Of note is the different treatment of the front cab area of the hearse. It is clear that it does not have any cover over the driver. Additionally, the cross is higher than the later version seen on the previous page.

“Thus we have an evolving

The front bumper in these earlier photos is also the factory version and is multibarred whilst the later version has a single bar bumper.

hearse.”

Thus we have an evolving hearse. Please excuse the photo quality of this second shot, it is extracted from a video I suspect.

War Propaganda In times of war many companies sought to garner public support for their products by emphasizing their contribution to the war effort. This was true of many companies including companies that provided food stuffs and even chocolates to the soldiers. It should therefore come as no surprise that Buick also joined in to tout their product.

In the case of this poster, the valve-inhead slogan was used to promote the Buick range whilst garnering support for the product and at the same time portraying the enemy as the evil Hun, complete with blood soaked hands. Very dramatic!

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Orange 2015 Part One So if you think that pre-war cars are hard to find out and about then you should have been in Orange NSW over the first weekend in May. Roving reporter and pre-war enthusiast, John Lee, was there and captured this shot of the field.

Orange District Antique Motor Club

John advised that this was only about 1/4 of the 92 pre1931 cars that attended. John’s red 1924 is in the centre of the photo. This biannual event, the Orange Autumn Rally, has gone from attracting less than 40

cars in 2005 to over 90 cars this year including 18 cars from before 1918.

A great effort and a clear demonstration that old cars rule – okay!

The cars put on a public display outside of Wade Park in Peisley Street, Orange for an hour before departing on a round of social and driving activities around the Orange district.

John was not the only reporter on the scene at Orange. Peter Cook has also provided a great recap of this rally, and some fantastic photos, which commences on page 16 of this edition of Australian Pre War BUICKS.

Keith Packham, an Australian Pre War eMagazine contributor, was the contact point and an organiser of the rally that I am advised was described as a great success. Well done Keith.

Just 1/4 of the field at Orange, 2015

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Buick Car Club 40th Anniversary Run A number of pre-war cars turned th

out for the 40 Anniversary run for the Queensland branch of the Buick Car Club held in Warwick over the weekend of 1-3 May 2015. Ken Forster attended, with his brother Stephen along for the ride, in his 1925 Tourer which was the oldest Buick on the run. At the other end of the time scale, we had hoped to see Bryson and Ione Talamini’s 1941 Sedanet however they opted to go a bit more modern (1952 sedan) at the last moment (a great car nonetheless). Nicely tucked into the years between we saw Martin Jansen in his freshly acquired 1929 Roadster, Hedley and Barbara Dearling in their extremely well-travelled 1930 Roadster, Neil and Judy Hilton in their 38 sedan and Adrian Dearling brought along his modified 38 convertible. Dave and Colleen Wilson were a late withdrawal and so we missed their company and of course their 1935 sedan while Jeff and Marilyn Bidstrup made a late change to a Riviera for reasons of wet weather storage prior to the event. A relaxing weekend away saw us visit a number of heritage sites around Warwick after a morning tea arranged by locals Ken and Florence Farrell. That evening the club put on a welcoming evening function on Friday night that was almost a weather washout. Departing for a tour of the flat lands of the Downs on the Saturday included stops at the Mary Poppins house at Allora, lunch at the Irish Pub at Clifton and a return trip to Warwick where we enjoyed a meal at the Warwick Hotel.

Sunday saw us get together at a remote bush location for a secret car show and peer judging to find out which cars were considered the most desirable (drivers own cars not included of course) before setting off for Killarney and Queen Mary Falls which were in full flow after the rain. We were surprised and delighted to have two spectators arrive at the show unannounced but most welcomed. All participants did the run up the hill to Queen Mary Falls before returning to Warwick and the official event dinner at the golf club. Two cars were selected as the cars of the 40th meet and trophies awarded. The winner of the pre-war trophy was Martin Jansen in his immaculate 1929 Roadster which features in this edition of Australian Pre War BUICKS. Overall, an enjoyable weekend away, very relaxed and without pressure.

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Orange 2015 Part Two The Orange District Antique Motor Club run an Autumn Tour around the district and we heard about it when John Forster sent an email to “Pre War” Buickers at the suggestion of John Lee. We have some friends in the district so we joined the rally. It’s about 250km to Orange; we went a day early and it was a great trip except for the heavy rain crossing the Bells Line of Road to Lithgow. We all know brakes are “random” in heavy rain in the ’25 so some of the descents were tough on the sphincter. The rally was restricted to pre 1931 vehicles and they had 90 entries. Buicks were well represented with examples from 1920, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1927, 1929 and 1930 (there was also going to be a 1916 but Laurie had trouble with his tow car):

Orange is the place to be in Autumn

This rally is restricted to pre 1931 vehicles and they had over 90

1920 Buick K44. A recent restoration and owned by Richard Woodley. The wheels are enormous.

entries!

Reg Johnson’s 1923 Tourer (photo not from the rally)

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The optional climb up Mount Canobolas to 1395 meters through some dirt was completed by many with no vac tank issues for anyone. Absence of younger cars and the country roads set a pace which was quite comfortable. Mechanical performance of this old cohort was really good. A recently worked on Chev starved for juice and a 1929 Austin 7 Latrobe Sports suffered mystery illness inside the bellhousing causing need for a stretcher (trailer).

John Lee’s 1924 45X

All in all, we had a great time with a friendly bunch of enthusiasts and our thanks go to Keith and Nancy Packham and their crew for their organisation. Peter Cook

Very original Master 1927 with long family history belonging to Heinz and Nicola Hendricksen of Lithgow district. (sorry about the poor photo)

Our 1925 at the Woolshed

1929 Silver Anniversary. Fantastic new restoration by Wayne Clout of Wagga, this was just second trip.

Keith and Nancy Packham’s 1930

Orange 2015 Part Two

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Model 37-91 F From Hershey Pa. to Scottsdale, Az. Lee Gurvey purchased this 1937 Buick 91-F at Hershey in 1999 from a line-up of cars available.

Please enjoy the few photos here and for more detail go to the Hemmings site.

He has since driven the car all over the USA and most recently picked up a Class win for American Classic Closed auto in the Arizona Concours d ’Elegance in January 2015. Scottsdale is where the car is now based.

All Front!

This car is currently featured in the April edition of Hemmings and I recommend this article to all of the readers.

“With only 156 91-Fs made, I wonder if these are the same car?”

In 1980 the movie The Fiendish Plot of Dr Fu Manchu was released and within that movie a Buick Series 91 F was seen in a couple of scenes. I have included a snap shot from the movie to demonstrate how a true limo takes a corner. With only 156 91-Fs made, I wonder if these are the same car?

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Give Way! In a pre-war world I expect that this sort of accident was unlikely although I am sure the potential did exist for a biplane to make an ill-advised landing also. The caption that accompanied this photo suggested that motorists are advised that in all circumstances, right of way should be given to Hellcats.

tank produced by Buick and not a plane, but who is going to argue with one?

Which is the real Hellcat?

For the record, I include a Hellcat tank under construction photo.

Wise words it appears. Of course we Buick enthusiasts would suggest that a Hellcat was a

What Next in the E-Magazine Next issue we look at modified Pre War Buicks. Love them or loath them they appear to be making a come back, and to celebrate this new life some of our old Buicks are gaining, we will feature three Australian built Buick hot rods. But to demonstrate that there is nothing new under the sun, as the expression goes, we also look at

some of the very early versions of modified Buicks. None more important I guess than the Y Job! We take a quick look at a couple of Moal modified 1918 Buicks, one of which resides in Australia in the care of Jim and Virginia Russell in Sydney. We finish with a look at what may well be the most famous privately

built Buick that is possibly not even a Buick. It carries a pre war Buick motor and that may be enough for us.

This e-magazine is produced under the auspices of the Buick Car Club of Australia Qld Inc. to cater for the needs of car enthusiasts with an interest in Pre War Buicks. The Buick Car Club of Australia Qld Inc.

It is a medium created for the exchange of stories and ideas. Its aim is to support enthusiasts in the preservation and use of the Buick Automobiles built between 1903 and the end of 1941.

Phone: 555-555-5555 Fax: 555-555-5555

The editors welcome contributions at [email protected]

E-mail: [email protected] The editors reserve the right to include subWhen Better Automobiles Are Built Buick Will Build Them

mitted articles or not at their discretion.

The Last Word—At Last a Quiz Intrepid discoverer of all things Buick, Peter Stone, has, with the help of a friend in Flint, Dan Bowers, come across a number of prewar Buick snaps from the factory. These have immeasurable value both to the historian and to the restorer. The photograph attached here shows new motors in their delivery packaging ready for installation into new Buicks. Are you able to pick which year model

these motors are built for? I know the date of the photo so I am pretty sure I know the answer, but welcome your comments.

The prize could be a free subscription to Australian Pre War BUICKS, but we all have one of those already. So this is just for fun.