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TALKING TORQUE Feel free to discuss your Driving Experience in all other models as well!

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Old 26th October 2010, 12:43 PM
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Default 1957 Buick

By request I'm adding some info about my Buick. I had this all done a few days ago, but it timed out & I lost all the text!! Now I'm creating longer texts in Word so I don't waste my time....

My 1957 Buick is a Roadmaster 73A. Roadmaster was the top of the line back in 1957 & 73A denotes a four door pillarless hardtop. Lesser models included the Super, Century & Special. The car has a 364ci "Nailhead' V8 with 300hp & 400lb/ft of torque. They were nicknamed 'Nailheads' due to the small size of the valves & their configuration. The Roadmasters & Centurys used the 300hp engines which had a 10:1 compression ratio & a 4BBL Rochester Quadrajet. Apparently a special order 330hp version was available through some dealers, which I believe had twin 4BBLs and a different cam. The car has a Dynaflow transmission (with a twin turbine torque convertor & variable pitch stator) & was originally supplied with drum brakes. Apparently Roadmaster 75s had finned drums. Buick made 10526 of the 73A series. The 1957 model year was not that popular when produced, which was odd considering it was simply a refinement of the 1956 design (but almost nothing was interchangeable). To me they look like a much larger 1957 Chev. The downturn in production may've been due to other factors & other manufacturers innovations. Buick tried a more radical approach for 1958, with what some would describe as hideous results... It was interesting that Buick decided to put a badge in the centre of the grille on the 57s stating they were 1957 products, instantly rendering them an old model in 1958. In fact it seems all manufacturers had a strange approach back in the late 50s, where they just had to come up with something completely new for the next year. I'm surprised that the mindset of consumers not tolerating minor trim changes didn't send them all broke....

My car was purchased by the old man back in 1969 from a car dealer in Mount Waverley. Apparently the owner prior to him had lived in Ivanhoe & may've worked for the US Consulate. Unfortunately that may be all I'll ever know about the history of the car, due to the Privacy Act & destroyed rego records. The car was originally a two tone combination of Garnet Red (sort of a rusty colour) over Dover white. It had already been converted to RHD.

Dad had all sorts of trouble with the brakes not operating effectively, possibly due to the L to R conversion, mismatched booster / master cylinder & excessive heat soak. When one of the lower control arm shafts snapped & the front end dropped onto the road, dad decided to replace the whole front end with one from a Mk10 Jaguar. This included a front disc brake conversion. Apparently the Mk10s had calliper mounts at the front & rear so it was theoretically possible to add twin callipers to each side if necessary (I don't know what the rotors would think about that)! Dad had her up to 110mph one day, but I wasn't in the car at the time to confirm the claim. Acceleration was 10.6sec to 60mph & she was very good for towing due to her weight of 4455lbs & the high torque engine / Dynaflow. Cruising on the highway was great too, due to a diff ratio of 3.07:1.

Other mechanical problems included a broken pinion, parking pawl & reverse gear.

There were many odd experiences in the car as Mum used it to regularly drive us kids around, with two bench seats & no seatbelts! Once she drove into a one-way street with a steep incline & no reverse. She asked a resident to give her a hand to push it out of their drive! When all the neighbours helped to push the car back into our drive for repair a bit of poor steering resulted in a destroyed gate post. When reverse was working dad reversed her through the rear of the shed! I remember many times dad trying to put her on ramps, but her sheer weight would just push them aside. We had to nail to ramps into gaps in the concrete to keep them from moving! I remember being driven to hospital at high speed in her when I was choking after a kid's party. And feeling totally embarrassed in the ER when the lolly went down at the last intersection! She overheated many times, once on a country road out the back of Tongala, Victoria. On one occasion we stopped at a milkbar in Kyabram and a bikie gang pulled up along-side. I was scared outta my wits, but all they wanted was to have a look at her & we got plenty of complimentary comments!

Sadly now much of her chrome needs refinishing, but it's intact & there's not much rust for a car her age. She'll certainly need new paint. The RHD conversion was horrible & needs to be completely re-done. I think the engine's done a ring on the LH bank & the Dynaflow leaks like you wouldn't believe. Quite a few years ago I had to move her out of storage. My ex followed in my other car. When we arrived I was horrified to discover that the Dynaflow was leaking so badly it covered the whole front of my other car in ATF!

And now to some pictures:

The original body style:



The original colour:



It's currently navy blue (Fiat 'Blu Scuro'), which is nearly black:



What the future holds (not quite this low!):



I've changed my mind on colours over the years & my current preference is navy over cream (or copper). Contrary to other views, I'm seriously considering changing the driveline due to its current condition & limited performance options. She wouldn't be worth much, even in pristine original condition. No, I'm not chopping the roof (or modifying any external parts of the bodywork). I'm not converting her back to LHD, or going back to four-wheel-drums. Yes I am defensive, but it's MY car & what's the point of doing the same thing as everyone else? So what of the driveline you say? Well I do have a parts car..........
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01 Ford AU 5L (Deep Blue)
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87 420L#-P
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57 Buick 73A (Titanic)
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  #2  
Old 26th October 2010, 04:56 PM
John S John S is offline
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Default Re: 1957 Buick

I love the 1956 and 1957 Buicks, especially in the original bronze (?) colour.
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  #3  
Old 26th October 2010, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: 1957 Buick

For numerous years the cars were orphans & unloved by their owners. Many ended up in scrap yards (or paddocks) to rust away, because spare parts were so hard to find. With the internet suddenly things were looking better & now they're gaining in popularity. It also helps when magazines like Street Machine feature a hot rodded one. From what I understand Victor Bray (Doorslammer champion) tried to import one, but it got damaged beyond repair. Apparently he's now looking for a wagon...

Oh BTW I forgot to mention that mine has an electric front seat (2 way), windows & aerial. It even has a speed warning buzzer & cigarette lighter in the rear (just what everyone needs)!

And a video that I quite like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfJMk...eature=channel

But I hate what they did to the dashboard....
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01 Ford AU 5L (Deep Blue)
89 560L#322020
88 500L#451660-P
88 420L#422477-P
87 420L#324309-P
87 420L#-P
88 420L Euro#-P
88 420L#-P
86 560L#235896-P
79 6.9#5541 (Red Bull)
78 6.9#4248 (Skye)
79 6.9#3686 (Moby Dick)
78 6.9#1776 (Dora)
77 450L#067010-P
75 450L#028414 (Gold Nugget)-P
57 Buick 73A (Titanic)
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  #4  
Old 26th October 2010, 07:59 PM
BenzBoy BenzBoy is offline
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Default Re: 1957 Buick

My god, Styria - someone stole yr wheels!!!
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Old 26th October 2010, 08:03 PM
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Styria Styria is offline
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Default Re: 1957 Buick

Hi Oversize, damn it, I still haven't posted those invoices to you. They'll be there soon !....promise, and hand on heart.

Your story...what can I say ? It's very telling, and the car just has to mean so much to you. You know, wouldn't it be great for someone to come along and hand you a million..there you go, buddy, spend some of it on your cars. Honestly, I think that your Roadmaster is just such a beautiful and well proportioned shape - quite elegant in its lines, and why would one want to change anything on the car other than to put it into mickey mouse shape - the car, with all its history, deserves it. Hope you can get there. Regards Styria
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Old 26th October 2010, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: 1957 Buick

Hi Styria, don't stress about posting that stuff, I'm sure I'll get it at some point in the future. Yes a million would be nice & rather than abandoning my old classics, I'd fix them properly with much more help from the experts. Many would just buy new cars, but I figure anyone can do that (with the help of some cash). If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Fixing old cars is a test of many human qualities; even the best of us can get to the point of giving up. It's an extremely daunting task to pull your beloved car into thousands of pieces, reverse the damage inflicted by previous owners & the elements and then try to put it all back together, so it'll all work as it should. And it doesn't help when you're afflicted with a 'disorder' since a very young age. Something explained very simply by another enthusiast several years ago (I'll have to find his name for later), "I'm not a perfectionist; everyone else is just rough".
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01 Ford AU 5L (Deep Blue)
89 560L#322020
88 500L#451660-P
88 420L#422477-P
87 420L#324309-P
87 420L#-P
88 420L Euro#-P
88 420L#-P
86 560L#235896-P
79 6.9#5541 (Red Bull)
78 6.9#4248 (Skye)
79 6.9#3686 (Moby Dick)
78 6.9#1776 (Dora)
77 450L#067010-P
75 450L#028414 (Gold Nugget)-P
57 Buick 73A (Titanic)

Last edited by Oversize; 26th October 2010 at 09:04 PM.
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  #7  
Old 19th October 2018, 12:59 PM
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Oversize Oversize is offline
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Default Re: 1957 Buick

Same body profile with just a few mods and a little extra grunt! Pity about the paint and there’s been no recent activity on the car.

https://youtu.be/PQejJUQ4s_8
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Mark

01 Ford AU 5L (Deep Blue)
89 560L#322020
88 500L#451660-P
88 420L#422477-P
87 420L#324309-P
87 420L#-P
88 420L Euro#-P
88 420L#-P
86 560L#235896-P
79 6.9#5541 (Red Bull)
78 6.9#4248 (Skye)
79 6.9#3686 (Moby Dick)
78 6.9#1776 (Dora)
77 450L#067010-P
75 450L#028414 (Gold Nugget)-P
57 Buick 73A (Titanic)
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