Tag: Buick Roadmaster

Restoration Conundrum: Keep it in driving condition, or give it the works? – Matt Litwin @Hemmings

Restoration Conundrum: Keep it in driving condition, or give it the works? – Matt Litwin @Hemmings

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In October 1998, somewhere in the vast sea of Hershey vendors, I was looking at fabric samples assembled in book form by Bill Hirsch. My all-original 1952 Buick Roadmaster had seen some miles under its two prior stewards, which had caused the fabric behind each door handle to fray, while the floor carpet and driver’s-seat back had seen far more glorious days. With a snippet of the car’s upholstery in my hand for comparison, the debate running through my head was, “Which do I start with; what would be the easiest?”

At 26 years old, I was determined to take the next step in automotive restoration. I had replaced the brakes, fixed a power steering fluid leak—the system an option on the Roadmaster that year—and replaced a few weather seals. Upholstery seemed simple enough. Especially floor carpet. Frankly, I was a little more than proud to own, drive, and display the car—I wanted it looking its best, despite my meager budget.

As I pondered my ability against a “close enough” color match, I was asked if I needed help by—I assumed—a staff member. Instead, I found myself talking to Bill Hirsch himself. He must have taken a keen interest in the plight that I had to have exhibited. After explaining the situation, Bill asked, “Do you enjoy driving your Buick?” Yes, was my quick reply, to which he said, “Then drive it. I’d love to sell you upholstery today, but honestly, I can tell by your enthusiasm that you enjoy using the car. You’re young; there will be plenty of time to restore it later when the whole car needs to be done, and we’ll still be making upholstery for it. When it’s ready, call me.” And with that, he shook my hand, slipped me copies of the samples I had been ogling, and flashed a reassuring smile.

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Roadmaster Reborn Part 2 – 1938 Roadmaster Sport Phaeton – Terry Shea @Hemmings

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AN AMATEUR RESTORER LEARNS AS HE GOES IN COMPLETING THIS 1938 BUICK 80-C SPORT PHAETON—PART II

Body and paintwork is not rocket science, but it’s hardly learned in a day, with great results almost always requiring extensive experience. Having worked in the automotive business for more than a decade and a half, first with a NASCAR team and now as part of a multi-state dealer group, Brian DePouli has spent plenty of time around cars, just not a whole lot of time in a paint booth. Still, that didn’t deter him from tackling much of the body and finish work during the restoration of his 1938 Buick Roadmaster 80-C Convertible, a process that we initially covered last month.

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AN AMATEUR RESTORER LEARNS AS HE GOES IN COMPLETING THIS 1938 BUICK 80-C SPORT PHAETON—PART II