Caregiver for a 1965 Buick Special "Billy Goat" Wagon

Discussion in 'The Welcome Wagon' started by elagache, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. elagache

    elagache New Member

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    Dear Station Wagon lovers everywhere,

    Let us turn back the clock to spring 1968. . . . . .

    My family is returning to California after an overseas assignment and . . . .

    My father has carefully researched a the family's next car. He is looking for something economical like an AMC Rambler wagon. However, at the dealer, my Mom falls in love with: A 1965 Buick "Deluxe" Special Wagon. It was more than what Dad intended to pay but . . . . . :)

    Not too long after this purchase, this photo was taken of the kids in front of their new house and car:

    [​IMG]

    Obviously, I've grown up a little since then! :)

    With my parents having immigrated from France, the car got a French name: Biquette. It is slang that roughly translates to Billy Goat.

    The car has had many adventures, some of which you can read about here. All through this, the car has remained in our family. Fast forward to today and amazingly the car looks like:

    [​IMG]

    Well, thanks mostly to a lot of restoration work that has already been done because the car was a victim of a serious case of "unnecessary roughness" dolled out by a German sports sedan. :cry:

    Alas, things are still not well for Biquette. Unfortunately, I wasn't aware of the removal of ZDDP (Zinc dialkyldithiophosphates) from motor oil. The engine's second rebuild is now suffering from valve timing issues most likely caused by a worn cam shaft.

    I ordered a new engine for the car in May of 2011. However, after much consultation with guys of this persuasion :chirp: I ended up supersizing the engine by switching from the original small-block 300 cid V-8 to . . . well . . . a 448 cid big-block Buick V-8 engine with all sorts of performance goodies from aluminum cylinder heads to electronic fuel injection. As described in this thread on V-8Buick.com, the engine developed 509 horsepower and over 530 foot-pounds of torque!! :49:

    [​IMG]

    However, the goal for the car isn't the typical one for this sort of an engine. :character0182:

    Instead of gearing the car for high-speed, the car will be matched with a hardened GM 200-4R transmission and given as "tall" a rear-end as is practical. The big-block Buick engine is known for its low-RPM torque. The scheme is to use that torque to lower the number of revolutions per mile. That should lead to all possible things: excellent fuel economy for an old car like this. The prototype cars upon which this scheme was founded were getting close to 20 MPG city and mid-20s on the highway. The hope is that the car will once more become usable for road-trips and moderate towing while achieving fuel-economy that will make such vacations practical.

    Right now, the project is on hold waiting for the engine to be shipped from Minnesota to California where it will be installed. The hope is that the drive-train makeover can happen sometime this fall and the car will finally be whole one more after many years repairs.

    I have struggled long and hard to find wagon parts but at the moment have put things back together. The tailgate was refurbished as part of the body work. There is still some repairs to be made in that area, but for the moment it is the other end of the car that is getting the greatest attention.

    I hope you'all enjoyed this little wagon tale and look foward to learning more about what happens here on the Station Wagon Forums.

    Cheers, Edouard :cheers:
     
  2. ModelT1

    ModelT1 Still Lost in the 50's

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    :Welcome:to the forum. Your input will be greatly appreciated. That was a great and interesting introduction. Makes me want to go out and buy an old Buick.
    I always enjoy hearing and seeing stories about the family cars that are being restored and kept in the family. :yahoo:
     
  3. 1tireman

    1tireman Well-Known Member

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    Welcome Edouard!
     
  4. jrwscout

    jrwscout New Member

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    Welcome! Very cool that you've kept the wagon all these years. Thanks for sharing your story! That engine ain't too shabby either(y)
     
  5. Jim 68cuda

    Jim 68cuda Well-Known Member

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    Great intro, beautiful wagon, love the vintage photo, and love hearing that the wagon has stayed in the family since it was almost new.
     
  6. AK27

    AK27 Well-Known Member

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    Very nice wagon and welcome to the site!
     
  7. mashaffer

    mashaffer New Member

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    If you ever have need of a new caretaker for her I bet you could find a few volunteers here. :D Seriously nice machine.

    mike
     
  8. MikeT1961

    MikeT1961 Well-Known Member

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    That is a great story about "Baguette", and it is fantastic that you are keeper her and making her good for regular use. Those old Buicks are something special. Were I ever to have another G.M., it would definitely have the Tri-Shield on it. Good luck, and keep us up to date. You may even want to start a "Baguette" thread in the projects area. She is definitely worth every little bit of effort you give her.
     
  9. 65 2dr

    65 2dr Fix 'em all -

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    And here I thought it'd be a story about the 'billy goat' curse on the Chicago Cubs!
    Nice car, though.
     
  10. MotoMike

    MotoMike Well-Known Member

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    Bienvenue à la folie Edouard ! That's a great story that made a great opening post. That 448 ought to properly move that Billy Goat down the road too I bet. It's a Buick block isn't it? :camera::camera::camera::camera::camera: for opening post category post rating. :Welcome:
     
  11. Olds Weighty Eight

    Olds Weighty Eight New Member

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    :2_thumbs_up_-_anima Sweet '65! Reminds me of the '65 Gran Sport that was my little brother's first car. I like the vintage touch to the 'modernized' Buick mill by painting it the color of the old V8. The fuel injection will be a great upgrade as well.
     
  12. elagache

    elagache New Member

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    Thanks for the warm welcome!

    Dear Station Wagon lovers,

    Thanks everyone for the very warm welcome for me and my trusty "Billy goat" wagon!! [​IMG]

    Still got a lot of work to do, but hopefully soon the car will finally able to get back on the freeway and . . . . more than keep up with those wagon imports!

    Cheers, Edouard :cheers:
     
  13. Brad

    Brad Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hello Edouard! Good to see you found your way over here from V8Buick.com! :Welcome: .

    PS: You still can't have my AC brackets for a BBB!! :evilsmile:
     
  14. elagache

    elagache New Member

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    A/C Bracket!!! . . . . . . Ahhhhhh!!!!!!

    Howdy Brad and fellow owners of suitably "mature" and "respectable" (i.e. Buick :mischeif: ) wagons . . . :D


    A/C Bracket . . . . Ahhhhh!! :yikes:

    Golly, I didn't think putting a Vintage Air system would be easy - but I had no idea it would be this hard . . . . and the only part I've bought so far is the A/C version of the OEM dashboard controls!! :banghead3:


    Maybe I should take up stamp collecting instead!! :biglaugh:

    Cheers, Edouard :cheers:
     
  15. fannie

    fannie Well-Known Member

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    Hey Edouard, :Welcome: nice intro. (y)

    Does your mom still love the wagon?
     

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