The 1960 Buick
Still More "Tinworm"...
Door Rust?
Usually only the rustier cars show door problems. As with any car, check the hem flanges carefully and use your magnet on the outer skin.

Warped or repaired door upholstery indicates water damage: look closely for corrosion. Replacement with good used doors is the best fix for rust.
LEFT: Aside from the obvious perforation damage, notice the leading edge of the rear door: the hem flange is rotten to about half-way up the door. Check the front door carefully, as if may be just as bad.
Like any old car, the fender bottoms of a 1960 Buick are very prone to corrosion. You may encounter anything from quick fiberglass patch to quality metal repair.

Check the mud-trapping bracket at the bottom attachment of the fender. In addition to rotting away, this collects enough crud to prevent fender drainage.
ABOVE: These paint bubbles at the bottom rear of the front fender spell trouble (R-U-S-T + B-O-N-D-O).



LEFT: What looks like a harmless paint bubble on the fender (near hood gap) is actually swollen body filler. On this car, it extended rearward along the ENTIRE edge of the fender, along the hood gap.

This is fairly extreme, but rust occurs here because the underside has a rubber seal that traps moisture and mud/debris along the entire fender edge. USE YOUR MAGNET to check!
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Hood Rust
A hood this bad is an obvious problem, but the point I want to illustrate is that the entire nose of the hood is a bondo candidate.
The area behind the nose of the hood is a big hollow cavity that can collect water and road salt. Using a flashlight, it can be inspected from the the openings on the backside for rust and rust repair.

Another reason to check for hood bondo is collision damage. Have you ever noticed the tip of the 1960 Buick hood reaches as far forward as the bumper? As a result, it is commonly "bimped", even in the most minor fender benders.

A quick visual test is to look at the underside of the hood nose for the factory seam. If the seam is not visible, it has been filled with bondo for one reason or another.
LEFT: Look into these access holes to check for rust in the nose of the hood.

RIGHT: Check for factory sheetmetal seam on underside of hood. (Look below the letter "I" in BUICK.)
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Bumper Rust: Harbinger of Other Rot
Wet mud and road salt packing in the underside of the bumper can cause rust problems. Fortunately, it is easy to change bumpers, but if the car is rough enough to have cancer here, BEWARE of other locations.
LEFT: On this car, a sticker had been covering the rust holes in the bumper! The bumper bracket on the underside of the corrosion area is a trap for mud/moisture, and the likely cause of this problem.
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RIGHT: Disoriented? This is the bottom of a red rocker panel, with the rear of the car on the left. The orange appearance of the red paint is due to camera flash. The textured black area is a rusty frame rail covered with spray paint.

The blistering rusty vertical seam is at the factory lead solder joint between the quarter panel and the rocker. This is BAD news.

The heavy "battleship" rust on the underside of the rocker and flange is just forward of the rear wheel. It looks like a chunk of paint or filler was covering it, but has popped off. Rust this heavy is also a bad sign.
Rockers and Floors:
Just Like Other Old Cars
RIGHT: This is the left rear passenger floor area, as viewed from under the car and looking outboard. (Huh? Notice the body support bracket attached to the frame. Does that help?)

This floor has completely rotted through. Notice witness marks from pop rivets that previously held a patch panel in place. The torn fabric-looking stuff filling much of the hole is the carpeting.

As on any car, patched flooring is very easy to hide. BEWARE of heavy, or fresh, undercoating.
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).