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1954 Buick Forum - the 54 Buick Highway

Putting Evelyn Back TogetherAgain (56R)


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This has been a two-year project thus far, occasioned by what the Italians call "un incidente", a little incident on the road.  I shall pass over the details, as they are too embarrassing to recount.  In fact, it has taken me two years to bring it up here; but in the meantime, work has been underway.

So rather than just repairing the damage to the front end (bumper, hood, right fender and inner fender, and all the trim you can imagine!), I took it all as an excuse to give my beloved Evelyn a good paint job.  The car had one repaint over the factory colors some thirty years old.  It was showing its age, and was not correct.  Kind of a trendy white on blue on white, fuzzy dice included.  And the factory colors, the lighter Malibu Blue bottom and the darker Cavalier Blue top, I think, will be really sharp on the bigger hard top, and unusual for what people think of a '50s car.  It gives a really cool highlight of what they called the French curve around the back glass.

I learned my lesson from a prior attempt on my high school car, a '54 model 48D: I am not removing body off frame, and the engine is staying put.  But just about everything else has been removed.

The car is very clean and unmolested, with minimal rust, making life much easier.  But there have been a few issues of rust, which I will document as I go along.  Damage was limited to trim and sheet metal on the front clip.  There was no damage to the frame or the factory AC system, thank God.

Mr. Earl has helped source a left fender and inner fender, the braces for the radiator and hood latch, and front bumpers.  And I was able to bring home an NOS hood.  Otherwise, all parts were on hand as extras, just in case.

So far the firewall, door wing pillars, cowl and windshield posts are painted.  With careful masking, cleaning and prep, I was able to keep the engine in place, and am very happy with the results...

Pics to follow soon...

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No spray booth, just a lot of cleaning and some color sanding on acrilyc urethane, single stage.  I am really happy with the color and how it went down.

Next job will be the roof in Cavalier Blue.  Think of Al's blue Roadmaster sedan, that color. Since it has metalic in it, we will do a two stage paint.

And for once, I can start putting parts back on the car again, turning wrenches to the right!!

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  • 1 month later...

Well, next step is done!!!  This was a 2 stage metalic, which we had never done.  Thsnk God, the body man next door watched over and gave advice, and my buddy Neil did the shooting.  A little more sparkle than the original,  but color is a decent approximation of the Cavalier Blue, and I am thrilled with the combo. 

Next up, stripping and banging on doors, so to speak...

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  • 1 year later...

Some progress to report.  I'll just say that my cars have been happy with COVID...  I took a break from body work, and put the engine bay back together, and hope to have the Nailhead running again soon, and the car running around the parking lot for a bit of exercise.  It's been very gratifying to put painted and zinc'd parts back together again.  You might note a lot of AC stuff going on in here...

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