'71 Electra restoration. Doing it in less than 4 months!

Discussion in 'A boatload of fun' started by Land Yacht, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. Land Yacht

    Land Yacht Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone. So after just passing the 4 month mark to my wedding June 9th, I figured I better get my ass going on this restoration! I brought the Electra to my dad's body shop on Sunday and got started with the tear down. Found some surprises and some things I expected.

    For the most part, this car must have spent a decent amount of time indoors. Everything basically came apart without much fuss using mostly hand tools.

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    Probably the worst part on the car. There is a patch panel and a heap of bondo hiding under there.
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    Bottom of driver's side rear 1/4 behind the skirt. Little home about the size of a quarter.
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    Hard to see in this pic, but a cheesy patch panel on the passenger side fender bottom about the size of a Hallmark card.
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    Some surface rust in the trunk jamb. I'm probably going to have the tail light bezels re-chromed while I'm at it.
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    Took the skirts off for the first time. The release mechanisms were bound up from crud. Surprisingly the skirts and mounts are in amazing shape.
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    All the trim is removed from the nose. I still have to remove the side moldings, door locks, trunk lock, door handles, rear lights and bumper. More fun on the way!
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  2. Land Yacht

    Land Yacht Well-Known Member

    Turns out the color code (according to the cowl tag) is #61 - Sandpiper Beige. I always assumed it was Sandalwood.

    Anyhow I was considering changing it slightly. I was wondering if anyone here has a Buick in color code #70 - Pearl Beige Poly. It looks a little more classy and has a slight silver hue to it. I may go with #70 as my fiance' and I seem to like it more.

    Here's a '71 color chart -> http://www.stage1registry.com/paint_codes/1971color.jpg
     
  3. batcar

    batcar Well-Known Member

    Good luck on your project, make sure your fianc'e knows the Buick is your first love. :beer
     
  4. Land Yacht

    Land Yacht Well-Known Member

    Thanks. She is well aware that I love all Buicks and that she will have to compete for attention with the Electra on our big day. Then again, that's why I'm marrying her; because she understands.
     
  5. 72 electra 225

    72 electra 225 Well-Known Member

  6. Briz

    Briz Platinum Level Contributor

    She understands now. Wait a few years down the road.Dont ask how I know. Always said it wouldnt happen to me.LOL
     
  7. SportWagonGS

    SportWagonGS Moderator

    the fender patches are going to be fun, I'm in the process of doing that on my 73 Electra right now, one was easy but the other had big rot in the inner structure and required much fab work
     
  8. Centurion

    Centurion Well-Known Member

    Great car! Personally, I love Sandpiper Beige -- a very classy color -- but I reckon I'll always be biased. It's the color of my '71 Centurion, which my parents bought new.

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  9. Land Yacht

    Land Yacht Well-Known Member

    Well I made some progress today. All the trim is off the car now including the rear bumper and lights. All that remains is the door handles and lock cylinders. I took some more pics on my phone, but I am too stupid to figure out how to post them via the phone. Oh well. I have decided to stay with Sandpiper Beige as it will save me time since I won't have to jamb everything; plus the color has grown on me. I may have Dupont mix in a very fine metalic flake. I will decide later if I am going to do that for sure.

    I am aslo debating on keeping the black moldings that run the length of the car. I feel that the naturel body lines will stand out better without them. What do you think? Personally I don't like them.
     
  10. Dale

    Dale Sweepspear

    Looks a lot cleaner than the '72 I worked on.
    My main rust was in the rear quarters and trunk floor. Trunk lid too, but back in the early 90's you could still find a few of them in yards, and I was able to find a rust free '73 to get a lid and panel patches from.
    Sandpiper Beige is the same color as my '70 Riviera.
    My '72 Electra looked the same color, but was called Covert Tan (50) It's much lighter and creamier than the paint chip would lead you to believe.
    Looking forward to future progress reports! :beer
     
  11. Centurion

    Centurion Well-Known Member

    Yes, Land Yacht, I firmly believe that the '71/'72 big Buicks look best without the protective bodyside moldings. Unlike '69/'70, for example, they do not follow the car's body lines, so do not enhance the car's appearance.

    If you look at the sales brochures that Buick produced for these model years, none of the big Buicks are illustrated with the protective bodyside moldings. The cars are much sleeker and cleaner without them. As long as you're careful to park in such a way as to avoid door dings, I agree that you should remove them.
     
  12. Land Yacht

    Land Yacht Well-Known Member

    I have noticed that. Every brochure I've seen doesn't show them on the car, they are only listed as an option. My father is the one prompting me too keep them because they are "original to the car". I think they are butt ugly and thatthey look out of place.
     
  13. Centurion

    Centurion Well-Known Member

    Mike, generally speaking, I agree strongly with your father. It's one of the reasons I wanted to encourage you to maintain the car's original color scheme, as indicated on the Buick's Fisher Body plate.

    But, in the same way that many collectors add original factory options to cars without detracting from the car's authenticity or originality, I think it ought to be okay to delete a factory option that is not desired -- like the protective body side moldings.
     
  14. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    I'll toss another Sandpiper Beige beauty in the mix :)

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  15. Land Yacht

    Land Yacht Well-Known Member

    Wow guys, those sure are some beauties.

    Brian, I have convinced my father to let me delete the side moldings as long as I do not throw them away. Fair deal. I also had the idea to stripe mine in the same manner your Centurion is striped. I want to follow the body line with either a thin black or brown double stripe. Obviously I still have some time to figure it out :pp

    What do you guys think about adding a fine metallic? Please be honest.

    Adam, is that a '72 or a '71 LeSabre?
     
  16. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    71...

    Stay away from the metallic, especially if you plan on painting it yourself.
     
  17. Centurion

    Centurion Well-Known Member

    Mike, my Centurion was built with the Centurion Paint Stripe option, which was a no-cost option on the Centurion series cars. It is a black double-line stripe, which contrasts nicely against the Sandpiper Beige, and I think the black works better than brown, even though our cars have a dark brown vinyl roof.

    I almost mentioned the striping possibility to you in an earlier reply. Although it is not technically correct on an Electra 225 series car, it would be a nice, subtle addition to your car -- especially with the protective body side moldings removed.

    As you can see from the two accompanying photos, the stripe sits slightly above the body character line rather than directly on it.

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  18. Land Yacht

    Land Yacht Well-Known Member


    Spraying a metallic is no problem for my father. He has owned the shop the car is at since '83 and has the skill to do any job well. He will be the one spraying the car since I don't have enough experience behind the gun. It will be my choice if I add a metallic to the paint before it is sprayed. My biggest worry is..........how do I put this..........I;m afraid it may look ghetto with a fine metallic flake, but it may also turn out great. I'll have to ask Dupont or PPG to mix a sample pint if I go the metallic route and try it on a piece of scrap metal.
     
  19. Land Yacht

    Land Yacht Well-Known Member

    Brian, I am going to model my stripe after yours. When the time gets closer, would you mind sending me some close-up pics of the ends of your stripe? And maybe some measurements as far as how far it starts after the tip of the hood and how far away it ends before the rear of the 1/4 panel.

    Oh I forgot to mention, I have a set of 5x5 ralleys that I am going to use along with a new set of BFG Radial T/A's. I'm a sucker for raised white lettered tires :TU:
     
  20. Centurion

    Centurion Well-Known Member

    Mike, I'll help in any way that I can. I recently dropped and broke my digital camera (while shooting car photos), but will be happy to obtain any measurements you need. As you can see from these next two photos, the two stripes terminate into a single stripe at both the front and back of the car.

    By the way, I'm tracking with you on everything you've decided to do to this car, including the chrome-plated road wheels, but you lost me a bit at the raised white lettered tires. They're fine and all, but you might want to consider whether they're really a suitable style for a classy Electra 225 -- a luxury car. Please ignore my comment here if you wish, but just being honest. Anyone else have thoughts on this one? (I promise I'll never mention it again!)

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    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012

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