1972 Estate Wagon Limited Coupe

Discussion in 'Station Wagon Projects' started by wixom61, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. wixom61

    wixom61 Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys! Thought I would show y'all what i have been up to for the last few months.

    When I'm not on here wreaking havoc, I am hard at work torturing my poor, happless Estate Wagon to make it fit my vision of how these GM wagons should have been built. :whip:

    I have always loved the GM clamshell wagons, with their amazingly beautiful fastback glass roof. But I never could warm up to the clunky pillared roof and doors. It should have been a four-door hardtop. Some bean counter probably broke the designer's heart when this compromise was decided on. :slap:

    I wanted my Buick to be the way I have always seen it in my mind. :idea:

    I bought my 1972 Buick Estate Wagon off of ebay last June. It is a Redding, CA car and it arrived in Dallas in early July. It is a 6 passenger, which I specifically wanted. It had all the right equipment, and was in excellent rust and damage-free condition...but also quite hideous in overall appearance. Perfect!

    I have been planning this transformation for some time, and finding the right wagon was just the beginning. I needed a hardtop donor car. I could have gone with a four-door, but decided to go all the way, and do a decadent Limited coupe. I began looking for a Limited coupe that could be used as a parts car. In August, I found it, a sad, crashed up junkyard wreck that would never be missed. All the pieces of my plan were ready.

    I began by carefully studying, making templates and double-checking measurements before cutting anything. Then I made my first irreversible cut...the passenger side center pillar.
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    Then, I removed the interior, dash and damaged steering column, replacing it with the Limited's dash and column.
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    Now to fit the coupe doors. They fit perfectly! Now I am getting excited! :29:
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    Next, I cut and fit the quarter...this took a lot of measuring and template making before actually cutting this all-important part.
    I decide to keep it all in one piece...roof and quarter. The wagon required not a single modification other than the initial pillar removal. The quarter fits right into the opening. The inner brace meets up with the floor just as it did in the parts coupe. These big Buicks are almost identical in rocker panels and floors.
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    The panels match up perfectly, as do the body lines and door gaps.
    I think it worked out even better than I imagined it would. :bouncy:

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    I have done the left side also, but I haven't taken pics yet. I am about to strip the paint and work the body to perfection.

    It will have a Limited cloth and vinyl interior, 60/40 front seats in Sandalwood, a light cream. The dash is dark Covert, a beautiful dark brown with the slightest green tinge.
    I will do a vinyl top in Sandalwood, and the body in Royal Blue Metallic.

    Believe it or not, I consider myself somewhat of a purest. This will be a 100% 1972 Buick using only correct colors, fabrics and equipment...it will just be all Electra 225 Limited specs.

    More pics when I make more progress. :camera:

    David :tiphat:
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  2. 1967bigdaddy

    1967bigdaddy Member

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    Nice job my brother did something like this to an older vehicle a long time ago, you are doing a great job
     
  3. Blackfoot

    Blackfoot Wagonless Soul

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    Interesting and brave to say the least. Having trouble grasping the overall effect with the pics all so close up. Be watching this to see how it unfolds.
     
  4. Stormin' Norman

    Stormin' Norman Well-Known Member

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    All that done outside!!!??? Now I understand why Texans are so friendly. Warm weather, who needs a garage!

    That is one impressive and daunting task. On a lighter car, I might think about it, but on a big ride like that? hmmm.

    And a vinyl roof too! Sounds like the wagon that GM missed. I'm gonna watch this for sure. Great work!:1st:
     
  5. That Hartford Guy

    That Hartford Guy Mopar no more.

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    You are my Hero. I can't wait to see more pictures. When done it will looks like a GM concept car that could have done the new carshow circuit then. BRAVO!

    I am a purist too. But I have no problem with someone doing a project like this as long as they use all original parts and keep it as stock looking as possible.

    Keep us posted.

    Thanks!
     
  6. wixom61

    wixom61 Well-Known Member

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    I agree, Scott. Also, with it being two colors, it is hard to see how it flows. I will be stripping the paint soon, and it will all come together visually. :clap:

    David
     
  7. That Hartford Guy

    That Hartford Guy Mopar no more.

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    David,

    When finished, you should give it a retro name.

    Back in 1958, Buicks Hardtop wagon was called the "Caballero".

    How about Buick Caballero Limited?

    Dave
     
  8. wixom61

    wixom61 Well-Known Member

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    Norm, I did all of this last month, and Dallas had 20 days of rain out of 31. Argh!
    My neighbors are great! They are always coming by asking questions about the project, and seem to enjoy it. I was concerned at first that I would run into trouble. I do try to be considerate with the noise, cause I don't want them to turn against me.
     
  9. wixom61

    wixom61 Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like a good idea. I might do just that. If I follow Buick's model names for 1972, it will be a Buick Estate Wagon Custom Limited Sport Coupe! Believe it or not, the Electra version carried such a long and unwieldy name!
     
  10. Stormin' Norman

    Stormin' Norman Well-Known Member

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    I was lucky that way with my neigbours too. I roller-painted mine under a tarp, which meant lots of paint dust. Kept checking in with me to see the progress. Not one complaint.

    You do have enough length for that long name. :rofl2:
     
  11. tbirdsps

    tbirdsps New Member Charter Member

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    :wow::wow::wow:I wish I had those skills in my toolbox. What a great idea.
     
  12. snooterbuckets

    snooterbuckets New Member

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    That is going to be one incredibly sharp wagon when you get it done. I can't wait to see the finished product. Hey, as long as you're this far into it, why not add some T tops to it as well. How cool would that be?!
     
  13. Harry Clamshell

    Harry Clamshell Well-Known Member Charter Member

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    Looking good, David !! :bowdown::bowdown:

    Did you replaced the standard steering wheel for a DeLuxe (3-spoke?) Hard to see in the photo

    Custom AND Limited in one name?

    Are you going to add any other goodies?
     
  14. wixom61

    wixom61 Well-Known Member

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    Hey Rob, good to hear from you! :clap:

    Yeah, I replaced the entire steering column, wheel and dash pad. I changed my radio from the AM 8-track to an AM-FM stereo and had to wire the new column for cruise, because the wagon has it, but the coupe didn't. I won't need to change the intrument cluster or much else, but I will need the correct power lock switches for the coupe doors, as it didn't have p locks.

    These big Buicks are the easiest cars to work on! Pure simplicity. This, along with my new 71 98, is my first older GM and I really enjoy how well done it is. :jumping:
    I am used to 60's Continentals and T-birds, where it seems they built the cars around the engines and dashes...a real challenge to work on them. :slap: They are magnificent designs, and incredibly well-built, but frustrating.

    I will be taking better pics as I move this project along.

    David

    PS. Yeah, the brochure uses both names for the Electra 225. Too much!
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  15. Harry Clamshell

    Harry Clamshell Well-Known Member Charter Member

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    Just this week I added power door locks on the 71 Electra (had solenoids and wiring from my old 75 Riviera ( now: parts car)) and took the switches out of a 72 Electra 2dr from a yard I visited last summer in CO.
    I probably will hardly use them.... I just like goodies (like the rear window defogger I added that same day)

    Am planning to add a vinyl top to the Wagon as well: still looking for the chrome molding between rear doors and the curved windows

    I always thought there was a Limited or a Custom

    EDIT: planning my next holiday: will be in Houston and Dallas in July 2010 Maybe I can have a look very close at your state of art??
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009

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