1940 Buick 51 Super

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Owning and driving a prewar car had been a dream of mine for many years. After learning the ropes of auto repair on my own with other vehicles, I felt ready to find a prewar project car to work on rather than buying one all running and complete.

In late 2017, I noticed a 1940 Buick Super 8 posted on the Austin, Texas Craigslist and researched the car to learn that Buicks were uniquely differentiated from other brands with their legendary straight-8 engines that had been in production for decades from the 1930s to 1950s. The previous owner struggled to sell the Buick due to unrealistic asking price expectations and lack of a title, but eventually after an entire year we came to an agreement on price on the condition that I also purchase a 1953 Rover P4 75 that was sitting in the driveway next to the Buick. The Rover set me off on a 2 year tangent learning how to do a frame off restoration from 2018 to 2020. Then I finally got around to restoring the Buick that I wanted to do in the first place in 2020.

1940 Buick 51 Super Eight with a 4 door sedan body as purchased in January 2018.

This video is an overview of the restoration progress from beginning to June 2022.

Restoration Diary

2018 01 - Initial condition
2020 10 - Tear down part 1
2021 01 - Tear down part 2
2021 02 - Front suspension rebuild
2021 03 - Frame repair and repaint
2021 08 - Rear axle reseal and repaint
2021 08 - Frame and suspension reassembly
2021 11 - Engine clean up and repaint
2021 12 - Engine reinstallation and start up
2022 01 - Body undercarriage and firewall work
2022 06 - First good test drive!

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