|Here is what I know about my Buick: It was located in an airport hanger north of El Paso, TX, close to the New Mexico border. I have traced the ownership back to New Mexico, but the state of New Mexico will not do a title search from the past archives as Texas does.The car was purchased by Don Jarrett from El Paso in 1986. It was nick named the “ninety day wonder” as that is about how long he spent upgrading it to the status that it was when I purchased it. Don was an excellent engineer and builder. He was the type who could do a great deal with very little to work with. He bought a wrecked ’73 Cadillac and transformed the Buick into a late model “resto-rod” with the parts donated from the Caddy. When I purchased it, the car had a partial Caddy/Buick front end, a 472CI Caddy engine and Turbo 400 trans. The 10 bolt GM rear end with single leaf Nova springs were under it. The Caddy front power seat was in it also. The car ran two different GM bolt pattern wheels front and back. Don made everything actually work quite well, but the cosmetics left something to be desired.
I had the honor of meeting Don at least once that I can remember, but soon after he built the car, he passed away after suffering a heart attack. His widow moved back to my home town on the Arkansas/Texas border, almost a thousand miles from where the car had been built. She brought the car with her to Arkansas. After a short time here, health issues forced her to move out of the high humidity of southwest Arkansas and back to the dry climate of west Texas. She left the car with her son and daughter and their families to keep and store until it was decided what would be done with it.
Enter Thomas Davis in 1995; while strolling over to pick up a tractor and bush hog to do some mowing, he passed by the house where the ’40 Buick was being stored. The son who had the car stored talked to Mr.. Davis and the deal was struck to buy the car for $3000. I was aware the car would probably be sold at some point in time, and the owner and family knew me. I always assumed that word would get to me before it was sold and how much it would take to buy it. I figured wrong…it didn’t happen that way. But, knowing all parties involved, I patiently waited until Thomas was in the mood to sell. I bought the car in 1996 for $3700, running and driving and in much the same condition as Don Jarrett had built it in 1986. I drove it all summer of ’96 and began a re-build and upgrade in the winter of that year. My intentions were to be road ready by spring of ’97, but money(lack of) got in the way in it was April of ’98 before I was mobile again. The upgrade continued into ’99 with a complete color change from all white exterior,red interior, to a purple(with blue pearl) exterior called Ford Venetian Blue, and a gray velour interior.
I also changed out the air-conditiong unit to include an a/c/heat/defrost unit and electric wipers. A new stereo (cassette) was installed also. New wheels, tires, Autometer gauges, and some engine upgrades were put into force. A high volume water pump and oil pump, chrome valve covers, carb, Walker radiator, electric fans, and lots of minor cosmetic upgrades were added. I drove the car until winter of ’00 in this fashion, making one trip to the NSRA Nats in Louisville, KY in it.
While at the ’00 Nats in Louisville, I purchased an new crate 350GM engine with all the trimmings, billet and polished or chromed everything. I also bought a Fatman front stub assembly with Mustang II power rack and pinion. New TCI rear leaf spring suspension was added also. In addition, a new Pioneer am/fm/cd changer was added and a Dakota Digital cruise control. A complete new UltraLeather interior with a new custom front seat from Larry Dennis Company was also installed, along with new carpet. New American Racing Torque Thrust polished aluminum five spoke mags and tires were mounted. Lots of other upgrades were put into effect from that point even up until now, the car is constantly being upgraded. The car is currently being run without the bumpers. I have filled the holes and sold the bumpers, they are no longer and will never be replaced by me.
I went to Oklahoma City to the NSRA SouthWestern Nats in ’01 (where I bought the new seat and UltraLeather for the interior), and to the Rocky Mtn Nats in Pueblo, CO in ’02. As you can see, the car does not sit idle for long. In the seven years I have owned it, the car has been apart over two of those years. In the remaining years, I have managed to drive it over 25K miles, and intend to drive it much more in the future, as I have really gotten it road worthy, safe, comfortable and fun to drive in the past year. Now it’s time to burn up some asphalt…..
1940 Buick Engine
- Year and Make:2000 GM Goodwrench V-8 ‘crate’ motor
- Displacement and Modifications:350 cubic inch,BONE STOCK and a good leaving alone just as GM designed it.
- Cooling fan:Flex-a-lite 2500 cfm duel 12” slimline electric w/shroud
- Alternator:Powermaster chromeBillet Specialties fan/pulley,
- Manifold and Induction:Polished aluminium intakeEdelbrock electric choke
600cfm polished carburetor
- Ignition and Wires:HEI distributorTaylor wires
- Headers and Exhaust:Coated blockhugger headersturbo mufflers and 2 ¼” aluminized exhaust
- Brackets and Pulleys:Billet Specialties polished aluminium pulleys and painted steel brackets
- AC compressor:Sanden polished aluminum compressorpolished lines
- Valve Covers and Breather:Billet Specialties ball milled chromed tall valve coversCustom “BUICK” emblems
Billet Specialties breather
- Transmission:’73 Cadillac Turbo Hydramatic 400Stock Converter
Lokar kick down switch and shift linkage
1940 Buick Interior
- DASHBOARD:Customized ’40 buick by owner,Woodwork by Tom Strickland and Bruce Stinson
- GAUGES:Autometer PHANTOM gauges
- STEREO/SPEAKERS:Pioneer Detachable face AM/FM/CD ChangerPioneer Speakers, Kicker subwoofer, Lightning amp and wiring
- AIR CONDITIONING:King Kooler AIR/HEAT/DEFROST by Airtique
- WIRING:Haywire wiring harness
- CRUISE CONTROL:Rostra’s by Dokata Digital
- STEERING COLUMN:1975 cadillac tilt/telescopic
- STEERING WHEEL:Lecarra
- WIPERS:Newport Engineering two speed delay wipers
- SEATS:Custom front, stock rear
- UPHOLSTERY:Texarkana Auto upholstery and owner
- MATERIAL:Gray ultra-leather seat covers, gray cloth headliner
- CARPETStephen Dagostino – owner installed
- TRIM:Factory original window trim and handles
- CONSOLE/UNDER DASH:Designed, built and upholstered by owner with gray ultra-leather
1940 Buick Body
- BODY STYLE/MATERIAL:Five window Sport Coupe – All steel
- BODY MAUFACTURER:Fisher body by Buick
- RADIATOR:Walker Cobra Heavy duty 4 core
- FUEL TANK:41-48 chevy Polyethelene 18 Gallon
- PAINT TYPE/COLOR:PPG DELTRON base coat/clear coat ’95 Ford Venetian Blue pearl Poly
- BODY and PAINT:Body work by owner, painted by owner and AL HAILE at homeand Texarkana College auto body shop
- HEADLIGHT/TAIL LIGHTS:Halogen tri-bar blue dot headlightsRon Francis Brite bulbs
- THIRD BRAKE LIGHT:Ron Francis rear window third brake light.