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Projects New Guy with a 56 Buick

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by LuckyStrike56, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. LuckyStrike56
    Joined: May 19, 2014
    Posts: 7

    LuckyStrike56
    Member

    Hello HAMB!
    My name is Matt and this is my first post. I joined the HAMB a while ago while doing some research to buy a car. I just got medically discharged from the Military after 11 years and was never able to build myself a custom car because I had to move a lot. Well I now have a 1956 Buick special 2door and I'm in love with it. I got it after the sacramento swap meet over the summer for 5k. It ran and drove when i got it. Im just trying to figure out what direction to go with it. I figured before I start asking questions i would introduce myself and show you guys my car.

    . IMG_1419.JPG
    Its all stock, runs good and isn't missing anything. I put an Edelbrock carb and some fender skirts on it recently. I want to build it into a mild custom and a dependable driver. I want to keep it white, french the lights, shave everything but the side trim and port holes. Lower it a few more inches, replace the dynaflow with a 700r and put disc brakes on it so i can get this boat to actually stop in a respectable distance. Ive got some fabrication skills but i will definitely be learning as i go. I want to do all of it myself accept for the interior. Thanks for checking out my car
     
  2. Dick Stevens
    Joined: Aug 7, 2012
    Posts: 2,887

    Dick Stevens
    Member

    Welcome to the HAMB, nice looking car, would be even better if you would post a few more pictures, we love pictures ;):rolleyes::cool:
     
  3. SicSpeed
    Joined: Apr 23, 2014
    Posts: 650

    SicSpeed
    Member
    from Idaho

    Nice Buick. And Welcome to the HAMB. Your about a 45 min drive from me.
    After High School I worked for a Buick dealer for about 4 years after getting fired from my job building firetrucks. I have a passion for Buick's. Looks like you got a smokin deal. If you have the stock Buick wheels and want to sell I'd be interested.
     
  4. Nice ride....5 Gs seems like a good deal. Welcome back to civilian life
     

  5. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,942

    missysdad1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I've been through a lot of what you've got planned with my '55 Special Tourback Sedan, Matt, and would be happy to help in any way I can.

    A thorough cleanup of the gingerbread so that the "checkmark" side trim and the portholes dominate the exterior is all these cars need to look great. Adding extra custom "stuff" just takes away from the very clean original styling.

    Mechanically the mid-'50s Buicks are a nightmare to update primarily due to the closed drive shaft tube. So unless yours has a terminal driveline illness I'd suggest you keep it all stock except for a very mild altitude adjustment and disc brakes on the front.

    Good luck and keep us posted with lots of photos.

    buick with model 1.jpg
     
  6. Great looking car! Welcome to the Hamb and thanks for your service. Tim
     
  7. LuckyStrike56
    Joined: May 19, 2014
    Posts: 7

    LuckyStrike56
    Member

    SicSpeed,
    The wheels that came with it were 60s riviera and i sold them, But ill keep my eyes open for stock wheels. I would like to get a 56 parts car so if you see one for a good price let me know.
     
  8. LuckyStrike56
    Joined: May 19, 2014
    Posts: 7

    LuckyStrike56
    Member

    Thanks man! I would still be in if i didn't get hurt
     
  9. LuckyStrike56
    Joined: May 19, 2014
    Posts: 7

    LuckyStrike56
    Member

    Your 55 is awesome! I love the lines on these bucks. Until I bought mine i never really paid attention to them.
    Mechanically its good but the dynaflow leaks like its allergic to ATF. I figure if i go through all the trouble of pulling it and replace more seals i may as well update it a little. Ive been on the hunt for the parts to convert it to open a open driveline. The trans adapter isn't hard to source but i need a center section from a 61. After that I'm pretty much set, I even have everything to build a link suspension for the rear.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  10. Clevername
    Joined: Feb 18, 2011
    Posts: 315

    Clevername
    Member

    That is a F'in steal for 5k!
     
  11. 58 Delpala
    Joined: Sep 25, 2009
    Posts: 334

    58 Delpala
    Member
    from NC

    Thank you for your service to our wonderful country. Your Buick looks very nice and you got it for a good price too. I like your ideas for it because with those buicks the KISS method seems the best.
     
  12. Man,that is a nice Buick,Welcome to the site Matt!

    Thought a larger photo would be appropriate. HRP

    [​IMG]
     
    Arabie777 likes this.
  13. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,942

    missysdad1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Building a rear suspension that actually works properly and doesn't ride like a truck or a whale may prove more difficult than you anticipate due to the rear bias of the X-member. There's just not much room for the control arms and you can't stick 'em on just anywhere and expect the car to behave properly. Be sure to have an HONEST heart-to-heart talk with people who have ACTUALLY DONE a SUCCESSFUL 4-link conversion ON A '55-'56 BUICK before you start cutting yours up. There's lots of guys who TALK a good game but do so only to hide the painful fact that they've ruined their car and don't want anybody to know.
     
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  14. OlSchoolCruizin
    Joined: May 18, 2009
    Posts: 105

    OlSchoolCruizin
    Member
    from Tampa, fl

    Great looking Buick! Had to sell my 56 last year and eventually will buy another. IMO they were a mild custom right off the line. The solid white looks great too.
     
  15. Matt. Awesome car, awesome dude. I love it.
     
  16. NICE RIDE MATT.. KEEP THE FACTORY DRIVELINE..... JUST FIX THE LEAKS AND DRIVE THE PISS OUT OF IT..
     
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  17. gatz
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 1,500

    gatz
    Member

    That's a great-looking car, Matt.

    Thanks for your service and enjoy the ride.

    Gatz
     
  18. I don't know how much "permanent" customizing I'd want to do to a car like this. It's already pretty clean and devoid of gingerbread the way it is. A simple two-tone paint scheme could make this a real eye-popper.

    Years ago Buick used to particularly proud of their brake systems and bragged about them in their ads. It's never going to handle and stop like a newer car but it might be worth making sure that the current brakes are working as well as they can. I can understand wanting to upgrade the Dynaflow but leaks can probably be fixed a lot more easily than re-engineering the rest of the driveline.


    Either way it looks like a great set of wheels to start with. Check your PMs.
     
  19. buikwag
    Joined: Apr 21, 2005
    Posts: 472

    buikwag
    Member
    1. Buick Nailheads

    A really nice 56 Buick. I have had mine for a few years and have made some changes. A 401 Dual Quad rest where the 322 use to be. Power Disc Brakes, 700R4 replaces the Dyna flow and a Ford Rear end for open Drive. Heres a link to a video of the first time we fired the new motor. Good Luck with your project.
     
  20. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,942

    missysdad1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    How about some photos of your rear suspension setup? This is really the big hangup with '55 and '56 Buick updates. If there's a simple way of doing it that will result in a truly pleasing ride and handling car there are many owners just waiting to know about it. Thanks!
     
  21. Matt, 005.JPG we love buicks here.Bruce.
     
  22. LuckyStrike56
    Joined: May 19, 2014
    Posts: 7

    LuckyStrike56
    Member

    Thanks for all the advice and kind words.
    Some pictures of your rear suspension would be great if you have any. I've done some suspension work before but seeing a proven set up always helps.
    The buick Wagons are Bitchin! I would love to have one as a project and the 401 is very cool. What sold me on the buick was the nailhead. It's a very cool looking engine and it's nice to have something different.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  23. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,253

    Gman0046
    Member

    Super nice looking 56 Buick which has a great body style. Sorry but I can't imagine those huge fender skirts on that great looking car.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
  24. LuckyStrike56
    Joined: May 19, 2014
    Posts: 7

    LuckyStrike56
    Member

    I was on the fence about the skirts until I put them on. Now I can't imagine it without them. But to each his own. There are some cars I don't like them on for sure.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  25. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,942

    missysdad1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Well, since you asked... The installation was done by Carl Meridith at Carl's Automotive in Red Oak, Texas, and is flawless in all respects after 10,000+ miles and a fair amount of drag strip time. Great job, Carl!

    DSC_0020.JPG DSC_0024.JPG DSC_0031.JPG
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
  26. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,253

    Gman0046
    Member

    Super looking open drive set up. Too bad Buick didn't make them that way. That torque tube was always a PITA.
     
  27. LuckyStrike56
    Joined: May 19, 2014
    Posts: 7

    LuckyStrike56
    Member

    That is really nice and looks like it came that way in 55. Ive got something simular planned for my suspension. thanks for the pics.
     
  28. U-235
    Joined: Dec 18, 2010
    Posts: 452

    U-235
    Member

    I think every thing you've outlined sounds good, except for the skirts.....I'd leave them off. (and I'm a fender skirt kinda guy). The side trim and the rear wheel opening all flow together as is.
     
  29. robertsregal
    Joined: Oct 2, 2008
    Posts: 743

    robertsregal
    Member

    Great lookin Buick and welcome to the HAMB , you will find many great people and a would of knowledge.
     
  30. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 8,332

    brady1929
    Member

    Welcome. Sweet Buick
     

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