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54 Buick...opinions needed

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by evilkazeevil, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. I got a couple 54 Buicks setting around and aftermonths of him begging I am gonna throw one of them together as a driver for my old man. The plan is low budget, dependable, and it will be daily driven. As of now its a stock 54 Buick Super two door post with the stock 264 I think it is Nailhead. Well that is all gonna be gone because I am keeping the nailhead and tranny as I have another really nice Buick that it will find its way into. This car will be small block chevy with a 700r4 and a late model metric GM 10 bolt. I have a 86 Caprice donor car that will be donating the motor, trans, and rear. Here's where the question comes in. I'm usually against subframing for the most part, however I've did a bunch of them for other people. Since he is gonna drive the wheels off this thing though, and it's already giving up it nailhead and other Buick stuff I am considering just clipping the Caprice and using the whole front stub under the Buick. Ofcourse then the power steering, brakes, etc would be done. Anyone ever done it this way using the metric Caprice/Impala front frame section? I haven't even measured it, but I have an idea it is about the same width. Gonna do this as a winter project and it'll go fast and be done. What do you guys think of the front frame idea?
  2. oldcarfart
    Joined: Apr 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,438


    IIRC the Caprice/Impala subframe is too wide, I would breakout the good old tape measure and do some homework. BTW, willing to part with a couple of headlight buckets and outside headlight trim for a '53 chevy pickup project?? Thanks!
  3. chaddilac
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,799


    I think the malibu metric frontend is the better choice. Should be closer to the correct width.
  4. I will measure it out. I have an extra donor car that has the side trim and headlight buckets, inbox me. I have access to a metric Malibu, actually its an Elcamino. I will measure both
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  5. [​IMG]
    This is the car as I found it. Got three of them at once from a widow lady. Her husband had them for years. He had thick rubber on the ground under this one and it stayed covered. The bumpers, grill, etc were with it, just not on it. The sheetmetal is actually exceptionally clean. Just a few small repairs needed in the floors.
  6. Jonnie King
    Joined: Aug 12, 2007
    Posts: 2,077

    Jonnie King
    from St. Louis

    These are very cool cars...and these 2drs. are rarely done...most look for the HdTps. Malibu/Pontiac front end choice may work...Caprice not a good choice.

    Jonnie King
  7. First off, I can't wait to see it on the road. I love buicks. There is a 54' 4 door in my yard. I personally love them, even the 4 doors.

    As for the track width, I searched my stock pile of numbers and I couldn't come up with any exact numbers. The rear end is prolly 58-61" on the early buicks. So the front is prolly the same as well. I couldn't find the front end width on the Caprice, but I'm gonna lean towards it being too wide.

    78-86 monte should be 58.5" up front. if the numbers I found are correct.
  8. great find...don't see a whole lot of the 54 two doors cruising around...gonna be sweet...malibu should work
  9. Yeah, I am kinda fond of the Hardtops myself, hints why I am giving that one to the old man and keeping this one :)

    and I got this parts heep too. I got them all three from the same lady.

    I also got about two truck loads of parts including a complete set of mint 54 Buick wire wheels and a lot of non Buick parts including a mint set of 56 Olds headlight rings.....This lady is my best friend Seriously she is a super cool little old lady. Loves cars and the car world, runs the registration table at a lot of local car shows for a local club, just a super cool lady.
  10. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,756

    from vail az

    Love them old sweethearts.
    Youre a hero doin that for your Dad.
    I really dont have any tech help for ya, but encouragement IS half the battle.
  11. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 22,403

    Jalopy Joker

    cool-keep us updated on what you end up doing. I have a '54 Buick grill going to try using in my '51Ford.
  12. jazzfidelity
    Joined: Sep 19, 2011
    Posts: 371


    looks to be pretty straight, keep us posted.. you have a lot of options for the grill, will be great to see which way you go as it progresses..
  13. I think almost every chrome part on these old Buicks was used on many custom cars back in the 50's and 60's. The side trim was so popular that I never did find any at the local junk yards back in the early 60's when I was trying to customize my '50 Ford. Always wondered why more were not turned into customs themselves back then, neat cars:cool:.
    By the way my current '51 came from up your way a couple of years ago. I have changed it some since then. I would like a couple pieces of chrome if ya' got any laying around. Some would kill for those headlight frames:eek:

    Attached Files:

  14. I got atleast three complete extra sets of side trim and headlight buckets and trim plus extra pieces here and there. I know your car, it came from my buddy Tim White. I worked on it a bit when we changed out the dashes and rewired it. As for grill options this one will be mostly stock appearing from outside. Dad likes it that way. All I have heard since I got these cars is that he wants the two door post.....bla bla So finally I gave in an gave it to him and I am throwing it together for him over the winter. He wants it metallic green with a silve flake top. Gonna roll on a set of off brand Supreme look a like 15x7s and pinner whites. Thats the way he wants it. stock 54 Buick interior, but all done up in white with green piping, got the seats and stuff headed out tomorrow to my buddy Gene. This car was originally planned to be my 14 year old daughters car and was to be much more custom, but she took over my shoebox and dad got this one. When they are done I got a few other goodies stashed back for me, plus I get to be the lucky guy that drives which ever one I want to when ever I want
  15. Anyone stamping good quality sheetmetal for these old Buicks? I got her all torn down and there are just random rust holes here and there throughout the floors. If I could buy a whole new floor I would just go that route. If not I will get to making them myself soon, just trying to move along quickly and with the end result being done right so if I can buy them I would rather
  16. sololobo
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 7,882


    What a score, I love your respect for the selling lady. She sounds like one of those unsung heros of the people that really make those events run. I am sure she is glad to see the cars going into action and be used again. The 54's just make me weak in the knees. The grille, bumpers, trim, sweet lines and great interior appointments. Yikes!! Best wishes for success, even the parts car could be saved from the pix. Rock on ~sololobo~
  17. 1951Streamliner
    Joined: May 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,872

    from Reno, NV

    Looks like a great project! cant wait to see it come together.
  18. aacfmach
    Joined: Jul 17, 2009
    Posts: 28


    I bought some floor pans for my 53 from some place I found on the web, seemed to be the only company making them (can't remember who). The fit was terrible and they were pretty generic should have just made my own from scratch, would have been just as much work and saved me 250 bones. That's what i would do if I had to do it over again..
  19. LowCustom10
    Joined: Sep 15, 2009
    Posts: 16


    In my 55 special I did a 350/700r4 swap with a 64 nova 10 bolt. I just made new engine mounts and trans mount. Then I made a C/10 style trailing arm rear suspension and boxed all the frame rails so I had something sturdy to support the suspension. I will be posting a build thread sometime soon
  20. Sir Woosh
    Joined: Dec 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,273

    Sir Woosh

    A 74 Firebird subframe went perfectly under my my 55 Olds 2 door sedan. Put the dust caps right smack where the 55's were. Any Camaro/Firebird in that area will work just as well.
  21. Yeah, I figured the Camaro/Nova sub would work, just already had the Caprice setting here so thought I would try it. I haven't made up my mind completely on what to do yet. I may stick with the stock frame, disk brake swap, and do rack and pinion steering. The old man isn't in the best of health and I want it to be very driver friendly. God knows that 50's GM power steering aint the most driver
  22. shooter54
    Joined: Apr 25, 2006
    Posts: 5,094


  23. m.kozlowski
    Joined: Nov 2, 2011
    Posts: 117


    I have done frame swap of a caprice under my '55 buick. It can be done, but i would done it differently now, and i'm going to redo some of my work. Engine needs to be moved rearwards. Anyway width is ok, as long as you won't lower the car.
    I don't have a thread here yet, but you can check my website for some reference photos-
    Mine was well rotted (although in pics it doesn't show), so i went the route to replace floor and firewall too... an that was the mistake.
    Hope that helps.
    You have very nice Buicks :)
  24. dw123
    Joined: Nov 23, 2005
    Posts: 193


    You can't go wrong with a big ol' 54....
  25. MrEarl
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 114


    Holy Crap, I spoke with this lady Sweena Parlow or something like that over a year ago and could never get pictures of what all she had so I gave up. Bad mistake I guess:rolleyes:. Her daughter sent one picture of the hard top. She never said anything about the wire wheels either:eek::rolleyes::(.

    That 2 door sedan is a twin to the first '54 I ever owned back in '71. Sold it in 78 to buy my new bride a washing machine. Been looking for it for years since. It had grey and black interior.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011
  26. 64LeSabre455
    Joined: Dec 29, 2007
    Posts: 779

    from Adkins, Tx

    Here is a place that makes the floorpans.

    I have never used them so I am unsure of their quality. Good luck on the build.
    I would advise against the caprice clip. I think it would be easier to repair and replace front end components, and maybe upgrade the steering box!
  27. pimpin paint
    Joined: May 31, 2005
    Posts: 4,940

    pimpin paint
    from so cal


    Jus' my opinion, but why ''street rod'' this '54? The oem frontend, rebuilt with the sterring & the 264 will make a great road car! A cobbled together '86 Chevrolet front end ain't the dream ride guys like to lead you to beleve! All of that 350/350 & metric four link ain't gonna do much for the value of that old Buick if you wanna sell & trade off up the road!
    Leave the frame butchery to the street rodders & mini truck geeks I say!

    " Life ain't no Disney movie "
  28. I have done a lot of subframe jobs. On my own cars I prefer to leave stock frame, but I am building this as a low budget, quick build to be a good driver for my dad. The argument of stock frame verses sub frame can go on forever and has on here countless times, but I have just been kind of considering it. I know it would be a hell of a lot cheaper that doing the upgrades I would want to do to keep the stock front end and I can do it quickly and have it done. The car will be bagged all four corners anyway and will be SBC, so is the subframe really that out of wack?????
  29. pimpin paint
    Joined: May 31, 2005
    Posts: 4,940

    pimpin paint
    from so cal


    Sub frames, bags & a SBC..................a very sad fate for a cool old Buick to meet:eek: It's great we live in a country where it's still legal to do this to an old vehicle, good luck with your father's build.

    " Meanwhyle, back aboard The Tainted Pork "
  30. Yep, sure is great that we live in a free country where we can do as we please. This is the lesser of two good cars I have. The other will retain the stock nailhead, frame, rear, etc and be a mild custom with just few body and interior mods and accesories. I am building this the way he wants it and he will be happy, if you want one stock go buy one and build it yourself

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