1958 Buick Caballero

Discussion in 'Station Wagon Projects' started by jmt455, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. jmt455

    jmt455 Well-Known Member

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    Now that the car has safely made it back to Michigan, I think I can safely start the project thread for the Caballero.

    As you may know, this car was offered here on the forum: http://www.stationwagonforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31784

    Bill (moparandfomoco) offered it up and I was lucky enough to be the first to respond.

    I flew out to Albuquerque and spent a fun 4 days with Bill and his son, Anthony. As soon as I got a look at the car, I knew I would take it, so we got it ready for a short trip from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, where it would be easier to coordinate the transport arrangements.

    I arrived late on a Thursday night and we went to see the car on Friday morning. This is how it looked:
    [​IMG]

    Bill and Anthony helped get the car up on jackstands and I got underneath to see what needed to be done to hold the rear axle in position. This car has a "torque-tube" drive train; without the transmission in place to hold the front of the torque tube, the rear axle is free to float around.

    Here's Bill, clearing out the vegetation and making sure there are no critters under the car:
    [​IMG]

    I was happy to discover that the front of the torque tube was already chained to the frame, so all we needed to do was tie down the rear axle.
    We pumped up the rear tires and headed off to Harbor Freight for some ratchet tie-downs and tarps to wrap the loose parts.

    you can see in this photo that the rear axle was sitting too far forward in the frame; the tire was hitting the front edge of the wheel opening:
    [​IMG]

    We got the axle into position using 4 tie-downs (2 pulling forward, 2 pulling rearward) and re-checked the tires. The rears were leaking badly, so we pulled the wheels and went in search of a tire service shop to install inner tubes. Chihuahua Tire & Auto Repair to the rescue!

    [​IMG]

    After lunch at BackRoad Pizza (Bill knew it was a good "Triple-D" recommendation!), we put the rear wheels on and got it rolling!

    Bill, Anthony and I managed to push the car from the back of the yard up to the end of the gravel driveway, where it sat next to the home-owner's Buicks:

    [​IMG]

    The muscle-men celebrate our little victory:
    [​IMG]

    We left it at the end of the driveway. Bill had found a local tow company to pick the car up the next day and move it near his house for the cross-country pick-up.

    It was about 98F by the time we headed back toward Albuquerque. Yeah, it's a dry heat, but it still felt hot!

    Next morning, we pushed the car a little further up the driveway so the roll-back could easily got to it. Loading was uneventful and we set off for Albuquerque.

    [​IMG]

    The truck needed fuel, so we stopped at the first available spot. The car drew quite a crowd!

    Bill had arranged to leave the car at a friend's home. I truly lucked out on this deal; Bill, his wife Ruselle and their son, Anthony were SUPER hosts. We had some fun looking through the neighborhoods for old cars and trucks; they are everywhere out there!

    The day after we moved the car to Albuquerque, I got to the car early and started prepping it for shipment. There was a lot of dust, sand, parts and junk in the car. Bill, Anthony and Anthony's friends helped wrap up the bumpers and get everything back into the car. By mid-day, it was ready for pick-up:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here's the whole team of helpers.
    From left to right; Bill (moparandfomoco), Anthony, Greg, Chris and Marilyn (their Mother), who is holding a copy of "Automobile" magazine with a picture of a 58 Caballero on the cover).

    I can't thank Bill and Anthony enough for their help and hospitality. God Bless them!

    [​IMG]

    I flew home to Michigan and Bill met the transport company at the car a week later. Here it is as it arrived in Michigan:

    [​IMG]

    My intention was to disassemble the car and restore it, but I have been talking to a lot of people about restoration vs. preservation.

    I haven't made up my mind yet, but I am leaning towards getting it roadworthy and preserving it.

    I'll post more in a few days when we get back from visiting our daughters in Minnesota and Illinois.

    More to come!
     
    BillT, Poison_Ivy and Grizz like this.
  2. snooterbuckets

    snooterbuckets New Member

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    JMT, this is one of the coolest threads and stories I've been following since I came on the forum a few years back. It just emphasizes what a great thing the internet is. If this was 20 years ago, there's no way you would've ever found out about the Cabellero and I fear the worst would have happened. Instead, it's back on the road to recovery and I couldn't be happier. That's going to be one beautiful Buick, I can tell.
    Congrats, JMT, and many thanks to Bill for not only posting it, but giving and being so much help. Just a win win all the way around.
     
  3. moparandfomoco

    moparandfomoco Well-Known Member

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    Yes, snoot, it's pretty cool....and the best thing about it I got a "front-row pass" to the Woodward Dream Cruise next year courtesy of Joe!

    I dunno, if it were me doing it, I would lean towards a full-blown resto on it...oh boy, if it wasn't a 58 Colony Park!

    BTW Snoot, as a former Colony Park owner, remember what they used to say about Mercury Colony Parks in the old commercials...."If Lincoln Continental made a station wagon, this would be it".....we're part of the "International Merc Wagon Brotherhood!"

    Good Luck Joe and Godspeed Brother!
     
  4. dennis

    dennis Well-Known Member

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    JMT, its great all went well on pickup with help from moparandfomocs family and another longroof is saved :bigsmile: your one lucky fella :cheers: Thanks for sharing
     
  5. MotoMike

    MotoMike Well-Known Member

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    I can't get over the condition of the chrome on this car after 56 years, it looks almost new. And the radiator support in the picture, excellent. If this is indicative of the overall condition of the steel in this car, that's going to be a big help in the restore/preserve process I bet. (y)

    Props to Bill and family and friends for all their help! :tiphat:
     
  6. ModelT1

    ModelT1 Still Lost in the 50's

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    Joe, Bill, and family, it's stories like this that make me proud to be a member of this great forum. Together you are making dreams come true.
    This continuing story makes me tingly all over!

    Of course this makes us wonder just what would have happened to the Buick if Bill hadn't been given the chance to get it. Long live these great forums and the members who make it happen.
     
  7. Fat Tedy

    Fat Tedy Island Red Neck

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    Cooooooooooooool!(y)
     
  8. Lisa

    Lisa Active Member

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    Wonderful pictorial! Looking forward to more updates. What a great looking car.
     
  9. mashaffer

    mashaffer New Member

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    That is going to be one fine Buick when you get done.

    mike
     
  10. busterwivell

    busterwivell Bill, AZ Geezer

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    Yah, this is going to be fun to watch progress.
     
  11. rrbnut

    rrbnut 1993 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon

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    thanks for sharing that awesome story! As others stated, make me proud too to be part of all of you.
     
  12. NOMI WAYGONE

    NOMI WAYGONE Member

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    JMT455 I'm ssoooooooo jealous! beautiful buick wagon!!!! just remember I'm only 2.5hrs away if ya need a garage to keep it in!!!!!!!!:2_thumbs_up_-_anima:2_thumbs_up_-_anima:2_thumbs_up_-_anima
     
  13. jmt455

    jmt455 Well-Known Member

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    Caballero Progress report; December 4, 2014

    And so it begins....December 4, 2014 update

    Borrowed a friend's truck & trailer and brought the Caballero home last week.
    [​IMG]

    First order of business: release the stuck tailgate latches.
    It took a while, but I finally convinced the latches to release. Now, I need to get more PB Blaster into the hinges so I can free up the tailgate.

    [​IMG]



    I removed the roof rail moldings and seals, as well as much of the rear compartment trim. Lots more to do in that area!

    So far, no rust or corrosion in any of the window channels; it's all just very dusty!

    [​IMG]

    Once that was done, I started to remove the front end sheet metal.
    I started by measuring the gaps at all the fender/hood/door interfaces and setting the door/fender/hood positions where they need to be.
    [​IMG]

    Then I drilled alignment holes in the fender and hood mounting brackets so I can more easily - and accurately - position the sheet metal during re-assembly. You can see the small finishing nail (locator) in this fender mounting bracket photo:
    [​IMG]


    Then I started removing the attaching bolts. There must be about 100 bolts holding all this front end sheet metal together!

    Got the fenders off, then the grill.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Then pulled the fan shroud & radiator.
    [​IMG]

    I can't believe how good the metal looks under all that dust!

    Neat design; the whole *inner front sheet metal assembly can be removed in one piece.
    I was surprised to learn that this entire sub-assembly is held on to the frame by only 5 bolts!:

    [​IMG]


    After that was moved aside, I finished removing the hood and got some assistance from my wife to move the hood to the open area in the garage.
    [​IMG]

    I was ready to quit at this point, but HAD to see what was under that dusty old carburetor...
    [​IMG]


    The throttle plates were all tightly closed and covered with more of the desert dust and crud that is all over the frame and underbody.
    [​IMG]

    I was pleasantly surprised; the underside of the throttle body was clean and the throttle shafts feel snug.
    [​IMG]

    Just for giggles, I tested the starter switch...IT WORKS! The switch contacts close at about 20 degrees of throttle opening.
    I think I can make that work when I get this baby back together!

    Next step: borrow and engine crane/cherry picker and pull the engine. Can't wait to see what I find under all that dust and dirt!
     
    Poison_Ivy likes this.
  14. moparandfomoco

    moparandfomoco Well-Known Member

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    Man Joe, that looks really cool . Jeez, and to think that thing sat since 1990 outside and its sooo solid. Wow, that is gonna be a cool ride.

    Looks like you'll be busy all winter......
     
  15. jmt455

    jmt455 Well-Known Member

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    This winter, next winter, the winter after that....lol.
     

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