Here's Charlie cutting up the Buick body so we could lift it off of its frame and rotted floorboards.
With the help of a forklift we picked the Buick bo... Show moredy up using a wide nylon strap.
Superman! Getting ready to roll the Cadillac chassis under the Buick body. Our buddy Tracy knows how to run a forklift so we enlisted his help doing the body swap.
With the Buick being lowered down over the Caddilac Go Kart it bacame obvious where additional cutting needed to be done. At this stage of the project we got kicked out of this outdoor area where we had been working. The powers to be decided they needed this spot for a new building.
We whined long enough that the company we work for let us use the back corner of one of their storage building to continue working on the Buillac project. Neither Charlie or myself had enough room in our home garages to work on it comfortably. By now we had mounted the body to the chassis and in the process moved the body down (channeled) to make it look lower and cleaner.
Here you can see the metal that was added to splice the old fiewall to the new one. Also this is a good shot of the old engine and front suspension.
This is all the metal we had to add to get the Buick trunk floor to match up with the rest of the Caddilac floorboard.
Charlie and Dan. We did this once a week for a lot of years.
Since this is a budget build and we don't own an engine hoist we just dismantled the engine and took it out in pieces.
With the engine out we rebuilt everything up front. It was time to spend some money. We wanted it to be a reliable driver so every piece on the front suspension and brakes was rebuilt or replaced. Also it was time to install the rear-steer-Camaro air ride kit from Air Ride Technologies. It involved mounting the new shocks in a new location and cutting a little off the spring cups on the frame.
Here's a picture of the Cad engine after we got done rebuilding it. Al at Maximum Torque Speciaties supplied a lot of the parts including the 500 crank and pistons, high performance cam and lifters, Edelbrock dual plane manifold, block hugger headers, and all the rebuild stuff like bearings and gaskets. The remounted A. C. compressor and brackets are part of the Vintage Air Super Cooler heat and air system. Special tanks to Rick Kirk at RK Machine in Ripley, OK for the machine work and advice on building this engine.
We ported the heads and milled .030 off the combustion chamber side to raise the anemic compression ratio to 9.5 : 1. You should hear this thing with the open headers. It will RPM like a good small block, but makes a lot more noise.
The aircleaner is a reproduction of the 50s Cadillac piece. We used a 200A chrome alternator that we had laying around. Show Less
With a rented engine hoist we slid the fresh engine and tranny into place. The frame and everything else got cleaned up and painted with chassis black paint.... Show more
With the mechanical stuff done up front we cleaned up the door jams and other parts that will be hard to do once it gets put back together and shot some of the purple paint we chose as the body color. It really is a cool color, but it looks different in every picture for some reason.
With the front end back on you can see how low it will be with the air bags deflated.
To make this ride as nicely as the old Cadillac, we put Dynamat on every exposed surface.
Here it is leaving the old storage facility. This is the first time she actually drove under her own power. The radiator and some other ancillary stuff wasn't hooked up yet, but there were enough parts hooked up to allow it to drive out of the shop and on to a car hauler. Sorry about the quality of the picture.
Now the company decided to get rid of the building we had been working in. Another buddy, John, was going to build a shop out behind his house and wanted to know if we wanted to rent some space. Sure! Here's the project as it moved into its new facility. Yes, we drove it in here.
Here's my partner Charlie driving the Buick on to the roll back car hauler on the way to get the 2 1/2" dual exhaust put on. We used Flowmaster 40 Series mufflers for that great sound. The Cadillac wire wheels are brand new and come from the great people at Wheel Vintiques in Fresno Cali. I think they make the perfect statement since it is a Cadillac chassis.
Since there was so much wasted space in the rear fenders we mounted a 2 gallon air tank in each side. This works out really well and doesn't infringe on the trunk space.
Here you can just see the Vintage Air heat, cool and defrost unit tucked up in the dash. The dash has been painted a metallic gray.
With the hood on and propped up you can see the cool stainless metal we found to cover the firewall with.
Here's a better shot of the dimpled stainless firewall. I don't know what this material is intended for originally, but it has the look of the old engine turned metal like they used on old time hot rods.
The front bumper needed replating so we shipped it off to Nashville, TN. The teeth and overrides are in decent shape, so we just plated the main blade. Chrome is expensive these days!
Here she goes on to the tow truck to get her mufflers put on. The open headers have been fun to make a lot of noise with, but to drive this thing it will need the Flowmasters.
With it up on the lift at Max's Muffler here in Stillwater, OK, one 2 1/2" headpipe has been put on and the other will follow. The seam where the floor was shortenend is visible at the top of the picture.
One of the biggest deals for me was to get rid of the center post on the windshield. I knew there was a one piece windshield that would fit this car, but couldn't find out what it was. For three years I asked everyone I could think of, from old time rodders to big glass companies. Finally I found a little ad in Hemmings Motor News for a company in Oregon called Allstar Auto Glass. David told me that they had done this swap before and gave me the number for an Oldsmobile one piece windshield that would go right in there. Since they gave me the information I needed I ordered all new glass for the Buick from them (except the rear window). The price was right and the service was excellent. Show Less