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April 6, 2003
0 hours

Buick Club Swap Meet

Just a quick update today so that you have something to read. I haven't done much on the Buick in the last two weeks or so because of other projects nagging at my time. Today I took some time off from yard work and projects around the house to attend my local Buick club's annual Spring Swap Meet. At the very least I figured I could get acquainted with some of the other members.

I arrived at Toth Buick, where the show was indoors in the service area, with a car corral out in the lot. I wandered through looking at the stuff and didn't really find anything I could use. There were the usual group of vendors there, including the guys who are selling model cars, Hot Wheels cars, old broken Craftsman tools, late-model hubcaps, and a ton of muscle car stuff. But there wasn't much for a car of my vintage, I'm sorry to say. What did catch my eye were the old license plates. I thought that a set of authentic 1941 Ohio plates would look pretty cool on my old Buick, especially if I restored them. Unfortunately, none of the vendors had any '41 plates. I did find some 1944 plates, which I thought were cool because they reminded me that even during a war, ordinary life goes on. I didn't buy anything.

I did, however spend a few hours shooting the breeze with my new pals Jerry and "Spider" who are both long-time Buick enthusiasts and club members (I think Jerry is BCA #90 or something). Even though we are at least two generations separated, I had a great time talking with these guys and really felt like I was "one of the gang" with them. Jerry is a very skilled amateur restorer who is working on Spider's '41 Super convertible coupe. Spider is painting it Sienna Rust, a color of which I am quite fond and considered using on my car. On his convertible, with a tan leather interior and tan top it will look amazing. On my sedanette, though, I think Sienna Rust would make it look like a giant pumpkin. I can't wait to see Spider's car when it's done!

Spider also has a body rotisserie he's selling for a very reasonable price. My funds are limited right now, and I want to buy a new welder, but the rotisserie is a tool I think I need to have. I was going to make my own with the new welder, but for what he's asking, it's probably easier to buy one that's already engineered and built. I'll let you know.

I also discussed the strange issue of my front fenders with them and how the NOS trim piece I bought doesn't have the same contour as either of my front fenders. Spider became intrigued by that and called me later that night to say that his parts book says that the trim piece is the same for all models. I was thinking that perhaps there was one piece for the little cars and one for the larger cars, since their front fenders are different sizes. That gives me some concern that my front fenders have been wrecked and are not the right shape anymore. I can't imagine what replacement fenders would cost, even if I could find some nice ones. At any rate, I told Spider I would bring my trim piece to the meeting this Friday and we could compare parts and part numbers.

Jerry also prints and edits the club's monthly newsletter, which he apparently still bangs out on a manual typewriter. I tried to convince him to get into the 80s at least and use a computer, but he isn't having any of it. Since I'm a professional writer, however, I did offer my services. I told him he could use my monthly "Spinning My Tires" column any time he needed filler. Jerry said he'd be glad to look at the past editorials and see if they will fit in the 4-page newsletter. Don't worry, I'll still be posting it here first. Perhaps someday I can get these guys tuned up on how to use a word-processor.

That's all for today. This week I have to finish the exercise room I'm building in our basement (Julia just bought a new elliptical trainer she wants to use down there), so I don't know if I'll have time for Buick stuff. Maybe some more blasting and powdercoating...

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Last modified on 02/06/2005

Thanks, Fidget!