Clifford’s 1947 Buick Super. Model 56C

Clifford's 1947 Buick Super Model 56C

Clifford's 1947 Buick Super Model 56C


Specifications:

Year: 1947
Make: Buick
Model:
Super
Body Type: 56C -
Convertible
Engine: Straight 8
Bore & Stroke: 3 3/32″ x 4 1/8″
Piston Displacement: 248 cu. in
Length:
212 3/8″ x 4 1/8″
Wheel Base: 124″
Location: USA

Clifford writes…

This is our 1947 Buick Super. Model
56C

‘Way back in 1954 aspiring to attend General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan, I needed a car to get me there.  One day I noticed a junky old Buick in the back row of a local car dealer, it sure
wasn’t anything I could take to GMI!  Putting it out of my mind several days went by, when all of a sudden I saw the same car, but with GORGEOUS Sequoia Cream hot enamel paint job.  Yes, the finish was just like glass!


I looked up the painter, and with a sparkle in his eye, he said that the old girl needed something special, so he heated the enamel to 75 degrees.

The result was a glass like finish!  Well the rest is history, and $650.00 poorer, I was the owner of this fine machine.  I drove the car all through college, and then because the differential had a sing to it, I sold her for $150.00! I had wanted a Dyna Flow anyway, and purchased a 1952 Roadmaster Convertible to take its place.

Here we are. Note GMI patch on the jacket and youthful outlook on life, ah youth!

Many years passed, and my wife suggested we get an old car and join the antique car hobby. (Who could be luckier my wife got the idea first!)? Of course we both remembered THE 47.  A twenty-year hunt was necessary before we located our current 1947.

The scene: The National Buick Show in Flint in 1988, oh it was HOT!  The black top at the Auto World Parking Lot really radiated “warmth”.  Between the sun in the sky, and the warm black top, there was little comfort EXCEPT for viewing those gorgeous Buick’s.

Yes, we had the entire family including our son, his wife, and their son.  The first car we spotted in the lot was to be our second 1947 Buick.  It was FILTHY. All its brothers and sisters were in their Sunday best, and just gleaming.  Our future Buick had just come off the road,
and was covered with BUGS and filthy whitewall tires.  Well, it wasn’t for sale, but it WAS our color.  My son, a professional body man, trained at Denver School of Body and Paint, said he thought we could make her decent. My wife kinda lingered behind reminiscing about the old days.  We left her there as the swap meet was calling us.

Several hours later we met for lunch, and my wife had met the owner of the 47 as he was leaving. He was already in the street, and she RAN after him, running along side the car telling him we were looking for a car just like his.

He stopped and explained the only reason he had stopped at the meet was to find a 1953 Skylark, and when he found it, he would sell the ’47.  She gave him our telephone number, and he was gone.

Months passed and we heard nothing.  We searched the meet roster for his name and address, as we had not had time to get it from him, and no luck.  Then one day, just before Christmas, he called saying he had found his Skylark, and the ’47 was for sale.  We made a date in January to see the car.  The temperature in Canada that day was 50 F, and the car sat in the driveway, freshly washed.

To make a long story short, we bought the car, and then the fun began.

Above 35 miles an hour, the car shook, and if you turned a corner, the interior filled with burning tire smell, the tire pressure was only 15 lbs.  The block leaked anti-freeze, and the rear end was noisy.  I was aware of the noisy rear end when I bought the car, but the other problems were surprises!

Once home, it was easy to put the tires on a lathe and round them out, and balance them.  That smoothed things out.  A new ring gear, pinion, and bearings took care of the sing.  The block leak that was thought to be just a head gasket, was a crack in the block!

About the same time, I noticed an advertisement for a book entitled 40 CAST IRON REPAIR SECRETS That Welding Shops Don’t Want You to Know.  I sent for the book, and what a help. I was able to contact the author Rich Fercy, who over the ‘phone guided me through the repair. It has been many years now, and the repair is holding just fine, thank you.

We rewired the car with a great deal of help from Harnesses Unlimited in Wayne Pa.  They even worked nights, and would answer questions over the ‘phone, what a
big help they were.

The Hydro-Electric system was drained, cleaned of all brake fluid, new hoses and cylinders from Hydro-Electric installed, and the system thoroughly cleaned. We filled the system with Automatic transmission fluid made for GM cars. Yes, at the recommendation of Hydro-Electric we used automatic transmission fluid.  They warned that sluggish performance would result in cold weather, but the pump and system would “love” the extra lubricity of the transmission fluid.  They were right, and the system is great.

The transmission was sloppy, and wanting it a little firmer, I contacted Dan Myers of DM Vintage Automotive, and he supplied all the internal parts for the transmission.  We have it rebuilt now, all is tight, but a little lube sneaks out from somewhere.  Still under examination for further improvement.

The paint was orange peel rough, and oldest son, spent the better part of a day with fine grit sandpaper, and Finesse It .  The result, the same glassy finish as the first 1947.

Here is the car today.  The same two folks fifty years later, give or take a year or two.

I have enjoyed sharing our Buick experiences with you.

Clifford Herold

  1. Dave Peters Said,

    A great story; love your car.

    I’ve a ’47 56C as well – still unrestored and one of only two in New Zealand. Have searched high and low for some of the stainless trim items, so hopefully they’ll turn up one day.

    Regards from NZ.
    Dave

  2. Tom Welter Said,

    Great story. I just bought a 47 Buick Super convertible and am in the process of researching the history. This car is a fairly solid car that came with all the chrome, stainless and then some. The other post from Dave Peters may be interested in some of these spares. If you have any information you can share I would appreciate it . Thanks, Tom (Caseywe6@aol.com)

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