The 1960 Buick
An Unrestored "Survivor"
(continued)
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Magazine Photo Shoot
Here, professional photographer Nick Komic shoots the LeSabre for COLLECTIBLE AUTOMOBILE magazine.

With the support of CA's Research Editor Doug Mitchel, Komic is pioneering the use of super high resolution digital photography for the magazine. The results are every bit as good as you have come to expect from this quality publication.
Award Winner at Concours
The LeSabre was invited to the 2003 Concours d'Elegance at Cranbrook, where it was part of a special display honoring Buick's Centennial.

It received an Award of Excellence, due primarily to its amazing preservation. The judging team that selected the car consisted of Roger Adams (Buick general manager at the time), Don Hackworth (a former Buick general manager), and Nicola Bulgari, the world renowned jewelry designer and respected Buick collector. It was a particular honor to have met Mr.Bulgari and heard his kind words about my car. He truly appreciates the significance of historic preservation of automobiles!

This photo shows yours truly driving across the judging stand to receive the award.
Just a Few Details, Before We Move on to the Next Chapter...
ABOVE: When the original muffler finally failed after 40 yrs, the prior owner installed an aftermarket unit. I replaced it with a correct Buick NOS muffler. Notice the mfgr. date (7-62) and the correct Buick part number stamped in the galvanized shell. A NOS tailpipe was installed with this muffler, but the remainder of the exhaust system still has the factory-installed parts.
ABOVE: These are the original factory-installed tires. Look closely and you can read "Firestone 500" on the sidewall. (In the photo below you can see the "gum-dipped" script.) The tires are approximately half worn, as you would expect on a 10,000 mile car. The serial numbers were provided to Firestone in order to authenticate their 1960 vintage. Width of the visible portion of the whitewall is approximately 2 1/4".
LEFT: Here's the "money shot" for checking out a 60 Buick. The area just FORWARD of the rear wheels is the first to rust out because water gets trapped inside the quarters. Normally, you will find filler and/or patch panels here...even on the most solid of cars. (I once owned a 1960 Buick coupe that spent 30yrs in LA and 10yrs in Vegas, and even THAT car had filler in this location!)

The picture shows a standard paint thickness gauge, which is essentially a calibrated magnet. Look closely and you'll see an indicated surface thickness of 6 mils (0.006") on top of the metal. That's about right for a coat of paint and primer, so there's obviously no filler or rust here! Next time you look at a 1960 Buick, try this test but expect to be disappointed.

(And yes, I know the stainless steel wheel well molding needs a good cleaning.)
RIGHT: Ah, the fine patina of an unrestored rust-free quarter panel. This area BEHIND the right rear wheel shows only some minor stone chip damage and typical thin factory paint.

BELOW: The inner panel and trunk floor are just like new, with only a light dusting of road dirt. Not bad for a car that spent its first 35 years in Wisconsin!
COPYRIGHT 2005 by Gregory L. Cockerill. All text contained herein, including interviews/recollections of other parties, is my original work and is owned by me. This also applies to all images of my white 1960 LeSabre convertible. As such, the aforementioned material may not be used without express written permission. Other images presented herein are either from the public domain or used with permission of the owner(s).