Dave's Cars

1963 Buick Electra


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 William Roach, who was Vice President of GMAC, purchased a 1963 Buick Electra 225 in late 1962 in New York. He kept it until some time in 1963, when he sold it to Dr. and Mrs. George J. Pearson of Burlington, Iowa.

That is the official version. what actually happened is that my father, Herbert R. Northrup, was good friends with William Roach. My mother's father was Dr. Pearson. His wife, Elma, needed a new car. I believe, although I'm not positive, that they rolled the old car, which I think was a 57 Buick. It may have looked like this.
  She wanted a black car, appropriate to go to funerals in. No joke. According to my Aunt Margie, who is the wife of the youngest son of Dr. and Mrs. Pearson, Dr. Warren Perason, who, btw, is still alive. He is supposedly the one who drove it from New York City (where he lived) to Burlington. Again, the Pearsons were my grandparents; Uncle Warren my mother's brother and therefore my uncle.

This was typically the car which they used to pick us up at the airport, or to drive us around, although they also had a 1964 Buick Electra? in powder blue. This was his car, and Mrs. Pearson used the 1963.
   The car held many memories for me, and sometimes when I would visit as a teenager or young adult I would clean it up for them, one time even polishing the engine. The car was always garaged and driven very few miles, although it did pick up its share of parking lot dents and dings.
   The original black lacquer paint cracked and crazed here and there, and there is definite rust in the two corners of the rear bumper, but overall the car is in excellent original shape. The interior is quite clean, except for some tears in the drivers seat. The carpets and floor mats are entirely original.
   As my grandparents grew older, the car was driven less and less. Finally, in 1984 my grandmother passed away. She had been his navigator and required partner in the car. At the age of 93, he was no longer able to drive. He considered selling the car, but even today, it is not particularly valuable. So he decided to give it to me.

Some years earlier he had given the 1964 to my cousin, who used it as a daily driver, and it is probably in a junkyard or long ago scrapped out.
   The big black 1963 Buick had something over 28,000 original miles on it when I picked it up that summer. I drove it from Burlington, Iowa back to Houston, Texas, where I lived. At first in an apartment car port, then later in a garage, the car has been well taken care of and always protected. We ended up driving it to Florida when we moved there, had it trailered back to Houston when we moved back; had it trailered to Tulsa when we moved there, and then we drove it back to Dallas where it now occupies more than its fair share of the garage.

Of special note, we used this for our getaway car when my wife and I were married in 1976. We used confetti instead of rice, some of which remained in the car for years as a happy reminder!
   Don't you love those old dashboards!!! Notice the BUICK letters on the radio!
   These cars had lots of back seat.

We belong to the North Texas Buick Club!
   As of January 2002, the car has just over 36,000 original miles, and is still in excellent condition. It gets driven about once every other month, needs some cosmetic work, and a couple electric windows fixed. It runs and drives beautifully, but the brake pads are so old that they are starting to harden and need replacing. We are planning to trailer it up to the 100th anniversary of Buick Motor Corporation in July of 2003. See you there!
   This is the windshield washer fluid container. Note the Art Deco Buick letters.
   These two are for engine enthusiasts and purists. Some non-original stuff added, I am afraid!
   While on a recent road trip, we found a 1963 Buick Electra 225 convertible, which had the particular emblem and chrome pieces I have been searching for!
   This is how two travelers, borrowing some tools from the yard, pull off a couple of parts. For those of you who want to know, this junkyard is in Blaine, Tennessee.
   I had been asked about how the back shelf was supposed to look. It's nice to be able to be a guide for someone restoring one of these fabulous old cars. So John, these pictures are for you!

By the way, if anyone wants a copy of these photos, just ask. Or any other photos of the car (or any of the cars).
   You can see that this car was equipped with the optional defrost unit in the back. This car had every possible option except cruise control. Why did he leave that off I wonder?????
After being down way too long, we finally got after the failed fuel pump and the tires.
Rather greasy in there. That's 45 years of buildup and inattention, although I have cleaned some areas of the engine compartment from time to time. This is after power washing the area. When we started, there was no paint visible, only black dirty grease.
Aluminum finned drums in front!!! How very kewl!
And steel ones in back.
Put in the new fuel pump - it was a two man job! I had to hold it from below while my friend bolted it in from above. Then I had some fuel line issues - had to get the right size rubber fuel line. Finally! After a couple of weeks of occasional effort, it runs! And, after adding tow quarts of ARF, it drives!!!
12/15/2010 - The last few months the car has been driven every few weeks, and just for a few minutes. There is, I think, a U-joint problem in the back. You can hear some sort of turning problem. Don't know when I'll get to that.
Now its time to clean it up, i guess! Its pretty dirty, and its parking place is oily, dirty, etc.
Out for a little drive in the car
Here is where it is on mileage now. This is original mileage. It has NOT turned over.
1/1/15 -
We are driving the car to Tulsa this weekend to meet some cousins. these cousins have not see the car in 30 years. So we took it to the shop to get ready. Yipes!
We stopped in Caddo, OK, on the way up for a bite to eat, check the fluids, and a phote op. My beautiful wife elected to stay in the nice warm car.
Made it all the way to Tulsa without any issues. Here we are parked at the hotel.
Stopped on the way home for lunch and to check the fluids. Everything looked great!
6/27/2020 - somewhere along the way of this story my son decided to get married and use this car as a getaway car. seemed like a good plan, but we had less than a year to accomplish that.
so we started taking the car apart in preparation of getting it painted.
Lots of chrome and other things to be removed, painted, and redone.
but mostly chrome
Here it is at the detailing shop getting the last finishing touches to the paint, body, and chrome.
And here it is out on the road by the lake, looking really good
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