French Army 1936 Buick

Frédéric wrote to us from Dijon, France about his 1936 Buick:

Here are some pictures of my Buick8 of 1936.
It is being restored, but there are very few mechanical parts in France!
It was commissioned by the French army before WW2. In 1940, the Germans would have captured this car. In 1944, the U.S. military recovered the car and given back to the French army in 1946 … !
The speedometer is in kilometers / hour and not miles / hours.
There are currently only 5 models in Europe. I am looking for sponsors to help me restore this lovely car!

It’s a fascinating bit of history on wheels.  If you would like to contact Fred, please drop us a line and we’ll pass the message along. Click on any of the pictures for a full-resolution view.

The Old Car Manual Project has the 1936 Buick brochure here and some 1936 Buick ads here.

1936 Buick ad

Lacombe Show and Shine



1955 Chevrolet Bel AirBack in July, the annual Lacombe Show and Shine was on and there were some really interesting vehicles as always.

This one is a 1955 Bel Air (Canadian production), equipped with a dual Fenton intake and headers.  Our shop built a pair of Rochester model B carbs for the owner.  It took a lot of tuning to get these to run right – I think the he may still be tweaking these.

With this set up there is less manifold vacuum at part throttle, so you need to shorten the power piston springs to keep the carbs from getting into the power mixture under light load.  Also, the jets need to be on the large side because of a weaker vacuum signal (due to the larger venturi area).  As well, the carbs should be synchronized.  Finally, you have to consider that Model B carbs came with various sizes of power channel restriction – essentially a fixed jet that determines how much additional fuel flows when the power system is engaged.

GMC Cab Over Engine truckAnother one I really got a kick out of was the GMC COE truck.  These are getting as rare as hen’s teeth.  You sometimes see Chevrolet Cab-Over-Engine trucks, but not so many GMC’s, at least not here in the Great White North.

Notably, GMC trucks like this usually used a Zenith updraft carburetor while the Chevy versions used a Carter BB updraft.  Of course the reason for the updraft carburetor was because of clearance around the engine.  This is why these continued to use updraft carbs until 1962, while GM cars had gone downdraft by 1932.

1951 Studebaker

Ron Bilby, a long-time contributor to The Old Car Manual Project sent in a couple of nice shots of his ‘51 Stude (click to enlarge to full size).

Elsewhere on the site we have some print ads for the ‘51 Studebakers, both cars and trucks. Also from Ron is a 1951 Studebaker booklet with test results from Mechanix Illustrated.

Radio-fuel autos may solve gas problem

(originally posted 14 June 2010; recovered from 17 May 2013)

Gracing the cover of Modern Mechanix magazine from August, 1936 is this nifty induction powered buggy.

Being a physical scientist myself, I thought I might work out some of the energies involved in transmitting power this way. Suffice to say, it seems to me that there would be much frying of brains and possibly vegetation well before highway speeds were achieved. This may explain the grim look of determination on the pilot’s face.

Nonetheless, this is not a principle to be discarded lightly, so I have scanned the article and posted it on The Old Car Manual Project site.