My 52 Buick Super
A lot of people have visited this web page in the last couple of years. When I bought the car back in 1997, I had no idea how many old Buick lovers there were out there. So here's her story, and I hope you enjoy it.
To start, you have to know that I grew up with Buicks. My dad was a Buick salesman, and he passed along his love for cars to his kids. When the "empty nest" syndrome hit, and there was room in the garage, it was time for me to start looking for an older Buick to take me back to the "Good Old Days." I had no idea of what I wanted, but knew that I would know the right car when I saw it. An ad in Hemmings Motor News led us to this car, stored in a barn in a nearby town, and the love affair began. I made a call to my brother, Tom, and after he saw it we quickly made the decision to become partners in resurrecting this old baby. Tom, as manager of a transmission shop, still remembered all the quirks of the old technology, and was the perfect partner.
This is what we fell in love with when we found it in August 1997. It had been there for two years, but it started! We knew it had to come home with us.
There was a lot of dirt, a couple of flat tires, and three broken windows.
The interior smelled of mothballs, and had some rips and tears, but there was nothing that a little TLC wouldn't handle!
This is what a little soap and water revealed.
This is Tom and me with the car the first weekend it was on the road.
We took it to its first show on Grand Island, New York in July, 1998. It didn't win anything, but we were happy to have it there. It was also the first time I drove it. Boy, did I forget what it was like not to have power steering!
For those of you who have never driven a car with a Dynaflow transmission, don't let the nicknames fool you. This car will beat anything up a hill. Following it through the hills of Pennsylvania in my "real" car, the Buick walked away from us. It may not peel rubber away from a stop sign, but it sure will hold it's own on the road.
Now, to brag a bit.....
If you think your car has to be perfect to enter it in a show, you need to think again. This car is not a pristine example of a car that just came out of the showroom. But Buick lovers appreciate it for it's original condition and the fact that now, in 2002, it is celebrating it's 50th birthday and still going strong. An original car can take home an award, and here are some it's received:
For the uninitiated, the BCA's Archival Award was instituted to recognize those cars which have not been restored, but are examples to be used as a benchmark for the Buick owners to use to restore their cars to original standards. The judging differs in that condition and workmanship are not considered, only authenticity. These cars do not have points deducted for poor chrome, less-than-perfect paint jobs, or undetailed engines, as long as the original parts are there.
The BCA has now designed a grill badge for Archival cars, and mine arrived this spring. The car will wear it proudly.
This page is now a tribute to Tom, who died October 30, 2000. He put hundreds of hours of labor into this car, making it safe and roadworthy. We had a lot of fun together, and I hope I can continue the legacy he left. When I get a wave or a smile, or I hear "my father (or grandfather!) had a car like that!", they are due to his efforts. Thanks, little brother.
I wrote the paragraph above a few months after Tom died. In the fall of 2002 I decided that I couldn't give the car all the TLC she really needed, and sadly put a comment on this page stating that I was considering selling it. Who would have ever thought I would find the perfect adoptive father for it without even placing an ad? Well, I did, and he bought it, sight unseen, after several emails back and forth. I've found out the power of the Internet, and also believe that Tom may have had a hand in picking her new home. My 50-year-old "baby" has now arrived in Indiana, where she has a bright future with a new family. And with any luck, I'll see it again next July, when it goes to the 100th Anniversary celebration of Buicks in Flint, Michigan.
Now, here she is, happy with her new owners in Indiana. Best of luck to Dana and Elaine. May you enjoy her as much as I did. (Oh, yes-I never mentioned before that her name is "Jeannie", after my mom who always named her cars, and without whom I would never have been able to buy it. I'm pleased to know that she is still "Jeannie.")
Update July 2003!
As we all hoped, Jeannie was driven from Indiana to the 100th Anniversary Buick celebration in Flint, Michigan, and I finally got to meet the new owners. We felt like we had known each other forever, and became instant friends. Jeannie has gotten a lot of improvements now - the most visible being a brand new interior. We had a wonderful time getting acquainted, and sharing stories about the car. Everything I had wished for the car's new life has become reality. She truly does have the best in a new home.
Here's Jeannie, on display at the grounds of the Flint Cultural Center, home of the 2003 Buick Club of America 100th Anniversary Celebration of Buick. And here we are, old and new owners, meeting at last. Dana plans to bring the car to Batavia, NY in 2005, when the Finger Lakes Chapter of the BCA hosts the National Meet. I have no doubt he'll go many places with it before then, but we'll look forward to getting together again.
And what will I do now? I haven't decided yet. I just may buy another old Buick some day and start new memories. My Buick Club friends are already on the lookout. My love for these old cars hasn't gone away, but I'll never top the experience of bringing this car back to life.
Page updated November 17, 2003.
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