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Old 12-27-2011, 06:01 PM   #1
RainierHooker
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Default RainierHooker's '38 Buick Special Business Coupe

Hey all, I posted a little bit about my project in my intro thread. Here, I'll give some more info, and as things progress, or if I come across any hurdles, I'll post any updates or project specific questions in here...

This is my 1938 Buick Special Business Coupe:


I bought her from a VW/Former-Buick Dealer in Oregon and wound up driving off the lot. She made it the 35 or so miles to my buddy's place in Hillsboro, popping, missing, and backfiring the whole way. She made it though. The car is going to reside in Hillsboro for a little while, but the drive gave me some direction on what to tackle first. I hope to be back down there with a pile of parts, and if needs be, a trailer to bring it back to my garage in Tacoma, WA, soon.

Plans for now include:

New tires (!!!) in the form of BFG Blackwalls.
Rebuild/Refresh of the stock brakes
Whatever it takes to get the 248 Strait-8 running like it should
Fix the Instrument cluster (the speedo cable makes a horrific noise)
Get the lights all working and add fogs (one headlight is out and no brakelights)

Cosmetically the car is pretty good, although the previous owner's Earl Schieb paint job doesn't do the car justice, nor does the amatuer re-upholstering job. I any case, the paint and interior will hold me over until I get the wild hair to do something about them. The single best part about the car is the steel, you could eat off the floor pans, and the only mildly distressing cancer we could find (we looked and tapped around the car for hours) is a questionable 3x4" chunk of bondo in one of the doors that shouldn't be too hard to fix (at least I say that now).

The end goal for this car is a mostly stock car with a bit of late-50's traditional hot-rod flair. Stay tuned.

Until then I'll leave some more pics...








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Old 12-27-2011, 06:07 PM   #2
29bowtie
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Default Re: RainierHooker's '38 Buick Special Business Coupe

That is a classy car, you have there!
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:20 PM   #3
Dangerous Dan
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Default Re: RainierHooker's '38 Buick Special Business Coupe

Great find, best part is it's different. Look forward to seeing it at the GM. picnic in Graham one of these days.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:35 PM   #4
RainierHooker
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Default Re: RainierHooker's '38 Buick Special Business Coupe

Thanks guys.

As to it being different, that was one of my rules I set for myself when I started looking for a project, it couldn't be a Chevy, Ford, or Plymouth. I was originally looking for an extinct or orphan marque, especially Studebaker or Hudson, since I grew up with more than a fair share of those in the family, but the fact that it is GM is somewhat of a relief on the parts-finding front. Oh and that OHV Strait-8 was love at first sight.

The plan is to have it reliably on the road by the end of March, hope to have this at more than a few meets after then...
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: RainierHooker's '38 Buick Special Business Coupe

I love those Buicks!

regarding the popping/banging...look for a fuel supply problem. If that isn't it, check the adjustment of the automatic choke.

been there, done that!

good luck with your beautiful car.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:56 PM   #6
charlief1
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Default Re: RainierHooker's '38 Buick Special Business Coupe

Very nice coupe. I started to buy one when I lived in TN years ago but just couldn't pull the trigger on it. Same color as well. Are you planning on doing any performance upgrades to the engine at all?
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: RainierHooker's '38 Buick Special Business Coupe

Beautiful coupe.
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:26 AM   #8
farmer12
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Default Re: RainierHooker's '38 Buick Special Business Coupe

That's one great looking car, well done!
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:49 AM   #9
larry woods
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Default Re: RainierHooker's '38 Buick Special Business Coupe

The car really is terrific. But I must confess as I looked at the pictures my mind started the "upgrades". All subtle but running gear, wheels, "Larry stop it! at 70 you should have out grown that!"
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:04 AM   #10
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Default Re: RainierHooker's '38 Buick Special Business Coupe

That's a pretty nice Buick there! The best part is you've got an attention-grabbing car to begin with. Keep us updated with what you do to it!
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:09 AM   #11
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Default Re: RainierHooker's '38 Buick Special Business Coupe

Knockout coupe bro, what beautiful brite work, really dig the cool bumpers and the awesome front overrider. Super cruzer, congrats and good luck. ~sololobo~
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:15 AM   #12
RainierHooker
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Default Re: RainierHooker's '38 Buick Special Business Coupe

Thanks guys. Plans are a very subtle 50's themed rod.

Appearance wise, its just going to be a lowered and raked stance with steelies and 41 Buick Caps. Maybe a Visor or Skirts, maybe both, maybe neither. Probably next winter, after I have a chance to enjoy the car is it is now, I'm hoping to strip her down and fix the few bits of cancer and repaint in Buick "Raphael Green", a kind of deep Jade color. I've got a friend who was a painter in a past life who's going to trade his time and spray-gun for my hand at restoring his '43 Ford GPW Jeep.

As to the performance front, for now I'm just going to try to get the car running right while I collect parts and ideas for a nice cruiser mill. Keeping it simple with the three c's: compression, cam and carburetion. There dosen't seem to be a whole lot of bolt-ons or reference material for these strait-8's, but it'll be fun to see what I can come up with. Dad is the shop manager at a place with a machine shop, I might try my hand at some fab-work...
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:09 AM   #13
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Default Re: RainierHooker's '38 Buick Special Business Coupe

http://www.inliners.org/main.html
Lot of things on that old Buick L8 - For a few bucks a year
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:41 PM   #14
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Default Re: RainierHooker's '38 Buick Special Business Coupe

Quote:
Originally Posted by LB+1 View Post
http://www.inliners.org/main.html
Lot of things on that old Buick L8 - For a few bucks a year
LOL You beat me to it. I deal with the old Buick draw through turbo systems and was thinking a draw through system would make it unique and the power could be adjusted quite easily. Here's a rough idea of what I was thinking. This is just the compressor housing with the carb adapter but I think you get the idea.
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:52 PM   #15
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Default Re: RainierHooker's '38 Buick Special Business Coupe

Sweet looking car! Looks cool just as it is, congrats!
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:17 PM   #16
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Default Re: RainierHooker's '38 Buick Special Business Coupe

I was so curious to see the car in a Taildragger stance so I couldn’t resist…
Add a set of wide whitewalls and consider it done. That’s my 0.2 centavos…

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Old 12-28-2011, 01:36 PM   #17
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Default Re: RainierHooker's '38 Buick Special Business Coupe

These are such nice cruisers when dialed in, and with an altitude adjustment look great.

For the interim you might consider a good cut and buff to make the current paint look better. You'd be surprised (or maybe not) how many Scheib dips can be made 5 footers from 20 footers with some quality sanding and wheeling.

You might also know that some '41s came with a split exhaust from the factory (along with the dual intake that can be tough to tune).............something else to think about swapping on.
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:02 PM   #18
richie rebel
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Default Re: RainierHooker's '38 Buick Special Business Coupe

really nice looking buick,i love it good luck with it...............
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Old 12-28-2011, 03:27 PM   #19
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Default Re: RainierHooker's '38 Buick Special Business Coupe

I'm thinking skirts and slipping a T-5 tranny in there and driving your butt off!!!!
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:27 PM   #20
RainierHooker
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Default Re: RainierHooker's '38 Buick Special Business Coupe

After all this crazy weather and distractions from things like work, I finally got the Buick home today.

She's a runner and a driver, but has some issues that have to be dealt with before I can really put her on the road. I'm pretty sure that most of the issues are just due to tuning issues and the fact that this car has sat so long. A distributor rebuild is number 1 on the list since, as I illuded to before, pretty much every time you increase throttle, the car starts coughing and sometimes backfiring up through the carb. Seems the advance isn't advancing. The carb was recently rebuilt by a reputable shop, so I'm pretty sure that's not a huge factor, but some jetting and choke adjustments may be in order. After that is tires, brakes, and just a good thorough tune.

Here she is after a wet journey to her new home with her new stable-mate...




(some of you may care to note the other car is my other pride-n-joy, a 1990 BMW E30 M3)
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