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The Victorian Buick club are hosts for the comming Buick Nationals and have planned to hold it in Launceston. The event starts at Station Pier, Port Melbourne as mainland participants with their Buicks board the ?Spirit of Tasmania? on Friday, March 29th, 2002.
The Nationals include tours in the Launceston area and mainland participants return to Melbourne on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2002. For those lucky enough to be able to take holidays at this time a State Tour is planned commencing on Wednesday, April 3rd and concluding on Wednesday, April 17th. The itinery set promises some exciting Buick motoring and is described in detail as;
BUICK NATIONAL & STATE TOUR - March 29th. To April 17th 2002
Fri. Mar 29
6 pm Depart Station Pier Melb on "Spirit of Tasmania" (sleep well after doing justice to sumptuous buffet dinner)
Sat Mar 30
8.30 am Arrive at Devonport terminal and meet Tasmanian members for 60 mile run to Launceston - Enroute visit : Deloraine and Westbury. Accommodation - Launceston
Sun Mar 31
9 am Depart VCCA (Tas) Clubrooms, 67 Lawrence Vale Rd and travel on West Tamar Hwy to Legana turning off to Rosevears Drive and follow Tamar River to Batman Bridge where we cross one of only two such bridges in the world. On to Low Head to visit Light House and Maritime Museum
Mon Apr 1 Depart 9 am for Show and Shine day at Woolmers historic home near Longford, a distance of approx 20 miles from Launceston. The day will finish with a Dinner and awards night.
Tues Apr 2
Depart Launceston 9 am for Devonport via Grindelwald model Swiss etc Bradys Lookout then proceed via Holwell and Exeter Hwy to East Devonport where we farewell those of our members who are unable to stay on for the tour. Continue onto Burnie where we settle into accommodation for two nights.
Wed Apr 3 9 am depart for Stanley via Old Coast Road calling into Wynyard to inspect one of the best collection of Veteran Cars in Australia owned by Francis Ransley
Thus Apr 4 9 am depart for Queenstown via Yolla and the Hellyer George where you can see spectacular rain forests and the mining towns of Rosebery and Zeehan where there is an excellent museum depicting early life on the West Coast.
Fri Apr 5 Travel to Strahan approx 40 km to take a cruise on the Gordon River which is world renowned for its beautiful reflections. Explore town in afternoon then return to
Queenstown where we will be able to inspect progress on the restoration of the historic Abt Railway which, on steep pinches, engages a cog between the tracks.
Sat Apr 6 Travel to Hobart after negotiating the 99 corners just out of Queenstown via Lake St Clair, the power Station of Waddamana and the Derwent Valley. Settle into accommodation in Hobart.
Sun Apr 7 Tour Channel and Huon Valley areas South of Hobart accompanied by the Southern Section of the VCCA. This is a spectacular drive.
Mon Apr 8 Free day to explore Hobart.
Tues Apr 9 A tour of Cadbury's, the Cascade Brewery and Mount Wellington with perhaps a bus being hired for those with older Buicks or else hitching a ride with those in new cars.
Wed Apr 10 Depart for Port Arthur via the historic town of Richmond where we can have morning tea, through Sorell, Copping, Dunalley and stopping for lunch at Eagle Hawk Neck.
Spend rest of afternoon exploring Port Arthur.
Thu Apr 11 Depart for Swansea passing through Orford with the beautiful riverside drive next to the Prosser River. Settle into seaside accommodation.
Fri Apr 12 Depart for St Helens where we will pass through the small East Coast towns who boast the best weather ( its not true though ) in Tasmania . We will stop to look at the Spiky Bridge North of Swansea.
Sat Apr 13 Depart St Helens for Launceston ( just over 100 miles ) via Weldborough Pass , the St Columber Falls, the old tin mining town of Derby and Scottsdale. After leaving
Scottsdale we will stop at the top of "The Sidling" to take in the view.
Sun Apr 14 Leave Launceston for Devonport via Longford ( or Longbuick if you prefer ) Liffey and Deloraine leaving Bass Highway to travel to Railton and the Mural town of
Sheffield. Stay in Devonport overnight.
Mon Apr 15 9 am Depart Devonport calling in at Don River Railway where those interseted can take a short ride on a restored steam train. We depart Don for a quick look at the scenic town of Ulverstone before travelling to the Leven Canyon and the Gunns Plains Caves to return to the Bass Hwy at Penguin who have made the most out of promoting their town by using their name sake bird. We round off the day by joining the North West Section of the VCCA for a B.B.Q. tea. Return to Devonport accommodation.
Tue Apr 16 Explore Port Sorell Shearwater and Devonport area before catching the " Spirit " at approx 4 pm. Enjoy your dinner and the trip home
Wed Apr 17 Back to the other world where you have to fight traffic and breath fumes as part of driving.
NOTES ON ABOVE
The longest distance that we travel any day is approx 180 miles.
Accommodation should average out at about $80 per night per couple.
Take a thermos to allow flexability for tea stops and to cut down on costs.
Total distance travelled for tour and rally will be approx 1700 miles
See menu ?Comming Events? for more information on how to book or who to contact for more specific details or eMail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Membership Renewal 2003 - Are you one of the Early Birds??
Exactly half our membership has been paid.
The other half just may not know until they don't get a Buick News in August!!
Well it is that time of the year again. It is time for all members of the Buick Car Club of Australia Inc in NSW to pay their membership renewal fee of $40.00 (that is in Australian Dollars).
When you are a financial member of this club you receive a copy of The Buick News each month, you are covered on club outings by the club's public liability insurance (which is needed in addition to your vehicle's CTP and any other insurance you might have on your car). You are also entitled to register your vehicle on club plates provided the vehicle is at least 30 years old. Club registration is an inexpensive way to register the car you might use occasionally rather than daily. Club registration does have its limitations but still has a number of positive reasons for its use.
There are many more reasons to continue be a member of the club such as the camaraderie and great friendships, great networking opportunities exist allowing members to discuss with their member colleagues all about their vehicles. Plenty of people will attest to solving difficult problems with their Buicks through advice gained from their member colleagues.
Please send your Membership Renewal cheque or money order by mail to:
The Buick Car Club of Australia Inc in NSW
Merrylands, NSW 2160
I know we all get busy and time flies and before you know it, you haven't received your usual issue of the Buick News because you haven't had a chance to sit down a write that cheque! Well, right now you are reading this, please take this opportunity to do it now. Not only will your Treasurer be happy but you will too because you will continue to enjoy the benefits of this fantastic club, which incidentally, is 30 years old this year.
Buick Celebrates 100 Years
Well its all over now and the years of planning by the Buicktown Chapter of the Buick Club of America and I?m sure Buick Motor Division and of course the participants all paid off. I must confess to having some doubts about the whole deal, as the last Buick Nationals we attended in the USA were somewhat disappointing and the last Nationals we attended in Flint in 1988 were so hot as to be most uncomfortable, but this was Buick?s 100th anniversary and we figured we would not be around for the next centennial, so we would give it a go.
The venue was the Flint Cultural Centre, and let me try and describe this area, it is on a 30 acre site, not far from downtown Flint, which was originally part of the C.S.Mott estate and adjoins the original Mott home and garden, which in itself is a magnificent building and garden. It has the following features, The Flint Institute of Arts (De Waters Art Center)
The Flint Institute of Music (Dort Music Center) home of the Flint Symphony Orchestra and the Flint School of Performing Arts, The Flint Public Library, The Flint Youth Theatre, The Robert T. Longway Planetarium alongside a very pleasant ornamental lake complete with fountain, Alfred P. Sloan Museum, James H. Whiting Auditorium, Sarvis Center (Food catering), F.A. Bower Theatre and of course the Buick Research Centre. In all an excellent facility, with plenty of room to display cars, mainly on grassed areas plus hard standing for the swap meet area. Parking was a bit of a problem for non show cars, but it all seemed to work OK.
Arriving in Flint on Wednesday afternoon we first went to the registration area in the Sloan Museum and collected our ?goodie? bag which contained among other things a beautiful cast epoxy stand into which was embedded the very nice meet emblem, and it was engraved with our name, a really nice reminder of the event. People who entered cars received a number plate with the meet emblem on it. This was the first chance to meet up with old friends both from the USA and Australia. The Hospitality area was a huge marquee in the court yard of the Sloan Museum with rows of tables and chairs plus an area where hot and cold drinks and nibbles? were available free, courtesy of the local Buick dealer ?Patsy-Lou Williamson?. This was an excellent area in which to catch up with old friends and make new ones. Of course we had to have a look at the swap meet area too, most vendors were set up by the Wednesday afternoon, then it was off to our home for the next few days with Norb and Lee Burwell in Flushing, about 15km from Flint.
Thursday I went to the meet by myself as Margaret went shopping with Lee, this was a good opportunity to look at the cars and the displays. Buick had on display most of their concept cars from the ?Y Job? to the very latest, they were mainly in too large marquees opposite the Sloane Museum, there was another large marquee containing ten very nice cars from the collection of jewellery magnate Nicola Bulgari, plus two smaller tents, one containing a GSX and the other the last Grand National to be produced (This was the car I talked about in the June issue of Buick News.). The Buick Research Centre had on display more of the Buick concept cars plus the usual cars and displays which are normally housed there, but for this event there were two ?Royal Tour? Buicks from Canada also displayed. They were a 1928 McLaughlin Master touring car and a 1939 Limited with a special convertible body again by McLaughlin on an extended wheelbase. Apparently the Canadian Museum only agreed to the loan of these cars if Buick guaranteed their safety. Another interesting car displayed there was a 1948 Special Sedanette which competed in the recent Peking to Paris Rally, the car was right hand drive and apparently prepared in England. Buick also had current models on display.
Now to the general display, as I said most of the cars were shown on the grassed area, many under trees, so it was pleasant walking around them, not all the cars had arrived on Thursday but there was still a lot to look at, obviously there were more cars the later in the time frame, so there were few really early cars, but some nice examples and some interesting ones, few early1920?s cars, I don?t remember seeing any 1920-22 models but from 1923 on I think every year was represented. The display was set out more or less chronologically with special areas for 63-65 Rivieras and Reattas. Among the interesting ?specials? were a 1938, 40 series converted to a motor home and a 1942 Limited which was a utility, there were some ambulances and hearses and a bus.
Buick Club of America also caters for modified vehicles and there was an area set aside for them, the workmanship on some of these vehicles was very impressive, although the modifications were not to everyone?s taste, but to each his own.
All the swap meet vendors were set up by Thursday so another round of the area was called for, most vendors were only displaying Buick items, plus a few other GM things, it was not like a normal swap meet in this regard.
A tour had been organised for the Buick V6 engine plant on Thursday and although I booked on the tour I missed it because I got caught up talking with old friends, which I think is the most enjoyable part of our hobby. The people who went on the tour were impressed with the plant and the tour. Also tours of the C.S.Mott estate adjoining the cultural centre were on and this was a worthwhile self guided tour of the gardens of this quite magnificent home, a film on the life of C.S.Mott was also shown.
The other highlight, for me on Thursday was the audio visual presentation by Historian Terry Dunham on early Buick racing, an article he wrote on this subject was printed in the Buick News some months ago, but this presentation really brought the subject to life, and to top it off, the Buick ?Bug? racing car was fired up and driven up to the theatre.
Friday we both went in to the meet and of course the swap meet called again, well you had to walk past it to get from where we parked our horrid rented Chevrolet Cavalier, to get to the main areas.
A plant tour of the assembly operations in Hamtramck Detroit was available for those who had booked, we had missed out on tickets for this, but from the reports from the people who attended, it was a disappointing morning. What was not disappointing however was the trip to the Flint airport to see the B17 and B24 World War 2 bombers which were powered by Buick built engines, busses were run from the Cultural Centre to the airport every hour, which gave you time to crawl through the aircraft and appreciate how little room the crew had to do their jobs, these aircraft are reputed to be the only ones of their type still flying. The planes flew over the city twice a day from Thursday to Saturday and you could be a passenger for a mere $400 (US), but they did make for an impressive sight when they flew over. Also on display at the airport was a Hellcat Tank also produced by Buick during W.W.II, other military displays just topped off the scene.
Friday was also the day for ?speed freaks?, the Milan Drag Strip was the venue and among the other events the Buick Bug was run against the Blackhawk Concept Car, although we did not go down to the Drag strip, apparently it was a great day if you are into drag racing.
After more looking at cars and socialising, pizza was ordered for a whole group of us and enjoyed in the hospitality marquee before the evening entertainment which consisted of a musical group L?USA playing in the open and dancing in the street for those who wanted. At about 10.00pm the fireworks display started, it was touted as the biggest display of fireworks ever seen in Flint, and I can believe that, it was a most spectacular display, which incorporated the Buick emblem and 100th anniversary illuminated in fireworks. This took place across the ornamental lake and was very impressive.
Saturday morning dawned quite dull and rain was forecast for the afternoon, up till now the meet organisers had done a great job ordering the weather, it had been sunny and not too hot with a nice breeze. I arrived at the meet about 10.00am and of course that swap meet was still there, so one more look couldn?t hurt, could it? By now Buick had brought in a Semi Trailer, which was a photographic studio and you could have your photo taken with Tiger Woods, although he was nowhere in the area, what would we do without electronics?
This was the main display day and of course the whole area way busy, some 1700 cars had been registered and the display area was full, many of the cars had been there for several days, but there were some I hadn?t seen before. Plus there were many people to talk too.
The local radio station was there, encouraging locals to come and join the party and enjoy the display of Buicks, many came. The whole area was crowded and lines at the food concessions were formidable and prices had gone up.
The highlight of Saturday, for me, was the audio visual presentation by Buick Public Relations man and Historian, Larry Gustin. The presentation entitled ?The Spirit of Buick? was exceptionally well put together with some never before seen footage of interviews with early Buick personnel and families, plus some early TV commercials and public relations material.
Buick Motor Division was presented with a plaque from the Society of Automotive Historians on attaining 100 years of continuous production this was accepted by Larry Gustin, he and Terry Dunham were congratulated on their research which went into the new (6th) edition of their book ?Buick a Complete History?.
The formal part of the event took place on Saturday evening, starting with the Banquet, as there were so many ( I believe 3000) people to feed this was divide into two sitting in each of two venues. The venues were the Sarvis food centre and the Hospitality Tent first sitting was 5.00pm and by this time light rain was falling, so we got a little wet waiting for the doors to open, our meal was buffett style, but I believe the meal served in the hospitality area was a sit-down affair, anyway the meal was quite nice and we sat at a table with our hosts the Burwells, the Weekes and a couple from New Orleans, he had been a Buick Sales Rep. As the next sitting was waiting we were hurried out of the area at 7.00pm, to wait for the evening presentation in the Whiting auditorium, the overflow saw the presentation on a big screen in the Sarvis centre.
This was quite a presentation, compared by local TV anchor man and member of the Buicktown Chapter, Bill Harris, the flags of twelve nations, representing people from other countries who were attending the meet, were paraded. A pipe band representing Scotland, the home country of David Buick led the parade. After the award presentation (This was not a judged car show, but personal choice awards from Buick management and other dignitaries were presented) the main address was by Buick?s General Manager, Roger Adam, the title of which was ?A Legacy of Power, Passion and Style?, this was a very interesting address encompassing Buick?s past and its relationship to current and future products. Buick will try to appeal to younger buyers in the future with new sport utility models, which have recently been released and more are on the way.
The evening entertainment was by the band Huey Lewis and The News, unfortunately the thousands of watts of amplified volume of their presentation drove us out of the auditorium and we did not get to hear the Buicktown Chapter Director?s final comments.
On Sunday morning we went back for a final look at the area and to take a photo of the sign for this article, it must have been a great party and even the ?I? in Buick could not stand up on Sunday morning. The transport trucks were there loading Buick?s cars and Bulgari?s cars, these were worth seeing in themselves, fully enclosed with hydraulic lifts to enable cars to be loaded on two levels, and with ?sleeper cab? more like a small caravan.
Well that was the end of great meet, obviously with that many people and cars to be catered for, there were a few grumbles, but we thought that the whole thing went off very well and the Buicktown Chapter and Buick Motor Division were to be congratulated on a great show.
On the way back to Detroit we visited the Walter P Chrysler Museum, but that?s another story, we flew out of Detroit about 7.00pm local time (Late of course) changed planes and airlines in Los Angeles and arrived home in Sydney at 8.30am Tuesday (Late of course). It was good to drive an Australian built car again.
Eric & Margaret North
This story begins as long ago as 1978. We were living in Perth and the Sunday Times was compulsory reading. The inevitable happened: here was an advert for a 1951 Buick for $200! In 1951, a car like this was only the property of a wealthy grazier riding the boom in wool prices when a pound of wool brought one pound. Just a dream for a 22 year old with a motor bike! A quick visit and the deal was done – knocked down to $175. Phil was a decent, earnest chap who was trying his best with job, marriage and spare time, but his wife had said: “It’s me or the car”.
This was the usual Buick built in RHD for export - Fisher body, style 4519, 4 door 6 passenger sedan, 263 cu.in. engine, manual trans. (of course!). The engine, gearbox, and everything else under the bonnet (sorry, hood) had been removed, the engine completely dismantled revealing stuck and broken rings and a partly melted piston. Everything else O.K. Phil said, “take one end of the block and we’ll heave it into your wagon”. My “wagon” was a 1963 EJ Holden, – the most useful vehicle I have ever owned. This was too heavy for me, so we got it higher onto milk crates and it could be done. I found a garage for the car until the day when restoration could begin.
Fast forward (slowly) until the year 2000. My restoration project has been waiting for me in a rebuilt garage in Busselton, W.A. for 20 years, our retirement address.
First off were those enormous bumpers, front grille and header bar, delivered to K&D Chrome platers, Perth. It became obvious that all the body work had to be sand blasted back and primed, which for the best job meant completely knocked down and body off the chassis. I took the car to Perth where fellow Club member, Tony Howe, removed the body and all panels and arranged sand-blasting and prime. When it came back to Busselton, sand blasting had shown that some door and boot repairs were necessary, a good job done by Ross Day, a local repair man.
Busselton is a small town, and just down the road, an easy push, the repaired car was delivered to Tony Francis for the final paint job. That easy statement covers many hours deliberating over: what colour? The year was now 2006, which says a lot about the amount of spare time we car restorers get in between enlarging and repainting a house, new gardens, lawns, and building sheds.
The Buick was now repainted in a plain colour (no metallics in 1951) as close as possible to original. The body plate (Flint Mich.) states: “Paint No.2 D”. Well there we are. Easy as that! Does anybody know what No. 2 means? But this is where the real work begins. The engine was delivered to GTS Engine Reconditioning in Bunbury. They did a top job with a new set of pistons, rings and bearings I bought from U.S.A.. The whole lot came home and I set about reassembling the engine. To me, this is the best part. Correct tolerances are essential, and a good machine shop will get them right. All four doors needed complete refurbishment; winding mechanisms, new channel and wiper strips, rechromed handles, new glass. I provided Pilkingtons with one each of the door windows to copy, and a new one-piece curved windscreen came from Ralph Moore in Mascot, Sydney. Each door provided a worthwhile winter job to fit new channel and wiper strips which I bought in from Steele Rubber in U.S.A.
These Buicks look like a real car should when completed, the overall styling is complemented greatly with the added stainless trim, the end result worth the effort. This is something the Americans have been good at through the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. But I can’t let this pass without adding that replacing that stainless trim is a real job, and caused me as much stress as any other part of the car.
So there we are. I actually have a good-as-new Buick that was never thought possible to me in 1951. I would like to acknowledge with my sincere thanks the constant help I have had from fellow Club members Tony Howe, Murray Rynvis over many years and of course the tolerance of my wife, Judy. She didn’t at any point say “it’s me or the car”.
Article - Tony Gentilcore
We look forward to this event every year but the weather forecast was not so good with another low pressure system like the one a couple of weeks before which devastated parts of Sydney.
Calls went out among the committee about postponing it but no "the show must go on" it was decided and it did.
We were lucky to have good cover for the judges in our usual spot at the Rouse Hill Town Centre and it wasn't too cold or wet for the most part.
It didn't matter because we had a big modern shopping centre for some retail therapy for the ladies and even a cinema complex if one felt inclined.
Considering the damp conditions we had a pretty good roll up of 19 Buicks and thanks to those that came from the Hunter and Central Coast.
We all had a good time chatting, eating cake, drinking hot coffee and looking under hoods. There was a wide assortment of lunch options in the food court which most took advantage of.
It was good to see Paul White's dark blue recently acquired 1936 4 door sedan which was a very sharp looking vehicle and won his class.
Three independent CMC judges stepped up to the plate and did a thorough job as usual and the conditions didn't phase them.
One fellow even came in his shorts and thongs for goodness sake.
At 2pm we assembled for the traditional group photo which Barbara usually takes from a lofty ladder supplied by the centre but not this year. Occupational Health & Safety has caught up with us and it was not permitted but one of the guys from the centre was happy to take the picture for us so no big deal. It meant she could be in the photo for a change. (that's her on the far left)
The winners were as follow:
1920-29 - Geoff Ward 1928 Tourer
1930-39 - Paul White 1936 4 door sedan
1950-59 - Colin Castle 1950 Convertible
1960-69 - Hans Spannenberg 1964 Skylark Coupe
1970-79 - Claus Gronau 1972 Riviera
Centre Manager's Choice - 1968 Riviera Greg & Geraldine Massey
Under Restoration - Hans Spannenberg 1963 Electra
Grand Champion - Tony Gentilcore 1965 Riviera Gran Sport
To sum up it was a great day out in our Buick and much better than sitting around out home.
We managed to get home just before the heavens opened up.
Hope to see more there next year.
Photography - Barbara Gentilcore