My father bought this car in 1947. To impress my mother he replaced the engine in 1953 with a brand new one from Buick, (new out out of a crate not out of another car), also a straight 8 like the original, but slightly bigger at 263 cubic inches so it ran much faster. So it has a '53 engine in it. He also painted it dark blue that year, instead of the original green. He did not restore anything, it has the original interior and nobody ever touched the stainless or chrome, and it still has the 1953 paint job. I put seat covers on to protect the original upholstery, which is good in the back but worn out in the front driver side, and sun damage near the rear window. It was in California from 1940 to 1960, we moved to upstate NY then, my parents both had new cars so this car sat in a garage and wasn't used again until 1968 when we moved again and it got a heated garage, where it just sat again. They only kept this car for sentimental reasons, he proposed to her in this car. My father never drove this car in the snow and it has never seen salt in its whole life so there is ZERO rust on the body panels or frame. You can whack your knuckles near the wheels where rust usually forms, and the only thing you will hurt is your knuckles. I mean it, the sheet metal is 100% totally not rusted, and not a speck of Bondo or other filler has ever touched this car.
Around 1986 my father could not get it started, so it sat until 2015, when he was 92 and decided he wasn't going to live forever, so he gave me the car if I could get it started. I took the challenge, got it running, gave it a valve job, all new valves, new hardened seats, the compression is now better than when it was new! Compression 125 in all 8 cylinders. Car runs like a new car, it goes up steep hills faster than a new car. Incredible torque, best engine ever made was the Buick straight 8 Fireball. Nothing sounds like a straight 8.
I listed the mileage as 3,000 because that's about how many miles since the valve job 3 years ago. The odometer says 23,000, but it's not the original odometer, the original odometer said something like 49,000 if I remember correctly. The new odometer works, the speedometer reads around 5 MPH slow at medium speed, and 10 MPH slow at high speeds, so when you are going 75, it says 65. The new speedometer looks brand new!
New tires, Goodyear Eagle II, and new tubes, 3000 miles ago, in 2015.
New clutch plate and new clutch pressure plate in 2016.
Fuel gauge works, tank removed, steamed and sealed in 2015.
Temperature gauge works.Voltage gauge works (charger/battery ammeter).
Oil pressure gauge works.
Original horns work, original horn relay.
Original starter, generator, fuel pump, distributor, coil, all work.Rear brake shoes and cylinders new in 2016, drums not turned just cleaned.Front brake shoes new 2016, drums turned. Have new brake cylinders ready to install.Have new master brake cylinder ready to install too, just never got around to it. Comes with car, you install if you want.
New voltage regulator in 2015.
New water pump 2018.Radiator has recently been removed and restored by radiator shop (and painted) in 2018.
Windshield wiper vacuum motor replaced by electric wiper motor so works perfectly.Has seatbelts, installed 2016.No heater. Hoses disconnected when I put new water pump in. No plan of running this car in winter.
There is a video of this car on youtube, just search for video called Cruising in a 1940 Buick with a 263 Fireball engine, and check another video on youtube "1940 Buick first start in 30 years. Straight Eight" that shows my father age 92, and me starting the car in 2015