It was January 1983 when someone in our club mentioned that he had purchased some old Buicks that had been stored in an old barn in Connecticut. He purchased the cars because he intended to keep one and sell the others. That person was Keith Yost, Ontelaunee President in 1982, who passed away in 2001 at age 45. purchased from him a Standard Six 2-door, 5-passenger, coach model 27-20. In Connecticut at that time the cars didn’t have a title just a bill of sale. The bill of sale allowed me to get a Pennsylvania title.
The car was in pretty sad shape but it was restorable. The roof was disintegrated with only the roof slats intact. The seats had very little material on the springs. I guess the mice were having a field day. The glue on the wooden steering wheel dried up and pieces to the steering wheel lay on the floor. The body was straight but needed a lot of work. Just to give you an idea how bad it was, when our local service station attendant came to pick up our modern car for inspection he asked my wife if I got the old car from the junk yard.
It took six long years to restore the car. It needed a lot of new wood which my father helped to replace. The hood had holes in it and Stitzer body shop fabricated a new one after a failed attempt at securing one from California resulted in having to send it back because it was for another model. Although I thought the wooden spoke wheels would have looked nicer with a natural finish, the 27-20 model’s spokes were painted and then pin striped. The nickel, paint and upholstery were completed by Reinhold’s restoration. The paint color is Washington Blue with black fenders and the interior has blue mohair plush upholstery.
I like driving the Buick and it can keep up with modern traffic but stopping it can be difficult. There is no ignition key, the car has a starter button on the floor. There is however a key to lock the transmission. This was also the last year Buick used a backward shift pattern meaning a reverse H.
Not much changed from the previous year in this car except the engine now had rubber motor supports, heavier flywheels, counter balanced crankshafts, a “vacuum ventilation” for the crankcase and a torsional balancer. Buick’s sales slogan became “Vibrationless Beyond Belief”. Horsepower increased to 63. Production was 33,190 for domestic sales and 870 for export. It sold for $1,195.00 and weighed 3,215 pounds.
I was glad to have received an AACA Senior Award in 1989 and a Grand National second in Botavia, New York. Another highlight was to go on an AACA Vintage Tour in Maryland in 2007.