New here - Just bought a 1958 Special (project)

Discussion in 'Wet behind the ears??' started by monza_1966, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. monza_1966

    monza_1966 New Member

    I've been itching for a "new" car. I found a 1958 Buick Special Riviera (46R). My 66 chevy isn't old enough for me. I stumbled across what I found out to be a decently "rare" car, that's not too crazy low in production numbers. I know very to little about the car, but it's going to need a lot. Mostly mechanical and 1.5ft rusted out frame section. We unloaded it last night (6/25/20), so there are still lots of unknowns.

    I'm the second owner. I was told it is all original. I almost want to rip out the frame (it's rusted out near the rear springs) and drivetrain for a smallblock or something common and easy. Part of me feels like it'd be ruining an unmolested car. A "rarer" one at that...1 of 34,903 cars. In reality, a more modern drivetrain would be better. Frame, engine, rear end, etc etc.

    SO, I will be needing lots of guidance. It anyone has any forum posts or resources on a frame swap? let me know! Oh..and it's pink (lucite paint). I'll attach the body tag, I got most decoded, but I have no idea what the "K" is for on the "trim" section of the body tag.


    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
    alvareracing likes this.
  2. Fox's Den

    Fox's Den 27 years of racing the same 355 Buick motor

    I'd stick a 455 in it
  3. gsfred

    gsfred Founders Club Member

    Welcome aboard from NY.
  4. Nailhead in a 1967

    Nailhead in a 1967 Kell-Mnown Wember


    its not really that rare, thats a high production total compared with the other 1958 buicks models
    only the special 4 drs sedan had a higher number: 48,238

    paint code 3 (33) for the lower (first digit) and upper (second digit) body color = laurel mist

  5. breakinbuick11

    breakinbuick11 Platinum Level Contributor


    I believe it is fairly easy to swap a later model big Buick frame on or a wagon frame. Someone with more experience will chime in. Your engine options are only limited to ability and budget. Most Buick guys will tell you to keep a Buick engine in it, but we all know how accessible and easy an LS is. It’s your car, do what makes you happy!
  6. philbquick

    philbquick Founders Club Member

    The first thing I'd do is to see if there's any other rust issues. Determine if the project is viable before you get to deep. If the frame is the only major rust on the car I'd replace it rather than patching it. You'd probably want to shoot for a driver quality restoration (class 3) since having all the chrome re-done on that car would cost $50K+. Just my point of view, I don't know you and I don't know what your budget is.
    alvareracing likes this.
  7. monza_1966

    monza_1966 New Member

    Yeah. In practicality, you are right. A complete swap would be best. The body is decent, a spot on the inner rear fender well. It sat on the ground, the rear took most of the rust damage. Has tank probably saved the trunk from being a huge hole. Again. We just unloaded it last night. People might cringe, but I love the rat rod look.
    philbquick likes this.
  8. flynbuick

    flynbuick Guest

    I saw a 57 with an early 70s Estate wagon frame, suspension, steering and drivetrain.
  9. Nailhead in a 1967

    Nailhead in a 1967 Kell-Mnown Wember

    im not 100% sure but there is a possibility that the k behind trim number 431 is for "foamex seat cushions"

  10. Luxus

    Luxus Gold Level Contributor

    I always wanted a '58. But they are either too much when they are done or I don't have the skills (fabrication, welding, paint) to do a project like yours. But nice car and welcome.

    As others said, I don't think it's that rare for a 58 Buick. That's good because now I wouldn't worry too much about putting in whatever motor you want. Sounds like you'll be swapping out the frame at least.
  11. WQ59B

    WQ59B Well-Known Member

    I made the call my '59 wasn't 'rare enough' to prevent modding (11,451 built).
    Good luck with the build!
  12. JayZee88

    JayZee88 Well-Known Member

    Great find! My 58 Special is a similar color. After 7 58-59 Buicks I got a nack for finding good projects. I have a rebuilt 59 364 and rebuilt 700r4 going in the 58. I'm using the stock rear with 61 full size 3rd member to run a open driveline. My 1st 58 I owned in high school (15 years ago) should have a good frame. I can get a hold of the salvage yard and see if they still have it if you want a stock frame. For a frame swap I've heard of s10 frames being used, but can't offer any real world advice on that swap. If you want a affordable Buick power plant I will sell you my spare Buick 350. Likely needs gone through, but not sure if it needs bottom end rebuilt (previous owner had it 20 years in garage on engine stand). It's a 73 350 iirc and got a 4 barrel intake for it. Welcome to the B-58 world

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