The 1960 Buick
A light colored car is great to illustrate many of the usual rust areas. Rockers are weak on all body styles (check the back sides of the rockers, especially!). On this car, look closely at the bottom of the front fender and you'll agree it has already been repaired once....just proof that the fender is one of the first areas to rot.
Rear Quarter Panel Rust: Count On It!
The rear quarters, forward of the wheels, is usually the first place a 1960 Buick will rust. This is primarily due to a poor design that traps water/dirt and, on 2-dr models, drain holes that are usually plugged up. The large drain hole on the back side of this area originally had a rubber flapper to keep dirt and exhaust fumes out of the car. Unfortunately, what it did was trap dirt and water INSIDE the quarters. KEEP THESE DRAINS OPEN! Nearly every 2-dr 1960 Buick I've ever inspected (even expensive restorations) has plugged drain holes.

Rearward of the rear wheels, rust is less common. It is usually caused here by leaky trunks or the moisture-trapping chrome trim of the Electra 225.
ABOVE: Here, a rusty 1960 Buick is receiving extensive quarter panel patching. This is very difficult to do without leaving telltale signs of repair. Note plastic filler over wheel opening, to smooth out contours.
All LeSabres originally had this short chrome wheel well molding (ABOVE LEFT). When the quarters begin to rust, the molding will no longer stay attached.

Often, in the course of patching the car with bondo, the short chrome molding will be left off (LEFT). Look closely for lumpy contours in the wheel well opening, and the absence of the molding attachment holes in the wheel lip. If the molding is missing, what you should see are two large factory-stamped holes for molding clip locations (ABOVE RIGHT). Bring your magnet!!

[Note, the car on the left also has rust bubbling through the door bottoms, which is likely much worse than it looks.]
ABOVE LEFT: Typical dog-leg rust shown on 4dr 1960 Buick Invicta. [Note the full wheel well molding that was standard on all Invictas.] This car looks to have had earlier repairs. The delaminating section on the rocker is at the original quarter-to-rocker lead solder joint. It is most likely from an aging rocker panel replacement/patch.

ABOVE RIGHT: An example of rear-of-wheel rusting. Since there is no molding to cause the problem, it is likely due to water leakage. Check the floors carefully!
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).