My 1969 Special Deluxe

Discussion in 'Members Rides' started by Entropy11, May 8, 2019.

  1. Entropy11

    Entropy11 Well-Known Member

    Hi- I figured I’d start this post in an effort to organize my thoughts/plans, and be able to look back and enjoy the progress.

    I picked this car up off Craigslist late summer of last year (2018). It was a 16hr round trip with just me, my truck, and a u-haul trailer. After checking out the car and speaking to the owner for a few hours, he finally said “It sounds like you have great intentions, I think I’m going to sell you the Buick”. I thought to myself, after a long trip and a trailer rental, the sale of the car was still in question?... but thank God he approved! Lol. Got to love long term Buick owners.

    I plan on using this post as both a build log of sorts as well as a way for me to focus on tasks and stay motivated. I’d suggest anybody think twice before hitting “follow” or “subscribe” or whatever option this site might have to stay updated as I hope to update this frequently and brainstorm often... lol

    Anyways, here it is as of right now. I’ll add a day one pic of how it looked on the trailer in all of its’ $6,500 Craigslist road trip glory...haha. I was told the numbers didn’t match, but in sorting out a VIN error, it turns out they did. 3E764220-D03C-4D71-A185-120C1DED08A5.png

    Things I’ve already done (after a full run through of everything mechanical)

    - Sorted out a VIN # error nobody noticed since owner number 2 in 1970
    - HEI swap/plugs/wires
    - Swapped out the old factory steel wheels/hubcaps for some equally old rally 14’s complete with some tiny mounted 195/75/14’s... haha (can’t complain for $35/wheel off CL)
    - Swapped out the tired old sagging rear springs for some new Moog ones
    - Swapped out some rusted non-functional rear shocks for a set of Bilstein’s
    - Sourced out the missing radio from that year
    - started replacing window felts and run channel
    - rebuilt the old Rochester 2G

    To do list:


    - strip, minor repairs, prime/paint
    - track down some of the missing trim
    - wheel/tire swap to fill the wheel well void
    - fortunately both bumpers were above what I’d consider “driver quality”, so thankfully we’re good there
    - desperately need to source out a front grille that won’t break the bank to replace the 75-100 footer that’s on there now (suffered some damage 21 years ago according to the last owner’s story). Till then it’s good at a distance or while doing 30mph+ lol


    - I have 2 mostly complete “spare” engines and have begun stripping down the first to send out for machine work. My goal was to have some fun with an engine build while still being able to drive the car, then swap when ready and store the original away for the car later. Unfortunately, the first engine I stripped down (‘71) wasn’t exactly in the condition it was reported to be in before I got it. Being that it does require machine work, my plan is to do a full rebuild, bump up the compression, cam, head work, and I’ll just go ahead and say it... “whatever else while I’m in there”. Lol, but seriously... my goal is to have some reliable fun without breaking the bank. Saying “budget build” is equally laughable so I won’t go there.

    - rear is still the factory 12-Bolt (Canadian car) 2.56 that was stock in this “‘69 Grandma Cruiser”. Not sure where the ratio will end up yet till the engine is done.


    - rear bench seat pulled, along with the mice from years ago who used to call it home. Cover is pristine and salvageable so that’ll help. I’ll give it some fresh foam and a rebuild when I get time.

    - front bench seat has lost a seam here/there as well as all structure in the foam. I grabbed a nice pair of ‘67 buckets cheap off CL that are in the process of a rebuild (mice already evicted from those too)

    - door panels are decent and will do the job with just minor attention

    - carpet is shot and pieces were removed years ago (I suspect an attempted remedy for the mouse family). New Carpet is already sitting out of the box to get its’ shape back after shipping. Conversion seat brackets showed up yesterday.

    Updated “schedule”:

    - Sort our issues with window felt kit (send mine back and find correct one)

    - 4BBL swap (already have intake, a few Rochester 4BBL carbs sitting around, rebuild kit, new fuel line, and gasket/valley pan already)

    - Get the ‘71 engine stripped down to the block and drop off at shop

    - Get both bucket seats torn down and then build back up

    - Weld in seat conversion brackets and install new carpet

    - Replace front shocks

    - Replace radiator (looking at the AE161 aluminum)

    - Work as much OT as :)
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
    Donuts & Peelouts and 1972Mach1 like this.
  2. Entropy11

    Entropy11 Well-Known Member

    I’d also like to keep a list of members that shared/sold parts to me and helped make this job much easier than it should be:

    @cole - rear window trim & drip rail trim

    @rockfordracer12 - some nice TA Valve Covers

    @Ken Mild - a pair of headlight bezels that were much nicer than mine

    @Topcat - a beautiful driver side Mirror as well as a generous gift of some eyebrow trim (minus the dents mine had!)
    Donuts & Peelouts and 1972Mach1 like this.
  3. philbquick

    philbquick Founders Club Member

    If you're going to change the rear ratio, go for a 3.23 or 3.42 so you'll have the option to upgrade to a 200R4 later on. And welcome aboard!!
  4. Entropy11

    Entropy11 Well-Known Member

    Thanks! I’ve been keeping an eye out for one and almost grabbed one over the winter from a guy locally, except the seller seemed pretty sketchy and then wouldn’t bother to read me the code off it until I was standing there with $$$. Good point on thinking about my possible future plans before deciding on a ratio!
    Donuts & Peelouts and philbquick like this.
  5. Entropy11

    Entropy11 Well-Known Member

    My new rims and tires showed up this week for the front. They’re obviously not Buick, but were one of the the few that I could find offering a 15x8 with 5”BS that I needed for the rear (and also liked the looks of).

    These are the front 15x7’s...
  6. BuickV8Mike

    BuickV8Mike SD Buick Fan

    Very close however...Sweet!!
  7. Chi-Town67

    Chi-Town67 Gold Level Contributor

    Those are some sharp wheels you picked. Who makes them?
    Donuts & Peelouts likes this.
  8. Donuts & Peelouts

    Donuts & Peelouts Life's 2 Short. Live like it.

    Nice, what caps are you planning to use.
  9. Entropy11

    Entropy11 Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys, they’re actually Wheel Vintiques 52 series (Olds SS1). I know that definitely goes against the grain for any purists out there, but I still think they look rather “stock-ish” at a distance. At least they’re not as identifiable as the SS2’s. As far as I know, they’re also identical to the SS 396 rim, except they chrome the “spoke” area on the SS1 instead of gray powder coat it. Hopefully the rear set shows up next week from the West Coast.

    I need to call the manufacturer next week and see if the centers from their 57 series (Buick) would swap onto them. I’ve got a full set of original Buick rally centers still in their boxes that really look like they’re the right size when I hold them up. I just didn’t have the guts to try to tap them If they’d work then I’d already be set.

    My backup for a center is just ordering the matching SS1 cap and hopefully remove their center sticker and have them all chrome.
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
    Donuts & Peelouts likes this.
  10. Entropy11

    Entropy11 Well-Known Member

    The first of the wheel well trim I’ve been tracking down finally showed up today. So far I’ve only been able to locate a front left and right.

    Thankfully it was in great shape and dent/ding free.


    I hit it with some polish and a few min later it was looking like new. Got to love stainless steel :)


    Can’t wait to get the full set on some day.
    Donuts & Peelouts likes this.
  11. Entropy11

    Entropy11 Well-Known Member

    Got the 235’s mounted up on the 15x7’s. The 15x8’s showed up this week and I should have the 275’s here next week hopefully.

    My original Buick centers popped right in, so it looks like that’ll be the way it goes for now. Couldn’t get a better pic because the car is in the garage while I sort out my exhaust leak (looks like gasket at heat riser and heat riser itself).


    Not exactly OEM but I like the look I think :)
    1972Mach1 and pbr400 like this.
  12. Entropy11

    Entropy11 Well-Known Member

    Well- I made the repairs to heat riser (gutted it, welded shaft holes, welded/filed defect in surface to make flat for the gasket) and things sound much better.

    Going to swap out my old shot muffler with a Dynomax 17749 arriving tomorrow. Maybe I can get it on this weekend if I make time. Sort of a band-aid fix till I get my headers on and swap to dual exhaust, but this car is unfortunately taking a back seat to the kids’ car in terms my schedule.

    275’s are being mounted to the 15x8’s and should be ready tonight. Have doubts they’ll fit as I noticed some ugly repairs that were made to the lips of both rear fender/wheel wells. Might have to cut some material away before they’ll even come close to fitting. Someone scabbed in some pretty wide flat sheet metal on the lips in the past.

    New/Old stereo showed up today... I can’t believe the condition considering what I paid, plus some cool extras the seller generously tossed in. Think I’ll hide my real stereo away in the glove box or something...

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 23, 2019
    Ken Mild likes this.
  13. Entropy11

    Entropy11 Well-Known Member

    First chance I had to grab a pic... maybe they look too big in the back??? I’m not sure.
    BubbaJ, 71GSX, BYoung and 4 others like this.
  14. moleary

    moleary GOD Bless America

    GKMoz likes this.
  15. Entropy11

    Entropy11 Well-Known Member

    Thanks :)
  16. 1972Mach1

    1972Mach1 Just some guy.....

    Looks great with the new rolling stock. As big as will fit on back looks the best!
  17. tt455

    tt455 T Bone

    That really looks good, what a difference from the first picture. Good choice on the wheels and no, they're not too big. I might have to use those on my next project.
  18. Doo Wop

    Doo Wop Where were you in '62?

    That tire combo is Bitchin'.
    Entropy11 likes this.
  19. 1969BSGS

    1969BSGS Active Member

    Looks great Dennis , but I want to see those rear quarter wheel well openings about even with the top of the rim.... You did put the 275/60/15 tire on right???? Get those dump -truck rear springs outta there...LOL
  20. Entropy11

    Entropy11 Well-Known Member

    Haha- thanks guys. It’s just such a shock seeing it with the wheel wells filled and lookin’ kinda mean for once. Lol

    I ended up having to trim the wheel well opening lips down on both sides. It appeared as though the stock lips were about 1.25”? Previous repairs in that area had them just under 2” on one side and 2.25” on the other side. I was able to see some “factory” looking sections that looked like 1.25”. I was also worried that maybe the 12-bolt in the rear (originally a Canadian assembled car) might have caused some issues too, but it appeared as though everything would have been fine if my openings were un-altered.

    That last pic still has the Moog 5399 (‘68-‘72 A-Body wagon springs) in... haha. Can’t decide if I should leave them and see where things are at after I replace my fronts and then adjust or what I should do. I do love the ride compared to my stiffer springs I tried!

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